In my introduction to The Smoking Gun 2 I wrote, "Real life never has as many parallels to teleplays by chance as it does to conscious or subconscious design." The same goes for imitations of teleplays, screenplays and news stories in other teleplays, screenplays and news stories. You can test this proposition by comparing the original event to the suspected copy, checking the dates and doing research on the people involved. You can see where art imitates life and where life imitates art. In copycat crimes from news stories you can see where life imitates life. The copy is by definition close enough to the original that you know where it came from if you know enough about the original
The movie Double Indemnity was modeled after a news story in which a woman talked an insurance agent into killing her husband to collect on a double indemnity clause in his life insurance policy. Psycho and Silence of the Lambs came from the real case of a man in Wisconsin who talked to his dead mother, killed women and skinned them to become a woman. A gang of teenage girls who raped another girl with a stick told authorities that they got the idea from a 1974 TV movie with Linda Blair called Born Innocent. The Colubrine High School killers modeled themselves after Christian Slaters character in Heathers.
Just because a crime has similarities to a movie that proceeded it doesnt mean that the criminal got the idea from the move. How do you know that the criminal saw the movie? How do you know that the similarities are not mere chance? You cant know unless you can find clear links to the crime, the suspect and the movie that go way beyond chance.
Mark Fuhrman makes an ideal subject for such a study. He referred to movies and move characters repeatedly to explain what he saw, how he felt and why he used the raw, violent and racist language he used on the McKinny tapes. He said that he tried to model himself after successful crime writer and screenwriter Joseph Wambaugh. He gave specific examples of what he took from Wambaughs work. He said that he took a little of this and a little of that from different people and characters and put them into composite characters. He associated himself with certain themes, props and clothing in the O.J. case that are common to murder mysteries and thrillers. He sometimes mentioned them inappropriately.
If is a word you use to test an assumption. You assume that a crayon box contains crayons. If you open the lid to see whats in the box and draw something with the waxy colored sticks that look like crayons you know that your assumption was correct. I assumed that certain movies contained links to the Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson murders that only Mark Fuhrman could have drawn if he murdered them and framed O.J. Simpson for his crime. Using the devious mind of Shakespeares Iago as my guide, as many modern writers have done in similar scenarios, I started with the knit cap on Bundy in the photo of Fuhrman pointing to the bloody glove.
If someone partly inspired by O.J.s appearance in The Naked Gun series killed Ron and Nicole and planted the cap to frame O.J., I reasoned that there should be more links in that series to the murder scene and the killer. Strong ones.
If Fuhrman was the killer, there should also be links to him and to other movies where a cop or a criminal leaves a false trail of evidence to frame an innocent man. There should be links to the Bundy murders in other O.J. movies as well as links to actors, producers and directors in those movies. There should be links to the writers, the actors or characters in the movies that Fuhrman went out of his way to mention in Murder in Brentwood. There should be ghosts, bloody gloves, golf clubs, cats, incest, distinctive shoes, baseball bats, incriminating matches and important men in red ties with white spots.
If my assumption about the way those connections were formed in Fuhrmans mind was correct I reasoned that I should also find links in movies to Fuhrman that I didnt expect. I looked for things that meant nothing to me but must have meant a great deal to Fuhrman if he was the movie inspired killer because they appeared so frequently in movies associated with him, Nicole or O.J. I found rain, trains, buses, tombstones, psychics, blood mixed with water, witches, gold, glitter, fire, rainbows, wings, horses, people putting themselves in other peoples shoes and French connections.
Youll find them, too, in producer Mark Fuhrmans made for USA Network Television and video movie Murder in Greenwich.
If Fuhrman used moves for specific ideas to commit the Bundy murders and frame O.J. Simpson, I reasoned that he would do the same thing to make his movie. He did.