You’re supposed to use super powers for the benefit of mankind, but the crooks in this article didn’t read their comics too closely. These criminals took inspiration from the funny pages to commit some seriously bizarre and demented illegal acts, only to get taken in by the real heroes: the cops. Let’s explore some crazy comic-book-inspired crimes.
He’s the best there is at what he does, and what he does isn’t very nice. That’s the credo of Wolverine, the stocky X-man with the bones (and claws) of super-hard adamantium. What Kristofer Huff of Vernal, Utah did to his roommate in August of 2012 wasn’t very nice either. After Huff learned that his roommate was dating his mother, the enraged man slipped on a replica of Wolverine’s claws from the 2008 movie (made from solid machine aluminum, retail price $900) and started stabbing and slashing his future daddy. When the roommate went to the hospital, he claimed that he’d been attacked on the street, but after cops found blood in the house, he confessed that Huff had done the deed.
Joker Theater Shooting
It’s still up in the air exactly where crazed killer James Holmes got the inspiration to open fire on a crowded midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises," but considering his creepy identification with the Joker, we can hazard a guess or two. The Clown Prince of Crime has long been Batman’s nemesis, and Holmes’s well-planned attack bears some scary similarities to a scene in Frank Miller’s "The Dark Knight Returns" in which the Joker attacks a TV studio, detonates smoke bombs and opens up on the audience with gunfire.
Detective Conan Murder
Comic crimes don’t just happen in the United States. Take this creepy case from Korea. A group of teens, inspired by a scene in popular manga "Detective Conan," kidnapped a girl who had been making fun of them in 2010. They held her hostage until one of the gang accidentally killed her. Then they drained her body of blood to make it easier to carry. After getting busted by the police, the prime suspect put the finger on the long-running comic series, but he wasn’t given any leniency in his sentencing because of it.
Crime Comic Break-In
The 1950s were a difficult time for comic books, with moral crusaders claiming that the sordid four-color crime and horror stories put deviant ideas into the minds of young people. For two Toledo teenagers in 1956, that actually turned out to be true. The pair broke into a man’s house using a technique they’d seen robbers use in a comic book: pasting paper over a window before breaking it so it wouldn’t make a noise, then breaking in to steal bottles of whiskey. They were quickly busted, leaving another black eye on the comic business.
The Batman Terrorist
The war on terror has many soldiers. Some fight on the battlefield, while others operate within our own borders. Tarek Mehanna was one of those men, convicted in 2012 on multiple counts of conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country and lending material support to terrorists in the Middle East. Interestingly enough, the book that gave Mehanna inspiration to crusade against the United States wasn’t the Qur’an, but something a little flimsier: Batman comic books. In his statement to the court, Mehanna said. “Batman implanted a concept into my mind, introduced me to a paradigm as to how the world is set up; that there are oppressors, there are the oppressed, and there are those who step up to defend the oppressed.” That’s a pretty unusual reading, friend.
The Spider-Man Bandit
Inspired by Peter Parker’s wall-climbing ability, a thief in Sydney, Australia has been scaling buildings as high as 30 stories to steal stuff. The high-climbing robber has been nicknamed the Spider-Man Bandit for his seemingly inhuman ability to stick to any surface. His modus operandi is simple: gain entrance to an apartment through unlocked balcony doors, grab anything that’s not nailed down and exit via the fire escape. Security-camera footage of him pulling off these illegal stunts is unbelievable to watch. In December of 2011, cops finally busted the climber, revealing "him" to be a father and son team responsible for more than $6.5 million in thefts.
Death Note Murder
Here’s another manga-inspired slaying, this one pretty grisly. "Death Note" is the story of a young man who gets ahold of a mystical notebook. If he write’s somebody’s name in it, that person dies. He renames himself “Kira” and sets out to change the world into a paradise with the power of mass murder. It’s a pretty awesome look at sociopathy and a good mystery to boot. Unfortunately, four young Belgian men learned the wrong lesson from "Death Note" when they murdered a woman, hacked her into pieces and left a note in the park with some of them reading “I am Kira” in Japanese. It took the Belgian police three years to find the culprits, but they’re all safely behind bars now.
Drunk Hulk Arrested
The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets, but unfortunately for this green-painted lunatic in Coventry, England, the drunker Hulk gets, the more likely he is to be arrested for dealing drugs. Scott Anderson was busted by cops on the street for selling cocaine while dressed as the Incredible Hulk. He wasn’t on his way to a costume party; he just figured that the best way to remain inconspicuous while dealing was to emulate a rage-filled behemoth in torn purple pants. The law took him in for drunkenly trying to peddle cocaine outside the SkyDome Arena, and he was sentenced to two years in prison. As of press time, he hasn’t managed to Hulk out and escape.
Phoenix Jones, Real-Life Superhero
Unlike the other people on this list, Seattle vigilante Phoenix Jones wasn’t looking to break the law. Unfortunately for him, doling out justice while not being a cop is kind of frowned upon. Jones has run up against the police a few times, once for pepper spraying a fight outside a nightclub. But his most recent altercation might be his last. In May of 2012, Jones was charged with pepper spraying a group of protesters outside Seattle’s City Hall. He claims that he received information on a bomb threat that police ignored, but there’s no proof, and although the chaos of the scene is hard to figure out, the masked man’s actions are certainly not fitting with the letter of the law.
Next: Greatest Mug Shots of All Time
Home Depot Batman
I don’t know if I’d consider this a crime per se, but the dude was arrested for it, so he qualifies on a technicality. In Mansfield Township, N.J., a man donned a black Batman hood, cape, and bullet-proof vest, and walked into a Home Depot. He also had a pair of handcuffs dangling from his “utility belt,” so shoppers got a little freaked out when he started walking up to people and telling them he was “here to save the day.” The Home Depot manager called the police, who showed up and took him into custody.