Deaths Involving Violent Fantasy Role-Playing Games
I have personally been an expert witness in nine Dungeons & Dragons and entertainment violence related murder trials. In each case, an adolescent or young adult, who had become heavily immersed in violent fantasies from their intense diet of violent entertainment, had gone out and committed one or more gruesome murders, often with like-minded accomplices.
Below are just a partial listing of 131 deaths in which violent fantasy role-playing games clearly played a triggering role. In the cases where I personally examined the murderers, the evidence that the games and the diets of violence played an important role was overwhelming. Most of the murderers, even the adult murderers, had become lost in a fantasy world of violence and were out of contact with reality. None were psychotic. But most had dissociative disorders.
The cases where violent fantasy role-playing games, D & D and others, appear to have been the deciding(*) or major factor in causing death are as follows:
1) Christian R. Newbaker, 19, jumped to his death from the 8th floor of his dormitory at Syracuse University. This is one of the 2 teen suicides in Onondaga County, New York reported in 1976 related to fantasy role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons (Nov./Dec. 1976: Eric Kriss).
2) Name Withheld, details confidential at request of family, young male, 1979, suicide, Antrim County, Michigan (AP 3/29/85).
*3) James Dallas Egbert, 17, of Dayton, Ohio (AP 9/15/79, New York Times, 8/18, 8/25/80), committed suicide on August 16, 1980 by shooting himself in the head. The bright Michigan State University student had disappeared in a bizarre manner less than one year earlier. He was a member of the Tolkien society and had been playing D & D in the tunnels of the Michigan State campus with other students. He wrote after he reappeared, "I'll give Satan my mind and power." He had been a gifted student but suffered a marked personality change during his heavy involvement with D & D. The depression was characterized by D & D obsessions (Washington Post 11/28/84).
*4) Michael Dempsey, 16, of Lynwood, Washington committed suicide on May 19, 1981 by shooting himself in the head. An avid player, he had been noted by his parents to be mumbling D & D incantations, attempting to summon demons into his bedroom only moments before killing himself. He had suffered a considerable personality change during his months of involvement with D & D with a marked increase inner hatred and aloofness.
*5 & *6) Two bank tellers of Bremerton, Washington were murdered by Michael Rupe, an adult, on April 23, 1982. Psychologist Gerald McCarty testified to a Thurston County jury that Rupe, heavily into Dungeons & Dragons, became so fascinated with D & D that he had begun to lose touch with reality and that D & D played crucial role leading to the murders. Rupe was found guilty. (UPI 1/4/85, 4/30/85, 5/4/85).
*7) Irving Lee "Bink" Pulling, 16, of Montpelier, Virginia committed suicide by shooting himself in the heart only hours after a curse of suicidal mania was placed on him during a D & D game at the school on June 9,1982 (Washington Post 8/13/83, 10/27/83). A suicide note clearly links the game with his death (AP 3/22/85, 10/26/85).
*8) Steven Loyacano, 16, of Castle Rock, Colorado committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in an automobile on October 14, 1982. Police reported finding satanic writings and a suicide note connecting the death to D & D. A diary charts Loyacano's increasing obsession with murder until he writes that he had become so violent that suicide was the only answer.
*9) Timothy Grice, 21, of Lafayette, Colorado committed suicide by shooting himself with a shotgun on January 17, 1983. He was a D & D fanatic and Dungeon Master with half his bedroom covered by D & D material. Two self-written manuscripts were found open near his body. The detective reports states, "Apparently, D & D became a reality." Grice, a math honor college student, thought he was not constrained to this life, but could leave his body and return because of the game. The game details how a person can "astral travel." Grice was following directions from the book along with some of his own (Denver Post (3/2/83).
*10) Michael Phillips,13, was found dead as a result of chloroform inhalation in his dormitory bed at the American Boychoir School in Princeton, New Jersey. His mother is certain that it was the result of a Dungeons and Dragons game and has a substantial amount of material to support this according to prosecutor Philip Carchman. However, conflicting statements and the lack of cooperation by some witnesses has stalemated the investigation. Authorities believe the death was the result of a prank which got out of hand. Phillips was a dungeon master, playing the game twice a day with his three roommates at the time oh his death (The Times, 1/26/83).
11) Harold T. Collins, 18, of Marion, Ohio committed suicide by hanging on April 30, 1983. He was obsessed with D & D and practiced auto-erotic hanging. He had a stack of bondage sex photos and reportedly spent large amounts of money on D & D rather than purchase necessities. Family stated that he talked as though he were living the game (Lake County News 4/30/83).
12) A police officer in San Diego was murdered by Charles Tyberg, 17, the stepson of a sheriff's deputy, on October 23, 1983. Tyberg dressed up in his fathers police uniform, went to a cemetery with friends and with his father's revolver and without any reason, killed a policeman who drove up. According to a close family friend, whose son played with Tyberg, the killer's preoccupation with science fiction and his heavy participation in D & D was a "catalyst for disaster. It's like opium destroying the barrier between life and fantasy." (Los Angeles Herald Examiner-UPI 10/23/83).
