Report: Missing Gamer Case Raises Questions About Mysterious 2007 Death

Video games have absorbed an enormous amount of bad press since Brandon Crisp (left) went missing on October 13th.

Nearly every day for the last three weeks, Canadian media accounts have named Call of Duty 4, Xbox Live and video game addiction as key factors in the 15-year-old’s disappearance.

While it’s generally agreed that Brandon left home following an argument with his parents over his Xbox 360, what happened after that remains unknown.

Today’s edition of the Toronto Sun, however, draws comparisons between Brandon’s disappearance and that of Alexandra Flannigan (right), a 33-year-old woman who was last seen in July, 2007:

Another mysterious disappearance was on the minds of many residents.Still fresh in many memories is the death of Alexandra Flannigan, 33, a petite, 100 pound, 5-foot-2 woman… Months later, police found her remains in two different areas of the city… Police suspect foul play but have been silent in the past months about the investigation. They have refused to comment when asked about a possible connection with Brandon’s disappearance.

Meanwhile, the Sun quotes a local woman who found Brandon’s abandoned bicycle:

I hate to think the worst. But you can’t help but wonder.

GP: One thing that is fascinating about the earlier case is that the victim, Alexandra Flannigan, was almost exactly the same size and weight as Brandon Crisp. It’s also very odd that the woman’s remains were found in two separate locations and the police suspect foul play? The autopsy apparently indicated that one of Flannigan’s bones had been sawed through. Foul play seems like a no-brainer.

Barrie police, the lead agency is the Brandon Crisp case, have been severly criticized by some who believe that they bungled the Flannigan investigation.

GamePolitics recently reviewed the possible scenarios in Brandon’s disappearance.

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  1. 0
    mccainisthefreakingman says:

    Yet another death caused by the video game industry.  What a surprise.  What’s the body county now, less than ten thousand?  Congrats on that.  Jack Thompson, Once and Future Lawyer

  2. 0
    mogbert says:

    Fail troll fails.

    Doubt you are JT, but it doesn’t matter. The point is that this wasn’t caused by the "industry". No one ever claimed that the kid who was playing videogames became violent. What happened is you had a kid who was a "good boy" when he was young, he then became a teenager and had disaplinary problems, shown by taking back something that was taken away when he was grounded. Then he said he was going to run away and the father did the macho thing and said "go ahead" and helped him pack and gave him directions and punted him out the door. Then the kid left on his bike. Said bike was later found in a ditch, and the kid is missing.

    How do videogames fit into this? It was mearly what was taken away when he was grounded. When I was young, I was grounded from GameBoy, books, and TV. The form of media that was taken away when grounding really doesn’t matter. The fact is that this really isn’t a video game related story, except in how much the parents are trying to pin their failure to raise the kid (and subsequently virtually kicking him out of the house) on something other then themsleves. It’s a cultural failing that happened because nothing can ever be blamed on person choice anymore. It is ALWAYS someone elses fault. The line where the parents were saying that the clues to the whereabouts of their son were on the XBox harddrive was really over the top, going so far as to make the parents look suspicious. They feel guilty now, whether because they internally see their own fault in how he was raised or because they had a hand in his disapearence. Either way it is making them look bad.

    Wadsworth: "Videogames were just a red herring."

  3. 0
    Wolvenmoon says:

    This is looking pretty grim.

    Okay kid, joke’s over, time to go home now. Parents that love you and all. I’m certain you’ll end up with a 52 inch plasma screen and a VR helmet if you show up.



  4. 0
    Erasmus Darwin says:

    Still seems a bit tinfoily to me.  One’s a 15 year-old kid who looked like an adolescent, and the other was a 33 year-old woman.  Those seem to be vastly different categories as far as serial killers go.  Admittedly, my knowledge of serial killers is limited to those who’ve achieved infamy but it seems they all had types as far as age and sex go: Jeffrey Dahmer went after men and a few boys, Bundy went for college-aged women, and John Wayne Gacy killed teenage boys and young men.

