SHORT: MICHIGAN MURDER THAT INSPIRED A HORROR MOVIE
When Coldwater high school counselor Marilyn DePue disappeared on Easter of 1990 suspicion immediately fell on her husband Dennis. Marilyn had filed for divorce from her abusive husband.
Dennis snapped that Easter Sunday. In a rage, he beat her in the presence of their three children and took her out to the van explaining he wanted to take her to the hospital. They never arrived.
Dennis shot her in the back of the head and wrapped her body in a sheet. When he was dumping her body behind an abandoned school, a brother and sister were driving by and noticed the strange behavior. They slowed down to get the license plate number but were unable.
When DePue saw that he had been spotted by siblings Ray and Marie Thornton, he jumped in his van and tailed them closely on the deserted road. It was nerve-wracking for the pair but after several miles he raced on leaving them behind.
Dennis fled Michigan. A year later the case was featured on “Unsolved Mysteries.” DePue was spotted living in Dallas. When the police came for him he led them on a long chase ending in Mississippi where DePue killed himself by a shot to the head in the same van where he had shot his wife in the head.
Ten years later in 2001, Victor Salva releases “Jeepers Creepers”, a film where a brother and sister are driving down a lonely country road. They pass a strange looking van in an abandoned church yard. A cloaked figure is unloading what looks likes bodies.
Further down the road the van roars up behind the pair and it appears as though they will be rammed. After a few minutes, the van roars on ahead. Salva never claimed the Michigan murder as inspiration for the movie, but the video speaks for itself.