Ripped from the Headlines! The Shocking True Stories Behind the Movies’ Most Memorable Crimes

We rated this book:


Want to know the true stories behind the crime movies and murder mysteries supposedly based on a true story? This is the best place to start. Indeed, for every heart-pounding thriller and chill-inducing pursuit, there’s a story behind it that’s probably wilder, more unsettling, and deeper than you ever suspected.

Ripped from the Headlines manages to cut a surprisingly huge swathe through Hollywood, pulling back the curtain on films as varied as The Hills Have Eyes, Arsenic and Old Lace, Psycho, Murder on the Orient Express, and To Die For.

Some of these stories are incredibly well-known (Burke and Hare once again get a chance to shine), but even for a film buff and amateur historian like myself, there’s plenty of unfamiliar material here to uncover. I had no idea that Scream was inspired by a series of murders in Florida, for instance.

Although the book does occasionally drift a little heavily into the lurid details of certain crimes, you always get the sense that it does so with disgust, intentionally drawing a connection between the cartoonishness of movie violence and the hard truth of real-life violence. Ripped from the Headlines provides enlightening, but not always pleasant, context to some cinematic classics.

Reviewed By:

Author Harold Schechter
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 374 pages
Publisher Amazon
Publish Date 07-Jul-2020
ISBN 9781542041805 Buy this Book
Issue February 2022
Category Mystery, Crime, Thriller