13) Joan Ann Charlton, a black Frostburg State College co-ed was stabbed to death in 1983 and police investigated links to Dungeons and Dragons. Charlton's body was found in a wooded area near a creek (Baltimore Sun 4/24/85). Available information is quite suggestive that D & D did play an important role in the death.
*14) An Illinois adolescent committed suicide by carbon monoxide in 1983 leaving a suicide note reading, "I have finally won the game." He had not been depressed, but was heavily into D & D.
*15) John Witte, 15, of LaPorte, Indiana murdered his grandmother with his older brother's crossbow in January, 1984. A heavy D & D player, Witte stated in his confession that he put himself in a game-playing "neutral" moral state as he snuck up on his grandmother and killed her in her bed. One of Witte's characters favorite weapons in D & D was a crossbow. The youth and his mother, who had reportedly plotted the murder while playing D & D together, then chopped up and disposed of the grandmother's body. The older brother, also into D & D in the past, had killed his father three years earlier claiming it was an accident (UPI 4/19/85, 5/22/85, 6/4/85, Vidette Messenger 11/4/85). The younger Witte now says his mother put his older brother up to the earlier killing. Dr. Radecki was involved in the investigation, reviewing testimony as an expert examiner.
16 & 17) Robert and Kathy Swartz of Cape St. Claire, Maryland were found murdered. Their son was arrested as the prime suspect. He was an avid D & D player (Maryland Gazette 3/10/84, Washington Post, UPI 4/18/85, AP 4/19/85.)
*18) Mary Towey, 18, of St Louis, Missouri was murdered in March of 1984 by two friends with whom she played D & D frequently. The victim was bound and gagged and died by strangulation (St. Louis Post Dispatch & UPI 4/25/84). Darrell Lee Molitor, 19, one of the murderers, signed an FBI confession using two of his D & D character names. Dr. Thomas Radecki of NCTV testified at his murder trial, noting D & D's role. Molitor has been convicted, but is speaking out from prison about the dangerous influence of D & D to warn other potential or active players.
19) Kurt Thomas McFall, 17, of Concord, California was found dead at the foot of a cliff on September 9, 1984. He was beaten with a carving in his back and murder of suicide is likely. He was heavily into D & D, and war games (Society for Creative Anachronism) and had gotten involved in a Satan group. He wanted out and had told a friend that he feared for his life. (Chicago Tribune 1/27/85).
*20) Daniel Erwin, 16, of Lafayette, Colorado was murdered on November 2, 1984 by brother with fatal shot to the head in an apparent agreement. The murder took place in a secluded spot at their usual D & D playing location. He and his brother were heavily into D & D. A friend says the death was due to D & D. The older Erwin had recent become involved in auto theft (Rocky Mt News 11/2/84, AP11/3/84,11/5/84).
*21) Steven Erwin, 12, of Lafayette, Colorado committed suicide on November 2, 1984 with a .22 caliber pistol moments after killing his brother (Associated Press 11/3/84). D & D was the focal point in the boys' lives. The detective report reads, "No doubt, D & D cost them their lives." The police department modified their conclusions two weeks later after being pressured by TSR, the game's manufacturer, with threats of lawsuit (60 Minutes Program, 9/15/85).
22 & 23) A boy and a girl, both 17, of a suburb north of Chicago committed suicide together by carbon monoxide on November 4, 1984. Newspaper reports note that the deaths were D & D related (Chicago Tribune 1/27/85).
*24 & *25) Monique Babineau, 9 and Daniel Babineau, 11, of Orangeville, Ontario were murdered by a 13-year-old boy in November, 1984. The murderer was an avid D & D player. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and ordered into a psychiatric treatment center. According to psychiatric testimony, D & D was the main factor in the youth's obsession with violence (Toronto Star 2/27/85, Calgary Herald 3/27/85.
26 & 27) An adolescent boy murdered his parents in 1984. A gifted student, he had become involved with Dungeons and Dragons and deeply fascinated with occult and horror violence. He had lost his interest in school and repeatedly threatened to kill his parents before the premeditated murder (File 504, further details confidential).
*28) Juan DeCarlow Kimbrough, 14, of Oakland, California, reportedly obsessed with D & D, was killed by his brother on January 1, 1985 with a hand gun. He asked his brother to shoot him stating he was Dungeon Master with special powers and could not be hurt (AP 1/2/85).
*29) Joseph Vite of Kenosha, Wisconsin was murdered by Daniel Dower, 16, his foster son, in an ambush as he came home. Two psychiatrists, including Dr. Thomas Radecki of NCTV, testified as to Dover's heavy involvement with D & D at the time of the murder (Kenosha News 2/6/85). At the trial, Radecki noted that Dover was immersed in a fantasy world of violence coming from a wide variety of intensely violent entertainment including D & D, martial arts, heavy metal music, and violent films. Dower had been playing D & D many hours everyday at the time of the premeditated murder, theft, and flight to another state. Dower was aided by fellow D & D player Eric Nelson, 16. Vite had encouraged his son to use D & D to help his school grades and was actually well liked by his foster son. Many details of the murder parallel D & D game characteristics (UPI 1/24/85, 2/16/85, 5/19/85, 7/11/85).
