From Ozzy Osbourne to Seth Rogen, RadarOnline.com has compiled a list of celebs whose work has been blamed for inspiring crazed people to, sadly, kill themselves or others.
1. Seth Rogan: When film critic Ann Hornaday recently drew a line between Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger and the frat boy comedy Neighbors she was duly hit with the wrath of Seth Rogen. The funnyman wasn’t laughing when he tweeted in response: “@AnnHornaday how dare you imply that me getting girls in movies caused a lunatic to go on a rampage.” He also said her Washington Post op-ed was “horribly insulting and misinformed.”
Marilyn Manson and Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold
2. Marilyn Manson: “This tragedy was a product of ignorance, hatred and an access to guns.” That was the statement that Marilyn Manson and his band released in 1999 shortly after numerous pundits tried to blame the rocker for influencing Columbine High School shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. It later transpired that – not only were the killers not Manson fans – they hated his music.
3. Ozzy Osbourne: In 1986 the parents of John McCollum sued Ozzy Osbourne saying the rocker’s music encouraged their son to take his own life two years earlier. The California teen – who was clinically depressed – was listening to Osbourne’s song, Suicide Solution, at the time. But a judge threw the suit out saying that it “reads more like a novel than a legal pleading.”
4. Judas Priest: In 1985 two disturbed Nevada men went into a playground and shot themselves after a night of boozing, drug taking and listening to music. One man, 18-year-old Raymond Belknap, died at the scene and his friend, 20-year-old James Vance, succumbed to his injuries three years later. But in 1990 – in a case that was ultimately dismissed – the families of both sued rock band Judas Priest for the subliminal messages in their songs that supposedly encouraged the youths to commit suicide.
AC DC and Richard Ramirez
5. AC/DC: He was convicted of 13 murders and for years held California hostage with his nocturnal killing spree. In the 1980s Richard Ramirez forever linked his name with AC/DC by saying that he was a big fan of the band, their album Highway to Hell and, in particular, the track Night Prowler. Ramirez was dubbed the Night Stalker by the press.
The Simpsons and George W. Bush
6. The Simpsons: For the Republican leadership in the 1990s the popularity of underachiever Bart Simpson and The Simpsons may as well have been a tragedy. It irked them so much that in 1992 President George H. W. Bush said: “We are going to keep on trying to strengthen the American family, to make American families a lot more like the Waltons and a lot less like the Simpsons.” Two years earlier First Lady Barbara Bush told People that the show was “the dumbest thing she had ever seen.”
Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver
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7. Robert De Niro As Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle: “You talking to me?” In the disturbed mind of would-be assassin John Hinckley Jr. Travis Bickle may well have been talking to him. Obsessed with Taxi Driver and Jodie Foster, who played a 12-year-old prostitute in the 1976 movie, he tried to kill President Ronald Reagan in a bid to save the actress just as Bickle (played by Robert De Niro) tried to save her.
J D Salinger
8. J D Salinger: The author of The Catcher In the Rye may never have been directly blamed for encouraging tragic events, but at least three high profile murderers were either carrying or had recently read J D Salinger’s bestselling novel. They include John Lennon’s assassin Mark David Chapman and Robert John Bardo, the obsessed fan who killed actress Rebecca Schaeffer in 1989. Police found a copy of the book in the hotel room of John Hinckley Jr. who shot and attempted to kill President Reagan in 1981.
9. Robocop: New York serial killer Nathaniel White claimed that the popular movie Robocop inspired the first of his six killings. In a 1992 jailhouse interview he said: “The first girl I killed was from a Robocop movie… I did exactly what I saw in the movie.” He then went into gruesome detail about how he slashed and stabbed his victim.
A Clockwork Orange
10. A Clockwork Orange: According to the website Top10Films.co.uk, A Clockwork Orange has been blamed for driving people to murder. They include the case of two teenage boys who – dressed like one of the film’s characters – killed people. One stabbed a classmate and the other beat a homeless person to death.
A Nightmare On Elm Street
11. A Nightmare On Elm Street: Whether it was a failure of the British mental health system or A Nightmare On Elm Street, when Daniel Gonzalez was arrested for stabbing four people at random, he said that the popular horror film inspired him. In 2009 an independent report found that more could have been done to help treat Gonzalez – a paranoid schizophrenic – thus preventing the 2004 tragedy.
Natural Born Killers
12. Natural Born Killers: The list of copycat murders that have been linked to Oliver Stone’s 1994 crime drama Natural Born Killers, is a long one. They include high school shootings in Kentucky and Columbine. Other killers reportedly obsessed with the movie include a 14-year-old boy from Texas who decapitated his classmate and a 17-year-old from Utah who shot and killed his stepmother and 10-year-old half-sister.
Chucky in Child's Play
13. Child’s Play: More than 20 years later it is still one of the most sickening murders in British modern history. In 1993 two 10-year-old boys – Robert Thompson and Jon Venables – lured two-year-old Jamie Bulger from his mom, took him to a railway track, mutilated his body and eventually left it there for a train to run over. Police suspected that Child’s Play 3 might have influenced Venables. A copy of the film – in which villainous doll Chucky abducts and tries to kill a cadet but is himself later mutilated – was found in the young killer’s home.