This past March in British Columbia, two teenage boys — 16 and 18 — raped and killed 18-year-old Kimberly Proctor before mutilating and burning her body under a bridge. When it was over, the 16-year-old told a friend on World of Warcraft what they'd done.
The reason the teen picked WoW was because it was apparently something he could not say over MSN chat. The teen confessed to the murder and even sent newspaper links covering the crime. Not showing any remorse, he added that committing the brutal murder did not feel like he thought it would.
The attack was pre-planned through online chats and text messaging, with both teens devising code words and brainstorming on how they'd carry out the murder. Proctor was picked because she was, according to one of the teens, "an easy target". The Vancouver Sun has a detailed timeline of the events that transpired.
Pundits are looking for explanations, and video games are an easy way to explain the horrific crime. "You don't know which aggressive kid is going to take the fantasies of video games and try them out in reality," Bonnie Leadbeater, a psychology professor at the University of Victoria, tells CTV News. "You just can't predict those very rare occurrences."
The Ottawa Citizen's reporting opens with this sentence, "One of the teens who raped and killed 18-year-old Kimberly Proctor was a self-described 'nihilistic atheist' whose father was a convicted criminal, while the other was an avid gamer who lived with his parents." Imagine that, a teenager who was an avid gamer and who lived with his parents? That sounds incredibly normal.
What these teenagers did, however, wasn't. There are deeper, more troubling issues here at work than playing video games. One of the teens said he had dreamed of killing someone since he was young.
The two teenage boys are in a B.C. courtroom, where they are on trial for the crime. If they are sentenced as adults, they could get life. If they are sentenced as minors, they would get ten years in prison.