Halo Mentioned During High-Profile Atlanta Rampage Trial

We don’t know the full context, but the popular Halo series was mentioned at the trial of a man charged with killing four people and badly injuring several others during during a 2005 escape and rampage in Atlanta.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s coverage of the Brian Nichols trial notes that Army Sgt. Charlie Maurice Sellers, a longtime friend of Nichols, testified:

"[Nichols and his friends] liked to play that Halo video game,” said Nichols’ friend Army Sgt. Charlie Maurice Sellers. Halo is a science-fiction video game that is premised on rebellion and civil war. “The object is … to see who can get the most kills,” Sellers said.

The case generated national publicity. Ashley Smith, a woman kidnapped by Nichols, was eventually credited with helping police capture him.

Nichols is 36.

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  1. cullarn says:

    "Anyway given this guy’s history I doubt anyone would be stupid enough to blame Halo for the simple fact that Halo cannot explain his criminal history even if you believe that Halo hypnotizes him to commit crime on a regular basis."


    have you met jack thompson yet?

  2. Father Time says:

    Err there’s a typo in the story

    "injuring several others during during a 2005".

    Anyway given this guy’s history I doubt anyone would be stupid enough to blame Halo for the simple fact that Halo cannot explain his criminal history even if you believe that Halo hypnotizes him to commit crime on a regular basis.


    "What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?" – Tasmanian devil

  3. Tarosan says:

    Ok I know that statement is false right there… Halo doesn’t have civil wars or rebellions… it was the Covenant against the Humans and if I read right, the Prophets were the one organising the end of the universe… oh look the differences here is TREMENDOUS… aka JT and his monkey throwing shit technique.

    When Life gives you lemons, you find a new god.

  4. HilaryDuffGta says:


    http://www.myspace.com/hermoinefan_420  (click here for free macdonalds food) oh yea and Boom goes the dynamite!!!..anyone who gets that is awesome)



    wow so this anti gaming crap is getting more and more dumb by the day…wait halo had a civil war in it??? damn well shuck my bridges and call me amy…so jack how much longer is left on your career??? around a week isnt it?? yea i think its about a week…



    Enjoy working at mcdonalds



    hilaryduffgta a actual human being and your not




    p.s hey dennis hope you are doing well man i’m hoping to post more often soon here since Miang will be giving me her old compy when she gets the new one and i wont have to go to the libary any more…Keep up the good work dude

  5. MachShot1337 says:

    When you read the article, it is very legitimate. Hell, the halo quote looks very legitimate. I think no one is really going to take the Halo argument. With the mention of several other insanity pleas, his lawyers may try to use the reference, but it will quickly be dismissed.


    Sure, some people may take the argument for a 13 year old in juvenal hall. But for a 36 year old multi-homicidal rapist? No need to worry on the game side, hell the mention of this article blows it out of proportion.

  6. J.Alpha.Gamma says:

    "Halo is a science-fiction video game that is premised on rebellion and civil war."



    I don’t even own an Xbox, and I know for a FACT this is completely false. Somebody send this idiot a letter!

    Rebellion? Civil war? The only occurance of either one is when the Covenant Elites realize the Prophets they’d been serving were nothing more than a bunch of hyper-religious loonies (kind of like Jack, except they don’t exist, and they actually DID something that at least sort of worked), and that the Halo rings were meant to destroy all life in the galaxy to starve the Flood parasites, not act as a gateway to an afterlife like the Prophets had been telling them.

    How does that equate to a murderous rampage of a homocidal maniac?!

    Seriously! People need to play these games and figure out what it is they’re talking about before talking out their butts. That trick was only funny when Jim Carey did it in the Ace Ventura movies.

    Oh, by the way…




    (And, uh…</nerd>)

  7. nighstalker160 says:

    What I love are the people like Jackey Boy who call Halo an "ultrarealistic murder simulator"

    Ultrarealistic?  The violence in Halo (at least against the Covenant) is almost cartoonish.  I personally never understood the lauding of Halo’s graphics.  Yeah they’re great and work very well for the theme, but they really (to me at least) have a kind of cartoonish appearance to them.

