Posted on December 17, 2007
Filed Under Drama News Network |
Introducing Drama News Network (DNN), your source for all the important news from the world of technology.
December 17, 2007 (DNN) - Second Life inhabitants still are reeling from a murder-suicide that took place on a private Second Life island sometime last week. New details have emerged about what is believed to be the first such incident in the popular virtual world’s short history.
On December 5, Jim McAllister, 45, a florist from Scottsdale, Arizona, purchased a 12 gauge double-barrel shotgun in Second Life for L$50 from an unknown source believed to be associated with the Ansche Chung crime syndicate. Sometime in the following week, he turned the gun on his wife, Heather, 41, and children Timothy, 13, and Rebecca-Anne, 9, before killing himself.
Neighbors on the Second Life island where the McAllisters made their second home became suspicious when the McAllisters did not log on for several days.
“I didn’t see Jim log on in the evenings and the kids stopped coming over to see us,” said neighbor Melissa Marshall, whose first life residence is Pompano Beach, Florida. “I started worrying that something had happened, like their Internet connection wasn’t working.”
Marshall called Linden Lab, the company that operates second life. Linden Lab opened a trouble ticket and a company employee logged into the McAllister home. Upon logging in, the employee made the gruesome discovery.
While a Linden Lab spokesman did not return calls, the company issued a statement assuring Second Life users that the company was taking action to address the situation. “The presence of unregistered guns in Second Life neighborhoods is unacceptable and Linden Lab is committed to protecting the safety of our users. We will soon announce regulations modeled after the Brady Bill that has been extremely effective in real life,” the statement read.
Linden Lab provided authorities with the physical address of the McAllisters and Scottsdale police officers rushed to their home. There, they found the McAllisters eating dinner.
“At approximately 6 p.m. officers entered the McAllister home and determined that everything was fine. They spoke with all family members and we found no reason to detain anyone or to make a referral to protective services,” a spokeswoman for the Scottsdale Police Department said. “At this point, we know of no law that has been broken and have no plans to pursue charges against Mr. McAllister.”
“Our family gets along great in real life,” Second Life murderer Jim McAllister said. “But in Second Life, we couldn’t stop arguing. After our finances became tight due to my wife’s Christmas spending and I was struggling to pay the rent for our Second Life house, I decided that it would just be easier to kill my family and then myself.”
While McAllister’s wife and children were initially angry that their second lives had been ended abruptly by the man they love and trust, the experience has brought the family closer together. “We were spending so much time in Second Life that I forgot what a great husband he is,” said Heather McAllister, his wife of 15 years.
“I actually played catch with my dad for the first time in months,” Timothy McAllister said. “I can’t wait to try out for the baseball team.”
While the McAllisters seem to be content with their reinvigorated family life in first life, Second Life’s first murder-suicide has raised the specter that violence in the real world could spill over into virtual worlds. That has some lawmakers concerned.
“Just ten criminals rampaging through Second Life and what happens to your own personal Second Life? They want to create a vast world in the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something that you just dump a world in without oversight and planning. And if you don’t understand, those worlds can be filled with criminals, weapons and narcotics and if they are filled, when you put your family in, it could be bad,” Senator Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, stated.
Stevens and several other senators are reported to be preparing legislation that would outlaw in Second Life activities that are currently criminal offenses in real life.Print This Post