The writer of popular thriller Killing Eve was inspired to create hit man Villanelle by basing her on a real psychopath who killed 23 people.
Idoia López Riaño, called La Tigresa in the Spanish press, was a hit man for Basque separatists.
Killing Eve Writer, Luke Jennings, has spoken out about his inspiration behind Jodie Comer’s character in the hit TV series.
The 67-year-old said that he read stories in the newspaper about Riaño who was imprisoned in the 1990s for a series of murders for the terrorist group Eta.
He told Mirror online “She killed 23 people, and she was clearly a psychopath and completely without empathy.”
He said an Eta member had talked about a ring they were working on for killing a police officer when Riaño missed her chance because she was too busy admiring her own reflection.
Villanelle is not only imaginatively imaginative in her murder, but also famously vain and stylish.
Riaño is also said to have upset comrades with her sexual exploitation, seducing police officers before murdering their colleagues.
Based on the codename Villanelle books, Killing Eve is in the third series on BBC and is about the relationship between Villanelle and Eve Polastri, a British intelligence agent, played by Sandra Oh, 48.
Riaño was released from prison in 2017 after serving 23 years, a year for every person she killed. She was originally sentenced to 2,000 years, although the maximum term in Spain is 30.
A Spanish source said that 56-year-old Riaño now lives with her sister in Andorra, an independent principality between France and Spain.
In letters written before her release, Riaño had repented.
She described her recruitment by Eta at the age of 15 and wrote, “I made a huge, terrible and terrible mistake believing that I should be a member of Eta.”
Riaño relinquished violence, which led her to be kicked out of the Basque Political Prisoners Group.