Victor Salva wrote and directed the 2001 horror film Jeepers Creepers. Gina Philips and Justin Long play Patricia Trish and Darry Jenner, two college siblings being chased by the Creeper, a diabolical serial killer played by Jonathan Breck. But what was Jeepers Creepers based on?
There is a real-life inspiration for the adversary of the Jeepers Creepers film franchise, and his name is Dennis DePue. DePue shot his wife after she filed for divorce in 1990 and then dumped her body outside an abandoned schoolhouse.
Who is Dennis DePue?
Dennis DePue was married to Marilynn DePue for 18 years. Still, their relationship was very contentious because Dennis was a very violent husband, so they divorced in 1989. Marilynn was left with custody of their three children, but Dennis was allowed to make biweekly visits despite her and her children’s reluctance to spend time with Dennis.
Dennis went to Marilynn’s residence on April 15, 1990, to pick up two of the children for a visit, but the children refused to accompany him, which enraged him. When Marilynn tried to speak to him, he began ranting at her before grabbing her and throwing her down the steps. Marilynn was knocked unconscious, so Dennis grabbed her and urged the kids to take her to the hospital. Dennis and Marilynn never made it to the hospital, and Jennifer, the oldest daughter, raced to a neighbor’s house to phone the police.
Later, Ray and Marie Thorton were driving down the road when a fast truck passed them. They saw that their license plate began with “GZ,” but they didn’t pay much attention until they passed an abandoned school, saw the truck, and observed the driver leave with a bloodied shirt a few minutes later.
They observed the same van following them a few minutes later, so Ray went into another road and stopped on the side of the road. Then they turned to see if they could see the entire license plate so they could write it down and turn it into the police, and they noticed the guy replacing the license plate and the door was covered in blood. They then returned to the abandoned school and discovered the bloody shirt. They then called the authorities.
When the cops arrived, they discovered that the van belonged to Dennis and that he had murdered Marilynn by shooting him in the head and concealing his body. Marilynn’s body was found later.
Later, to rationalize his death, Dennis began sending letters to his friends and family. (Source: Real Life Villains)
The Death of The Killer
Dennis had changed his name to “Hank Queen” and had a brief affair with a woman named “Marya,” who eventually discovered that Hank was Dennis. Later, a friend of Marya’s gave the police the license plate number of Dennis’ van.
Dennis was found in Louisiana and crossing the border into Mississippi, causing Louisiana police to begin a chase. Dennis eventually committed suicide by shooting himself in the middle of the chase. (Source: Real Life Villains)