It’s scary just thinking about it, but there have been books that inspired real-life crimes. It’s called copycat criminals and I recently read an article that talked about this topic. Frankly, after learning about this, I might not want to publish any murder mysteries or thriller novels.
Here’s a few books that inspired real-life crimes:
- The Turner Diaries: this 1978 novel is essentially a neo-Nazi’s vision of a dystopian future. It was believed that this book influenced the rise of white supremacist violence in USA. The most infamous crime influenced by this book is the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. Eventually in 2021, Amazon pulled this controversial book from its store.
- Catcher in the Rye: this 1951 novel influenced the assassination of former Beatle John Lennon in NYC in 1980. The man responsible for the crime even claimed that he was inspired by this book and was reading it when he was caught by police at the murder scene.
- The Basketball Diaries: this 1978 memoir was adapted to film in 1995. The story features the main character opening fire on his English class. Unfortunately, this inspired a 14-year-old boy to gun down a school prayer group that killed 3 students in 1997. Some even believe that it was an influence for the infamous Columbine School Massacre in 1999.
- Rage: this Stephen King book from 1977 was about a mentally ill student who commits a school shooting. In the 80s and 90s, several copycats emerged. The book was eventually pulled from print when it was found in the locker of a 14-year-old who committed a similar crime in 1997.
- American Psycho: this 1991 book also had a film adaptation and real life killer Rurik Jutting even claimed that he is the real American psycho and admitted that he idolized the serial killer in the story.
If you love reading thriller, horror, or murder mystery stories, do keep in mind that these are fictional and should never be used to influence violent and heinous crimes.