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Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston Was A Real-Life Murder Suspect Years Before Becoming Walter White

On "Breaking Bad," Bryan Cranston plays Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who starts making crystal meth when he finds out he has cancer. In order to raise money to provide for his wife and children when he dies, Walter goes deeper and deeper into a dangerous world of crime until he is past the point of no return. Ultimately, Walter commits several murders because of his involvement in the drug business. He has various reasons for the murders he commits: He fears the person will rat him out to law enforcement, he fears they will kill him if he doesn't kill them first, or they are otherwise getting in the way of the best interests of his business, his family, or his associate Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul). 

Years before portraying a murderer on "Breaking Bad," and before he even became a professional actor, Bryan Cranston was actually a suspect in a real-life murder. Although Cranston was not the real murderer, there are details of the story that seem to explain how he can play a deranged criminal like Walter White.

Bryan Cranston was a suspect in the 1970s murder of a miserly chef

In an interview on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," Bryan Cranston described the time he was a suspect in a real-life murder. In the 1970s, he was taking a cross-country journey with his brother, during which they stopped and worked at odd jobs in various locations. One place where Bryan Cranston worked was a restaurant in Daytona Beach, Florida, with a chef named Peter Wong. Cranston said, "[Wong] was a miserable human being, just a despicable man. He hated everyone and everyone hated him." Apparently, the rest of the employees hated Wong so much that they would sit around and joke about different ways to murder him. Cranston participated in this game and suggested they chop up Wong's body and fry him in a wok. 

This joke got Cranston into trouble when Peter Wong actually did get murdered, and it happened at the same time when the Cranston brothers were leaving town and moving on to the next place. Because of this strange timing, the police considered both brothers to be active suspects in the murder case and put out all-points bulletins (APBs) on them since they had already left the state. 

The Cranston brothers were ultimately found innocent. What actually happened is that a sex worker picked up Wong at a park and brought him home, where a man was waiting for him and clubbed him on the head before stuffing him into the trunk of a car. It does not appear that any of the restaurant employees who used to joke about murdering Wong were involved in his actual murder.