Real world home invasion.

Just a quick heads up: There are some seriously NSFW images in the article below. If you don’t want to see pictures from a real life murder, you might want to not scroll down.

Have you ever decided to stay at home and just relax with your honey? Well, after reading this article you might feel like going out more often instead of repeatedly chillaxing in your little kingdom.

You’ve probably heard about The Strangers. The horror flick about a young couple in a remote vacation house that is being terrorized by some strangers. A true home invasion terror that shocked audiences back in 2008. But what you might not have known is that The Strangers was based off a very true story. Fine, fine, I’ll admit that it’s a bit of a stretch – but one thing is certain: it was definitely inspired by very true and very horrific events. Let’s take a look.

The first inspiration for the director Bryan Bertino was a childhood experience that he explains right in The Strangers production notes:

“As a kid, I lived in a house on a street in the middle of nowhere. One night, while our parents were out, somebody knocked on the front door and my little sister answered it. At the door were some people asking for somebody who didn’t live there. We later found out that these people were knocking on doors on the area and, if no one was home, breaking into the houses”

That’s spooky enough, especially as little kid but further inspiration came later. You probably are more familiar with this one. The idea that helped spark The Strangers came from when Bertino read the true crime book “Helter Skelter” written by Vincent Bugliosi (who served as the prosecutor in the 1970 trial of Charles Manson) and Kurt Gentry, where two of the most appalling “Manson Family” murders occurred. Upon looking at this stuff, it is pretty obvious that one of those two cases has similarities with The Strangers plot.


The Manson Family & The LaBiancas

The Manson Family was a hippie commune lead by Charles Manson, a manipulative mastermind that had the power to guide the members of the commune into committing a series of murders, spreading panic and terror.

Leno and Rosemary LaBianca was a successful business couple that lived in Los Feliz, LA.  On August 10th 1969 they returned to their home at 3301 Waverly Drive from Lake Isabella where they spent most of their weekend. What happened later that day was a nightmare coming true, especially for Rosemary who was already worried and alarmed by the multiple murders that happened the previous night in the neighborhood. She was rightfully worried…

Manson Family in action

Charles Manson himself along with ‘Tex’ Watson broke into the house and found Leno sleeping in the living room and his wife in the bedroom. After they brought Rosemary into the living room, they tied their arms and legs, covered their heads with a pillowcase and then proceeded into stealing whatever cash and valuable item they could find. Manson went back to his car and told two members of the ‘Family’ (Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel) to go into the house and follow directions from Tex.

The girls went in and took Rosemary into the bedroom. Tex started stabbing Leno in the living room – who started screaming bloody murder. Immediately after Leno’s first scream, his wife started yelling and resisted with all her powers. The Manson girls unable to control Rosemary, asked for Tex’s help. Tex run into the bedroom and without hesitation, he started stabbing Mrs. LaBianca then gave the knife to the girls and told them to continue stabbing the victim. He then went back to the living room and continued his horrific crime by finishing up Leno and carving on his stomach the word “WAR”, a reference to the apocalyptic race war that the Manson family believed will soon initiate. They also wrote on the walls using the victim’s blood “Death to pigs” and “Rise” plus a misspelled “Healter Skelter” on the fridge. The Beatles’ song Helter Skelter was, according to Manson, a description of this future race war that he passionately believed will inevitably happen. Rosemary was stabbed a total of 41 times and her husband a total of 26 times with a knife that was left in his throat and a fork in his stomach.

Rosemary’s son, Frank found his parent’s brutally slaughtered bodies the next day.

leno2      rosemaryupperback.

“Because you were home”

There are a lot of theories behind the true story behind The Strangers  but the director Bryan Bertino has confirmed that he combined his haunting childhood experience with the tragic Manson murders and set a plot that revolves around the idea of “what if you were in your house and a group of people decided to brake in?” This is a scenario that many can relate since it could happen to anyone at anytime. The phrase “Because you were home” became the slogan for some of the posters for the movie and appears in the film when the unlucky couple asks their tormentors “Why?” So sure, maybe the Manson murders aren’t a direct true story of The Strangers – but with this being one of the more famous home invasions in history and Bertino confirming his inspiration through the story – we consider this to be some mighty scary Real World Horror.


So now the biggest question is… are you and your partner staying in tonight?



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About The Author

Katerina is just happy to write about the simple things in life. Things like puss, blood, and broken bones. You know, the fun stuff.