In 2013 the horror film “The Purge,” about a near-future world where the U.S. government gives a 12-hour period where all crimes, including murder, are legal, was released. Now, it seems as if the movie was a source of inspiration for a 19-year-old man accused of murdering three people.
According to court documents and Indianapolis police, Johnathan Cruz told a juvenile informant that he had been “Purging,” referencing the film’s storyline.
“KM stated that that Jonathan Cruz told her about shooting and robbing several people. Cruz told her he had been ‘Purging,’” said Detective Brian Schemenaur in the reports. “‘Purging’ was in reference to the 2013 American action horror film ‘The Purge’ in which the United States government sanctioned an event in which all crimes to include rape, murder, arson, assault and theft is legal from 7PM to 7AM the next day.”
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Cruz now faces three murder charges, he’s accused of the deaths of Billy Boyd and Jay Higginbotham on May 12, and Jose Ruiz on May 15. According to reports, it appears as of the victims were chosen at random and prosecutors says that he could face life in prison without parole or the death sentence.
After they announced the charges, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett released a statement about the incident stating: “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.”
“The Purge” franchise has been a major box office success. The first film was made on a $3 million budget and earned $89 million worldwide. “The Purge: Anarchy” made even more, with $108 million. The third installment, “The Purge: Election Year,” will be released in theaters July 1.
Universal and Blumhouse declined to comment to Variety.