If you think that murders in Killing Eve are too heinous to happen in real life, then you haven’t read or watched enough crime news in your life.
Speaking on BBC’s Obsessed with Killing Eve podcast earlier this week, BBC’s security correspondent Gordon Corera revealed that the stomach-churning kills seen in the spy drama were actually inspired by the murders of real people.
Corera told podcast hosts Naomi Shimada and Zing Tsjeng that he was recruited by one of the show’s producers to help scriptwriters come up with novel killing methods for the series. “I literally went away and I wrote this document called the Kill List, which is somewhere on my laptop,” said Corera. “Which is basically a load of different ways to kill people, but just slightly crazy quirky ways.”
According to Corera, the ideas he included in his list ranged from things that took place five decades ago to stories that he had recently heard about in the news.
Corera went on to reveal that Season 1’s assassination of the fragrance mogul Carla de Mann (Aurélie Meriel)), who was killed by Villanelle (Jodie Comer) using a poisonous homemade perfume, is his favorite murder on the show so far.
That kill was inspired by the 2017 assassination of Kim Jong-nam at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia. An autopsy showed that Jong-nam, the oldest son of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, had been infected with the banned VX nerve agent – a substance typically used in chemical warfare. People exposed to VX will experience disruption of neurological signals causing paralysis, sweating, vomiting, and eventually death by asphyxiation.
Airport footage showed Jong-nam being ambushed by two women who sprayed him with a mist. Though Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam and Siti Aisyah of Indonesia were arrested for Jong-nam’s murder, conspiracy theorists believe that his death was orchestrated by his home country North Korea because of the victim’s very vocal opposition to the government’s views.
Corera’s revelation about the show’s inspiration for its murders comes a year after Killing Eve producer Phoebe Waller-Bridge revealed to The New York Times that the character of Villanelle is based on the real-life murderer Angela Simpson.
In 2009, Simpson tortured and killed disabled man Terry Neely in Phoenix, Arizona. According to Phoenix New Times, Simpson impaled, stabbed, strangled, and beat Neely before extracting his teeth, dismembering his body, and setting it alight.
Season 3 of Killing Eve currently airs every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on BBC America and AMC.