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A killer kidnaps a victim, imprisons them and then webcasts their murder onto the Internet. Sometimes the victim's fate is linked to number of hits the website receives: either the victim will be killed when a certain number of hits are achieved, or the more hits received, the faster they die.

An example of New Media Are Evil. Compare Snuff Film.

Nothing to do with trying to kill anyone from 30 Rock. Or with a form of Murder, Inc. that lets you hire a hitman online.

And to save the morbidly curious some time, murder.com is a site for fans of murder mystery books and games.


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Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • DEAD Tube: Member of the Film Research Club, Tomohiro Machiya is called by school idol, Mai Mashiro, to film her, and after he tapes her swimming, she asks him to film her continuously for two days. He agrees, hoping. Everything seems normal until Mashiro kills her "boyfriend" who was a former bully and delinquent, while Machiya films it all. He then finds out Mashiro is uploading videos to a website called Dead Tube, where users post content and are rewarded with money based on the number of views they get. The users are encouraged to post videos, but there is a catch: the person or people whose video gets the fewest views has to pay for the expenses and the crimes of all the other participants.
  • Detective School Q: In "Collector of Killers", Meg and Ryu are sent to an elite school to find out about the mysterious disappearances and also about the one who calls himself "the Collector", who puts videos of the murders of students on the net.
  • Hellsing: In "Innocent as a Human", a Snuff Film featuring a man being killed on screen by a Vampire also has a Hellsing soldier in the background, which forces Integra to deploy Hellsing and Seras to investigate the film and find out who is responsible for broadcasting the film and end further snuff film broadcasting before widespread curiosity can be incited regarding the Hellsing Organization.
  • One story in Toshi Densetsu features a website actually name "Murder.com". Submitting a name will cause the chosen victim to killed by an unrelated third party. Using their services means you'll be asked to commit someone else's murder in the future.
  • A variant occurs in Tokyo Ghoul:re, with Torture Technician Shiki Kijima posting an extremely graphic torture video onto the internet. He does this to taunt the employers of his victim, and justifies it since Ghouls don't have rights anyway. The video immediately causes a scandal, though he's only reprimanded for his actions. He later reveals that he killed the victim immediately after posting the video.
  • Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest includes an absolutely sickening variant later on. More of a Gangrape.com though.

    Comic Books 
  • In Avengers Arena, Arcade loads the videos of the teenagers killing each other on to the internet.
  • The first storyline in the 2011 relaunch of Green Arrow has Rush stream his gang hunting a captured Green Arrow live onto the internet.
  • In Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Robyn Hood #15, a gang of monsters capture Robyn and Van Helsing and plan to livestream their murder on to the web to show other monsters two of their biggest hunters have been disposed of. Thing do not run to plan, and the deaths of several monsters end up being streamed instead.
  • A Judge Dredd story set during the "Democracy" arc had a perp kidnap a neighbor and broadcast himself to all of Mega-City One, inviting the viewers to phone in and decide which of two increasingly painful and gory torture methods should be applied, culminating in the viewers choosing how the guy should die. There was always the option to vote to free him, but naturally, nobody ever chose that option.
  • In Sink, Graphite Green is presented as an experimental rent-free luxury apartment complex in Sinkhill. In reality it's a false front for an elite televised competition for four killers to kill the most people.

