6 Movies Inspired By Real Life Crimes

These movies were based on true crimes! What were meant to be Hollywood films were actually murders that happened in real life.

6: Bernie

This black comedy film highlights the 1996 murder of 81-year-old millionaire Marjorie Nugent. In it, Jack Black plays Bernie Tiede, a charismatic funeral director from Carthage, Texas who is obsessed with his elderly widowed neighbor. During his interrogation, Bernie stated that his neighbor Marjorie was controlling, & emotionally & verbally abusive towards him, driving him to murder her under a dissociative state brought on by years of sexual abuse from his own past. He killed her by shooting her in the back four times with a .22 caliber rifle. He then proceeded to stuff her dead body inside a freezer then used duct tape to seal it shut. According to the town’s magazine, Nugent’s alienated son, pathologist Rod Nugent, began looking for his mother after she hadn’t been heard from for quite some time. Rod Nugent & his daughter traveled to Marjorie’s home to speak with investigators & declare a missing person. Once at his mother’s residence, they sadly found his mother’s missing body in the freezer enveloped in a white sheet. The police took Bernie in for questioning & he later confessed to shooting her, taking the time to clean the body, then placing the corpse into the freezer. He also admitted to using Marjorie’s wealth to give gifts to a couple male friends of his. Bernie Tiede was sentenced to 50 years in prison for his unprecedented acts.

5: Alpha dog

Alpha Dog, starring Justin Timberlake, is based on the true story of Jesse James Hollywood, a drug dealer responsible for several kidnappings in an attempt to get his drug money back. But as the kidnapping developed, things took a wrong turn. It retold the story behind the murder of Nicholas Markowitz in 2000, which occurred due to a feud between Jesse James Hollywood & his half-brother Benjamin Markowitz. Benjamin owed Hollywood $1,200 worth of drugs. As such, his stepbrother Nicholas Markowitz was kidnapped & held ransom for the debt. Hollywood left Nicholas under the watch of his friends in Santa Barbara as he went to Los Angeles to talk to Benjamin about the money. It was at this point that Nicholas met some of Hollywood’s friends & even attended several parties with them. A reported 32 people knew Nicholas was kidnapped, but witnesses at the parties did not think of his appearance as a kidnapping, as Nicholas & Hollywood’s friends looked comfortable & safe. Hollywood then called another member of his gang who owed him money as well named Ryan Hoyt after learning of the consequences he could face for kidnapping. Under Hollywood’s command, Ryan proceeded to murder Nicholas in the Santa Ynez Mountain Valley with a semi-automatic weapon given to him by Hollywood himself. Jesse James Hollywood then went on the run for five years & even made it on the FBI’s most wanted list. He was eventually arrested in Brazil & in 2009 & was charged with kidnapping & first-degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Ryan Hoyt was also charged with first-degree murder & was last known to be on death row. Additionally, an $11.2 million civil lawsuit was won by the Markowitz family in 2003 against the kidnappers, killers, & everyone who participated in the murder.

4: The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street is an American biographical film depicting Jordan Belfort’s corrupt strategies in the 1980s & 90s, which ultimately led to his downfall. Belfort worked as a stockbroker in New York City & founded the firm Stratton Oakmont, a brokerage based in Long Island. Within no time, he was able transform his firm into a highly valuable asset through cunning plans & additional employees. Under the command of Belfort, Stratton Oakmont implemented a method known as “pump and dump” in which they used secret accounts to purchase penny stocks at a low price, then convinced their clients to purchase these same stocks. Once the price of the stocks rose, they’d sell all the stocks they bought earlier at the new higher price; thus losing their clients’ money but at the same time profiting from their secret accounts. A reported $200 million of his clients’ & investors’ money was lost through Stratton Oakmont’s use of the fraudulent “pump and dump” strategy. In the meantime, Jordan Belfort was taking advantage of his newly-acquired, extraordinary wealth with the purchase of drugs, prostitutes, & lavish parties. One drug in particular he was fond of was methaqualone, which he was purchasing under the brand name “Quaalude.” Quaaludes soon became a toxic addiction of his. Although it was prescribed to many people at the time, legal doses of it could potentially prove fatal. Not only was it highly addicting, but it was also linked to suicide attempts, injuries, & car accidents while also causing its users to suffer from kidney & liver damage, respiratory arrest, deliriousness, coma, & even death. In the end, Stratton Oakmont was said to be involved in totaling more than $1 billion in stock issues. But Belfort’s exploitative strategies soon caught up with him when he was arrested & indicted for money laundering & securities fraud. Due to his crimes, he was facing decades of sentencing but instead only received four years on account of stock manipulation. And of the four years, he served only 22 months due to good behavior & his cooperation with the federal government while working as an informant for them. It was during this time in jail that he shared a cell with Tommy Chong, who inspired him to write about his stockbroker experiences in order to share it with the world. He now works as an author, motivational speaker, & consultant.

