Police Attempt to Link Vicious Murder to D&D

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Police Attempt to Link Vicious Murder to D&D

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Detectives investigating the rape and murder of a mentally-handicapped girl "aren't blaming a game" but have nonetheless suggested that the killer may have been "acting out a violent fantasy from Dungeons & Dragons."

A bit of background: Last week, 18-year-old Tyler Wolfegang Savage killed and sexually assaulted his mentally-disabled 16-year-old neighbor, Kimberly "Kimmie" Daily, who had left her home in Puyallup to go visit a friend. Savage confessed to the crime and led police to the body, and also told them that after the murder, he went to a friend's house and played Dungeons & Dragons Online "to forget."

It's an awfully thin connection to gaming, certainly not enough to warrant mention on a site like this, but as sometimes happens in such cases, the police got a whiff of an easy explanation and have apparently decided to run with it. Although Savage said he played the game after committing the crime, presumably as a distraction from the horror of what he'd done, police are now looking into whether the game "somehow became his point of reference on reality."

"Savage's previously clean record has detectives wondering what set him off to allegedly murder a girl with mental disabilities," according to a Seattle PI report. "One theory is something Savage told them about: His passion for video games, and how they help him cope." The report further noted that while investigators aren't placing the blame for the attack on videogames, they are working with an expert in sexually violent fantasies "to explore the videogame motive."

"The defendant admitted some kind of connection between the murder and the videogame," Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said. "I'm not clear at this point what exactly that connection is. The defendant himself said he went to play videogames to forget."

There's probably some clinical explanation for how a videogame could both inspire a vicious murder and help the perpetrator forget about it, but Savage gave no indication that the game was anything more than a way to block out the memory of his horrific crime, much the way other people might get drunk out of their heads or immerse themselves in some other activity. Even his lawyer called the videogame link "pure speculation and a rush to judgment." But people like easy answers and in the eyes of the police, at least, it looks like videogames are still a good place to find them.

via: GamePolitics

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Oh god its mazes and monsters!! kill that stupid movie with fire!...

Wait, this is for real?

Oh humanity your stupidity confuses and depresses me even to this day.

Oh my goodness gracious, not this AGAIN! I thought blaming crimes on video-games died in the early 2000's. They are now combining D&D and video-games into one super scape-goat that can cover any crime. *sighs*

*facepalm*

seriously, gah. I'm off to the 'oh for christ's sake' room.

I wonder how long it'll take for people to realize that anything can be used as an escape from what someone has done and that such people really don't deserve pity while the object, with which they escaped reality, gets the scorn.

Even in our country, where alcoholism for example is rampant, I don't blame alcohol. I blame the alcoholics who cause our domestic abuse cases to go skyhigh.

How can you claim you "aren't blaming a game" if your trying to "to explore the videogame motive."

You must at least be attributing blame to it in order to consider it a motive.

The 70's called they want their scapegoat back

I thought most people gave up the whole "Dungeons and Dragons is making our kids evil" thing before I was born (I'm 17 BTW).

While this is a terrible, terrible crime, I seriously doubt that games had any connections to it other than him trying to forget about it.

As far as it seems from reports they aren't trying to link the actual murder to the game as he admitted he only went to play the game to foget after doing it but to look at his activity for clues to his mental state before the act, if he really is disturbed or worse what he does in D&D isn't really going to matter. It's never the gameplay they look at the actual chat will give them far more information about him as a person not just a D&D player.

Well if I lived there I would move immediately since it is clear the cops are out to find the quickest explanation they can.

they are working with an expert in sexually violent fantasies

okay.... WHAT-THE-FUCK? that's just... I...

And I sure hope cops never make a connection between a crime (that I hope I ll never commit) and my DnD alter-egos...

That REALLY can't end well...

Calm down people. They didn't say they were blaming it, they said there was a connection to it.

If the kid went straight to D&D after killing someone, then yeah, I would take a look at the connection too if I was a police officer on the case. It could be that the child has trouble distancing themselves from the fantasy, and those types of angles need to be covered or the child could end up living with an undiagnosed mental problem and not receiving the help he needs.

this is like if he said he watched TV after, its got nothing to do with it
but about the guy i don't think D&D told him to kill the girl,but a guy who seems insane shouldn't go playing D&D it might actually tell him to kill someone(well if not that then maybe,the evil TV)

/sigh

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana

I thought we'd left this behind in the 80s.

Wait a second, did they not just say that he used video games "to cope"?
Why aren't they looking into why he had to "cope" with anything?!

Fucking Hell...

Eh, this just seems like a case of a bad tag line. They're looking at a murderers hobbies and how he approaches them to determine his mental state.

"The report further noted that while investigators aren't placing the blame for the attack on videogames, they are working with an expert in sexually violent fantasies "to explore the videogame motive."

In other words.. Yes, yes they are blaming video games. Again.

Tyler Wolfgang Savage? Someone with that name was always going to kill something.

Clearly just a nutjob, not attributable to D&D so much as his being a psychopath.

also, what's with the picture of tom hanks?

-Damnit, all my posts today are lagging..-

It's bad enough to link crime to videogames, but this is so flimsy it's absolutely rediculous.

It's like saying "After the murder, I went out for a bit of fresh air to clear my head" and the police immediately proclaim, AH HA! So it's all AIR's FAULT!

QUICK EVERYONE! WE NEED MAKE AIR ILLEGAL!

