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Novels That Inspire Real Life Murders

Stories can change your life – some inspire you to learn and to achieve, but alas some can lead to evil. Weird Worm has a list of 4 novels that inspire real life murders. Take, for example, John Fowles’ The Collector:

The Book:
The first book in John Fowles’ distinguished career, “The Collector” (published in 1963) has been on the edge of popular culture for decades. It even inspired a highly regarded movie that almost nobody seems to remember. And maybe that’s for the best.

In the novel, Frederick Clegg is an avid butterfly collector and with what seems to be a nasty version of Aspergers syndrome. Lacking social skills, he lives emotionally apart from the rest of the world until he wins a soccer pool that allows him to finally live physically apart from people as well. However he grows lonely in his cabin in the woods and kidnaps young Miranda, whom he had been obsessing over for quite some time, and keeps her in the cellar, adding her to his collection (book titles!). Anyway, some changing narration shows Miranda and Clegg’s twisted relationship, as well as the scope of Clegg’s illness. Let’s just say, in the end, he resolves to continue to add to his collection.

The Psychotic:
Christopher Wilder, a serial killer of eight young women in the early-mid eighties, was found to have the book in his possession when he shot himself. Robert Berdella, the Kansas City Butcher, tortured and killed at least six men in the 1980’s, and claimed to be inspired by the film version of the novel.

The killers Leonard Lake and Charles Ng are the most closely tied to the book, as Lake was directly inspired by and obsessed with the novel. Lake sought his own potential Miranda’s, deemed “M-Ladies”, two of whom were abducted and ultimately killed. The pair also killed close to two dozen others. A chance arrest on a firearms charge related to shoplifting lead to their discovery, with Ng fleeing before being caught and Lake swallowing a hidden cyanide pill while in custody.

Read 3 more examples of novels that inspire (some) people to kill: Link


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