10 Notable Copycat Killers


'Scream' Copycat Thierry Jaradin

Edvard Munch's painting "The Scream" on display at the Munch Museum.
Edvard Munch's painting "The Scream" on display at the Munch Museum.
AP Photo/Scanpix/Stian Lysberg Solum

Most copycat killers select victims they don't know, but one slasher film fan targeted the girl next door. When a 15-year-old schoolgirl refused the romantic advances of her family's neighbor, 24-year-old Thierry Jaradin, the Belgian man decided to exact a revenge based on "Scream." The 1996 American horror film tells the story of a high school student and her friends who are stalked, stabbed and murdered by a killer who wears a black robe and a mask patterned after Edvard Munch's painting "The Scream."

The thwarted Jaradin, a cab driver, left the room to don a Scream costume and grab two large knives. When he returned, he stabbed the girl 30 times, leaving one particular wound that closely mirrored a wound shown in the movie. He then called his father and a coworker to tell them of his crime. After he was arrested, he told police his actions were inspired by the film and its sequels [source: Osborn].

"Scream" was based, in part, on the real-life murders of five Gainesville, Fla., students in August 1990, who were found stabbed and murdered in their apartments. The culprit, Danny Rolling, was eventually arrested and sentenced for the killings, and an investigation into his background revealed that he'd endured a childhood filled with physical and emotional abuse from his father -- and that four months before his killing spree began, Rolling had attempted to murder him, too [source: Steel].