30) Paul Sargent,17, of Kansas City, Missouri stabbed his next door neighbor, Bonnie Brown, 43, to death January 18, 1985. He had been heavily involved with D & D. He owned eight D & D books and was a frequent player. He said that D & D teaches you to become a thief and to kill. However, he said he didn't know how much it had affected him.
31) James A. Stailey, 17, of Arlington, Texas killed himself on a high school stage with a sawed off shot gun on January 19, 1985. He was heavily involved with D & D and martial arts. He was intelligent and was the lead in the school play (Chicago Tribune 1/27/85, Houston Chronicle, UPI 1/19/85).
32) James Alan Kearbey, 14, of Goddard, Kansas killed his high school principal and wounded three others on January 27, 1985. He was heavily into D & D and guns. He was also an Eagle Scout (Chicago Tribune 1/27/85).
*33) Jeffery Jacklovich, 14, of Wamego, Kansas committed suicide on February 6,1985 with a revolver (died February 7th). His suicide note said (police paraphrase), "I want to go to the world of elves and fantasy and leave the world with conflict... I love D & D and that's where I am going." Jeff was a football player and active in the Wamego County Future Farmers of America (Capital Journal).
*34, *35, *36, *37, & 38) Glenn O. Moore, 55, John R. Schroder, 29, and Larry McFarland, 27, were murdered on February 13, 1985 during a 14-day state crime spree by Danny Remeta, 27, of Traverse City, Michigan. Remeta, heavily into D & D , said the killings were inspired by the game. Remeta stated that he should get the death penalty for the murders. Mark Walters, 18, of Suttons Bay, Michigan who assisted in the murders, was killed during a police shootout. Remeta also claimed two other murders near Frankfurt, Michigan during the spree, but the bodies have not been found. He claims that he has five D &D friends, who are locked up at the present time for murders. He thinks their crimes were, at least in part, inspired by D & D, He named James Gainforth, who was recently convicted of killing of a gas station clerk in the summer of 1984 near Traverse City, as being one of those friends (Traverse City Record Eagle-AP 3/29/86).
*39, *40,& *41) Sean Sellers, 17 of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma killed his mother Vonda Bellofatto, 32, and step-father Paul, 43, on March 5, 1985 while they slept. He also shot to death convenience store clerk Robert Bower, 35, on Sept. 8, 1985 in what was described as a "thrill killing." Sean was heavily into D & D and satanism which followed from the game. Her wrote a note in blood stating, "I renounce God. I renounce Christ. I will serve only Satan. To my enemies, death. To my friends love. Regie Satanas, Ave Satanas, Hail Satan." He also wrote in blood in the witches alphabet, "Your life is no longer in your hands. Your soul is mine! Sean." (Daily Oklahoma 9/30/86)
42) An 18-year-old youth killed himself with a handgun in his bedroom in 1985. A police investigation reported finding evidence of a connection to Dungeons and Dragons.
43) Roland Cartier, 13, of Putnam, Connecticut hung himself on April 25, 1985. He played D & D with a fervor. D & D was played in the local middle school library and a community protest worked to ban the school activity (USA Today 8/2/85).
*44) Missy Macon 26, was murdered while working in a convenience store on May 26, 1985 in Ragland, Alabama. She was shot in the back of the head with a .25 caliber handgun. Cayce Moore, 17, a D & D Dumgeon Master with a 142 IQ, said, "I lived Dungeons and Dragons" and had been playing it for 5 years. He committed the murder and then fled with two other young D & D players to Florida after stealing $700. None of the youngsters had any history of crime. Cayce was planning to be a surgeon and one of his friends was planning to be in the FBI (Daily Press-AP 7/7/85).
*45) Mike Cote, 16, of Killalow, Ontario in Canada committed suicide by shooting himself. He was found in a woods. His father found D & D material open on his bed along with a D & D poem directing the player to hide in the woods and "to forget life, forget light." The youth was apparently acting out a D & D game scenario (Toronto Star, Spring, 1985).
46 & 47) Any Boyle, 15 and Larry Brock, 16, were shot several times each in June, 1985. Their friend, Patrick Beach, 15, was charged with the murder. They had all run away together from Wheaton, Illinois into the Colorado San Juan Mountains a week earlier. Beach with a IQ over 140, had been a avid FRP player since 6th grade. Material for the Villains & Vigilantes role-playing game was found at the remote murder site (Chicago Tribune 7/17/85).
49) Anthony Darnell Wilson, 9, of Beloit, Wisconsin was stabbed and beaten to death July 26, 1985 by three playmates, two boys, 12 and 14, and a girl, 11 (Richmond Times Dispatch 8/7/85). The playmates were heavily into D & D.
