Every now and then you might see a news story where someone commits a crime and states that they were inspired by some sort of pop-art. We’ve seen this with the Grand Theft Auto video game series, as well as some horror films that depict murder. The latest incident where a person has blamed art for their crimes has occurred in Indianapolis, where a 19-year-old man has stated that Universal’s The Purge films inspired him to commit three murders.
Set in the future, The Purge imagines a time when murder is legal for 12 hours in order to satiate the criminal instincts of unhinged people. Jonathan Cruz, the murderer in question, took the film to heart and told an informant that he had been “Purging” when he committed the murders. According to the informant, Cruz said that he shot a man in the back of the head and neck three times, and had witnessed him with a revolver and bloody clothing.
The details that the informant gave were consistent with two murders, that of Billy Boyd and Jay Higginbotham which occurred on May 12. It’s believed that Cruz is also responsible for the murder of Joe Ruiz, and that the victims were chosen at random.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett released a statement, saying:
Senseless acts of violence such as those alleged in this case are incomprehensible, but thanks to the swift actions of IMPD detectives, Prosecutor Terry Curry and witnesses willing to come forward, we are one step closer to providing answers for these victims’ families.
A decision on whether or not the death penalty will be sought in Cruz’s case will take place in the next 30 days.