Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

'Movies Made Me Murder'

Inspired by Blood

During the 2007 trial, covered by reporters from around Canada, some facts about Jasmine came out that indicated her state of mind. Not only did she and her boyfriend ascribe to the darker side of Goth culture, with a fixation on death and imaginary monsters, but they had watched the film Natural Born Killers.

Movie Poster: Natural Born Killers
Movie Poster: Natural Born Killers

Oliver Stone produced this 1994 film, which is engorged with gratuitous violence. A killing couple, Mickey (Woody Harrelson) and Mallory (Juliette Lewis), were based on spree killers Charles Starkweather and his girlfriend. Throughout the film they commit some 52 murders, including massacres with multiple victims. They start with the slaughter of Mallory's abusive parents, one by drowning the other by burning, but spare the younger brother. One can see how an angry couple who embrace death culture and find parents an annoying hindrance might see in this film an affirmation of their bid for freedom and a violent solution.

While Jasmine's apology letter was not read to the jury, deemed to have been gained via improper interrogation protocol, jurors did see a drawing found in Jasmine's locker that depicted four stick figures. The middle-sized figure throws gasoline on the other three with a smile, lights them ablaze, and then runs to a vehicle labeled "Jeremy's truck." In addition, the two had exchanged letters after their arrest that indicated they wished they had run away together. There was no indication in these communications that Jasmine was remorseful or an unwilling accomplice. She also had stolen her mother's ATM card that night, got money, and had sex with her lover — all pointing to a callous attitude. (Even her apology letter was largely self-pitying.)

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