Is You’s Eat the Rich Killer Inspired by a Real Serial Killer?

Netflix’s ‘You’ follows the story of a serial killer named Joe Goldberg. He falls in love with different women, and to win their hearts, does unspeakable things with the events almost always ending with the death of the said woman. In every season, a new woman falls victim to his twisted idea of love. In the fourth season, however, the tables turn as Joe finds himself stalked by another serial killer. This person is targeting rich people, though Joe and the general public are still divided on the motivations of the killer.

The people believe that the murderer is someone who hates the rich and is killing them off one by one. Joe, however, believes that the motivations of the killer are much closer to home. If you are wondering whether the idea for creating such a murderer came from a real-life example, then here’s what you need to know about him. SPOILERS AHEAD

Eat the Rich Killer is Not Based on a Real Person

No, the Eat the Rich Killer in ‘You’ Season 4 isn’t based on any real-life serial killer. The show is based on the book series of the same name by Caroline Kepnes, though it does add its own twist to the story. For every season, the show puts Joe in a completely different environment with new challenges on his path. The creators try to keep things fresh with every new chapter of Joe’s story. They wanted to do the same for the fourth season, with the intent of not becoming redundant, considering that the viewer has been following Joe Goldberg for three seasons now.

According to co-creator Sera Gamble, the idea was to turn the situation on its head for Joe. She was particularly interested in the whodunit genre because not only would it pose a new challenge in front of Joe, but it would also keep the audience on their toes, because this time, Joe is not the obvious killer. With the setting in London, the writers wanted to explore the side of Joe where he uses his observational and research skills to save the day, rather than ruin the life of another person.

“It doesn’t matter how many whodunnits I read or see, they still are so compelling. It’s just a really fun genre. And maybe the first very famous serial killer is from London with Jack the Ripper, so we very quickly started to talk about classic whodunnit structures — Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie,” Gamble revealed. The influence clearly shows, especially in the first half of Season 4, where Joe repeatedly finds himself in scenarios that appear to be right out of a Christie book, down to the classic tropes and twists.

While the name “Eat the Rich Killer” gives a straightforward interpretation of the motivations of the murderer, things are not so simple when it comes to the real motivations. The show plays with this idea and keeps the audience on their toes about who the real killer could be. In concocting such a plot line, it can be assumed that the creators of the show might have looked into real-life serial killers like John George Haigh, who targeted the rich. However, for the bottom line, they probably preferred to not directly base the murderer on any real-life serial killer, because keeping things strictly fictional is what works in its favor.

Read More: Is You’s Joe Goldberg Based on a Real Serial Killer?