  8. HarmlessBunny says:

    Ugh sadly despite the misinformed article that Halo is based around rebellion and civil war….this news paper wants to lay blame onto a game? Oh….reeeeeally? A 36 year old, yes folks 36…who kidnapped a woman and killed people (definately don’t kidnap people in the game) and a game is responsible? Hmmmm so indulging in sci-fi action is a crime? Yikes…guess I shouldn’t watch Battlestar Galactica or Star Wars. It might make me a killer….

    Despite this absurdity, I’m sure we can expect some of Jack’s sad insulting tirade later on today.             

  9. cullarn says:

    not to nit pick but mark killed john cause blamed john for the "social  degradation" and what mark believed was john’s hypocrisy


    john hinkley jr tried to kill ronald reagan to impress jodie foster (i looked all this up on wikipedia)


    the funny thing is the media tried to blame the assassination of john lennon on catcher and the rye (mark loved the book and at trial said everyone should read it)

  10. Shadow Darkman Anti-Thesis of Jack Thompson says:

    Shut up, Jack. Just… just shut up already.

    "Locnil Fignirf," A.K.A. Shadow Darkman, Sane Human Church-Goer, And Jack Don’t Know He’s Burnin’



  11. Erik says:

    "Maybe we need another Modest Proposal regarding a game targeting Microsoft execs."

    That wouldn’t be new or original for the game industry Jack.  You see in Postal 2 there is a section of the game where you have the opportunity to kill everyone in Running With Scissors building.  And in the game City of Villains you can get a mission where you can kidnap a character based off of one of the game developers.  You see game developers, unlike yourself, have enough sense to know that if a virtual version of yourself dies that doesn’t mean that you die.  Seperation of fantasy and reality you know. 

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  12. doewnskitty says:

    Thompson, there is no realistic way in which one could "train" to be a killer or a sniper via the play of videogames.  The fact alone that holding a gun and firing it and holding a controller and pressing it are two vastly different forms of interaction demonstrates this.  Moreover, to actually train oneself in learning how to fire a sniper rifle requires much more knowledge than just merely pulling a trigger; one has to learn how to zero his sights, how to account for wind effects, and even just after all that, simply how to properly aim the rifle.  No training simulator, no matter how thoroughly conceived and constructed, can replace the actual practice and training with an actual rifle.  It is the crucial difference that exists equally as much between reading how to swing a bat and field a ball in baseball, and actually swinging the bat and fielding the ball.

    The elder involved had prior military training, particularly in sharpshooting, and passed that training on to his recruit, as it were.

    Moreover, your constant notion that videogames create killers is equally as absurd, by way of understanding this fact analogously to what you’ve constantly suggested:  Consumption of LSD has never caused schizophrenic reactions, but has only ever triggered them.  That is, the person who devolves into a schizophrenic episode following the consumption of LSD typically has a prior history, either through past episodes or else family/genetic history, of having schizophrenia.  LSD, because of its hallucinatory properties, lends itself to triggering an onset of a schizophrenic episode because of how it can closely mimic such an experience.  The same is true for those who commit abnormally atrocious acts not motivated by passion or compensation:  Something was already a bit wrong in the head in the first place, though not always to an obvious degree.  And as is often the case, many other experiences can equally as much be the trigger that sets that person off, be it a movie, a philosophy, or even an influential and suggestive enough individual.  Mark David Chapman can be considered a somewhat classic example:  The only reasons he killed John Lennon was to "get Jodie Foster’s attention" and what better way of becoming famous than by killing one of the most famous individuals of his time?  Fame was the idea, all that was left to fulfill that idea was having the right target, and the right means to accomplish the chosen goal.

    By the way, I must say that it does amuse me that you can never pass up on commenting on stories such as this whenever you can post on Gamepolitics.  But hey, once a massacre and ambulance chaser, always one, eh?

  13. cullarn says:

    actually from what i read on the aba journal i bet i an make a better case that lawyers are more dangerous then gamers (alot more thieves in your "honorable" business)

  14. elal says:

    you mean that proposal that someone actually went through with and you failed to come up with the money?

  15. DavCube says:

    Um… no it wasn’t, Mr. Thompson. A ‘lesser sentence’ doesn’t prove anything.

    And you’re forgetting something: The person here is 36. Don’t start your ‘Doom retarded him’ bull, because it’s just that, bull. You know it, I know, let’s face it, the whole damn world knows it. This apocalypse you’re talking about isn’t happening. Period.