50,51,52,&53) John Justice, 17, of Kenmore, N.Y. on September 16, 1985 murdered his brother Mark, 13, stabbing him eight times, then killed his mother Mary, stabbing her 14 times. He then drove and picked up his father John, Sr., took him home and stabbed him four times. He then attempted to kill himself, slashing his forearms. He drove off and had a car accident, killing Wayne Haub,22. He reportedly was a devotee of Dungeons and Dragons and very angry with his mother. Some report he was into teen satanic cult and sacrificed his family on his dungeon master's orders. His parents fought frequently. John had developed an obsession with killing well before the massacre(Buffalo News 9/17/85 and People Magazine).
54) Gun store owner Daniel Murray was killed with a .22 caliber semi automatic rifle and a friend injured by James Mieritz, 19, of Mazomanic, Wisconsin and Joseph Garner,19, of Youngstown, Ohio, both on active duty as U.S. Marines. Garner's childhood hero was Clint Eastwood and he wished to become a "Dirty Harry" style policeman. Neither had previous police records. Their nonchalance even after the murder has been remarkable. Mieritz was evaluated by forensic psychologist John Salazar who reported that despite his high IQ, Meieritz became engrossed in heroic adventure stories and D & D. The two killers now share cells in prison only 20 yards from each other (Albuquerque Journal 9/1/87).
55) Leif Boyd, 12, of Austin, Texas jumped to his death on November 19, 1985 from the fifteenth floor inside the Hyatt Regency. His knapsack contained D & D score cards. He was a very good student. He had only recently playing Dungeons ans Dragons and was playing it and talking about it all the time.(American-Statesman 11/20/85, 11/21/85).
*56) David Ventiquattro,15, killed his friend Martin Howland,11, with a shotgun in November, 1985 in Watertown, New York as a part of a Dungeons and Dragons game. Ventiquattro was sentenced to five years-to-life in prison. Two others friends reported that Ventiquattro had pointed a gun at them on separate occasions after they played D & D with him(New York Times 11/15/86,11/23/85).
57) Jonathan Joseph Wiggins, 16, of Gaffney, South Carolina, stole a pick-up and led police on a car chase, firing several shots. Officers returned the fire and the youth was killed. He was wearing towels under his clothes and a stocking over his head. Wiggins was a good student with a history of disciplinary problems. His father blamed his son's involvement in a fantasy role-playing game. He stated, "Everything points to the fact that it was a game and this was part of his assignment. The youth had become fascinated with guns and soldiering."(Greenville News 12/18/85). His brother Darrell wrote that they were both into Soldiers of Fortune, had conducted armed robberies for two years, and were stealing the truck to replace a previously stolen one which had been repossessed. They were planning to rob a bank and then flee to France. Darrell denies the part about disciplinary problems, although adds that he, himself, was suicidal at the time. (1/28/06 email)
58) A young adolescent boy, who was into a violent fantasy role-playing game, stabbed a 7-yr-old neighbor to death in 1985.
59,60,61) A double murder followed by a suicide, all of adolescents, in 1985 has been linked to the involvement in a violent fantasy role-playing games.
62) Name Withheld, adolescent. of North Carolina committed suicide in 1985 after heavy involvement in a violent fantasy role-playing games.
63), 64,65 A series of murders in southern California was related to actions of a D&D gang according to one of the members. The self-proclaimed "dungeon master" hanged himself in jail after being arrested for homicide.
66)Brackie Sekavec, 15, shot himself in the head with a pistol. In the hospital at one point he was declared clinically dead. However, he has since made considerable progress and is able to walk and talk again. He and his brother were deeply involved in D&D and his parents and others had noted a personality change.
67) A young Australian adolescent committed suicide because of the influence of D&D on him, according to Ron Hold of the Brisbane Boys College. He also noted a number of other boys becoming emotionally disturbed and filled with hatred. Some played out revenge games on each other (Courier Mail, 5/6/86).
68) Maurice Huish, 21, stabbed fellow honors student Leigh Turner 29 times on February 24, 1986 in Hobart, Australia, resulting in Rutner's death. The two were friends heavily into D&D and had often fought mock medieval battles at training sessions with the university's Viking Society, striking each other with swords, axes and daggers. Huish had disguised himself as a woman and gone to Turner's apartment to kill him. According to Huish, he did it in order to have Turner's girlfriend (The Examiner, 7/31/86).
69) Louis Solomon, 15, of Homestead, Florida killed himself with a .22 caliber pistol on March 12, 1986 when Pinellas Park police tried to pick him up as a runaway from an institution for delinquents in which he had been placed. His stepfather reported that his son, who had an IQ of 150, developed problems after becoming fascinated with D&D at age 12. He had immediately stopped doing school work and developed behavior problems. He once tried to commit suicide when his stepfather took away his D&D materials. He later developed a fascination with devil worship. He had been in a half dozen delinquency programs for burglary after his change in personality(St. Petersburg Times 3/20/86).
70)&71) Robert James Ward, 16, murdered William Henslee, 4, and Crysta Henslee, 2, in Elk City, Oklahoma with a .38 caliber pistol while babysitting them. He later attempted to kill the children's parents and shot his own father in the abdomen saying,"I've flipped, I'm the Terminator" (The Sayre Journal 7/6/86). He had dressed the little boy in a Halloween costume before killing him. He was heavily involved in D&D at the time.
