Popular Movies and the American Serial Killers Behind Them

It’s been said that life imitates art, but what about when art imitates life? Some of the most popular movies of all time are based on true events. Though writers and directors often take liberties in order to make the films appeal to a wider audience, their inspirations are clear. Here are american serial killers movies you may have seen and the serial killers behind them:

1.”Wolf Creek” (2005)

During the 90s, some people visiting Australia found themselves wishing they had made another choice. Ivan Milat made it his mission to welcome these strangers with a charming demeanor and tools of torture. Campsites discovered with the bodies suggest that Milat spent time with his victims before finally ending their lives for good. The shootings, stabbings and single decapitation performed by Milat were the inspiration behind the film “Wolf Creek.”

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2.”Gacy” (2003)

Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you’ve heard of John Wayne Gacy. Unbeknownst to his wife, Gacy is known to have brutally murdered at least 33 people. Perhaps most disturbing of all is the fact that Gacy dressed as a clown to lure little boys to their death. Young boys were Gacy’s choice victims, and more than three dozen families lost their children to the man. Only a few years later, Stephen King wrote “It,” a book seemingly loosely inspired by JWG, though nothing has been said to prove that theory.

3.”Ted Bundy” (2002)

By all reports, Theodore Bundy was an attractive, charismatic man. Bundy killed young women with abandon, luring them with his looks and charm. After being caught and convicted, Bundy escaped from prison. During his escape, Bundy killed more women before being caught again and housed on death row. Several autobiographical movies have been made surrounding Ted Bundy, one of the most popular being the first, “Ted Bundy.”

4.”The Hills Have Eyes” (1977)


5.Too Numerous to List
Did you know that “The Hills Have Eyes” was based off of true events? Whether you’ve seen the original or the remake, you were watching a story loosely based off of a story that first began in 16th-century Scotland. Sawney Bean was the leader of a clan of cannibals in Scotland. Sawney and his wife fled to caves in Scotland and had children, and then these children had children. In case you missed that, the last generation was a product of incest. Not only was this clan related, but they ate passing travelers for breakfast. Yum.

So just who could inspire so many movies that they are too numerous to list? That’s right: mild-mannered, often ignored in the community, a bit slow on the uptake, Ed Gein. If you are familiar with Hannibal Lecter, Leatherface or even Norman Bates, you are familiar with Gein. Poor Ed had a mother who was overbearing, to say the least, very few social skills, and a job as a grave digger. His job gave him access to the skin of corpses, which he used to create skin suits. When he tired of the way that dead skin came together, he turned to fresher donors by way of murdering women.

These movies by no means make up an exhaustive list of those that have been inspired by true crimes. Grizzly or not, these movies make for a form of entertainment that some people can’t pass up. If you haven’t seen them, take a gander, and remember that they aren’t complete fiction. You will be suitably shocked to find that monsters really do walk among us.

Brett Harris is fascinated by crime shows and mysteries. In real life you can become a crime solver with a degree from one of the many online criminal justice schools.

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