Has their ever been a real 'Scooby Doo' type crime?

So, my kids love Scooby Doo and as a result I’ve been watching way too much of it lately.

In every single episode Scooby and the gang investigate a monster (mummy, pirate, zombie, ghost, etc.) that is trying to scare people away from a location. After a groovy chase scene, the gang captures the monster and takes off its mask. It’s some minor character that was trying to keep people away so he/she could take revenge or steal money or something.

Has anything like this ever really happened? I mean, has a criminal ever worn a monster-type mask to scare people in order to commit a crime?

I don’t have the answer, but this is related enough that I am taking a chance of posting it.
Scooby Doo solves real-life crime

Something is WRONG with me. This made me cry!

I can only think of cases where somebody has faked a monster in order to attract people. I can’t recall the specifics but there is at least one documented case of hotel owners faking a lake monster in order to draw in more tourists and book more rooms.

Think about it- since when are bigfoot encounters or ghost sightings bad for business?

Here’s a legend of someone making up a monster story to keep people from stealing their precious wine: Casillero Del Diablo

I thought of Scooby Doo the first time I heard it actually. The 2004 Carmenere was great, btw.

I’d have to disagree with a statement in the linked article.

At least according to “The Legend of the Dog of Montargis, a dog has indeed appeared as a witness/combatant.” Although the specifics of the story change enough that it could be . . . legendary.

And people say that jury duty is boring!

In Gavin de Beckers book, The Gift of Fear, he describes a woman, living in a nice home in the middle of nowhere, who got scary phonecalls late at night from a man who said things like: you are a woman alone, you shouldn’t be here". It turned out the calls were made by the supposedly nice neighbour who wanted to scare her into selling the house below its actual value to him.

The story is given as an example of the working of the subconscious mind; when Gavin asked the woman to tell him more about the scary phonecalls, she kept mentioning her nice neighbour in the story, while that wasn’t necessary. " Thank god Joe from next door offered to help me out with X", that kind of mentioning.

Gavin mentioned this case as an example of how her subconsious mind knew there was something fishy about the phonecalls (they weren’t sexual, and a rapist just rapes, he doesn’t warn beforehand) and how the neighbour was a little *too *friendly.

I’m kinda disappointed. In the TV show, bad guys disguised as ghosts are a dime a dozen. In reality, not so much :frowning:

Spring Healed Jack

Later some stories are written about him, and other forms of media use the character.

I’m familiar with Spring Heeled Jack but fail to see the relevance. AFAIK The one or two cases of folks in SHJ costumes followed the myth, not created it. Nor was Jack a cover for the commission of crimes.

That would be the story of the Silver Lake Serpent, from upstate New York. A contraption was constructed in order to drum up business for the town and hotel in the 1800s.

My cite notes that descriptions of the hoax are based on accounts occurring 60 years after the event. Could the hoax be an UL itself?

At any rate, I see that Perry, NY is still holding its annual serpent festival, though it now includes hot air balloons. http://www.silverlakeview.com/images/digital/2007/festival/2007_festival.htm

I think someone dressed as Spring Heeled Jack and assaulting women constitutes the use of the character in a criminal act.

Two of the better cases are the Alsop case and Scales case.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_Heeled_Jack

Well sometimes bomb scares or home invasion hoaxes are carried out to create a diversion for the police, while a bank robbery is carried out across town.

There are also a number of supernatural scams, ranging from seances to sleight-of-hand con jobs where the victim is told to bring their money forth so that it can be cleansed. The money is blessed, packaged, and the victim is handed it back with instructions to keep it sealed for 3 weeks. By that time, the crook has skipped town and the vic is left with a fistful of tissue paper.

A better scam is to swap the money for another package and burn the decoy before the mark’s very eyes, explaining that the bad luck burns up with the money.

The validity of this example will depend on your view of it, but I’d note that stories about burning in hell for eternity had some part to play in the gathering of large sums of money through the ages by various groups.

In all probability, during Halloween most likely.

No idea on the OP, but I am reminded that every time I pass the abandoned amusement park off I-70 in Denver (Lakeside) I wonder if there is a scruffy caretaker up to no good hanging out there. Yeah, way too much time wasted watching Scooby Doo.