    Film — Live Action 
  • The Netflix original film, American Hangman is about a judge who gets kidnapped and put on trial in front of a live internet audience for executing an innocent man, which the kidnapper would know, because he was the one who really committed the crime and was upset he never got caught, and someone else was punished.
  • Near the end of the Spike Lee film Bamboozled, Mantan, the popular (black) minstrel performer, gets shot to death by a group of black radicals. The radicals webcast the murder live.
  • The movie The Condemned broadcasts a Deadly Game over the internet.
  • The anvilicious Sick Room in Cradle of Fear, where the site's visitors can determine how victims die, for a fee, but are at risk of becoming victims themselves if they don't pay up...
  • The Den features a gang of masked killers who produce Snuff Films for a video site.
  • FeardotCom tied it into a ghost story.
  • The 2005 thriller Feed features a website that caters to feeding women to death.
  • Guns Akimbo: Skizm is an underground deathmatch organization that forces people who downloaded its cell phone app to fight each other to the death and stream the fight to and take bets from other app users.
  • In Kick-Ass, Frank D'Amico plans to stream the execution of Kick-Ass and Big Daddy live on the internet. Hit-Girl then shows up and turns the tables on Frank's goons, killing them in the live stream, but not before they set Big Daddy on fire.
  • Not murder, but in M.F.A., Noelle is horrified and disgusted to discover that a trio of rapists have posted footage of their crime on social media: shot from angles where it does not show their faces to allow them plausible deniability.
  • My Little Eye, although here the subjects aren't kidnapped; they've been told they're on a reality internet show about living in isolation. In reality, they're in snuff.
  • During the final dare in Nerve, the watchers vote on whether Ty should shoot Vee. The vote is yes.
  • During the climax of Scream 4, it is revealed that the killers were streaming their murder spree over the internet through hidden cameras in the hopes of getting famous. Jill specifically had seen how her cousin Sidney won 15 Minutes of Fame after surviving multiple killing sprees in the three prior films, and wanted a piece of the action for herself. Her Motive Rant even has her discussing building an online fanbase by posing as the heroic Final Girl.
  • In Skyfall, the villain gives away the identities of several undercover agents, causing them to be captured, with their executions released on Youtube.
  • Snuff Movie is a 2005 gothic horror film by British director Bernard Rose. It stars Jeroen Krabbé as a horror film maker named Boris Arkadin, whose pregnant wife was brutally murdered by a Manson like gang of hippy psychopaths during the 1960s. Because of this he has become a recluse, until, several years later, he makes a come-back and invites some actors to a large mansion in the English countryside to 'audition' for his new film. But unknown to them they are being filmed by hidden cameras linked to a 'snuff' website.
  • Unfriended: Dark Web is about a group of friends stumbling upon an online Snuff Film racket and being subjected to this, with all of their deaths being broadcast live through the dark web. The ending reveals that people were even taking bets on who would die first and what would happen as they died.
  • Untraceable, including "the more people watch it, the faster people die" element. So naturally the FBI gave out the web address at a press conference. As well as the fact that, in the police headquarters, every single computer is also logged on to the site. Would it have killed them to confine it to a single screen?
  • In Virtuosity, Sid 6.7, a serial killer personalty construct originally in a virtual reality system has figured a way to escape into the real world, takes over a TV studio and announces "Death TV" where the viewers get to vote by telephone on which member(s) of the studio audience dies.
  • In Vlog, The killer creates a website where they post videos of their kills. Later Brooke's murder is captured on her vlog.
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    Literature 
  • In Cherub Series novel Man vs Beast by Robert Muchamore. An extremist animal rights group intends to kill a TV chef by making him drink a very dangerous cleaning liquid and then broadcasting that over the Internet for everyone to watch.
  • Migraine: Revealed to be Ken's source of income. In Ken's own words, "the more illegal something is to produce, the more people are willing to pay outlandish amounts of money for it".
  • In the short story "More Tomorrow" by Michael Marshall Smith, an abusive boyfriend forces a woman to pose for erotic pictures which he posts online...then the story ends with the next picture being titled "pretty_amputee".
  • This is the new internet porn in Oryx and Crake.
  • In The Subject Steve, there is a variant of this near the end. It is described as "a revolutionary media space that binds together the most innovative aspects of gaming, spectacle, democracy and commerce."
