Real Crimes Committed In The 'Scream' Ghostface Mask
Written by scary movie fan Kevin Williamson and directed by fright cinema maestro Wes Craven, the original Scream (1996) worked as both a hair-raising slasher film in its own right, and as a sly, knowing, meta-subversion of the “dead teenager” shock genre at the same time.
Since then, Scream has generated three big-screen sequels, an MTV series, multiple parodies (including the entire Scary Movie cycle), and a real-life Halloween perennial in the form of the Edvard Munch–inspired “Ghostface” mask worn by the murderer(s) in the franchise’s various incarnations.
Unfortunately, Scream has also been blamed for “copycat” crimes involving teenagers who say they viewed one or more of the films before committing seriously violent acts.
While the direct cause-and-effect impact of the movies is up for debate, it's indisputable that the Scream-inspired mask has proven to be a go-to piece of gear for numerous criminals when it comes to hiding their identities with diabolical style.
With the initial installment of Scream poised to mark its 20th anniversary this December, here's a roundup of Ghostface mask–clad transgressions from this past year alone that may make you want to Scream, indeed, if you see that visage heading your way.
Scream-Masked Marauder Holds Up Multiple Chicago-Area Hotels
On October 18, police in the Chicago suburb of Warrenville, Illinois, reported a that a husky fellow in a Scream mask robbed two local hotels in rapid succession. He first hit the Hyatt House Hotel, followed shortly thereafter by the Residence Inn, making off with undisclosed amounts of cash each time. Aside from the mask, the suspect is described as being male, approximately six feet tall, weighing approximately 230 pounds, and wearing a black hoodie, pants, and gloves as well as black Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star gym shoes with white laces and rubber soles. [WGN]
Three Times the Scream: Gun-Wielding Ghostface Trio Assaults Mall Patrons
Police in Honolulu, Hawaii, are on the hunt for three suspects who wore identical Scream masks to assault and rob victims in a parking lot outside the Kahala Mall on October 21. According to one victim, an SUV pulled up to their parked car, and the three masked men emerged, brandishing firearms — one even had a shotgun. While assaulting two of the parked car's four occupants, one of the attacker's guns discharged, sending a bullet through one victim's pants pockets while, amazingly, not injuring him. One victim told a reporter, "I thought maybe it was friends trying to joke and pull a prank. They came up to the window. They pistol-whipped me in the face. That’s when everything turned real.” [KHON]
Santa Monica Home Invader in Scream Mask Shoots Homeowner
A hoodie-clad man wearing a Scream mask broke into a Santa Monica residence at around 6:20 A.M. on August 30, after what police described as an all-night “social gathering.” The homeowner struggled with the intruder, who shot him. The wound was nonfatal and the victim recovered. Neighbors expressed shock as the area is typically so serene that the only concern of note had been streets being taken over by “too many joggers.” [KABC-7]
FBI Offers $100,000 Reward for Violent "Scream Robber," Catches Him in Motel 6
After placing him on their "10 Most Wanted Fugitives" list in December 2015 and offering a $100,000 reward, on January 15, the FBI captured Myloh Jaqory Mason, 25, a violent thief known as the "Scream Robber" for leading crews wearing Ghostface disguises into deadly Colorado bank heists. Agents took Mason down at a Motel 6, and he presently faces charges of first-degree murder, aggravated robbery, attempted second-degree kidnapping, first-degree assault, and second-degree assault. He was also found to illegally own a bulletproof vest. No word on whether his mask was bulletproof, as well. [ABC News]
Irish Thief in Scream Mask Robs Bookies, Steals Cigarettes
Belfast authorities believe the same man who robbed a bookmaking parlor with what may have been a firearm on the night February 21 may have, later that evening, held up a liquor store with a knife, where he made off with "a sum of cash and a quantity of cigarettes." During the second incident, the thief wore a Ghostface mask. [Belfast Telegraph]
Michigan Speedway Held Up by Ghostface; Police Release Surveillance Image
A thief in a Ghostface mask held up an Ottawa County, Michigan, Speedway gas-station attendant at knifepoint and got away with an undisclosed amount of cash. The worker was unharmed. Authorities released security-camera images of the invader and alerted locals to be on the lookout, presumably, for somebody who looks like a dead-ringer for the bad guy in Scream. [Michigan Live]
Creep in Scream Mask Terrorizes Seattle Jogger
On September 5, a female jogger reported that her run on Seattle's popular Burke-Gilman was interrupted by a "whoosh" sound behind her. She then turned to see a man in a Ghostface mask staring at her from the bushes. When the mysterious figure started to walk toward her, the woman ran screaming into a nearby grocery store, where she called 911. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]
Man in Scream Mask Robs Bank — Again
Just as this story was being completed, a report came in about a thief disguising himself with a Scream mask to rob a bank in Inman, South Carolina, on October 24. According to WISC, "Sheriff Chuck Wright said a man in a Scream mask robbed the bank, but didn't show a gun during the incident. After taking the money, he reportedly fled on foot toward the city of Inman." If that seems a bit, let's say, unremarkable, that may be because the Scream mask really does appear to be bank robbers's quirky head-covering of choice. Check out these similar reports from just this past year of Ghostface bank heists in Cincinnati; Houston; Shenandoah, Texas; Longview, Texas; Berea, Ohio; and Oakwood, Ohio (as seen in the video above).[WISC]