But they were apparently foiled by one boy's mother, who, according to court documents, told police she had overheard her son and his friend discussing how to lure their intended victims to locations they had already selected.
John, 15, and Noor, 14, were charged in suburban Salt Lake City, Utah, as juveniles with three counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnapping after telling police they planned to model the killings on the torture scenes in the horror blockbuster "Saw," according to court documents.
ABC News has chosen to use the boys' first names only because of their ages.
The court documents, which by Utah state law can be released with the boys' full names despite their juvenile status, say that John's mother called police March 7 after listening in on her son's conversation.
His mother told police that "they wanted to make sure to have cameras and camcorders so they could take pictures of what they were doing, because they wanted people to know who did it, so they could become famous," the documents say.
John's father also reported hearing part of the conversations and confirmed, in the court documents, "that they were discussing killing several people and the different locations this would happen."
John's parents could not be reached by ABCNews.com and Noor's father declined to comment on the charges against his son. When asked who represents the teens, the District Attorney's office referred ABCNews.com to a local law firm where a woman who answered the phone said the firm would not confirm or deny that John and Noor were clients.
After being taken into custody, the two boys admitted their plan to Murray Police Detective Cameron Jarvis, according to the court documents, and told him they had planned to make a more detailed list of people they wanted to kidnap, torture and kill.
On the list was a female student from Midvale Middle School in suburban Salt Lake City, which Noor attends, as well as the school's police officer. The local media have reported that the third intended victim, also female, attends another middle school in another district.
At one point, according to the court documents, John told Jarvis that "we weren't joking" and both teens said they wanted to harm people "who had done harm to others."
It was during this interview, according to court documents, that both boys told the detective they wanted their crime to emulate scenes from "Saw."
In the 2004 movie, a serial killer named Jigsaw devises complex puzzles for his victims to solve, leading to their gruesome deaths if they fail the tests. The movie also spawned several sequels with the same theme.
Jarvis declined to comment on the boys' interviews, referring all questions to the district attorney's office, which, in turn, deferred to the juvenile court.
Steven Dunham, a spokesman for the Jordan School district, which includes Midvale, where Noor was enrolled in the eighth grade, said the school district, which is the largest in the state, learned about the charges against the boys from the local media. Midvale officials were notified shortly after the arrests were made March 7, he said.