- 1It's Christmas Day, 2010. Minnesota mother-of-three Tamara Lee Mason decides it might be fun to spend the day with her three sons - 17-year-old Jacob, 18-year-old Andrew, and 25-year-old Dylan - playing Yahtzee. The boys disagree. Strongly. Jacob objected so strongly to the request, in fact, that he covered her head with a plastic bag and choked her with a belt. (Maybe he prefers Scattergories?)
Remember, though: Tamara had two other doting sons in the same house. Surely, they came to her aid, right? Unfortunately, no. It seems that, in terms of raising sociopaths, Tamara had rolled 3 of a kind. Dylan and Andrew helped Jacob place her body in a trash can to store until the ground was soft enough to bury her. When her remains were eventually discovered decomposing in the backyard, the jig was up. Jacob now faces two second-degree murder charges. His brothers are charged with accessory after the fact to murder.
- 2The property-buying game Monopoly can get intense, but usually people just get mad and stomp off. Maybe they flip the board or steal money from the bank out of frustration. What we're saying is, even though the game occasionally involves a player GOING TO JAIL, it's just metaphorical. You're not actually supposed to commit crimes.
That was exactly what happened, however, in April of 2007, when four young adults were arrested in Hartford, Connecticut, after allegedly murdering 18-year-old Alexandria Clouse-Desmond. Clouse-Desmond was at the apartment of 22-year-old Michael Davis, playing Monopoly with Davis and three other friends - Tiara Dixon, Leslie Caraballo ,and Darzell Weinstein, all age 19. The game got fairly heated, both because Monopoly can be fairly unforgiving and because Caraballo (Davis' girlfriend) was allegedly jealous of the attention Clouse-Desmond was receiving. Then, tragedy struck, and not the kind that can be solved by a bank error in your favor.
According to police, Clouse-Desmond was beaten, kicked, stomped, and strangled, eventually dying from asphyxiation. Once the body was found (in a microwave oven box), all four perpetrators admitted their culpability in the crime and pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter. (Two also pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence after the crime, having tried to make it appear that Clouse-Desmond had been raped.) All four of the suspects and the victim were being treated for mental health issues at the time of the crime.
- 3Though it's typically thought of as an intellectual game for sophisticates, chess has led to a number of murders throughout the years, and not only in the prison yards where it has become popular.
In 2008, Michael A. Steward of Iowa City, Iowa, was allegedly murdered by neighbor David Christian after a chess game went awry. (In fairness, the two men had been drinking heavily, which is basically like playing chess on hard mode.) The men started arguing over the game, a physical altercation followed and, eventually, Steward wound up dead by the end of the incident. Christian called it an accident and later took a plea bargain.
Another murder over chess occurred in 2001 in an Ohio prison. Inmate Christopher Newton killed his cellmate, Jason Brewer, during a game, though some believed Newton was suicidal and committed the crime in the hopes that he would receive the death penalty. (We've heard of Suicide by Cop, but this may be the first Suicide by Bishop on record.) Newton eventually got his wish and was officially checkmated by the State of Ohio in 2007.
- 4In a case of a Christmas Eve gathering gone terribly wrong, 40-year-old Christopher Rackham was reportedly stabbed to death in Wichita, Kansas, in 2010 during a drunken game of dominoes. (And really, is there any other kind?) According to Rackham's roommate, who was not present at the time of the incident, an unnamed man was over at their place playing the tile game on the night of Rackham's death. The roommate also testified that Rackham was not a big fan of this domino-playing stranger, even before being killed by him.
Police believe that there was an altercation of some sort over the game, which led to Rackham's stabbing. The 50-year-old suspect was later arrested after he was found hiding in an abandoned amusement park called (yes, really), "Joyland."
Beer PongIn 2013, a game of beer pong lead to attempted murder. 17-year-old Jordan L. Wankasky landed himself in Niagara County Jail after he lost at beer pong to Andrew Huffman, also 17, and then tried to murder him with a seven inch knife.
Wankasky stabbed Huffman four times in the head, just missing multiple fatal blows. Wankasky fled the scene but was tracked down and charged with second degree attempted murder, second degree assault, and criminal possession of a weapon.
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