Crime is a constant feature of video games writing. Somewhere, someone is doing something illicit with them—sometimes comically stupid, sometimes tragic. Games and consoles are currency, objects of dispute, sometimes even weapons themselves. Kotaku's Police Blotter is here to round up the latest in games crime.
The Most Gears Apology, Ever
GLASGOW, Scotland—The teenager accused of slashing the throat of a friend he met playing Gears of War—the victim's neck was sawn down to the windpipe—will spend the next three years and nine months in prison, following his sentencing last week in High Court in Glasgow. The accused (unnamed per U.K. law) sent two voice messages to his victim. One said "Honestly you don't know how upset I am. I'm sitting here on the x-box just to say I'm sorry, bro." [BBC]
ANAHEIM, Calif.—Authorities say two girls, 10 and 5, were found malnourished and living in virtual imprisonment for the past three years inside a moldering, feces-strewn mobile home where the adults played World of Warcraft all day. The relationship of the adults to children was not specified by cops, but both Lester Louis Huffmire and Petra Huffmire, both 41, face up to seven years in on felony charges of child abuse. Prosecutors say the neglect stretches back to May 2010; a social worker inspecting the home after a neighbor phoned a tip to police found "kitchen appliances covered in mold and cobwebs and stacks of trash, debris, mold and feces scattered throughout the home," the Los Angeles Times reports.
PEORIA, Ill.—A blame-games defense put forth by a man on trial for the grisly slaughter of an entire family—a tire iron was the weapon—failed to impress a jury here despite the appearance of a star witness testifying for the accused. Chris Harris, on trial for five counts of first-degree murder for the 2009 slayings, claimed he had happened upon 14-year-old Dillen Constant attacking the family and was forced to act in self defense (Constant was among the dead.) Craig Anderson, the Iowa State academic known for saying violent video games have a definite causal link to aggressive behavior, was called to testify for the defense and say that Constent had multiple circumstances in his life making him at risk for violent episodes, and that playing violent video games could have contributed to such an outburst. The jury considered this alibi and Anderson's expert opinion over a day of deliberations before convicting Harris on every count. [Game Politics]
It Only Does Arrests
WORTHINGTON, Ohio—A message sent over the PlayStation Network may prove to be the key in solving a spate of burglaries here over the past month. Cops had been investigating a burglary in March that included a TV, laptops, an iPad, jewelry and cash and a PlayStation 3 among the loot. The victim shrewdly had serial numbers written down for the items that had gone missing, but it was a big screwup the day after the burglarly that led to an arrest. Police said the next night one of the suspects logged into PSN and sent a message through it to one of the victim's co-workers. Detectives worked with Sony and AT&T for a month to confirm the location from which the message was sent, and the identity of the suspect who sent it, ending in his arrest on Tuesday. Police believe more are involved [WCMH-TV]
Lots of strange things happen in the pages of your local newspaper or on the 6 o'clock news. If you see something, say something. To me, that is. I'd like to write it up. Remember: You need not reveal your identity.