In March of 2010, the body of 18-year-old Kimberly Proctor was found on a hiking trail, brutally charred and disposed of. Proctor’s body was found soon after she was reported missing due to having not showed up for a babysitting job. The murder was quickly linked to two teenage boys, ages 16 and 18, who confessed the crime to a friend via World of Warcraft, and whose identities have not been and cannot be revealed under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The motives for Proctor’s murder are largely unclear, but it was clear that the two boys had been planning this murder in elaborate details for quite some time. They communicated about it via text messages, MSN chats, and World of Warcraft in-game messages, using code words to describe what they were going to do to Proctor. A few days after the murder, the 16-year-old text messaged a friend and asked her to meet him on WoW, saying that he wanted to tell her something that he couldn’t say over MSN or text messages. Once online, he told her that he and the 18-year-old had murdered Proctor, and that they felt no remorse. The 16-year-old continued on to say that he had always dreamed of killing someone, but that it felt different than he expected. Also, he stated that he felt sorry that they would be caught, but felt no remorse for having committed the crime, and felt no guilt or sadness for the death of Proctor or for her family.
Clearly, these two youths are very mentally ill; they will both undergo psychiatric assessments prior to a decision on what their long-term sentence will be, and there is as of yet no news on whether they will be tried as youths or adults. Either way they will receive a life sentence, and either 10 or 25 years with no parole, depending on the nature of their trial.
This is a terribly unfortunate tragedy for Proctor and her friends and loved ones, and due to its link (however small) with online games, it also will surely open the floodgates for another wave of Jack Thompson-style witch hunts. Because World of Warcraft was one of the murderers’ primary means of communication during the whole ordeal, opponents of online games now have a renewed vigour in their beliefs that video games lead to violence and mental instability, especially in young people. I, of course, believe that the two teens that committed this awful murder were already dangerously mental unstable, and would have committed this awful crime even if WoW had not been involved.
Check out the link to the Vancouver Sun article below to read the full story.