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Title: Suspect in slays fan of 'Dungeons'

Source: Boston Herald, February 16th, 2010

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Suspect in slays fan of 'Dungeons'

By Laurel J. Sweet

Accused campus killer Amy Bishop was a devotee of Dungeons & Dragons - just like Michael “Mucko” McDermott, the lone gunman behind the devastating workplace killings at Edgewater Technology in Wakefield in 2000.

Bishop, now a University of Alabama professor, and her husband James Anderson met and fell in love in a Dungeons & Dragons club while biology students at Northeastern University in the early 1980s, and were heavily into the fantasy role-playing board game, a source told the Herald.

“They even acted this crap out,” the source said.

When questioned about it yesterday, Anderson, 45, a research scientist in Huntsville, Ala., dismissed the egghead escape as “a passing interest. It was a social thing more than anything else. It’s not the crazy group people think they are.”

McDermott studied engineering at Northeastern in the late 1980s, but Anderson said he never met him. Police seized two Dungeons & Dragons books from McDermott’s Haverhill apartment after he shot seven co-workers to death on Dec. 26, 2000.

The popular fantasy role-playing game has a long history of controversy, with objections raised to its demonic and violent elements. Some experts have cited the D&D backgrounds of people who were later involved in violent crimes, while others say it just a game. A federal appeals court recently upheld a prison ban on the game in Wisconsin, where prison officials reportedly testified they were afraid the game could promote “hostility, violence and escape behavior.”

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