    Violent crime is on the decline, and has been each and every year for the past seven years, despite more and more games that you loathe being released. Cry conspiracy about THAT, Mr. Thompson.

    David "DavCube" Gagnon, Mature Human Being, and You’re Not.

  16. Brokenscope says:

    Jack, can you tell me how to get God mode and sniper mode in halo? I’ve still never found it after all these years.

  17. Phil_HarrisMMA says:

    "Modest Proposal"? Correct me if I’m the wrong, you had a "Modest Proposal" of your own once and you didn’t even back up on your word, so why would you want to make another "Modest Proposal"? Because you want to tell the same joke that you told several years ago to let down yet another charity? Also, "Jack Thompson, Attorney And You Are Not"? Only until the end of October, "Ace".

    Phil Harris, MMA Fighter, And Jack Thompson Is Not.


    RIP Evan Tanner

    "Is Darth Vader gonna have to Force Choke a bitch?!?"

  18. NovaBlack says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA yeah jack


    And im going to be a professional footballer getting paid £200,000 a week, because i can sit on a couch and move a joystick back and forth playing FIFA.


    And then when i get bored ill become an olympic gold medalist, because when i mash the A button really fast i always come first in Mario Vs Sonic at the olympics in the 100 metre dash. I mean your right, im trained and at the peak of my physical performance, how hard can it be!.


    Hmm i think later on tonight im going to wear my superman cape, and fly around beating up villains. I mean i moved that joystick to make superman fly. Its trained my body to defy gravity in real life, and bullets no longer harm me.


    Wow wouldnt it be great if we all played superman, then the world could live in peace and nobody could die.

  19. sortableturnip says:

    1) Lee Boyd Malvo did not train on Halo

    2) You did not predict that before he was identified

    3) It was not proven at his trial

    4) The industry is not training a generation of Manchurian Candidates

    5) You didn’t donate the money to charity on the last Modest Proposal game like you said you would.


    Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!!!!


  20. DeepThorn says:

    Jack, are you sure you don’t want to take me up on my offer?  The therapist I have hired for you is very eager to help you take care of your problems.  Posting on this website is against the agreement I showed you.  So I am taking it that you don’t want the new job.

    Well…  I know a pimp in LA that might be willing to hire you too.  He normally has higher standards, but I think he will make an exception for you.

  21. Nocturne says:

    I’ve played all three Halo games pretty much back to back, I use the Sniper Rifle when I can, I like using it just about every game where it’s available and just like everyone else trained on these so called murder simulators, I wouldn’t have the first clue what to do with a real one beyond the highly obvious ‘point and click’ interface. Games (especially one’s like Halo) don’t teach you anything about firing a real gun, recoil, wind velocity, weight of the weapon, curvature of the earth, etc, etc which are actually needed to train someone to be able to shoot without doing something terribly wrong, waggling the analog stick and pressing ‘A’ just don’t cut it in the real world. I once went clay pigeon shooting, clay pigeons the world over felt a whole lot safer on that day, heck even the barns broad-side was feeling pretty darn smug.

    A reasoned debater could claim a link between shootings in video games to the desire to shoot in real life but it would have to exclude all their other interests, acquaintences and pre-existing social tendancies but even if that link is claimed, it’s still a long way from the desire to do something and having both the equipment and the ability to actually go and do it.

  22. nighstalker160 says:


    Have you ever once, in your life, fired a real gun?  Apparently not if you actually believe (and aren’t just doing it for shock value) that you can train to use a firearm from a video game.

    Trust me Jack, using a gun is not "point and click."  And reloading certainly isn’t as easy as "press R to reload." 

  23. Artificial Selection says:

    Trained on halo? In halo you kill aliens in a warlike zone, more than half of the weapons are unrealistic to the point that you use laser swords not unlike those in starwars. The "object" is not to kill as much as possible, it’s to make it through to the end of the map, to survive. He might has well have gotten it from watching starwars.

    On another note, you are not funny anymore Jack (or troll using Jacks name), you are predictable (and that goes if you are a troll as well). Go try another industry cause you ain’t changing anything or contributing to either side anymore.