Games in such cases are usually only a catalyst, inspiration, just like anything could be. Obviously he has some mental issues himself if he is capable of cold blood murder with sexual assault. With such condition it can be so that a game he played, book he read, movie he watched or even article about crime could trigger his imagination to the point where he wanted to fulfil such fantasy.

All in all it just seems like looking for tying games into controversy again where there is no reason for it. Exploring the motive is standard procedure, i don't see why that article even made it to gaming community, since it really has very little actual connection.

Aw jeez, not this stupid shit again...

Jaeriko:
Calm down people. They didn't say they were blaming it, they said there was a connection to it.

If the kid went straight to D&D after killing someone, then yeah, I would take a look at the connection too if I was a police officer on the case. It could be that the child has trouble distancing themselves from the fantasy, and those types of angles need to be covered or the child could end up living with an undiagnosed mental problem and not receiving the help he needs.

The thing is, it isn't the game itself in any accord. It's the player whom can't control his perception of reality from fantasy. Blaming the game in connection with a murder is the same stupid crap the cops and knee-jerk parents have been pulling with all these cases, taking the easy way out in "solving" the psychological aspect instead of doing proper investigation.

infinity_turtles:
Eh, this just seems like a case of a bad tag line. They're looking at a murderers hobbies and how he approaches them to determine his mental state.

This is true, and I am saddened by the majority of Escapist users who are only reading what they want to read: "Police Blame Games." They do not in this case, they are simply trying to figure out what the hell made this freak snap.

To the thread, I already knew this was going to happen, because I live in the same state only a half a hour away from where this happened. It was all over the news for days, and at the end they talked about how he coped with it, and when I heard "D&D", I instantly knew I had to watch the Escapist news and wait for it. Common posters, it's the polices job to investigate things fully and not half-assed. They're not blaming the game, they're just trying to find out why it's connected.

Also, my heart went out for the poor girl. Text on a screen makes it sound emotionless, but if you heard how shaken the reporters were when they found out how badly this kid went on the young mentally handicapped girl, you'd be a bit nervous as well about this freak.

PS: Not sure which order he committed the crime, but last night they reported he killed her, and THEN raped her body after she was dead to try and make it look like it was someone else's doing. Just to give you all a idea of how bad this case turned out to be.

I have a small history of disagreements with the police in the greater Tacoma area. They are not exactly the most competent bunch.

Jonny The Kay:
The 70's called they want their scapegoat back

That would be the 90s calling. They are checking the link between DnD online a videogame, not the boardgame.

As much as it does worry me that the police are not-so-subtlely trying to use the game as a motive, it disturbs me more that this is clearly just them taking a shortcut. It's not that they're using the game as a scapegoat; its the fact that they're even using a scapegoat in the first place. What worries me even more is that if this works... well...

BreakfastMan:
They are now combining D&D and video-games into one super scape-goat that can cover any crime. *sighs*

That sums up why I pray that this will not be accepted in a court of law. Don't get me wrong, some people are genuinly disturbed and given the circumstances, the game may be an actual factor, but this guy just used D&D to cover his guilt, not as his motive. But if this investigation gets him convicted using D&D as a motive, considering how games are today, if anyone who owns a console or plays MMOs commits a crime, not only will gaming get flack, but the real motives will just be lost to the "its the game's fault" excuse.

Is this pessimistic? HELL YEAH it is. But humanity has yet to prove me wrong on stuff like this.

/facepalm
seriously?
SERIOUSLY?
ok, ok, there are fanatics and lunatics that will take anything to the extreme, but if thats the reason your gona start banning stuff, religion should be pretty high up the **** list, its caused, hell, it is causing -wars-
im not saying to ban religion, but worse will come from getting rid of stuff because a few fanatics took it too far then will come from leaving it be

Meh. The "we're not blaming the game, but..." comment seems quite responsible. The police have to investigate all possibilities, but they are doing what they can to keep the press from turning it into another huge "games are evil" narrative. Reserve judgement for when they actually conclude the investigation.

This is why I think reporting on the preliminary stages of criminal investigations should be limited in the general case. When they're done, the police might turn round and say actually, it was nothing to do with gaming; but the damage would already have been done, and it's more the fault of the press for demanding answers too early than it is of the police for giving them those answers.

imnotparanoid:
*facepalm*

seriously, gah. I'm off to the 'oh for christ's sake' room.

Suit yourself. I'm going to my angry dome.
At first I thought I time warped back 30 years.

I thought we were done blaming D&D over a decade or two ago.

If this slaying was actually motivated by someone's DnD fantasy than I think it says more about the person's mental stability than it does about DnD, otherwise it's just more sensationalism about a game that people were supposed to get over ages ago.

I wonder if the police department are making a show of investigating this to shut down any later attempts by the defence to apportion blame to video games.

That's what I hope, anyway.

I must admit that when I first read the headline I felt a little shiver run up my spine. I still have friends who are convinced D&D will drive you to become a murderous devil worshipper.

manythings:
Well if I lived there I would move immediately since it is clear the cops are out to find the quickest explanation they can.

lol guilty much? XD

Aw c'mon.

I understand the fact that everyone is pissed a game is yet again potentially taking the blame for a crime, but considering games are a virtual reality(even board games), you can't shut out the possibility mentally ill people may seriously commit a crime which is related to a game fantasy, even an old game.

The scapegoating should stop, definitely, but there are times where the connection could seriously be valid.

It's Mazes and Monsters.
MAZES AND MONSTERS, HO GAWD!

No, wait, what?

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