Man found guilty of stabbing fellow gamer 86 times

David Heiss is found guilty of murdering fellow gamer Matthew Pyke by planning his attack like a war game and stabbing him 86 times.

Not one member of his family even came to support him in court.

David Heiss, an online gamer, was found guilty Monday of murdering fellow gamer Matthew Pyke, whom he had met on the Advanced Wars online chat forum WarCentral.com.

Heiss had become obsessed with Pyke's girlfriend, Joanna Witton, who was also an online gamer.

Last September, Heiss traveled from his home in Germany to Nottingham, England, where he stabbed Pyke 86 times in an attack that was frenzied, remorseless, and cold-blooded. As Pyke was dying, he tried to write the killer's name on the side of an old computer.

"(Heiss) has taken it upon himself to pre-plan this whole murder as if he were a strategist on his own computer, really...on his war game," Detective Chief Inspector Tony Heydon told the BBC.

Nottingham, where the murder took place. CC Riley Roxx/Flickr

Surveillance footage revealed that after the murder, Heiss had worn his victim's baseball cap on his way back to Germany, having also taken his victim's shoes. Police found a fake suicide note, purporting to be from Pyke, in Heiss's suitcase.

In the wake of the verdict, psychologists have theorized that Heiss found it difficult to distinguish between his online world and the real one. He lived with his grandmother and had very little contact with his parents.

Professor Keith Browne, a forensic psychologist from the University of Nottingham, told the Guardian: "The underlying cause of this person's insane jealousy will be a fear of abandonment, having been rejected by either his parents or girlfriends."

He added: "The problem with the virtual world is that people will take risks that they wouldn't do in the real world. People say things in jest at a distance that they wouldn't say in the real world...They want to turn their fantasies into reality and it is dangerous. But it is only a very small minority we are talking about."

The judge ordered that Heiss should serve a minimum of 18 years in jail.

 

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