21 Fictional Characters Blamed For Real Life Crimes

If in doubt, blame the movies.

Slenderman is in the headlines after being cited as the reason behind the recent stabbing of a 12 year old girl, by two of her classmates in Wisconsin, who stated that they were trying to "please" Slenderman and were "on their way to his mansion" when they were apprehended. The media reporting of the story has been quick to sensationalise the link to the meme based character. The sorry fact is, that were it not for a connection to a recognisable cultural product a girl being stabbed 19 times and surviving wouldn't ordinarily be a big enough story to have the global coverage this has received. In light of this it seems fitting to look at 21 other characters that have been said to inspire real life crimes. In a lot of these cases cultural products were swiftly marked as the patsy on which to blame society's problems, or even as a means of trying to push forward stricter laws of censorship. Rather than trivialise real-life tragedies this list examines historical cases of this phenomenon and to what extent the characters in question have been simply scapegoated, or even used to enforce an agenda against depictions of violence in entertainment.

21. Tyler Durden

In 2009 19 year old Kyle Shaw turned his obsession with David Fincher's 1999 masterpiece into his own ill-advised Project: Mayhem campaign. Shaw planted homemade bombs in several corporate locations in Manhattan, one of which detonated outside a Starbucks on the Upper East Side. Thankfully no one was injured in the blast, which was said to have only caused damage to the store-front, but the severity of the crime led to calls for Shaw to be imprisoned for 25 years under the Patriot Act. After a plea bargain he was given 3 and a half years. The media of course played up the point-of-interest that Shaw was inspired by Fight Club. Something Shaw fed into himself by turning up at one of his hearings with a black-eye, suffered in an organised fight at Rikers Island Prison.

As well as the odd article, I apply my "special mind" to scriptwriting for Comics, Films and Games... Oh and I cut down trees, I skip and jump, I like to press wild flow'rs, I put on women's clothing, and hang around in bars. Follow me on Twitter @DrRobertOtnik