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The Real-Life Murder That Inspired 'Alpha Dog'

If you've ever seen the movie Alpha Dog, you know more about the August 2000 slaying of Nicholas Markowitz than you may realize. The true crime movie takes some liberties in how it fills in the gaps of Nicholas Markowitz's kidnapping and slaying, but the skeleton of the story is true. Nick was 15 when Jesse James Hollywood and a group of illicit-substance dealers abducted the teen in retaliation for Nick's half-brother's debts.

Beyond the tragic demise of a teenager, this story stands out for the three days Nick spent as a "prisoner" of Hollywood and his crew. Over those days, Nick partied and played video games with his captors and was even driven around by parents who had no idea the teen's life was at risk. After Nick's body turned up and police pieced together what happened, a manhunt for Jesse James Hollywood began, and it took nearly five years for the search to come to a close.

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