Breaking Bad, the Emmy Award-winning meth drama, has inspired its share of copycat crimes and real-world similarities since its debut in 2008. Some of the bad deeds done by drug kingpin Walter White and his protege Jesse Pinkman have been copied in some gruesome ways, according to a USA Today story on Sept. 19. As "Breaking Bad" nears the end of its run, with the second to last episode airing Sunday night, a story emerges of a Washington state man who tried to dispose of his murdered girlfriend's body in a tub of acid, just like in the show.
The hugely popular and critically acclaimed AMC drama series chronicles the transformation of a genius high school chemistry teacher, who turns to cooking methamphetamine as a means to leave a chunk of cash behind for his family, after discovering he's terminally ill with stage four lung cancer.
Of course in watching the show, you always kinda knew there would be some people out there that would follow Walt's lead and mimic his misdeeds. But did you ever think the acid-bath dead body scene would be among those crimes?
As is the case with other movies and TV series, the show has unfortunately spawned its share of copycat crimes. One of the most grisly cases of life imitating art involves a 27-year-old man from Washington state, who tried to dissolve his murdered girlfriend in a tub full of acid.
Last June, Jason Hart allegedly strangled his girlfriend Regan Jolley, 33, and tried to dispose of her body in a plastic tub of sulfuric acid. Her naked body was later found in his Nine Mile Falls, Wash., home by his roommate Dean Settle, who told local news that Hart was a huge fan of the darkly dramatic series.
"That was his favorite series", Settle said, adding that he believes he used the show's episode as a guide in trying to dispose of Jolley's body. Investigators even found the season 1 episode "Cat's in the Bag" cued up in Hart's DVD player.
That's the infamous episode during which Walter White instructs his sidekick Jesse Pinkman on how to dispose of a rival drug dealer's body in a tub of acid. According to court documents, Hart had also bought a chemistry book and drain cleaner before the alleged murder.
In another copycat case, police in Kansas City, Mo., arrested a number of meth dealers back in 2010, only to find that their product had been tinted with what they believed to be blue food coloring.
It seems they wanted their drugs to appear to be the hypothetical "blue" pure-form that Walt manufactured in the series. Although the blue-hued meth sold for a premium price of 50 percent more than the colorless variety, police said they didn't think it was any stronger than the regular meth sold on the street.
Cops were mostly concerned with children getting a hold of it and perhaps mistaking it for candy.
News came out of the Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, sheriff's office last August, that a man named Walter White, 55, was added to their most-wanted list. The charges were for allegedly making and trafficking meth.
Also, a Boston area math tutor named Stephen Doran, then 57, was arrested in May after allegedly receiving a package containing 480 grams of meth at a middle school.
He was arrested shortly after leaving campus, and police later found an additional 38 grams of the drug at his residence, along with $10,000 in cash.
The uncanny part was Doran was battling stage 3 cancer at the time of arrest and was undergoing chemotherapy. Sound enough like the chemistry teacher-turned-meth-cooker Walter White?
And finally, 43-year-old Texas chemistry teacher William Duncan, was charged with manufacturing and delivering meth after selling the drug to an undercover cop in a middle-school parking lot in September of 2012.
It's all pretty messed up, but nothing can top the acid-tub body disposal.
"Breaking Bad" airs its second to last episode Sunday night at 9:00 ET on AMC.