Movies That Inspired Copycat Crimes In Real Life

“Magnum Force” was the 1973 addition to the Dirty Harry franchise, and as expected, there were a lot of action scenes, violence, and some terrible deaths. Unfortunately for the employees and a few unsuspecting customers of Ogden, Utah’s Hi-Fi Shop, some of those deaths would become all too real.

On April 22, 1974, Dale Selby Pierre, William Andrews, and Keith Roberts committed what would become known as the Hi-Fi Murders, and it started with armed robbery and the theft of somewhere in the neighborhood of $25,000 worth of electronic equipment. That’s not the part that they got from “Magnum Force”: It was the murder of their hostages and the format of their getaway that they lifted from the movie … albeit unsuccessfully.

In the film, there’s a scene where someone’s executed by being made to drink drain cleaner. Thinking that was an excellent — and most importantly, silent — way to kill someone, that’s what they did to their hostages. (Among, says the Chicago Tribune, other incredibly awful sexual assaults and tortures.) They quickly found out that making someone drink drain cleaner does not result in a quick or quiet death, and ultimately, they simply shot their hostages, two of whom survived. Executed Today says that the trio were turned in by their fellow soldiers at the nearby Hill Air Force Base. Pierre was executed in 1987, Andrews in 1992, and Roberts — who wasn’t a part of the violence — was paroled in 1987.

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