Police (& Media) Now Playing up D&D Connection to Murder

Yesterday we told you about a nasty rape and murder that occured in South Hill Puyallup, Washington, in which an 18-year old man raped and murdered a 16-year old disabled/developmentally challenged girl. The story mentioned that the man had returned home after the murder to play Dungeons and Dragons Online in order to try and “forget” the crime.

However in a new story published yesterday on The Seattle Post Intelligencer website, detectives in the case (or the author of the piece) appear to be playing up the videogame angle even more, as evidenced by the headline, “Murder Motive May Have Been Video Game Fantasy.”

To quickly sum up the case, Tyler Wolfegang Savage was charged with the rape and murder of Kimmie Daily, who had been missing since August 17. Described as “three years behind a normal physical growth pattern,” and a former Special Olympics participant, Daily’s body was found after Savage led police to her body, which was in a large thicket of brambles, just a few blocks from her home.

Savage admitted to choking the girl after she attempted to leave their short rendezvous and he admitted to having sexual contact with her.

Savage admitted to police about playing D&D online in order to cope with his crime, which sparked the interest of detectives, and they “now want to know if that game somehow became his point of reference on reality.”

If you’re unfamiliar with the world of Dungeons & Dragons, The Seattle Post Intelligencer offered this helpful recap, “Magic and swordplay is present in the violent fantasy landscape that makes up the online game.”

It was also reported that:

Detectives are working with an expert in sexually violent fantasies to explore the video game motive, but the true cause for this crime is still unknown. They aren’t blaming a game for this violence, but they are trying to understand what triggered this murder and why.

“They aren’t blaming a game for this violence.”

It sure makes for a great headline though.

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  1. 0
    Sabrel says:

    Apparently everything old is new again. Including anti-socialist paranoia and game scapegoating.

    If aliens are watching all of our trasmissions, they must be wondering why this show is too cheap to get new writers…

  2. 0
    DJRBK says:

    I don’t see the difference in your distinction. Sure if there was a comma in there, there would be a difference between "nasty rape, and murder" versus "nasty murder, and rape." But without the comma, I see the adjective "nasty" applying to both the nouns "murder" and "rape," and so the order of the nouns would seem irrelevant.



  3. 0
    Shahab says:

    You say "nasty rape and murder" but I think what you really mean is "nasty murder and rape". Its a small distinction, but it makes all the difference.

    Oh yeah, all of us who plays games, and especially those who play D&D, know that D&D Online had ZERO to do with this guy’s motivation to kill and rape. I think an ugly face, awkward social life, and raging erection probably had far more to do with things. He saw an opportunity he thought he could get away with and that was that.

  4. 0
    gamegod25 says:

    Since when has the media let something like "facts" and "logic" get in the way?

    Seriously, I though we had finally gotten past this bit of idiocy.

  5. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    "Detectives… are trying to determine whether her accused killer might have been acting out a violent fantasy from [DDO]."

    No, obviously.  Nothing in that game allows the player to choke a young girl to death, rape her dead body, and hide it in the bushes.  There isn’t anything even remotely close to that.

    Plus, Savage played the game to forget what he’d done.  How could he forget what he’d done by playing the game that inspired him to do it?


    Andrew Eisen

  6. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Not this damn noise again.

    The last thing we need is a resurgance of the anti-roleplaying campaign on top of the anti-video game, ah hell, anti-everything campaign.

  7. 0
    Thad says:

    How could they resist?  It’s videogames AND D&D.  Now if they could just find a way to work in rock music and comic books, they’d have all their favorite scapegoats lined up.

    Simply an awful story and I hate to hear it.  My heart goes out to her family, and my gut turns at the thought of the killer — and, albeit to a lesser extent, the ghouls at the PI who saw this tragedy as an opportunity for sensationalism.

  8. 0
    Zerodash says:

    It seems that the Keith Vaz approach to games scapegoating is alive and well. 

    What if someone kills a person and then goes to the golf course to try to get their mind off it- I presume that we can say that golf caused the murder?  This is the same exact line of logic that is being employed here.

  9. 0
    mogbert says:

    Actually, D&D Online isn’t that violent or graphic or anything. Now if he had been playing Age of Conan Online… well, they may have had a case.

    In this case, it just a situation where the police seem to remember something related to D&D from a while back. Wasn’t it addictive? Didn’t it have people escaping reality? Yeah… see that was a game that was played with imagination. D&D Online is a game that couldn’t compete with WoW so they had to give it away for free and hope people will pay for things from their store.

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