72)&73) Earl Russel Behringer, 24, of Mansfield, Texas near Fort Worth murdered Army 2nd Lt. Daniel Brennon Meyer, Jr., 22, and his fiancee, Janet Hancock, 22, when he and his D&D buddy, Lawrence Scott Rouse, of six months came upon the couple parked in an isolated construction area. The murders were part of a planned "reconnaissance mission" that the two had planned a week before the murders. Rouse noted at the murder trial that the killings were an escalation of D&D games they had been playing (Ft. Worth Star Telegram, 7/9/88).
*74 & *75) Mark Thompson,17, and Jeffrey K. Meyer, 20, Fort Bragg, North Carolina soldiers, dressed in Ninja outfits and carried blowguns as they broke into the home of of an elderly couple on December 2,1986. They slit the throats of Janie Lee Kutz, 62, and Paul Kutz, 68, while stealing their jewelry. In the truck was found the Official Advanced D&D Oriental Adventures book, and Night of the Seven Swords. The youth had a history of heavy involvement with D&D since age nine and had once hid from a local sheriff for three days while playing Rambo.
76) Kristofor Hans, 14, killed his substitute French teacher with a handgun at Fergus High School in Lewistown, Montana on December 4, 1986. He then shot the assistant principal in the abdomen and wounded two other students. Kristofor was part of a group of D&D players of whom another student said, "Nobody associates with them. They're different from everybody else. They play D&D all the time."(El Paso Times, 12/6/86, Casper 12/7/86).
*77,*78,*79,*80) Wyley Gates, 17, an honors student of East Chatham, New York murdered his father Robert SR., his father's girlfriend Cheryl Brahm, his brother Robert Jr. and his cousin Jason on December 13, 1986 with a .38 caliber handgun as part of a violent fantasy role-playing game, Infierno (Spanish for hell). Gates and two friends had burglarized the Gates house 9 days earlier, stealing several weapons. Damian Rossney, 16, helped Wyley after the murders. The motive for the murders was the "thrill" of the role-playing game(Watertown Daily Times 12/20/86).
*81) Anthony Gowin, early 20's, murdered a young woman in 1986 in Bardstown, Kentucky in a museum of civil and medieval war materials. Gowin used a sword from a statue of a knight and ran it through her body from her shoulder to her abdomen. He had been heavily into a fantasy role-playing game and called himself Wolf, a character who was half-man, half-beast. He was also into various satanic books including the Satanic Bible, the Satanic Rituals Book and the Necronomicon. He was an enthusiast of martial arts with many drawing s of killings with knives, bizarre beasts and ninja warriors (File 545)
82) A 19 year old youth murdered a 14 year old adolescent girl in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1986. The young man was heavily immersed in D&D, which began in the military. Two independent psychiatric evaluations found that there was a direct link between the crime and his D&D involvement. The young man strangled the girl, raped her vaginally and orally, slit her throat and stabbed her in the heart. Dr. Radecki evaluated the youth as part of the murder trial .He was found guilty and given life imprisonment. His extreme involvement with D&D and the alteration in his thinking due to immersion was considered a mitigating factor in the trial, which saved the defendant the death penalty.
*83) An adolescent boy killed his brother and attempted to kill two other family members in 1987. He had played D&D in the basement with his brother dressed in camouflage and was apparently engaged in D&D fantasies at the time of the shootings.
*84-101) 16 people were murdered by machine gun fire by Michael Ryan, 27, who then killed himself in Hungerford, England in August, 1987. Ryan, heavily into fantasy role-playing violence, was recruited into a FRP game played by mail through the White Dwarf magazine, an English FRP magazine. In the mail game, very similar to D&D, Ryan was a high priest for an Egyptian god, Set, the serpent god. He received a message in late July saying,"You have been one of my greatest Terran priests and as such,are worthy of the power I offer. But you have one last point to prove. Can you kill our fellow Terrans?...Will you accept to go and slay them, to devour their souls in the name of Set the immortal god?" Two weeks later, a final message came, "When at last you awake, you are standing in a forest, there is a throbbing in your head, a madness that is the exhilaration of the serpent god. You know what you must do, know what power is to be gained from this" (The London Mail, 8/30/87).
102) Jason Edward Harless, 15, of Pinellas Park, FL, a gifted student, murdered Assistant Principal Richard W. Allen, 53, when Harless and Jason McCoy, 15, opened fire in the school cafeteria on Feb. 11, 1988. A second assistant principal and a student teacher were also wounded. The two boys had played D&D endlessly in the months before the shooting (Tampa Tribune-Times 2/21/88).
103) Doug Dolomore, 18, of Sun City, Arizona, committed suicide in April, 1988 with his father's 80 year old rifle at a cemetery, shooting himself through the right temple. His D&D Dungeon Master, Shaun Huges, reportedly persuaded him to commit suicide in some way related to their heavy D&D involvement (Arizona Sun-Times) .