  24. Zen says:

    Seriously Jack, as much as you claim to know about these games, you always seem JUST FINE with everyone lying through there teeth about a game.  Guess you just like having your kind around.  I’ve been playing games of all types since I was a kid yet have no history or signs of mental illness or tendancies towards violence.  My children all play games as well, both for entertainment as well as it has helped my oldest son get a year ahead in his reading and comprehension skills than that other children in his class.  Your final day as a lawyer just can’t come fast enough for me.

    Jeremy Powers aka Zen
    Panama City, Fl.

  25. BearDogg-X says:

    Wrong. Lee Boyd Malvo had an much older accomplice, John Muhammed, who was a trained military sniper. So not only did Malvo learn much more from John Muhammed, Halo had absolutely nothing to do with the Beltway Sniper case since Malvo was saying anything to get out of the punishment for his crimes. Thus, another "prediction" that was proven false. Maybe he should have used the Jean Reno/Natalie Portman movie "The Professional", a movie about a hitman training a girl whose family was killed by corrupt police officers, instead of "The Matrix".

    Again with the B.S. claim of "training". No evidence supports that B.S., Jacky Boy. And you’re going to welch on another promise to donate $10,000 to charity like you did the last time?

    Practice what you preach: Grow up and get a life.

    Back in Black from a forced hiatus by Hurricane Gustav.

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  26. Jack Thompson Attorney and You Are Not says:

    Well, of course.  Lee Boyd Malvo, the DC Beltway Sniper, trained on Halo, as I predicted before he was even identified.  This was proven at his trial.

    This industry is training a generation of Manchurian Candidates to kill innocent people.  Maybe we need another Modest Proposal regarding a game targeting Microsoft execs.  Jack Thompson


  27. DarkTetsuya says:

    Well okay, that and the rocket launcher, but how exactly would someone get access to one of those?!

    Riddle me that, Batman. 😛

    — "Jack and listen are two words that don’t go together…just like Jack and sanity, Jack and truth, Jack and proof, Jack and win…" — sortableturnip | http://www.orangeloungeradio.com/

  28. ezbiker555 says:

    He blames video games becasue he sucks at them. He probably couldn’t beat any of us here in pong if he tried. Man we would so pwn his ass in any video game he challenges us in.


  29. DarkTetsuya says:

    And nevermind the unfortunate lack of anything remotely resembling a real gun in Halo… LOL. (I mean yeah there’s people that’ve made replica energy swords, but that story would be beyond fucking ridiculous if that’s what they were using…)

    And he’s actually hoping people will fall for his "Modest Proposalroll’ again? Man, he IS insane.

    DT, sane and Jack isn’t.

    — "Jack and listen are two words that don’t go together…just like Jack and sanity, Jack and truth, Jack and proof, Jack and win…" — sortableturnip | http://www.orangeloungeradio.com/

  30. Dark Sovereign says:

    Two different rebellions. There was a human civil war before the Covenant war broke out. Then there was the Covenant civil war in the games.

  31. wiregr says:

    At least the guys at  Penny Arcade were man enough to step up and donate the money when Jack Thompson wouldn’t.

  32. Lavarock says:

     Cool, made up facts are a great watermark for lack of understanding.

    I’d love to see what else they could come up with about the game. "Premised on the idea of kidnapping young women named Ashley, Halo starts off in an Atlanta penitentiary… "

  33. ezbiker555 says:

    You wanna know something pal. I lived right by where many of the malvo shootings were. Do you know how scary it was for me and my family? I was afraid to even go by the windows. Ovibously nothing ever like that happend to you so why should you care. Well guess what, you should be scared about loosing your job in  7 days becasue its over for you once they chew your ass and spit it on the ground so that we can all walk all over it. 

    You sit there and say blame halo. You sit there and say blame counter strike for virgina tech. Gee why don’t you blame your crap on super mario while your at it you stupid ignroant retarded old man. SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU STUPID FUCKING BASTARD.

    7 days dipshit, 7 days.

  34. J.Alpha.Gamma says:

    "Your final day as a free civillian just can’t come fast enough for me."


    Because you know he’s going to end up in either a prison of a looney bin.

  35. Brokenscope says:

    Supposedly, he snapped and went into a dissociative state before going on that court house rampage.

  36. Anomalous says:

    There is a civil war in the Halo universe, but it’s just a back story, portrayed only in the books.

