The Chucky Sequel Involved In An Infamous Murder Trial

By April Ryder | Published

Child’s Play 3 got a bad rep when the movie was linked to one infamous murder trial in England where two 10-year-old boys abducted and brutally murdered a 2-year-old little boy. During the murder trial, the movie was brought up as a possible influence in the case after the father of one of the boys revealed that he had rented the film a few weeks prior to the murder. 

The Gruesome Murder

The story of the murder starts when Robert Thompson and Jon Venables grabbed 2-year-old James Bulger by the hand and led him away from his mother’s side while she was busy paying for some merchandise at the New Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle. 

From there, the boys took James on a deadly and abusive journey that ended on some railroad tracks in Liverpool two days later. The element of the murder that was used as a linking point to Child’s Play 3 was that the two boys splashed some blue paint they had shoplifted earlier in the day on the 2-year-old before killing him. 

The Scene Believed To Influence The Murder

The scene in the movie everyone was talking about surrounding the case was one in which Chucky gets some blue paint on his face during a paintball war that turns deadly. With a weak link to the Child’s Play 3 footage (at best), the judge presiding over the case (Justice Morland) said that the murder had “some striking similarities” to the movie. He went on to say that “grave crimes by young children” could likely be caused by exposure to violent movies like Child’s Play 3

The Trial Made History

At the end of their murder trial, both Thompson and Venables were found guilty, becoming the youngest people ever convicted of murder in the 20th century. The same judge who said that Child’s Play 3 may have influenced the murder, Justice Morland, was quoted saying that the boys’ crime was of “unparalleled evil and barbarity.” Both boys were sentenced to be detained as “Her Majesty’s pleasure,” with a recommendation that they serve a minimum of eight years. 

Misplaced Blame

Digging deeper into the details of the Bulger murder will quickly reveal that there weren’t that many “similarities” to speak of between the movie and the poor boy’s death, but the world always needs a “reason” (aka a scapegoat) for why young people act out in such vicious ways. Unfortunately, movies, music, and other media tend to catch the role more than other things like mental illness and/or poor upbringing. In this case, Child’s Play 3 just happened to be a hot release when the murder occurred. 

Child’s Play Had No Link To The Killing After All

After Venables was released from detention at 18, he returned to prison, was released, and returned once again. He has proven over time that he is in the right place when he is put away from society. It’s highly unlikely that viewing a movie like Child’s Play 3 caused Jon Venables to murder a child and become a repeat offender. 

In addition, during the investigation of the case, authorities determined that Venables wasn’t even living with his dad when he rented the movie. Psychiatric evaluations of the boy revealed that he didn’t even like horror films, and police ultimately determined that there simply was no link between the Child’s Play 3 and the murder of James Bulger.