104&105)A 19 yr old Long Island, NY male murdered his mother and father. In the murder trial in late May, it was noted that D&D played a significant role in the deaths (Long Island Newsday 6/1/88).
106) Sean Huges, 18, of Springerville, Arizona, committed suicide on April 19, 1988, shooting himself through the temple with an 80-yr-old rifle at a cemetery gate where teens had been worshipping the devil. Springerville Police Chief Darrel Jenkins stated, "We have reason to believe that Dungeons & Dragons might have been directly responsible for Sean's death. Sean's brother Tim, 20, reported that he and his wife Missie began playing D&D six months earlier. After playing the game regularly they began fighting frequently, something that had been rare before. "Our characters were enemies, so we carried over to our lives. We were quick tempered, violent and made threats against each other all the time." Missie states that one night she had even threatened to murder her husband and at times believed she had psychokinetic powers that could make her husband, an airman at Fairchild Air Force Base, drop a bomb while he was loading a B-52. The couple had stopped the game recently and noted an improvement in their relationship. Sean and Tim had played the game five years earlier. When Tim's character died, Tim had slashed his wrists in a suicide attempt. Many of Sean's friends were into D&D and some are believed to have been in the satanic cult at the cemetery. Sean had a book,SAGARD THE BARBARIAN, by Gary Gygax, D&D creator, in his room. His mother had forbidden D&D and police believe based on interviews that he played the game secretly. Sean believed in reincarnation, a belief that came from D&D and which made suicide less serious (Daily New Sun, Sun City, AZ 6/7/88).
119) Roger Taylor, 18, killed his step-mother in early 1989 with a dagger in Fairfax, Virginia. He was an isolated youth with no criminal record. He was heavily involved in a D & D-like "Elf" game. He had lots of pictures of knives on the wall. The killing was done with clinical precision like Murder, Inc. according to psychiatrist Robert DuPont who is involved with the case (310-231-9010). The boy claims his father put him up to it. The boy had a knife collection and told his friends that he had done the killing. The youths characters in the game preferred daggers as weapons.
120) Luther Franklin Mays III, 19, Wallace Ervin, 23, and Arthur Odell Holley, 26, did some LSD, played D & D, watched part of the movie Evil Dead II on video cassette, and then began talking about their loosely organized satanic cult of drug users and heavy metal fans. They took Joseph Bradsberry, 22, to what he thought was his initiation ceremony into the cult, handcuffed him, stabbed him in the throat, beat and drowned him. Sandra Capps, 23, was also charged in the murder. When the killers returned to the apartment, she asked, "Well, how did it go? Did he die like a man?" (Sacramento Bee, 3/8/89).
121) Bryan Widenhouse, 17, born of a U.S. Air Force father and Japanese mother with an IQ of 125, murdered Monte Smith near Shreveport, Lousiana in August, 1989. He was a A student until junior year in high school when he lost interest. He was heavily involved in D & D and other war games. He played the Survival Game with paint guns and committed four burglaries without being caught in the month before the homicide. His grades suffered because of his preoccupation with D & D and war games including a medieval war game, the Bard's Tale. His vicitm was a gang member very unlike Widenhouse who had heard of his successful burglaries and convinced Bryan to commit a theft of weapons from a car. Monte was pressuring Widenhouse to give him Widenhouse's share of the weapons when Widenhouse convinced Smith to go with him into a woods. Widenhouse with an accomplice murdered Smith by firing until their weapons were empty, reloading, and firing again. Widenhouse reported that he killed Smith to rid the world of a dangerous person. (Attorney Peter Flowers 318-861-2036).
122) Vivian Bremmer was murdered by 22-year-old student Timothy Harper. He was convicted in November, 1990 in Guelph, Ontario of the murder. A psychiatrist said that his heavy involvement in Dungeons & Dragons as well as videogames played an important role in the murder. He apparently thought he could reset the game and the woman would not be dead.
123-4) Sean Novak, 16, was arrested for the murder of 7- and 9-year-old boys whose throats were slashed. The boys disappeared on 3/4/91 and were found several days later. Novak was obsessed with D & D which he played with friends (Deb Messina,(804-490-7218) Virginian Pilot newspaper 3/10, 3/11/91)
125) Tammy Whittengton was murdered on 11/30/90 in Port Orange , Florida by two 17-year-old boys who sexually molested and then slit the throat of the 14-year-old girl. The boys, Judson Ronald Vedder, 17, and John Bradley Linssens, 17, both white middle class, were heavily into D & D, satanic, and heavy metal music. One said he killed her because he wanted to see what it felt like. The body was found in mid-February. The killing was witnessed by fellow D & D players. Tammy, a runaway, was stalked, strangled and raped, then her body was burned as a sacrifice to Satan. Linssens was named by police as a "professional devil worshipper" with a high IQ. The son of a Port Orange police disspatcher, Linssens was the dungeonmaster for a small group of teens who acted out D & D material in woods outside Port Orange with satanic themes. Both were angry with their parents. Police say the pair were acting out a D & D scenario at the time of the murder. The youths had become chronic truants and runaways. They were living in tentsand played with others as commandos in the boggy forest, carrying weapons, mounting training missions and setting traps. They had graduated into home and car burglaries and modeled themselves after the Latin Kings street gang. Teens were spending so much time playing D & D and in the woods that parents became concerned. A substitute teacher Thomas Allison lost his job after Mary Henbree complained her two sons were talking of satanism and growing alienated due to involvement in D & D games run by Allison in early 1989. Allison sued Hembree for defamation and Hembree countersued, claiming Allison owed her $600 taken from her son on a camping trip to Wyoming. County Judge Michael McDermott ruled against both in the April, 1990 trial he called "fundamentally a very disturbing trial for me." Hembree says her sons and their friends degenerated into half-serious devil worshippers. Linseens believed he could summon the devil through fire, something done in D & D. (Inside Edition).(Daytona Beach News Journal 3/24/91).
