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Infatuated War Gamer Guilty Of Brutal Murder


A German office worker has been found guilty of brutally stabbing to death a Nottingham student - after becoming obsessed with his girlfriend who he met playing online war games.




David Heiss stabbed Matthew Pyke 86 times after forcing his way into the Nottingham flat Mr Pyke shared with his 21-year-old girlfriend, Joanna Witton.


In his last moments Mr Pyke, 20, had written DAV, the first three letters of Heiss's Christian name, in his own blood on the side of his computer to alert police to his killer's identity.


But the computer sciences student, of Stowmarket, Suffolk, did not survive the attack on September 19 last year, which was described by prosecutors at Nottingham Crown Court as "savage and sustained".


Heiss became obsessed with Miss Witton after meeting her through the war gaming website she ran with her boyfriend from their flat above the Orange Tree pub in North Sherwood Street in Nottingham city centre.


There were gasps in the public gallery as the verdict was delivered.


Mr Pyke's brother Adam hugged his mother Kim.


Mr Justice Keith said that Heiss had remained in denial about the murder.


The law permits only one punishment for the crime of murder and the sentence I pass on you is one of imprisonment for life," he said, adding that Heiss would serve at least 18 years.


He said: "The fact that your motive for murder was so bizarre doesn't make your killing of Matthew any the less serious."


Matthew's mother, Kim, said: "I don't think internet chatrooms are a bad thing.


Matthew and Jo were friendly with a lot of people in real life. But people need to be careful about the information they give to other people.


"Matthew was quite naive. He was quite trusting. He expected people to be like him."

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Are we all capable of violence?



By Diene Petterle


It was one of the thorniest questions of the 20th Century and it remains a conundrum today. Are all "ordinary" people potentially violent?


The human race is both appalled and fascinated by violence. Man's aggression spans the globe - from terrorist attacks to guerrilla wars to gang-related crime.


It is everywhere, and it binds all nations and races together. But where does it begin? Do we learn it or is it something instinctive?


Most of us think of ourselves as calm and peaceful people.



Horizon's How Violent Are You? is on BBC Two at 2100 BST on Tuesday, 12 May

Or watch it later on the BBC iPlayer


We're brought up to try and resolve all conflict peaceably and tend to think that violence is something that "other" people commit, not ourselves. But is it?


Is it possible that you, or your mother or daughter or son, could ever be driven to commit a dreadful crime? Do we have that level of violence in ourselves?


The answer is yes.


Contrary to popular belief, we are born violent. Until the age of three, our impulses run riot. There is no stopping the urges which come from the emotional centre in our brains.


But as we grow up, we start to develop the part of the brain that allows us to control our aggression - the pre-frontal cortex. Yet crucially, how well this control mechanism works depends on our experiences.

Festival of violence


Being taught to share and take turns rather than resolve conflict with violence actually changes the physical structure of the brain and therefore makes us less aggressive.


But trying to resolve conflict peaceably is not something all cultures subscribe to. In the Bolivian Andes, one tribe settles disputes which arise over the year in an annual festival of violence, known as the Tinku.


Nazi death squad executes Ukrainian Jews

The way people with no history of violence committed atrocities during World War II has provoked much discussion


Their warrior tradition dictates that men, women and even children should learn to fight and deaths are not unheard of.


Neuroscientist Maria Couppis argues that their brains are different from the norm because they were socialised to resolve conflicts this way.


This suggests that although we are all born with a violent potential, our upbringing and the environment play a key part in creating violence controls in our brain.


Not only are we born violent, we are also chemically programmed to love it. Inside the brain a pleasure-inducing chemical called dopamine is released when we fight.


Dopamine informs the brain that we're having a good time. But the problem doesn't stop there - the rush we get from dopamine can get us physically addicted to violence. The more we have it, the more we want it.

Primeval pleasure


Danny Brown, a former hooligan, knows better than most just how far one can go to get this "hit". He was sent to prison for stabbing a rival fan but even that didn't stop him. The rush of hooliganism was too strong to resist.


"I was never into drinking or drugs. Fighting was my heroin."


It's only when your violent impulses are triggered that you realise you are out of control

Prof Charles Golden


Fighting is a primeval pleasure controlled by the frontal part of the brain. But how easy is it for us to lose control? Crimes of passion are an everyday occurrence and perpetrators often don't know what came over them. How is this explained? What is it that drives them to lose it?


