> 'Strange' Deaths Tied to Game
Title: 'Strange' Deaths Tied to Game
Source: Arizona Republic, August 16th, 1992
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'STRANGE' DEATHS TIED TO GAME
-Satanism also linked to state
woman's slaying, 2 others-
By Jonathan Sidener and Mary Tolan
August 16, 1992 The Arizona
Section B, pp 1 and 6
Misty Largo talked of running away from Flagstaff
and her troubled life. She had problems with the police, problems with other
students. And some say she worshiped Satan.
She got as far as Oregon.
Last Tuesday, Portland
police found the 18-year old's body stuffed into a storm culvert. She was slain
several weeks ago, the third death in a strange case that police say may
involve a group of homeless young people linked by drugs, Satanism, and the
fantasy game Dungeons & Dragons.
And, police say, that Largo may not be an innocent victim,
that she may have been involved in one of the other slayings.
"It's a pretty weird one," Portland
police Sgt. Derrick Foxworth said. "It's possible that (Dungeons &
Dragons) had something to do with it. It's possible that there's drug involvement.
We believe that these people knew each other, that there may have been some
kind of leader, someone who was charismatic."
Foxworth said that there are unconfirmed reports that the
members of the group all had some involvement in worshiping Satan.
Largo is remembered as a lonely
young woman with a startling appearance and a frightening interest in the
"She used to be into heavy metal and Satanism,"
said Melissa Reyes, a 15-year old Coconino
High School student who lived a few
blocks from the Largos until about a year ago.
"She wore heavy black eyeliner and all dark clothes.
She seemed lonely and scary. The way she dressed, the way she looked, even the
way she acted made her an outcast."
The first of the three slayings linked to the group
occurred May 1, when the body of paraplegic Harold Charboneau, 45, was found in
his home in a quiet Portland
Police say they had no suspects in that case until this
month, when two more bodies turned up.
First, they found an unidentified 16-year old boy buried
in a shallow grave. Then, they found Largo's
body in a Portland industrial area.
By then, the picture had begun to come together, Foxworth
He gave the following details:
and the 16-year old may have been involved in the slaying of Harold Charboneau before they were
*Charboneau's son, Grant S. Charboneau,
20, was arrested last Tuesday and charged with killing Largo.
*The younger Charboneau may have had
some role in the slaying of his father and the 16-year old.
him a person of interest in both cases," Foxworth said.
*Four other members of the group have
been arrested in connection with the slaying of Largo and the
16-year old, police said.
*There is some evidence that fantasy
role-playing from the game Dungeons & Dragons is a factor in
Grant Charboneau's grandmother said her grandson was part
of a group that was involved in mystic or medieval role-playing games.
"There's a sort of thing that started quite some
time back," she said, "I guess it was a game at first."
A juvenile who has been arrested in the case used the
name "Highlander," which comes from two films about an immortal race
whose members can be killed only by other immortals in elaborately staged sword
Largo and the
two others were stabbed to death.
IN A FANTASY WORLD
In Dungeons & Dragons, players enter a fantasy world to take the role of
mystical characters armed with such qualities as magic, strength and intelligence.
A "dungeon master" controls the story line, and the players respond
Records say the game has been linked repeatedly to slayings
and other crimes over the years, with players losing sight of the boundaries
between fantasy and reality. Many of the cases involved drugs.
"The game is structured as a heroes game in the
ideas that you can buy for story lines," said David Bennett, a
fantasy-game specialist at the Hobby Bench at Paradise Valley Mall.
"You can play it as a bunch of demon hunters going
out to try to save a village, but I've seen people playing it the other way,
some guys trying to bring a demon into the town."
The Dungeons & Dragons game has been linked to other
*Daniel Kasten, 20, of Long Island,
N.Y., who argued in court in June 1988 that he was not responsible for
shooting his parents because he believed he was under the spell of a
character in the game. The jury found him guilty.
*Authorities in Fayetteville, N.C.,
suspected that two soldiers charged with killing a retired couple
in December 1986 may have been acting out a fantasy from the
*A 16-year old Watertown, N.Y., boy
was convicted of killing an 11- year old neighbor while acting out a Dungeons & Dragons fantasy in 1985. Prosecutors said David K.
Ventiquattro apparently became caught up in the game and shot Martin T.
Howland because the boy "had become evil."
*Drug abuser and avid Dungeon &
Dragon player Christopher Pritchard, 19, planned the murder of his mother
and stepfather in Washington, N.C., in July 1988. He was convicted.
CBS made a television movie, _Cruel Doubt_, about it.
*Five men in Lake
City, Fla., were charged with
robbing a grave and using the body of a suicide victim as
the centerpiece of a black-robed ceremony in a game of Dungeons
Largo never played Dungeons & Dragons while in Flagstaff,
as far as her neighbors knew. Residents also are not sure whether she ran away
or simply went to live with relatives.
Her mother and two of her three brothers still live in Flagstaff.
Thursday, they boarded a bus, headed for the funeral in Oregon
and were unavailable for comment.
People who knew Largo
say that she frequently was in scrapes with the law and that she seemed headed
for some sort of trouble.
frequently in a juvenile detention center for stealing little things, or
clothes or cheap jewelry, Reyes said.
"Lots of people didn't like her too much because the
police were always at the house," said Ray Slim, 13, who lived across the
street from the Largos before the Largos moved.
Largos often talked about her problems and about escaping
them, Reyes said.
About a year ago, she left.
"She was always talking about running away,"
her former neighbor said, "And getting into trouble."