126-7) Darren Heunemann, 18, of Saanick, British Columbia paid to have his mother and grandmother murdered for the inheriance. He had been heavily involved in D & D for one year and had asked fellow D & D gamers to do the killings but they had declined. In his games, Darren often introduced bizarre vioolent twists to spice up the games. He had offered $10,000 several times to get the killings done. He was sentenced on June 29, 1991 in Burnaby (Vancouver Sun 6/29/91 and Toronto Star). (Reporter Ed Klajman 604-732-2445)
128) Michael Chewning, 15, killed grandmother. Obsessed with D & D. Fredericksburg, VA Free Lance Star Fri March fifth, 1993. Games club at school.
The following and several earlier deaths have identifying details left out in order to assure confidentiality to family members or police investigators who have requested this. NCTV and B.A.D.D. are willing to supply full details to any governmental panel investigating fantasy role-playing deaths:
105, 106, & 107)Three adolescents committed suicide in the same western U>S. Town over a short period of time. Each had been heavily involved with D&D and this was thought to play an important role in each death. One boy's body was found lying on an open D&D book with a note about the "Ghost of Death."
108, 109, &110)A mother, father, and young daughter were murdered by their adolescent son who was a Dungeon Master. The son had gone and gotten his friends to come and look at the bodies after he had shot each of his family members in the head.
111 &112)Two youths in a D&D group on the east coast committed suicide. They had gotten heavily involved in Satanic worship. The father had a covenant with his son not to give away any information.
113 &114)Double homicide of a teenage boy and girl with evidence that D&D was involved.
115)A youth was murdered by his friend with a revolver while playing D&D. Although the youth was able to get out of the crime, claiming it was an accident, his public defender reported to NCTV that the killing appeared to be directly linked to the game and that she did not think that it was an accident.
116)A Vancouver, Canada killing was linked to D&D by psychiatric court evaluation.
117)A Fort Bragg, North Carolina Army soldier left a suicide note before killing himself that was written in language similar to Dungeons & Dragons. An Army investigator questioned the local Waldenbooks manager as a part of its investigation (Fayetteville Times 12/23/86).
118)Four Joplin, Missouri youths became involved in satanism after being involved in D&D. Three of the youths turned on the fourth, murdering the fourth shortly after killing a cat as part of a satanic worship ceremony.
Non-fatal D&D related violence:
1) One 16 yr old and two 15 yr old boys of Eden, North Carolina, all bright students and heavily into D&D, were arrested in early 1984 for making poisons and bombs and threatening to murder a fellow student. A bizarre D&D-type note warned the fellow student: "You have been marked for termination...You may choose from the following forms: poison, bomb, stabbing, strangled, shot, hung by the neck until dead, burned alive, heart ripped from chest, decapitation...on the day of the Angel of Darkness, during your lunch period. This is not a threat but a promise." (Jim Thomas, Eden Police Department, 1/16/84).
2)Two Dallas youths, heavily into D&D, attempted to poison a Dallas school principal in early 1985. Poisoning is a common type of D&D murder (under further investigation),
3)A 15 yr.old girl was reportedly raped in Angleton, Texas by Armando Simon, 33, a prison psychologist counseling inmates for sexual crimes. According to court testimony, the girl was enticed into sex through an extended D&D game in which she was given the role of "someone who would lose her powers after doing something wrong." Simon played a character constantly interested in women and his wife would often play a lesbian. The wife encouraged the sex by showing the girl photos of Simon naked with other women. She told girl, "He always wanted a virgin as a gift." The psychologist and the girl first had sex after returning from a D&D convention in Houston(Houston Chronicle, 5/8/85).
4&5)A fifth grader at a grade school near Pekin, Illinois, developed a psychosis clearly linked to D&D play and had to be admitted to his local state psychiatric hospital. The teacher noted the student, who had good grades and had never been a behavior problem, in the back of the room staring at the wall and unwilling to follow directions. When confronted, the youth said, "The wizard tells me to do this." The youth had played D&D heavily and explained to the principal that voices kept telling him to do things. He admitted to regular nightmares of being chased by a dragon through a cave and a wizard master telling him, "Kill your friends and parents." The principal said the youth also hinted at suicidal commands. The youth's father told the principal that he wondered if the father's own 17 year old brother, who had booby trapped his room and jumped out at his father with a knife recently, may have been influenced by his heavy D&D involvement.
