Real life assassin who inspired Killing Eve’s Villanelle had ‘legendary sexual prowess’ – The Sun

IT turns out the real-life assassin that Killing Eve's Villanelle is based on was a female Lothario in her hey-day.

Killing Eve's fashionable psychopath is based Idoia López Riaño otherwise known as La Tigresa.

Author Luke Jennings who wrote the Villanelle crime series on which the BBC America series is based, revealed La Tigresa inspired his main character.

Speaking at an online chat for the Lyme Crime literary festival, Luke explained La Tigresa was jailed for her involvement in the Basque separatist group, ETA.

He said: “She killed 23 people, and she was clearly a psychopath and completely, completely without empathy.”

While looking for inspiration for Villanelle, Luke read how La Tigresa was jailed for ETA terrorist activities but was also a narcissist in love with her own reflection.



It was such a distraction that she missed seeing one of her targets.

Jennings said: “At the key moment, Idoia, who was supposed to be doing the killings, didn’t actually see him because she was so entranced with the window of a fashionable store and her own reflection in it.”

Another former terrorist, Juan Manuel Soares Gamboa, confirmed that La Tigresa was more obsessed with her appearance than murder.

But not only that, she used “legendary sexual prowess,” to have sex with police officers before she assassinated their colleagues.

La Tigresa, 55, served 23 years in jail and was released in 2017.

Her story is not the only real life tale Killing Eve producers used to inspire the Emmy-award winning series.

Villanelle's murders do not come solely from the writers' imaginations but are actually based on real kills.

Her hit on a business mogul using perfume was inspired by the murder of Kim Jong Un's brother.

Killing Eve follows the bizarre relationship of killer-for-hire Villanelle (Jodie Comer) and Eve (Sandra Oh), the MI5 agent tasked with catching the psychopath.

Produced and formerly written by Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the show has become a worldwide smash thanks to Villanelle's over the top style.

But now BBC's security correspondent Gordon Corera has lifted the lid on the inspiration behind some of the show's most gruesome murders.

Gordon made a "kill list" for show producers to make the world of spies and assassins seem realistic.

One such quirky murder was not that far moved from reality and saw Villanelle kill a perfume mogul with a spritz of fragrance.




That scene was based on the real life murder in 2017 of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's brother Kim Jong-nam.

Jong-nam was at Kuala Lumpur airport when two women – Doan Thi Huong, from Vietnam and Indonesian Siti Aisyah – allegedly rushed him and sprayed an unidentified liquid on him, both later had charges against them dropped.

It was later revealed in the autopsy that the banned VX nerve agent was found on his face, eyes, in his blood, urine, clothing and bag, with many people believing the North Korean leader was behind his own brother's assassination.

Phoebe also revealed she based her lead on the notorious serial killer Angela Simpson.

Angela said she was "not at all" remorseful for torturing and killing a disabled man in Phoenix, Arizona and even laughed about it in a TV interview after asking the crew to "make her look good".

In 2009 she impaled, stabbed and strangled Terry Nealy, before extracting his teeth and dismembered his body before setting pieces of him on fire.

Phoenix police described it as "one of the most heinous homicide cases the department has ever seen".

Angela plead guilty to first-degree murder in 2012 and was sentenced to life in prison and said she hoped she would get the opportunity to "kill again".


But for Phoebe that TV interview with Angela was like "gold dust".

She told the NY Times last year: "She sounds more like a psycho than anyone has ever sounded."

Killing Eve is available to stream on BBC iPlayer. 

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