    After all the well-reasoned insight from the article were you looked at the possible scenarios and rated their likelihood, it just seems a bit odd that you’d do a 180 and go with a theory almost as crazy as the whole "organized crime operating over Xbox Live" nonsense that seemed to be coming from the parents.

    Besides, if the boy was abducted, it seems most likely that it was a crime of opportunity rather than one where the killer was looking for a target matching a given appearance.  Regardless, I prefer the simplest explainations: The woman was likely the victim of a regular (albeit brutal) murder while the boy is either dead from non-human-related causes (wildlife, weather, starvation, etc.) or hiding out alone somewhere.

  5. 0
    achilles says:

    The descriptions and typologies are from the forensic psychology book "Evil Minds." 

    Actually he is pretty close.  Though the organized/disorganized types apply to all killers.  Organized killers plan and retain as much control as they can.  They limit the evidence they leave behind by planning ahead, cleaning up afterwards and moving the body so the police only have the dumping ground and not the murder scene itself.  They even control the discovery of the body by placement locations.  Disorganized killers are impulsive, think more of a crime of passion.  They don’t plan ahead and usually leave the victim in the same place as they were killed which tends to leave lots of evidence behind.  

    Serial Killers are classified into 4 subtypes, Visonary (ordered by voices/higher power), Mission oriented (Cleansing the Undesirables), Hedonistic (for the thrill) and Power oriented (power over the victim, victims families, law enforcement, etc).  Some serial killers are home bodies like Gary Ridgway, who did almost all his killing in the Seattle Tacoma area.  Others like Ted Bundy are wanderers, kill here, kill there.  

    Not even close to all of them are captured.  A quick look at wikipedia shows about 100 convicted serial killers in the US from the 1800s to present…  It is estimated that between 30 – 50 serial killers are operating in the US at any given time, that means active on the street ones.  They could be your kid’s Cub Scout Leader (BTK), a law school drop out with a bachelors in psychology (Ted Bundy), or a truck painter (Gary Ridgway).  You just don’t know and they tend to be so good that no one they know suspects them.  It is also estimated that 2% of homicides are from serial killers in a given year (442 serial killer victims in 1994).  It is hard to know for sure because serial killer victims tend to be ones that no one will miss; runaways, prostitutes, homeless, etc. That girl who showed up a week ago on the street and wasn’t there today.  Did she move on down the road or is she in a ditch somewhere?  Its hard to tell especially if no one knows to look for her.  Its even harder to link her death to others if there is no body to examine and establish a pattern.

    Reality is a lot scarier than fantasy.

  6. 0
    Volomon says:

    Deathnote, are you serious?  Most serial killers don’t get better by doing things over and over.  They get better by reading what they did wrong in newspapers.  Not everyone is a professional serial killer after their first time killing someone either.  Picking up mistakes are all these cops have.

    Your arguement is utter fantasy.  All serial killers are often captured, if they were all perfect we wouldn’t even know there were such things as serial killers. 

    If this guy changes his MO, changes his town, changes his look.  It’s auto fail. If they knew exactly what this guy looks like they would say something.  Otherwise how are people going to help?

    There are already tip lines in place btw, so I’m not sure why or how much you expect them to say.

  7. 0
    silversnowfox says:

    Better example would be Zodiac.

    "We do not hear debates about teaching whether the holocausts happened or did not in history classes, so why should we even entertain the notion for Intelligent Design?"

  8. 0
    Father Time says:

    You base your knowledge on serial killers off of fiction?


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

  9. 0
    garrett says:

    This has to be reported, as people need to be made aware. If people, especially in the area, are made aware by other means and noticed that they didn’t see or hear about a report about it, that’s a bad thing. That doesn’t mean that the media gets to have all the evidence, suspects, or other information that can ruin a case, or cause a serial killer to change.

