Top 10 Movie and TV Schemes That Inspired Real Dumb Crimes
5. Public Enemies
Source: Universal Pictures
Movies and TV shows have been accused of trying to glamorize the naughty life since the beginning of their respective mediums. It's an unfair argument. TV didn't make being a "Most Wanted" gangster unspeakably cool. The clothes, however, did.
Of course, that bit of logic didn't stop some criminals from trying to blame the movies for their naughty behavior such as one Connecticut man who said he was inspired to turn to bank robberies to pay for his drug habit in the same manner that Johnny Depp's John Dillinger does in the movie "Public Enemies." Unfortunately the plan to mimic the film's anti-hero failed because he never actually saw the whole movie. He only based the plans for his crime on what little he saw from the trailer. Then again, who among us hasn't taken the time to actually watch an entire film that we rented from "Netflix"? Sometimes getting one of those disks in the mail is like having to finish homework.
4. Boston Legal
Source: 20th Century Fox Television
Having to earn your law degree from an actual law school can be such a major pain in the patoot. Not only do you have to read and memorize thousands of pages of dry, dull text to train your brain for the courtroom, but you always have to numb the part that emits empathy and logic with heavy doses of radiation and binge drinking.
One man tried to cut out the middleman by not only learning the ins and outs of the legal system from his own arrests and prosecutors, but also from studying hours of episodes from legal shows like "Boston Legal." He was so successful in sounding lawyerly that he was able to pose as a fully licensed and accredited lawyer for almost five years, netting him up to $3,000 an hour for his time. His plan backfired, however, when he failed to learn how to doctor a law degree for himself. Blockbuster must not have had a copy of "Catch Me When You Can" available for rent.
Source: Summit Entertainment
It might be hard to fathom how anyone could take a movie like this lovey-dovey tween vampire romance seriously. After all, the film is about pasty, hormonal teens with a lust for wanton love and destruction who need to hurt themselves to remind them that they are alive and...oh, never mind.
Someone, however, took even that basic staple of teenager-dom a step too far. A teenager in Des Moines, Iowa was so inspired by the vampire teen romance flick that when he failed to find any teen romance of his own, he turned to the vampire side of it. The extreme emo actually bit 11 of his "friends" and fellow classmates in a one month span, some hard enough to draw actual blood. When the 11th victim finally contacted the authorities about the assault, the boy's father blamed his son's love for the "Twilight" movies as the culprit. I like to think it's because they were extreme vegetarians and this was the only way he thought he could find a decent source of protein.
2. 48 Hours
It's unthinkable to wonder how anyone could think that taking a crime from a show about real life crimes could be a good idea. Think about it: if it's a show about how police solved real life crimes, just how good could it be if it got the attention of national television? You'd at least have a better chance of getting away with it if you stole the plot from an episode of "Unsolved Mysteries."
Gawker speculates, however, that not only did a viewer of CBS' "48 Hours" get the idea for his crime from the show, but that one of the show's actual producers took the idea from his own program. Joe Haldermann, the former TV producer convicted of blackmailing late night host David Letterman, tried to extort money from the TV star over his infidelity and the plot seemed eerily similar to one of the show's own stories that aired a month before he committed his own crime.
A crime show like "CSI" may not get everything about law enforcement and the scientific investigative techniques they use right, but it does give a deeper insight into the process than any show before it, which is much farther than most people would like their entertainment to go (especially if you're watching it while eating, ick).
You should definitely put down your fork and knife for this one. This woman, er, man claimed he got the idea to rob a Wisconsin bank from an episode of "CSI." However, instead of using sound scientific reasoning or basic logic principals the way the principal characters do, he decided to mimic one of the dumber criminals and robbed a bank dressed as a woman.