A Breaking Bad fan was arrested Monday after police raided his home and discovered it to be full of methamphetamine manufacturing materials. How do we know he was a Breaking Bad fan? His mug shot shows him wearing a Los Pollos Hermanos t-shirt.
In the sort of development that makes one wish we had better phrases than "life imitating art" – or at least that Alanis Morissette hadn't killed the nation's understanding of irony – Cook County police entered the home of one Daniel Kowalski, 21, Monday evening. The officers were responding to a tip that Kowalski might be manufacturing meth in his home, and Kowalski was already on electronic monitoring for running a meth lab last summer.
Police had previously discovered what appeared to be a meth lab in Kowalski's home last July and arrested him. Upon release, Kowalski neglected to take a hint from Breaking Bad – in which series hero Walter White initially begins cooking meth in a Winnebago – and returned to his home to cook again. No word on whether he was adding chili powder to his meth.
The kicker, of course, is that Kowalski was arrested while sporting a Los Pollos Hermanos t-shirt. Los Pollos Hermanos is the fried chicken chain in Breaking Bad that serves as a front to distribute the crystal blue methamphetamine at the center of much of the action.
As The Chicago Tribune reported, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart drew attention to the shirt in a tweet, confirming that Kowalski "was actually wearing" the Breaking Bad iconography at the time of the arrest.
Kowalski's home also contained 12 jars of psychedelic mushrooms, glass beakers, burners, chemicals, and instructional materials for making controlled substances. One can assume he is not a chemistry genius like Breaking Bad's anti-hero.
Whether Kowalski was inspired by Breaking Bad remains to be seen, but he's not the only fan for whom the show lives on in memory. Since the series ended last year – in the only way it could have – fans have paid homage in the form of Facebook tributes, remixes, parodies, and more. Breaking Bad has inspired no small amount of art, and one of the more notable products is a poster project begun by Tumblr user Posterology.
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Four months ago, Posterology finished the complete run of Breaking Bad's 62 episodes and decided to do what any graphic artist would do: dedicate a chunk of time over the next few months to immortalizing each episode with its own poster. The result is a slew of minimalist visions: each one centering on a particular image from a particular Breaking Bad episode, each one memorable in its own way.
The show may be done, but it's catapulted stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul to new heights. Cranston is a major player in the upcoming Godzilla remake, while Paul took the lead role in Need For Speed. Reception for the final seasons was so strong that the series has spawned a spin-off, "Better Call Saul," which will explore the lives of many Breaking Bad regulars before Walter White blew those lives apart.