Fantasy game's role in Colorado slayings probed; [FIVE STAR SPORTS FINAL Edition]
Phillip J. O'Connor Chicago Sun - Times Chicago, Ill.:  Jul 18, 1985.  pg. 8
People: Pixler, Reid
Author(s): Phillip J. O'Connor
Section: NEWS
Publication title: Chicago Sun - Times. Chicago, Ill.: Jul 18, 1985.  pg. 8
Source type: Newspaper
Text Word Count 483
Abstract (Document Summary)

District Attorney Reid Pixler said three books from a fantasy game called Villains and Vigilantes were found near the bodies of Amy Boyle, 15, and Lawrence Brock Jr., 16, on June 10.

Pixler said he met last month with William Dear, a Dallas private detective who has investigated several killings and suicides involving teens who participated in role-playing games.

Dear was thrust into the public spotlight upon finding a 17-year-old Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast, James Dallas Egbert III, who disappeared from Michigan State University in 1979 after playing a version of the game in the school's underground steam tunnels. Egbert fatally shot himself in 1980.

Full Text (483   words)
Copyright Chicago Sun Times Jul 18, 1985

A Colorado prosecutor said yesterday he is investigating whether a fantasy role-playing game similar to Dungeons and Dragons led to the deaths of two Wheaton teenagers in Colorado last month.

District Attorney Reid Pixler said three books from a fantasy game called Villains and Vigilantes were found near the bodies of Amy Boyle, 15, and Lawrence Brock Jr., 16, on June 10.

Denver attorney Craig Truman, who is defending the youth suspected of killing them, Patrick Beach, 15, of Wheaton, said he also is investigating the fantasy-game aspect, with an eye to winning more lenient treatment for Beach.

``To say this is assuming a central role in the investigation is overstating it,'' Pixler said. ``I don't think the game was involved at all. If it turns out it was, it would only strengthen my case {against Beach}.''

Psychiatrists who examined Beach at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver for the last 3 1/2 weeks said he has an IQ above 140 and that he has been an avid player of Dungeons and Dragons since sixth grade.

Pixler said he met last month with William Dear, a Dallas private detective who has investigated several killings and suicides involving teens who participated in role-playing games.

Dear was thrust into the public spotlight upon finding a 17-year-old Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast, James Dallas Egbert III, who disappeared from Michigan State University in 1979 after playing a version of the game in the school's underground steam tunnels. Egbert fatally shot himself in 1980.

``I am very interested in learning as much as possible about the game,'' Pixler said. ``Mr. Dear was putting on a continuing legal education program at Snowmass, Colo., in June and I met with him in that educational setting.

``It {such games} seems to be an increasing problem in Colorado, as well as around the country.''

Last year in Lafayette, Colo., a 12-year-old boy fatally shot his 16-year-old brother, then killed himself, in what police said may have begun as a fantasy associated with Dungeons and Dragons.

Critics have charged that such games, which are complex imaginary adventures usually played by highly intelligent young people, can lead unstable teens to commit suicide or violent acts as they try to live in fantasy worlds.

Officials of TSR Hobbies Inc., Lake Geneva, Wis., manufacturer of Dungeons and Dragons, have denied such charges.

In many such games, players assume identities of medieval warriors who battle monsters. The games, using no boards or pieces, can take hours or days to finish.

Beach is being held in lieu of $100,000 bond but has not been formally charged. Pixler and Truman have jointly agreed to extend for two weeks the deadline for filing charges against Beach.

Pixler said that since the youth already has had a detention hearing at which a judge ordered him held in lieu of bond, there has been no rush to file charges.