Are some young killers influenced by the hit movie
“The Matrix,” whose theme is that computers take over the world? The Washington Post reports on the case of Josh Cooke, 19, of Northern Virginia, whose attorneys say that he believed he lived inside The Matrix.
Police say that he bought a 12-gauge shotgun, similar a weapon used in the movie. He is accused of walking into his family’s basement in February and shootingt his father seven times with the shotgun and his mother twice. He then called the police–twice–to calmly report the killings.
The Post says experts agree that one film alone is unlikely to spark that kind of violence. But to the vulnerable psyches of those who may be mentally ill, films with suggestions of hidden evil and uncertain reality can reinforce paranoia and fear.
Experts who have studied the effects of violence in the media do not generally think that one film or one television show can launch a violent impulse. But they believe that the cumulative effect of media violence in movies such as “The Matrix” can lead to actual crime, particularly in younger people and those already susceptible.