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Did “Unsolved Mysteries” Inspire ‘Jeepers Creepers’?

In 1991, the real-life mystery show “Unsolved Mysteries” aired a segment about wanted criminal Dennis Depue, a Michigan man who killed his wife, Mary, in 1990 and fled the state. Depue, who lived in Dallas under the name “Hank Queen”, was uncovered the night the segment aired as his then girlfriend and other acquaintances alerted authorities, who began a pursuit when Depue tried to lead them on a high speed car chase. Eventually pulled to the side, he committed suicide.

But the reason I bring up this story is because the day of his wife’s murder bears a series of events that are strikingly similar to the opening series of events found in the 2001 horror film Jeepers Creepers.

For example, the day of Mary Depue’s murder, a couple was driving the backroads of Coldwater, MI when Dennis zoomed past them in a large van. The couple remembered part of the license plate because they played a game where they would turn license plate numbers into phrases, much like Darry and Trish. Furthermore, as the couple kept driving, they passed an abandoned building where they saw Dennis holding a blood-soaked sheet, much like how the siblings in the film saw The Creeper holding a body-shaped object that was covered in blood stains.

As they drove past the building, the van soon afterwards pulled up behind them and rode their tail for a couple of miles. When the couple turned around to try and get behind the van to get its information, they saw the passenger door splattered with blood and decided to head to the abandoned building to investigate the bloody sheet. To say that it’s striking in its resemblance is an understatement.

A video below compares the segment from “Unsolved Mysteries” with several minutes from Jeepers Creepers so that you can see just how similar these two really are.

We all know that many horror films take inspiration from real life events, so this isn’t terrible surprising. However, it does make Jeepers Creepers all the more unsettling.


  • That was definitely interesting. Was that the entire episode of Unsolved Mysteries? That story I mean.

  • The Drucifer

    I thought jeepers creepers was a thinly veiled metaphor for the actual demon in salva.

    • Meisha’s Taint

      BINGO. Salva is “the creeper”

      • The Drucifer

        It arguably makes them the creepiest movies ever made. Watching a man’s actual Id running around getting to molest all the youngins it wants is…I have no words.

  • Hotdog Dan

    I thought child molesting inspired Jeepers Creepers…

    • Chris Destro Alexander

      yeap but everyone wants to sweep that little secret under the carpet.

      • EvilHead1981

        Nobody is sweeping that under the rug, dude. Everytime Salva is mentioned ANYWHERE, people make a point of talking about the shady shit he did. It’s out in the open and nobody’s denying it.

      • Meisha’s Taint

        This isn’t a secret. Most horror fans simply have no shame and still support child rapists so here we are again for a third one

        • Kyle Fulton

          Look, Salva is a disgusting piece of shit. But you can’t go around attacking and ignoring every piece of art or entertainment that shitty people made or worked on, or else you run out of art and entertainment pretty damned quick. It is absolutely possible to despise someone’s actions and them as a person, while still loving the art and entertainment that they produce. Hell, even the Beatles get knocked off the list if you treat it like that.

    • Child molesting didn’t “inspire” Jeepers Creepers… Victor Slava, the director of JC, just happens to be a child molester. This all came about when Victor filmed Clownhouse. He was then tried and convicted. Once he was out, he started working in film again with JC being his return.

    • xXFacelessXx

      Child molesting didn’t “inspire” Jeepers Creepers… Victor Slava,
      the director of JC, just happens to be a child molester. This all came
      about when Victor filmed Clownhouse. He was then tried and convicted.
      Once he was out, he started working in film again with JC being his

      • Fairy Princess

        THAT’S THE JOKE!!!

  • Cobra Kinte

    It’s cool to see where the inspiration for a thing comes from. Did you get the idea to write this after reading ambush bug’s review of JC a few days ago where he mentioned the UM similarities? That had me intrigued but I forgot to look further into it, so thanks! Great article.

  • Stefan Heikel

    I’ve heard this before. One of the most truly tragic cases the show profiled, since their children lost both of their parents.
    On a side note, Jeepers Creepers 3 has finished with script rewrites and they are shooting to begin production this fall!

  • Grimphantom

    Didn’t someone posted this story before? Still it’s odd how i actually saw this video on Saturday and later see it here again.

    btw does anyone know where to get some Unsolved Mysteries episodes? Try to look at the dvds but they are expensive!

  • Rohan Sorensen

    What’s really interesting is that the couple was dumb enough to go to the site of a murder when they were just chased by the murderer for miles. I mean come on people, are you for real?

  • aNYagenda

    I thought Jeepers Creepers was autobiographical.

  • ThunderDragoon

    Jeepers Creepers 3 was supposed to start filming this past spring. It’s now summer. Can we all assume it’s back in development hell?

    • Meisha’s Taint

      The director’s filming in between child molestation and given his reputation it could be a long, long time

  • 110191

    I’m really surprised that this video is suddenly becoming popular. I saw it years ago and people were saying back then that it’s what inspired JC.

  • Meisha’s Taint

    Let’s hope that child raping sicko Salva doesn’t get a knife to the throat before they finish filming. What a shame that would be. Please don’t anyone do that. Please, don’t……..

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