21 Fictional Characters Blamed For Real Life Crimes
Like Daniel Sterling before him Allan Menzies took a fascination with one of Anne Rice's vampire characters to a horrifying, and in this case deadly extreme. Menzies claimed that after watching Queen Of The Damned over 200 times Akasha had began to commune with him, and asked him to commit a murder in order to pledge his soul to hers. Menzies victim was his best friend Thomas McKendrick who he brutally murdered after McKendrick had apparently "insulted" Akasha. Menzies claimed to have drank two cups of his friend's blood and consumed part of his skull, before burying his body in a shallow grave near to his West Lothian home. Menzies attempted to plead diminished responsibility but was convicted of murder, and was later found dead in his cell from an apparent suicide. The Menzies case is clearly an example of delusional psychosis and undiagnosed schizophrenia leading to disaster but as with any case relating to a cultural product, this didn't stop the press sensationalising Menzies as "The Vampire Killer".
During the gap between the initial wave of shootings and the massacre resuming two hours later, Virginia Tech killer: Seung Hui Cho sent a package containing an 1800 word manifesto and a selection of photos and videos to NBC. One of the photos showed Cho holding a hammer in a similar pose to Oh-Dae-Su in Oldboy, an image that was used widely in the marketing of the film. The similarities were reported by a host of networks and news agencies despite there being absolutely no evidence that Cho had even seen the film. Eventually the connection was dismissed but once again it demonstrated the media's hunger to look for something or someone to blame, whilst seemingly renewing the ongoing agenda against freedom of expression in the arts.
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