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10 Serial Killer Movies Based On True Life Events

Since the dawn of cinema, real serial killers have been a source of inspiration for some of the most disturbing antagonists on the big screen. While their image may have been construed for added shock

Since the dawn of cinema, real serial killers have been a source of inspiration for some of the most disturbing antagonists on the big screen. While their image may have been construed for added shock value or a dramatic revelation, there’s no denying that reality is more disturbing than fiction. In fact, some real life murders are so horrendous, they’re too shocking for the camera and must be downcast for the audience.

It’s hard to imagine that someone like Hannibal Lector was once free to walk the streets. While the man behind the myth may not have been a charming intellectual who can recognize a niche woman’s perfume with a single sniff, it’s almost even more disturbing to know that he probably looked and acted like a “normal” person. Whether they’ve been made to explore the inner workings of the human psyche, or to glamorize the horrendous crimes, these 10 serial killer movies have not only shocked and awed the public, but brought attention to some of the most prolific murder cases of all time.

10 Monster

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9 Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

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8 Wolf Creek

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7 From Hell

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6 Zodiac

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5 Changeling

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4 The Boston Strangler

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3 Dahmer

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2 10 Rillington Place

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1 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre/Psycho/Silence of the Lambs

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Ed Gein has inspired countless horror movies, but The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Psycho and The Silence of the Lambs are the most well-known. Gein was a murderer and body snatcher who killed at least two women. When police initially entered Gein’s residence, they found a horrifying sight, including skulls on his bedposts, masks and furniture made from human skin, organs in the fridge, a heart on the dining room table, and a vast number of other “man-made” artifacts. None of these movies represent Gein's crimes in a literal sense; however, all of their primary antagonists were inspired by his actions.

Sources: IMDB, Time, IGN

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10 Serial Killer Movies Based On True Life Events