Potential Movie on the Life of Serial Train Thief Could Make Money for the MTA

There's a bit of a moral conundrum here that doesn't seem to have obvious right or wrong solutions: should a convicted criminal be allowed to make money off his life story?
New York Train 1 photo
Photo: AEMoreira042281 via Wikipedia
On the one hand, the answer seems to be "yes." If he's paid for his crimes by doing time or whatever the judge decided, then why should anyone prevent him or her from selling the story to whoever wants to buy it? OK, but that still means making a profit based on something this society considers to be wrong. And that's... wrong. So which way is it?

Well, we probably won't find an answer here, but we might be getting one pretty soon. That's because Darius McCollum, a 50-year-old man who suffers from Asperger's Syndrome (a lighter form of autism that, in his case, has him focused on large vehicles), is said to have sold the rights to his intriguing life story to be turned into a movie.

Mr. McCollum began his criminal activity at the age of 15, when he stole an E Train full of people and drove it from 34th Street-Penn Station to the World Trade Center. His latest offense took place just last November, when he took a Port Authority Greyhound bus for an unauthorized spin. But the scariest thing is what he reportedly told the police officers when he was caught: "Next time, I'm taking a plane."

It would seem that a movie company is interested in making a film based on his story, and according to Variety, it could mean another attorney role for Hollywood superstar Julia Roberts, who would play the lawyer defending Mr. McCollum. The film would be called "Train Man," which is almost ridiculous considering it's just one letter away from the title of another movie centered around an autistic person.

Now, New York Post says that the MTA - which has been at the receiving end of most of Mr. McCallum's illegal activities - is considering invoking the "Son of Sam" law that prohibits criminals from making money out of the story of their crimes. If the MTA decides to go ahead with the action, that could mean that any profit made by Darius McCallum would be diverted towards the MTA's accounts.

But the real problem here is that a mentally ill person keeps getting arrested (the one in November was his 29th) when, in fact, he should get help. And just think about what he said: "Next time, I'm taking a plane." It's impressive enough he could drive buses and trains without nothing catastrophic happening, but a plane? Potentially with people in it? If him making money off a stupid movie is the biggest problem the authorities have, then we're all doomed.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Vlad Mitrache
Vlad Mitrache profile photo

"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories