Unspeakable Times
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4 Times Board Games Led to Murder

Updated February 20, 2020 175.6k views4 items

The best board games are enjoyed by children and adults alike and foster a sense of camaraderie and healthy competition. However, in the wrong hands, even a simple game like Yahtzee or chess can turn foul. Yes, it does sound unlikely, but the classic board games many of us grew up playing have actually led to more than just some ruined Thanksgivings. What follows is a list of games that have actually resulted in someone's passing. 

What games have driven people to end lives? Sadly, you'll find out by taking a look at this list. Remember, it's just a game. 

  • Yahtzee

    Photo: AlbertHerring / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    It's Christmas Day, 2010. Minnesota mother-of-three Tamara Lee Mason decided 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 disagreed. 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.

    However, Mason's other two sons did not come to her aid. Mason had rolled 3 of a kind, which set off her youngest.  Then, 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 faced second-degree charges. His brothers were charged with accessory after the fact.

  • Photo: MichaelMaggs / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0

    Though it's typically thought of as an intellectual game for the highly sophisticated, chess has led to a number of deaths throughout the years, and not only in the prison yards and city parks where it has become popular. In 2008, Michael A. Steward of Iowa City, Iowa, was allegedly dispatched by neighbor David Christian after a chess game went awry. Reportedly, both men had been heavily drinking. The men started arguing over the game and a physical altercation ensued. Subsequently, Steward passed during the fight. Christian called it an unintentional occurrence and later took a plea bargain.

    Another death over chess occurred in 2001 in an Ohio prison. Inmate Christopher Newton terminated his cellmate, Jason Brewer, during a game, though some believed Newton committed the offense in the hopes that he would receive the death penalty. Newton was later executed by the State of Ohio in 2007.

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  • Beer Pong

    In 2013, a game of beer pong led to a teen attempting to dispatch his game mate. 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 harm him with a 7-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 on multiple second-degree counts.

  • Dice

    Photo: Diacritica / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0

    In October 2007, 24-year-old Cadell Robinson was slain in Harlem, New York, after losing a $6 bet in a dice game. 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 winnings and 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 shot Robinson in the head and chest.