In a macabre scene straight out of, well, a horror video game, Matthew Pyke, an avid player of Advance Wars, was murdered, but managed to scrawl part of his alleged killer's name on his computer before dying of multiple stab wounds. The accused killer, David Heiss, from Limburg, Germany, met the victim through the Advance Wars internet forum.
The gaming angle and Web aspect of this story may be new, but the apparent motive for the crime should be familiar to anyone who's ever read a pulp detective novel: It was all over a dame. The dame in question, Joanna Witton, of Nottingham, was dating Pyke, and Heiss knew both of them online. Heiss apparently became obsessed with Witton, then made several trips from Germany to see the couple.
"I started blanking him as if to say leave me alone. I was afraid he was going to turn up again and I didn't know what he was capable of," Witton told the court. in England. "I was willing to smash my laptop up if it meant that I would never speak to him (Heiss) again. I was ready to run away."
Heiss says he flew to England to confront Pyke and Witton over disparaging remarks the couple allegedly made over the Advance Wars forum, but not to kill anyone.
"I thought that once he (Pyke) stepped outside I would give him a beating. It wasn't my intention to put him in hospital, it wasn't my intention to break any bones," Heiss told the court. "At some point we started to punch each other. He was on his back and I was sitting on him. The next thing I felt was something inside my knee. I didn't really feel any pain and I looked down and saw it was the knife. I was terrified. I was trying not to let him attack me. I grabbed his arm and shook it and smashed it against the wall. I was so afraid that he would stab me again but then I stabbed at him."
After arresting Heiss, police also found a fake suicide note, written from Pyke's point of view, among Heiss' possessions. Heiss says he wrote the note to "cheer himself up."