Highlights

  • Aftab Poonawalla murdered Sharadha Walkar on May 18
  • The two had allegedly gotten into a fight at their Mehrauli home
  • Poonawala took inspiration to leave no trace of Sharadha behind

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Films and shows, as we all know, can inspire in both good and bad ways. While TV drama ‘Dexter’ is a story of a vigilante serial killer who leads a double life, Poonawala took inspiration to leave no trace of Sharadha behind.  

As India grapples with the murder of Shraddha Walker, and as police work out the modus operandi of the killer, similarities between how Aftab Poonawalla allegedly disposed of his live-in partner’s body and the popular show dexter have been drawn.

Films and shows, as we all know, can inspire in both good and bad ways. While TV drama ‘Dexter’ is a story of a vigilante serial killer who leads a double life, Poonawala took inspiration to leave no trace of Sharadha behind.

For those who haven’t watched the series yet, here’s a quick brief.

TV drama ‘Dexter’ aired for eight seasons from 2006 to 2013. The show revolved around Dexter Morgan, played by Michael C. Hall, who led a double life. He worked as a forensic technician specializing in bloodstain pattern analysis for the fictional Miami Metro Police Department and at night he turned into a vigilante serial killer, who would hunt down murderers who have not been adequately punished by the justice system due to corruption or legal technicalities. Like Dexter, Poonawalla chopped off the body into smaller parts before disposing them in a Delhi jungle. Reports say he told the police he did so after taking a cue from Dexter.

This is not the first time this show has been linked to a murder.

Canadian filmmaker Mark Andrew Twitchell was convicted of the murder of a 38-year-old man in 2011. Twitchell had reportedly lured him into a garage, thrashed him, and cut him apart. He then dumped the body parts into garbage bags after partially burning them and discarded them into a storm sewer.

The court observed that Twitchell identified himself with the character Dexter Morgan, following which, he was termed as ‘Dexter Killer’ by several media outlets.

In another case, an American teenage boy was jailed for 25 years for murdering and dismembering his 17-year-old girlfriend in 2014.

There have been several other shows and movies which have inspired terrifying real-life crimes.

The ‘Matrix’ films have been blamed for a series of murders by obsessed fans in the US.

According to a CNN report, Josh Cooke, a fan of the movie and actor Keanu Reeves, owned a trench coat similar to the one worn by Neo, Reeve’s character in the film, and also purchased a similar gun to fight evil. He shot his parents in the basement of their home in Virginia, and later called the police. His lawyers reportedly said that he believed he was living inside the ‘Matrix’.

In 2000, a man killed his landlady in San Francisco and pleaded not guilty on grounds of insanity. The police who probed him said he had made ‘reference to being sucked into the Matrix’.

Many people have found inspiration for crimes from the ‘Joker’. In most cases, the wannabe Jokers were arrested before they caused too much harm. A British girl, who was accused of attempted murder, was ‘motivated’ by The Joker.

Did you recall the ‘Drishyam’-inspired murder that happened in Madhya Pradesh in 2019?

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Jagdish Karotiya, his three sons, and another person were arrested in connection with the murder of Congress leader Twinkle Dagre. According to the news agency ANI, the police claimed that the accused covered up the crime after being inspired by the Hindi film ‘Drishyam’. Police said the accused called the municipal corporation and sought permission to dig a pit on a plot of its land, stating they needed to bury a dog. They allegedly burned Dagre’s body there and then threw the remains of her body into a nearby sewage drain.

A UP man, hugely inspired by Bollywood, especially by Sanjay Dutt's ‘Khalnayak’, aspired to climb the ladder of success by committing crimes. Nadeem, alias Billu Sanda, wanted to become the don of western UP.

According to an Indian Express report, a 2021 research paper states that excessive exposure to media violence makes youths less emotional and desensitized towards real-life violence. This can lead to aggressive behaviour and negative long-term effects on the brain.

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