Neuro-psychology expert Prof Charles Golden says we can all easily lose control and commit an extreme act of violence. All we need is for there to be a breakdown in the pre-frontal cortex and that can be triggered by anything from a car accident or repeated blows to the head in a game of rugby.


In fact, physical injury is not the only way to cause the cortex to shut down. Depression, alcohol abuse, drugs, lack of sleep and even the natural ageing process can all injure our violence controls.

Control mechanisms


"One of my patients is a priest," says Prof Golden. "He spent all his life helping people and one day he had a car accident. In the hospital, the doctors sent him home saying he was completely fine.


"For a month he didn't notice anything was wrong. But then he had a fight with his wife and completely lost it. He very nearly killed her. So much so that she left him straight away.



Child soldier in Congo

Many are forced into violent action and desensitised


"The scary thing is that in your everyday life you just don't notice there's anything wrong. It's only when your violent impulses are triggered that you realise you are out of control. But by then it's probably too late."


It's hard to accept that we're born violent, that we enjoy it, and that all our control mechanisms can easily be broken.


But if we think about why most people get killed, it isn't because of a crime of passion or a sudden rush of violence - it is because of war and genocide. It is because someone deliberately decided to kill another person.


Emmanuel Jal, a former child soldier in the Sudan, has personal experience of how a traumatic experience can lead you to deliberately want to kill another human being.


He had a healthy and happy childhood until one day war tore his hopes for a normal life. His mother disappeared, his village was burnt down and he lost everything he had.


Justified aggression


He became convinced that the people who did this to him deserved to die, and joined the rebel army. With them, he killed and tortured many people.


He is now trying to re-build his life and share with the world the idea that violence only creates more violence.


Emmanuel Jal's experience is extreme. But how extreme does a situation need to be for you or I to be convinced that violence is justified against another person?

Drunk man being arrested

Sometimes violence is explained by alcohol consumption or other factors


Most of us can imagine that if someone harmed our children or loved ones, we might engage in violence. But could we ever harm someone who hasn't caused us any harm, merely because of an idea or ideology?


The much-cited Milgram experiment of 1961 suggests the answer might be yes. Members of the public were asked to give a shock to a "volunteer" every time they got an answer from a multiple questions test wrong. The shocks were to be increased incrementally, up until the lethal 450v shock.


What the participants didn't know was that the "volunteer" was acting and hadn't been receiving shocks. But still two-thirds were prepared to deliver the "fatal" 450v shock because of the supervision of a white-coated authority figure.


The experiment has often been used as the proof that we are all capable of violence within a certain framework. We struggle to accept this, but the science seems to suggest we are wrong.



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Bill Aims to Turn Internet Flamers Into Felons

Michael Barkoviak - May 11, 2009 12:47 PM






A little known bill is now causing a firestorm among free speech experts


An internet bill re-introduced in Congress by Representative Linda Sanchez aims to turn internet flaming and harassment into a felony, with a growing number of Congressman and others becoming familiar with the bill.


Specifically, H.R. 1966, originally filed on April 2, will make it a felony if the messages have "the intent is to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person." People using electronic means to harass others face possible fines or jail sentence up to two years, or both.


To date, the bill has the support of Sanchez and 14 other members of Congress, with Sanchez continuing to rally support for the bill.


Critics of the bill have come forward, as one blogger from the National Review Online's Media Blog called the bill the "Censorship Act of 2009." UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh also criticized the bill, saying a number of everyday scenarios could be considered illegal by the bill, if the communications are "severe" enough.


Sanchez decided to create the bill, called the Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act, after Megan Meier killed herself in 2007 after being bullied on social networking MySpace. This is the second attempt, after a previous one in May 2008, to have the bill signed into law.


Sanchez defended the bill, stating, "Congress has no interest in censoring speech and it will not do so if it passes this bill. Put simply, this legislation would be used as a tool for a judge and jury to determine whether there is significant evidence to prove that a person 'cyberbullied' another. That is: did they have the required intent, did they use electronic means of communication, and was the communication severe, hostile, and repeated. So—bloggers, emailers, texters, spiteful exes, and those who have blogged against this bill have no fear—your words are still protected under the same American values."


It should be interesting to hear what other politicians and internet privacy experts say when they become aware of the bill that seemingly has slipped through the cracks up until this point. The bill likely won't come close to being signed into law, but free speech experts are surprised 15 members of Congress are supporting the bill, and are looking for others to also support it.






Toontastic is cute-puppy-pictures-dog-neutered-car.jpg if the EU get a hold of this.



Most of the posters on here will be jail.gif:rolleyes:

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