Schizo Teen Goes on Drunken Ax Rampage After FIFA Losing Streak

Illustration for article titled Schizo Teen Goes on Drunken Ax Rampage After FIFA Losing Streak

> A schizophrenic teenager who killed a grandmother with an axe during a drunken rampage after a FIFA losing streak went on trial this week.


After losing three games of FIFA 2008 against his younger brother and a friend, James Callaghan, 17, polished off a bottle of vodka, armed himself with an ax and a knife and stormed into the night near Yorkshire, England.

Callaghan attacked several teens with the axe, knocking one to the ground, threated a cyclist and finally attacked a 65-year-old widow, bludgeoning and stabbing the woman to death before trying to break into a neighbor's home while demanding alcohol.


The court heard that Callaghan had a history of undiagnosed schizophrenia and that he was known by his friends to be violent after drinking alcohol. The Daily Mail article also points out that FIFA losing-streak and that Callaghan "also played the computer game Grand Theft Auto, which sends the player's character on a violent crime spree."

It's a terrifying and sad story, but it sounds like anything could have set Callaghan off, it just happened to be a video game.

Teenager killed widow with axe in drink-fuelled rage after losing a computer game to his brother [Daily Mail]

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Reading through the article, I find it a little off-putting that they had decided to mention videogames as an identifying source of the violence when it is apparent that the cause itself is mental illness. While videogames could have certainly played a part, the GTA bit is nothing but a throw-away line. I think part of the reason for this is that it's easy for us, as a society to blame such external factors, but not as easy when we have to look for the systemic cause. He was not receiving "treatment for his mental health problems." He had a history of violence- "He was known by his friends to be violent after drinking alcohol. As a six-year-old he had threatened his mother with a kitchen knife."

He is obviously sick. He needed help. So

A) Why wasn't he getting it? Where was his mom in all of this? What role does the government have?

B) Why would you let someone with his history drink and then let him leave the house with an axe and a knife? Why would you ever let anyone whose drunk storm off into the night with an axe and a knife?

Videogames may have been a contributing factor or even a trigger factor but it is far from being the main cause of what has happened here. I think a more serious discussion of mental health in society and how we should address it is warranted.