3: American Gangster

American Gangster was inspired by Frank Lucas, a criminal mastermind gangster from North Carolina who smuggled heroin into the U.S. using American military aircraft. He was the understudy of a larger crime mob in the late 60s up until his mentor passed away. Lucas saw this as a perfect opportunity to take over the Harlem drug & gambling scene. He knew that people were earning large sums of money from the oversea drug trade, as heroin became popular in the U.S. Planes were full of dead soldiers in their caskets who were being flown back to the States for proper burial. Thus, Frank Lucas hid entire stashes of heroin inside these caskets as a means of easily flying them back into the U.S. He also managed to maximize his profits by cutting out the middle man. Lucas had an enormous crime group based in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood & was able to use his own drug money to fund his operations. With a plethora of killings, extortions, & bribes, Frank Lucas’s name was well-known across the East Coast & Southeast Asia. In addition, his connections in both Thailand & Vietnam allowed him to purchase massive amounts of high quality heroin for the cheaper price of only $4,200 per unit; compare this to the street price in Harlem of $50,000 per unit, which he’d have to purchase through the Mafia. Lucas was said to have had over $52 million in various Cayman Island bank accounts & always had at least 1,000 kilos of heroin on hand, each of which was valued at $300,000 per kilo. In order to cover up his worldwide operation from government officials, Lucas bought authentic businesses such as dry cleaning & gas station chains. But it wasn’t long until a special narcotics task force was founded dedicated to shutting down his group. Frank Lucas was finally caught & sentenced to 70 years in prison in 1976. But five years later in 1981, his term was shortened to time served & he was released with lifetime parole due to the fact that he was able to help the police uncover over 100 individuals involved in the drug trade.

2: Bronson

Bronson follows the life of notorious prisoner Michael Gordon Peterson, or more famously known as Charles Bronson thanks to his fight promoter. In 1974, Charles Bronson was sent to jail for the very first time for committing armed robbery. Since then, he never stopped his mission to become the most violent prisoner in the history of convicts. With his background of being one of the best bareknuckle fighters in the world, his rage ended him in solitary confinement for most of his sentence. In fact, he has already spent 36 years of his original 40-year sentencing in solitary confinement. As you can tell, Bronson was twisted. It was in jail that he became somewhat of a celebrity, gaining other convicts’ trust by smashing & attacking guards to the point where Bronson needed to be sedated. He continually caused outbreaks by beating prison officers or inmates on many different occasions & actually holds the unofficial record for the most prison rooftop protests in history out of any other U.K. inmate. In 1999, Bronson was criticized by the prison art teacher about a sketch he had made. He reacted by taking the art teacher hostage on a 40-hour siege. This was his second case of hostage-taking as he had already done so one time before in 1996 when he took a lawyer hostage. Thus, a special prison unit was made exclusively for him. His behavioral problems around the U.K.’s prison system led to him being moved around to different jails & cells over 150 times. As of 2015, Bronson was allowed to meet with & plead to his parole office for an end his solitary confinement, which he was denied. He has since then changed his name to Charles Salvador & is put on a 23-hour daily lockdown without interaction with fellow inmates.

1: Dahmer

This movie is based on the gruesome & heartless murderer, Jeffrey Dahmer, whose killing spree took place between 1978 & 1991. Many of Dahmer’s late murders involved strangulation, cannibalism, necrophilia, & the permanent preservation of body parts. He would inject significant doses of anesthesia to his victims then proceed to dismember, strangle, & sexually abuse them. Some murders were also carried out via a blow to the head using a barbell. Dahmer had a total of 17 kills during his vicious time. His first kill was a victim fresh out of high school, whose body he buried then unearthed two years later to beat the corpse with a hammer. Over the next 13 years, Dahmer lured homosexual & bisexual men into his grandmother’s basement. This was where he committed some of the most gruesome & terrifying acts to his victims. He would drug them, strangle them, then have sex with their bodies before ultimately dismembering them. Dahmer was finally caught in 1991 when one of his lured victims realized what was happening, which led to his victim’s resistance & escape. The victim’s report led to a house search, where they found Dahmer’s freakish collections. In 1992, he was sentenced to a total of sixteen terms in prison. Although he was found to be legally sane at the time of his trial, he was later discovered to suffer from borderline personality disorder, psychotic disorder, & schizotypal personality disorder. Two years into his sentencing at the Columbia Correctional Institute, Jeffrey Dahmer was beaten to death by a fellow inmate.


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