  • Mick Garris' short story "Tyler's Third Act" starts out as the eponymous character hosting a web show where he mutilates himself for a paying audience. After meeting a woman who has a fetish for such things, Tyler mutilates himself further until the "Third Act" wherein, being reduced to a head and torso, he will be killed for his audience as part of a grand finale.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Season 4 of 24 starts with terrorists advertising they will kill a senator they kidnapped, as a Evil Plan to overload the Internet with viewers which would cause the safety systems at nuclear power plants to crash.
  • Alarm für Cobra 11 did its own version of the CSI plot ("Grave Danger") described below: "Begraben" ("Buried").
  • In the Almost Human episode: "Simon Says" a psychopathic killer traps victims in explosive collars to force them to go things like robbing banks for their freedom. These final actions of each victim are filmed and streamed live on a website where his viewers give disturbing comments on the situation.
  • In American Horror Story: Cult, Winter shows Oz videos of murder on the dark web.
  • The first season of Bron|Broen had the "truth terrorist" websites set up by the killer, who livestreamed at least one murder.
  • Criminal Minds:
    • In "Revelations" the "murderers" post videos of murders to strike fear into the hearts of "sinners", and is horrified when they mistake them for viral marketing for the latest horror movie.
    • Also "P911", though the unsub wasn't necessarily intending to kill the boy.
    • And "The Internet Is Forever".
  • CSI "Grave Danger": Nick Stokes is buried alive and the killer establishes a webcam link between the coffin an CSI. However, whenever the webcam is activated, the ventilation keeping Nick alive turns off.
    • The webcam is constant. What turns off Nick's air supply is when the light in the coffin is turned on, which is what leads him to shoot the light out. The killer probably knew this would happen, as he put several glow sticks in the coffin before he buried it.
  • CSI: Cyber did this in its fifth episode, "Crowd Sourced," with a bomb. A bomb was linked to the number of views of a website; if it hit one million, the bomb would go off. When the FBI discovered the place where it was setup, it turned out to be a trap that lowered the number to 750,000.
    • In "Python's Revenge", Python kidnaps Avery's surrogate daughter, Grace, and sets up a website where the Cyber team can see her being held. He makes the team decipher a series of elaborate code-like puzzles in an attempt to save her life. Every time they get an answer wrong, a dose of a drug is injected into her. When three doses have been injected, the combined effect will kill her.
  • CSI: NY features an aversion - sure, there's a scary serial killer, but his site's password protected, and you have to find out using real life evidence.
  • Diagnosis: Murder, "Rear Windows 98". Dr. Bently witnesses a murder on someone's webcam, and the killer subjects her to identity theft before making an attempt on her life. Dr. Sloan sees this as an attempt to kill her twice; once online by destroying her identity and once in real life.
  • Endgame offers a variant on the theme. Arkady is forced to play chess with an opponent online, and every time he looses a hostage dies. Only catch, he is playing against a computer that grows better the more he plays.
  • Homicide: Life on the Street "Homicide.com": Quite possibly the Trope Maker here (although see the Millennium entry below).
  • Judge John Deed once presided over the trial of a contestant from a very thinly-veiled Big Brother stand-in who murdered a fellow inmate.
  • The Last Detective "Dangerous Liaisons" as part of a Roaring Rampage of Revenge for the murderer's sister being killed in a Snuff Film years before.
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent "Weeping Willow" (although here the crime is kidnapping, not murder, and it's clearly based on Lonely Girl 15).
  • Lucifer the episode "Sin-Eater" has Lucifer presenting his victims in online videos.
  • Millennium "The Mikado" came about a year before the Homicide: Life on the Street episode. They may be sibling Trope Makers.
  • NCIS "Murder 2.0". Video footage of the victims is uploaded to a thinly-veiled Fictional Counterpart of YouTube, intercut music-video style with other clips which provide clues for the team to follow.
  • NUMB3RS "Killer Chat" focuses on a Knight Templar serial killer who is targeting child molesters by posing as a teenage girl online, lures them to empty houses, and then films their confession before murdering them.
  • An episode of season 8 of Spooks had a group of eco-terrorists kidnap a load of high-powered business man and host a live trial on the internet whether the businesses were unethical. If the internet voted them guilty, their execution would be streamed live.
  • The Supernatural episode "Breakdown", had a secret website that had people being auctioned off to monsters as food and once the bidding ends, they would be hacked alive part by part.
  • Tracker had an episode that involved a kidnapped girl in a tank of water that was slowly filling up. Possibly a subversion in that the kidnap turned out to be a setup by the girl to get money from her father.