    Organized serial killers go through great lengths to cover up their crimes, so bodies aren’t usually found at all unless they WANT them to be found. If Alexandra Flannigan’s death, however, is the result of a serial killer, and through some kind of forensic science finds an association with Brandon’s, (assuming a body is found, etc) then we have a "disorganized" serial killer. If he is disorganized, then he either cares little about media, or absolutly loves it. Disorganized serial killers typically are not as smart, so they screw up often. An "organized" serial killer may have thought about media & police attention long before they did the killing. They would have worked into some kind of mad ‘visionary’ plan, or used it afterwards. As a matter of fact, some serial killers will get mad if they are not reported, and strike out if they don’t find themselves on the news. This, however, can be used by the police. Ever read Deathnote?

  10. 0
    Austin_Lewis says:

    It’s not so much dismemberment that points to foul play, but dismemberment and then removal of one or more of the resulting pieces to another location that couldn’t reasonably have occurred from an accidental death.  For example, if you’re in a car when it explodes and someone finds your thumb 20 feet away and then your middle finger is found half the country away, some foul play is involved.

  11. 0
    Hannah says:

    A crime was clearly committed in disposing of the body, but they technically don’t know if she was murdered.  After all, her death could have been an accident (or of completely natural causes) and some sick third party could have taken it upon himself to mess with the corpse.

    The police like to use such terminology when they don’t know beyond a reasonable doubt what happened — all they have are educated guesses.

  12. 0
    nighstalker160 says:

    Seriously, her remains were found in TWO different places and not even THAT will get the police to say "yeah, there was foul play here."

    Dismemberment of any degree pretty safely implicates foul play I think

  13. 0
    Vake Xeacons says:

     "Foul Play seems like a no-brainer." I’m pretty sure the police agree with you on that, but until they find the killer, they have to SAY "suspected" for the press. 

  14. 0
    Volomon says:

    Well they are smarter than you, if they connect the two or let it be known there is a serial killer.  The first thing the serial killer will do is move.   Just reporting this like gamepolitics is doing is the most dangerous thing.  The last thing they need is newspapers/blogs spreading hysteria and allowing this guy to find out and to change his calling sign and city.

  15. 0
    Father Time says:

    "It’s also very odd that the woman’s remains were found in two separate locations and the police suspect foul play?"

    Reminds me of some of the newspapers in blood money after each mission. One time I killed my target by throwing a knife directly at his head, you can see the blade lodged in there and everything, then I left. The newspaper reported he MIGHT have been killed by a knife. Strange they can’t figure that out even though they know exactly how many bullets I fire even if I get the guns from guards.


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

  16. 0
    gamepolitics says:

    No one is saying that they are linked, however there are unmistakable similarities:

    1. both live in the same area (and it’s not like it’s a huge metropolis)
    2. both completely vanished
    3. both similar size, both short brownish hair

    With one person dead, one person vanished and no apparent progress, what’s wrong with examining this aspect? I think it’s completely proper.

    You can bet the police are looking at this. They’re just not saying so.

  17. 0
    Trevor McGee says:

    The kid is missing because his father kicked him out, end of story. Blaming it on video games or anything else for that matter is ridiculous. It’s the father’s fault.  Call me crazy, but I don’t call a case such as this a runaway case  when the father packed his belongings for him, gave him directions, and told him to go.

    As for finding the kid, it’s seeming less likely as time passes, but you never know. Hopefully he’s alright and nothing has happened to him. This sort of "connection" only serves to worry the ones who love Brandon Crisp more.

    I fail to see the connection to begin with, other than them being similar in stature, what else do they share in common? Was she supposedly an "avid gamer" too? Did it happen around the same location? We need more info and reason to see this "connection" they’ve stumbled upon.

    Would someone care to explain what connects these two?

    EDIT: Okay, found one connection so far myself, it’s around the same location. But they really shouldn’t make this sort of connection without more evidence, because this is really just going to scare people more than nessesary at this moment.



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