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Brian Draper and Torey Adamcik: The real 'Scream' killers

The 'Scream' mask
Image: Stefano Chiacchiarini '74 /

Wes Craven’s 1996 horror movie Scream follows a group of high school students who are panicked when two teenagers begin to kill off their classmates wearing the iconic Ghostface mask. In a disturbing real-life parallel, two high school students in Idaho desired to emulate the killings committed in the film.

Cassie Jo Stoddart was a 16-year-old at Pocatello High School and had a bright future ahead of her. She was a successful student, achieving A grades and was loved by everyone at school. However, her life was about to be taken away by two people who she thought were her friends.

On 22nd September 2006, Cassie was house-sitting for her auntie and uncle who had gone out of town. At 6pm that evening, her boyfriend, Matt Beckham, had come over with his friends, Brian Draper and Torey Adamcik, who just wanted to 'hang out'.

After Cassie gave them a tour of the house, all four sat in the living room and watched Kill Bill: Volume 2. During the movie, Draper and Adamcik decided they would rather watch a film at the cinema and left halfway through. Unbeknownst to Cassie, they had unlocked the basement door to sneak back into the house later that night.

A short while later, the boys returned and parked down the end of the street. After dressing up in black outfits with white painted face masks, Draper and Adamcik crept into the basement while Cassie and her boyfriend watched television.

The teenagers began making loud noises and fiddled with the electrics, causing the power to go out, hoping to lure Cassie and Matt to the basement. However, this didn't work but left the young couple spooked.

Cassie was shaken and Matt asked his mother if he could stay over. She refused but instead offered Cassie to stay at their home. However, feeling responsible for looking after the home and pets, Cassie decided to stay and Matt returned home.

Late during that night, Cassie had fallen asleep on the couch. Still lurking around the house, Draper attempted to wake Cassie by slamming the door. When this failed, the boys launched a frenzied knife attack, stabbing her around 30 times. Two days later, Cassie's aunt and uncle returned home and found the body of their niece.

During the murder investigation, police began to identify those who had last seen Cassie alive. Initially, the police became suspicious of Matt after he showed little emotion. However, he passed the polygraph test and informed officers that Draper and Adamcik had also been in the home earlier that evening.

As the friends were brought in for questioning, they claimed to have seen the horror movie Pulse at the movies, but they struggled to recall any details about the film. In addition, a school friend who worked at the cinema did not see them that evening.

Eventually, the teenagers cracked under the pressure of the interrogation and confessed to being at the scene of the murder but denied killing Cassie. Later, Draper directed officers to the site where they disposed of their outfits and weapons.

Whilst being interviewed, Draper spoke about his obsession with the Columbine High School shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who committed one of America’s most notorious school shootings that claimed the lives of 13 people. He told officers he wanted to carry out a massacre with the help of Adamcik, but his friend was more interested in becoming a serial killer, specifically mentioning the movie Scream.

Among the discovery of the murder weapon was another bombshell piece of evidence in the form of video recordings that saw the teenagers discussing being famous serial killers, their plans to kill and the events immediately after the murders.

A day before the murder, Draper and Adamcik were recorded discussing choosing Cassie as their first victim:

Brian Draper: We found our victim and sad as it may be she's our friend but you know what? We all have to make sacrifices. Our first victim is going to be Cassie Stoddart and her friends. We'll find out if she has friends over if she's going to be alone in a big dark house out in the middle of nowhere (laughs). How perfect can you get?

Chillingly, the video footage captured the friends in the moments after fleeing the murder scene:

Brian Draper: Just killed Cassie! We just left her house. This is not a f****** joke.

Torey Adamcik: We gotta get our act straight.

In April 2007, Brian Draper was found guilty of first-degree murder. Torey Adamcik was convicted of the same charges in June of the same year. The teenagers received a life sentence without the possibility of parole.