The video John Vincent Bell sent to Leslie McBride, depicting the gunshot death of a homeless man.

A Snuff Film is a film or video featuring the actual death murder of a person or persons for the purposes of entertainment, shock, or as a warning to others.


In the past, snuff films were simply Urban Legend, and typically featured the simulated rape and usually murder of a female victim. These types of films were distributed as entertainment and were largely ignored. However, in recent years, genuine murder films have been released through various channels (namely the Internet) by a number of various individuals or groups.

Real WorldEdit


A genre of exploitation film which often showcases actual deaths that happened to be recorded, filmed, or photographed. A few of the most "extreme" entries in this genre include Traces of Death, Banned! In America, and Facing Reality.

Crush FilmsEdit

A type of extreme and often illegal pornography in which provocatively dressed performers slowly crush live animals, usually invertebrates, though videos depicting the deaths of vertebrates (such as kittens or mice) do exist. This type of film is often cited as being the closest to the classic definition of snuff films: death being intentionally filmed in an erotic manner for the purpose of financial gain.

Radical IslamEdit

Islamic terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have released several videos in the past years featuring the brutal beheadings of those they consider enemies of Islam. These videos often begin with the victim kneeling in front of a group of armed terrorists while the leader reads a statement condemning the victim's country. The victim is then beheaded with a knife or similar blade, with no regard for "quickness". Such victims include:


Mexican drug cartels have released several videos very similar to those of Islamic terrorists. In the past, cartel videos simply featured the aftermath of the beheading and/or dismemberment of their victims; typically Mexican Federales, rival drug lords, or the families of failed assassins.


In 2008, two of three Ukrainian teenagers, known as the Dnepropetrovsk maniacs were charged with the violent murder of Sergei Yatsenko. In the cell phone-recorded video, Igor Suprunyuck brutally kills Yatsenko with a hammer, while another holds the cellphone and assists the murder with a screwdriver. Throughout the video, the two joke about the man's seemingly impossible will to live. Other videos were found involving the murders of at least 10 other people. In actuality, the group had killed 21 people. The three young men, two of whom were sentenced to life in prison, and the third nine years, are:

  • Viktor Sayenko
  • Igor Suprunyuck
  • Alexander Hanzha


In 2012, a snuff film was posted online, depicting the murder of a Chinese international student named Lin Jun, who was brutally stabbed to death and dismembered post-mortem; acts of necrophilia were also depicted. The body parts were later mailed to political parties and elementary schools. An international manhunt was quickly launched for the suspect, Luka Magnotta, who was eventually apprehended in Berlin, Germany, after reading the news about himself. He faced several charges, including first-degree murder, and his trial is expected to start in September 2014.

On Suspect BehaviorEdit

  • John Vincent Bell would send a tape of himself shooting a vagrant in the head to the wives of the men he abducted, as a message telling them not to go to the authorities.