    Video Games 
  • The Joker briefly thinks of doing this (or at least floats the idea around) in Batman: Arkham Asylum.
  • In Devil Survivor 2, Nicaea shows videos of death... BEFORE they happen. It's so you can prevent it.
  • A minor plot point in Persona 3.
  • Happens at the end of the Watch_Dogs: Bad Blood DLC, when evil hacker Defalt traps Ray Kenney in an inescapable gas chamber as revenge for all the accidental deaths that he caused in the '03 blackout including indirectly enabling his brother's suicide. Defalt streams a live feed of the room to the families of the victims and asks them to vote on whether to spare Ray or to let him die.
  • The end goal of Welcome to the Game is to access one such "Red Room". See Real Life below.

    Visual Novels 
  • Boyfriend To Death: Serial Killer Strade runs a "red room" stream on the Dark Web. If your Sanity Meter runs out while he's torturing you down in his basement, he turns you into his newest "star".
  • In Hiveswap Friendsim, Ardata likes to film the trolls she imprisons and tortures and stream them online.

    Webcomics 
  • Achewood had resident murderous psychopath Nice Pete take the concept one further by having the murder be tied to an automatic device controlled by web poll.

    Real Life 
  • Filming the execution of one's enemies and releasing the video onto the internet is a popular tactic among terrorists, insurgents, and gangsters, intended to sow fear in their opposition while establishing their credibility as warriors or badasses. So-called "beheading videos" were popularized during the war in Iraq, with Mexican drug cartels quickly embracing them and the Islamic State (ISIS) elevating them to an art form with slick editing and production values, HD cameras, music, and fetishistic close-ups of the gore.
  • Saddam Hussein's execution was recorded on a cell phone camera and posted online.
  • Around 2013 there was a website that depict the torture and captivity of a man named Chris Winston. The owners of the website claimed they were planning to kill him. It turned out to be a hoax.
  • Domus Mortem (supposedly Viral Marketing but most definitely fake), featuring a poll that was open for a month for people to decide whether a cat should live or not. The "live" footage was prerecorded footage on a loop and despite the overwhelming majority of votes in favor of saving the cat, the votes to the contrary were artificially inflated and they "killed" the cat anyways. And then the stream showed a woman tied up to a chair...
  • Similar to Domus Mortem, around May 29, 2017, a Periscope stream of a girl being tied up with a iPad countdown on her lap caught the attention of a couple of Twitter users, and the stream frequently went offline as Periscope tried to shut it down. It was initially believe that the stream was a marketing stunt for a game on Steam, but the developers denied any involvement. The stream was later revealed to be a hoax by a group calling itself Black Elephant, a "social experiment and commentary on how social networks handle such situations."
  • Some of the detractors of Mars One, a space exploration startup that hoped to build a colony on Mars and film the mission, suggested that this would have been the probable result in the event (unlikely even before they declared bankruptcy) of them actually succeeding in putting anyone on Mars, what with the complete lack of any way for the astronauts to return home and the whole thing being rather fuzzy on a lot of important details.
  • There exist many websites that traffic in pictures and videos of people dying, from cartel and terrorist executions to fatal accidents to lynch mobs to the leaked 'home movies' of serial killers. No, we are not linking any of them here.
  • The "Red Room" urban legend claims that, in the "deep web" that isn't indexed by search engines and can only be accessed through special software (such as through Tor and similar encrypted browsers), one can find sites hosting live torture and murder sessions for the entertainment of paying customers. While the deep web contains a lot of illegal material (black market drug and gun sales, child pornography, et cetera), Red Rooms are generally considered to be an urban legend, but this hasn't stopped the proliferation of any number of "DEEP WEB TRUE HORROR STORIES" (read: poorly-written Reddit creepypasta fanfiction). If you read one, count how many times the "Red Room" is mentioned, as well as how easy it apparently is for the protagonist to get into one. In reality, even if Red Rooms did exist, it's highly unlikely that a random person exploring the Deep Web would just stumble into one, especially given that, as noted above and below, the people who upload murder videos to the internet are usually after the widest possible audience.
  • After Facebook launched its Facebook Live livestreaming service, there were, with depressing inevitability, a number of cases of murders and suicides being livestreamed by their perpetrators. These included an American man livestreaming a random murder of a passer-by before later killing himself after a police chase, a Thai man livestreaming himself murdering his baby son and killing himself after a marital dispute, and most infamously, the Christchurch, New Zealand massacre in 2019, in which the Christchurch shooter strapped a GoPro camera to his helmet and livestreamed a shooting spree in 2 mosques that claimed 51 lives. The last one in particular sparked widespread debates over livestreaming, as trolls reposted the video all over the internet despite the efforts of sites like Facebook and YouTube to remove them all. New Zealand and Australia eventually had the video banned and blocked access to sites that refused to take it down.
  • The now defunct joke website Save Toby inverted this trope by asking for money to save a rabbit named Toby or else the owner of the website would eat the rabbit.
  • In 2015, a former newscaster by the name of Vester Lee Flanagan filmed a video of him murdering former co-workers Allison Parker and Adam Ward while the two were doing an interview, and later put up the video on Facebook, before killing himself after a police chase.

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