6)A third grader in the psychiatric practice of Dr. Thomas Radecki in Decatur, Illinois, had been placed in foster care after becoming too violent for his mother to handle. The mother reported a clear deterioration in the youth's behavior after involvement with D&D. The youth had been putting D&D type curses on his mother and his sister, besides physically assaulting them. D&D appeared to have been playing a major role.
7) A 27 year old youth from Sheridan Wyoming, was heavily into D&D when he became non-communicative, non-responsive, and would not eat or drink. He had to be fed with a tube down his nose and his condition was resistant to psychiatric treatment. The case is reported by the mother and the role of D&D is difficult to determine accurately.
8)Four youths, 16 to 18 years of age, who played D&D together, were involved in several burglaries and the making of home-made napalm bombs together.The 18 yr old also committed several burglaries and an arson on his own. He was deeply immersed in the game and strongly favored thief characters. He said he often committed his crimes when he had prepared for a game but was unable to play. He repeatedly stated that the reason he conducted his burglaries in certain ways was because that is how his characters would have done it. A psychiatric examination by Dr. Thomas Radecki concluded that the crimes would almost certainly not have occurred had not the young man become involved with D&D.
9)A 15 yr. old boy struck his sister in the head three times with a hatchet in an attempt to murder her as she lay in bed on November 11, 1987. Both were heavily into D&D with the boy being the Dungeonmaster. The boy was a straight A student and never had problems until he got into D&D and more recently, in One Step Beyond. He would dress up and go out and play the game. Apparently according to his plan, after he thought he had killed his sister in the morning as she awoke, he left the house with his back pack, and went to Tucson to play video games and kill himself. One of the boy's favorite weapons for his characters was the battle ax. He role-played his character during the police interview (Reported by Terry Westbrook, Sheriff, 602-868-5822).
10)Three teens broke into numerous stores and stole $1500 worth of merchandise, leaving notes chiding owners about their defective alarms. The youths were heavily involved with D&D according to the police detectives and this was considered a significant factor by investigators (AP 9/28/84).
11)A 17 yr. old boy attempted suicide after trying to strangle his younger brother. The boy was very obsessed with D&D and had begun reading occult books as well. The boy was a 6th level Dungeon Master. The boy thinks that if he tears up his girlfriend's character sheet, she will die. He was hospitalized after the attempted suicide-murder in October, 1986.
12)Bradley J. Stanton, 17, of Pawnee, Illinois and a fifteen yr old boy have been arrested for repeatedly assaulting the 15 yr old's 15 yr old sister. They chased and beat her, holding a knife to her throat, cut her fingernails and hair and burned her hands. Satanic rituals were performed during the series of attacks until she got away. Stanton had D&D materials, a satanic dart board, and several satanic books: Witchcraft at Salem, Sword of Gael, Circle of Light-II, various weapons and a copy of Rambo First Blood, Part 2, in his car (Illinois State Journal 12/9/86).
13)A young woman was admitted to the St. Mary's Psychiatric Unit in April of 1987 in Decatur, Illinois because of the stress of harassment from a former friend. That friend had gotten heavily into D&D. The friend and her D&D games progressed to a deep involvement with satanic worship. While dressed in a satanic robe, the friend put repeated curses on the young woman. The friend and another in the satanic group painted pentagrams on the patient's home, made numerous harassing phone calls and followed the patient's children around the neighborhood in their car.
14 & 15)Jeffrey Schmidt, 18, and Joel Gras, 17, were arraigned on two counts of placing explosives with damaging results. Sentences could be up to 25 yrs in prison. The Hudsonville, MI teens were fans of D&D, horror films, martial arts and occultic blood cults. They blew up pipe bombs in a downtown phone booth and the high school ticket office (Chicago Tribune 3/12/87).
16)Although no crime has been committed, the case of John Davis, 17, of Sidney, Illinois in Champaign County is of interest. The high school senior is heavily into satanism and the Satanic Bible. He is involved in blood-letting and various satanic rituals. He first started with D&D, then went on to ninja martial arts. He then bought the satanic bible and says that it really "clicked." A bright student, he hopes to join the US Army Special Forces Green Berets. If that doesn't work, he says he'll probably go to San Francisco and be a priest in the satanic church (Champaign News-Gazette, 9/25/87). Dr. Radecki noted in a letter to the editor that this is a typical pattern he has seen over and over in psychiatric and court cases.
129-31) Three Bakerfield, California teens heavily into D & D murdered a mother, father, and brother of one of the boys in 1992 with a shotgun over a six hour period of time as the family members came home. The three had been playing together for several years as part of a large D & D group and were going to be separated. They decided to commit the murders, get money and a vehicle and flee. The dungeon master and one of the three was Joel Henry, 19. A movie may be made of the murders (Investigator Goines 805-831-4949 with lawyers Larry Fields and Jeff Harbin).icide in the same western U.