It'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.
Though 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.
In 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.
Gambling debts have been known to lead to murder, particularly if you're going by Martin Scorsese movies. But usually, in order to actually cause someone to get the (literal) axe, they first have to owe a considerable amount of money. It seems that 24-year-old Cadell Robinson was shot and killed in Harlem, New York, in October 2007, after losing a $6 bet in a dice game. Emmett Brown was killed over a matter of $80 way back in 1885, so that's some serious deflation.
Robinson (called "Dell" in the neighborhood) was shooting dice in the courtyard of the St. Nicholas Houses - a public housing project - with 20 year old Terrell Rice (known locally as T-Mac) and a few others. Rice apparently got impatient waiting to collect his big winnings, and instead decided to take matters into his own hands, leaving the game and returning to his home in a nearby building. Rice then returned with a gun and fatally shot Robinson in the head and chest, which is not only a good way to ensure that you'll be spending some quality time Upstate, but also that you never actually get to see your $6. He was eventually charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon. Something tells me that $6 wasn't even close to Rice's eventual lawyer fees.
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