  37. Kajex says:

    Technically, part of the story in Halo 2 DOES center around division among the Covenant, with the Elites breaking off.

    But for the most part, yeah- the douche doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  38. Mnementh2230 says:

     "Rebellion and civil war"?!?!?  There’s no rebellion in Halo.  Nor is there any civil war.  You have the Covenant, who are wiping out humanity, and humanity’s struggle for survival.  That’s it.  This douche-bag doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    "See who can get the most kills"?!?!?  Again with the retarded statements, speaking about things you know NOTHING about.  There are multiplayer game modes where that is indeed the goal, but trivializing the entire game EXPERIENCE down to that is not only a lie, it’s insulting.


  39. Vake Xeacons says:

    Army Sergeant? There’s your problem right there. What would he know about killing?

    Plus, he’s bashing a game about Marines. Sounds jealous.

  40. tossetaz says:

    He played Halo?! That gotta be the reason for his doings, Ashley Smith better sue Microsoft and Bungie.

    Why are there always theese retarded relatives who mention how someone used to play some videogame, is that really what they remember when they think of that person, is that really what they think was the reason for what happened?

  41. DeepThorn says:

    That is his history and they are going for insanity?  I think he would have a better case if his defense was, "It is because I’m black isn’t it.  That is the only reason you guys are trying to put me in jail."

  42. sortableturnip says:

    Before JT can even rear his ugly head in here:

    1)  the man had been in jail since 2004

    2)  he was not underage

    3)  He has a history of violent crime.  Prior to this incident, in 2004, he was charged with rape, aggravated assault with intent to rape, aggravated sodomy, burglary, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm during commission of a crime after a brutal assault of his former girlfriend of 8 years after their break up. Nichols forced his way into her home, bound her with duct tape at gun point and raped her.

    4)  His attorney is offering the insanity plea.

    Halo had nothing to do with this crime…NOTHING.

  43. Erasmus Darwin says:

    The comma at the end of the quote is just the standard grammar for when a quoted statement doesn’t come at the end of the sentence.  For example, if someone named Pete had said:

    My name is Pete.

    Then it would be written as:

    "My name is Pete," Pete said.

  44. MartyB says:

     i agree the rebellious and civil war part is pretty stupid…

    “The object is … to see who can get the most kills,” Sellers said.

    but one thing i find strange in the statement is the "…" and the comma at the end.

    so for all we know it originally was "The object is to fight back an alien invasion, and in multipler one of the modes and to fight against your friends to see who can get the most kills, or in other modes to fight together against the Covenant, the alien race."    

    then the media cut the other parts out for the gasp factor

    PS: i haven’t played halo since the first one on PC, so forgive me if its not 100% acurate, but you get the idea.


  45. Anthrax says:

    Well sure, but that’s because they’re the only audience unobservant enough to overlook all of Halo’s many flaws. I’m always game for some good ol’ fashioned Halo bashing, but only where it’s deserved. This whole "subtly imply the game was to blame" thing was idiotic at conception and hasn’t changed a bit since then. I’m getting really freaking tired of it.

  46. Nocturne says:

    Nichols and his friends] liked to play that Halo video game,” said Nichols’ friend Army Sgt. Charlie Maurice Sellers.

    Sure, Halo was the only influence in him ever considering shooting someone.

    I would also think his list of criminal charges dating back to the early nineties may have had some affect on his assualting a deputy sherrif and stealing her gun whilst escaping from a courthouse detention cell, just throwing that thought out there.

  47. GrimCW says:

    well it is 50% wrong at least.

    the MP modes, like any game with MP, pretty much have that objective.


    and since halo is more wll known for its MP, its probably what the idgit is referring to, having never seen the SP campaign, and the games actual objectives, but merely assumed that the two were one and the same (MP/SP)

  48. NovaBlack says:

    ‘ “The object is … to see who can get the most kills,”



    see.. WHY say something like that when in your brain you KNOW.. (and lets not pretend otherwise , you 100% KNOW) that you are making a statement about something that you have totally made up and have no idea wether its true or not?


    that statement is just 100% WRONG. that is NOT the ‘object’ (i think you mean objective) of halo.


    i REALLY get tired of idiots saying things when they actually KNOW they are outright lying / have absolutely no factual basis other than the ‘science’ of ‘guesstimation’.

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