Michigan teen, Brian White, let his obsession with the movie American Psycho get out of hand after his girlfriend broke up with him. Early Wednesday morning, he sneaked into the house and murdered his ex-girlfriend's mom and her new boyfriend with an axe in front of his 17-year-old ex-girlfriend, Desiree Staperfene.
Desiree (above) ran away and called police after a struggle for her life that left her with injuries that were later treated. By the time police responded to the 911 call, 19-year-old White had killed himself by gunshot.
The close-knit neighborhood in Livonia, Michigan is still in shock. "Angie always wanted the best for her daughter, always wanted the best for her daughter," Nancy Radtke reminisced about Desiree's mom, Angela Kim Staperfene, 46. "Despite the unbelievable pain and loss of Desiree losing her mother, and David Staperfene's loss of his loving wife of 21 years, we are grateful that Desiree was able to survive," wrote the Staperfene family in a public release statement.
Desiree's new boyfriend Jacob Lee Burns, 19, is survived by his father and brothers and remembered by many for his smile. "Everybody he met was a friend," said his father, Robert Burns.
"A Mask of Sanity"
No one could have imagined such a horrible crime - in real life. In movies, however, this type of horror scene is quite ordinary. White was a fan of the 2000 twisted movie, American Psycho, which is about an investment banker with a blood-thirsty, axe-wielding, alter-ego who is charismatic, funny, and emotionally disturbed. The movie was based on the novel written by Bret Easton Ellis in 1991. After Simon and Schuster paid Ellis a $300,000 advance, they withdrew when women inside the company and out opposed the graphic violence towards women throughout the novel. It was later picked up by Vintage, but remained controversial, especially after a copy of the novel was found at the bedside of Canadian psychopath Paul Bernardo.
In the days and weeks before his massacre, White used Facebook to share his increasing slip into this dark place after Desiree broke up with him for being too controlling. He posted status updates about how he was feeling and quoted Christian Bale's character from American Psycho, Patrick Bateman. On March 23, a couple of weeks before his attack, his Facebook status read "I like to dissect girls. Did I mention I'm utterly insane?" On March 27, a week before the attack, he quoted Bale's character in his Facebook status, "what a polite murderer." The day before his double-homicide and suicide, the giant image on his Facebook timeline design (shown below) was a bloody bedroom. Previously, the image had been a picture of him and Desiree.
It appears that White could feel himself slipping, detaching from reality. In fact, he was very open about his state of mind on his Facebook page. Much like the character in the movie he seemed to identify with, he could tell something was wrong inside but could not fix it. It is unfortunate that the warning signs could not save him or his victims.
"Something horrible is happening inside of me and I don't know why. My nightly bloodlust has overflown into my days. I feel lethal, on the verge of frenzy. I think my mask of sanity is about to slip" - Patrick Bateman, American Psycho 2000.
Â© Les Go, April 2012