Terrifying Tales From Around the Globe: TV Shows That Inspired Real Crimes

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This undated publicity photo released by Showtime shows Michael C. Hall, front left,  as Dexter Morgan and Lauren Velez as Maria LaGuerta in a scene from  "Dexter," Season 7, episode 12. The end is coming for "Dexter," Showtime's serial killer drama. The cable channel said Thursday, April 18, 2013, that the series' upcoming eighth season will be its last. (AP Photo/Showtime, Randy Tepper)
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This undated publicity photo released by Showtime shows Michael C. Hall, front left, as Dexter Morgan and Lauren Velez as Maria LaGuerta in a scene from "Dexter," Season 7, episode 12. The end is coming for "Dexter," Showtime's serial killer drama. The cable channel said Thursday, April 18, 2013, that the series' upcoming eighth season will be its last. (AP Photo/Showtime, Randy Tepper)

TV has a huge impact on the thoughts, opinions, and actions of people in real life. But while shows like "CSI" and "Law & Order" have inspired plenty of people to go into law enforcement, some TV shows have inspired real-life criminal acts. Sad, but true: All of these TV shows inspired criminals in the real world.

"Dexter"

Unfortunately, multiple people have claimed that "Dexter" inspired their criminal activities. For example, it was recently reported that convicted Canadian killer Mark Twitchell has been watching new episodes of "Dexter" from within his prison cell. This is somewhat disturbing, given the fact that Twitchell took some inspiration for his real-life crime from "Dexter."

Other killers who claimed that Dexter Morgan inspired their actions include 17-year-old Andrew Conley (who killed his own brother), and the South African killing duo of Maartens van der Merwe and Chane van Heerden. A Marine wife named Jessica Lopez also revealed that the murder she committed was partially inspired by "Dexter."

"CSI"

A devoted "CSI" fan decided to take some inspiration from his favorite show. Thankfully, this fan didn't kill anyone. However, he did attempt to rob a bank in Wisconsin! Johnny Bibbins was on parole when he decided to rob an M&I Bank dressed as a woman. He said he got the idea to crossdress as a disguise after watching an episode of "CSI." Not surprisingly, his disguise fooled zero people.

"CID"

If you come from an Indian family, there's probably someone in your social circle who's crazy about "CID," India's longest-running TV series. "CID" stands for "Crime Investigation Department," and it's sort of like India's version of "Law & Order." Sadly, some fans of the show went a little too far. Back in 2012, a group of teens were inspired to abduct a classmate and hold him for ransom after watching an episode of "CID." The boy was later strangled to death, despite the fact that the ransom was paid.

"Death Note"

Though "Death Note" is a Japanese TV series, it has achieved cult status in the U.S. and in many other countries. The series, which revolves around a teenage boy who goes on a killing spree using a magic notebook, has inspired a number of copycats around the globe.

In 2007, a Belgian man was found dead: A note found nearby linked the murder to "Kira," a character from "Death Note." The people responsible for the death were eventually linked to the killing and brought to justice. Their names were not released.

In addition, students in Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama, Washington, and Illinois have been punished for having "Death Note" notebooks of their own, which listed the names of fellow students.

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