John Feeney Case File

THE FOLLOWING are tid-bits gathered from around the net on a little heard of case that may or may not be related to vampirism. There is hardly enough evidence in to really say. If you or anyone you know has more information on this case, please drop me a line.

-- Liriel McMahon, Director.

Last Updated February 5th 1998


Subj: John Feeney!!
Date: 97-11-25 13:49:45 EST
From: canderso@mondec.monmouth.edu (Craig Anderson)
To: lirielmc@AOL.COM

Hi There!!
Did you see the story on last night's Dateline NBC, about a man named John Feeney who strangled his wife and kids? Apparently he was really into the Vampire role-playing game. Yes, another role-playing geek gone buggo. I thought you might be interested. This all went down in Springfield, Missouri.

~ an LMc snip~


Subj: Re: John Feeney!!
Date: 12/09/97
To: canderso@mondec.monmouth.edu

In a message dated 97-11-25 13:49:45 EST, you write:

<< Did you see the story on last night's Dateline NBC, about a man named John Feeney who strangled his wife and kids? Apparently he was really into the Vampire role-playing game. Yes, another role-playing geek gone buggo. I thought you might be interested. This all went down in Springfield, Missouri.>>

No I don't like to watch Dateline NBC, they did an interview with me for that Florida case and I wouldn't spout their party line, so they essentially wasted three hours of my time, and got me all excited for nothing... I've done a little digging around on the internet and all I can find are two mentions of the story in alt.folklore or whatever, not even Dateline's page had anything on it... weird eh?

~an LMc snip~


Subject: Role-Playing is evil UL vectored on NBC dateline
From: "Mark Towler" [marknospam_spamlesstowler@nt.com]
Date: 1997/11/25
Message-ID: [01bcf9cb$63f047e0$1f84042f@nnepc140.bnr.ca]
Newsgroups: alt.folklore.urban

Last night I was watching a rather interesting edition of Dateline, NBC's investigative reports/news show (sorr, I don't watch the US networks much, so this may not be an accurate description of the program). Anyway, they were providing a very detailed analysis of a murder trial involving a man named Feeney. While he was out of town at a convention, his wife and two baby children were brutally bludgeoned to death (well, one of the babies was strangled) and he was the prime suspect. It seemed to me that the prosecutions case was rather weak (we can discuss this offline), but there was certainly enough circumstantial evidence to point at him. However, Feeney had some good lawyers and there were a lot of unanswered questions (ie, no motive for killing his own family) that set the prosecution back a few steps. Here's where it got interesting:

In their rebuttal, the prosecution claimed that Feeney played RPGs since the 70's - and we all know what that means, right kiddies? Furthermore, they found rule books to "Vampire:The Masquerade" in his home room (he's a teacher). Some completely illegible scrawls of paint on the wall at the murder scene were purported to read "MV" (looked more like MY to me) so that must mean "Master Vampire" right? The word "bit" was also (clearly) written on the wall and they seemed to feel that was related, even though none of the victims had been bitten. Dateline then conveniently showed us a passage from the rulebook saying that "a vampire in frenzy is a wild, uncontrolled killing machine with no remorse, etc, etc".

Feeney claimed that the school's rpg club (which he supervised) played the game and that he didn't - they just stored stuff in his home room. As well, no one seemed to come up with a character sheet of his or any indication that he ever played the game or called himself "Master Vampire". In fact, all interviews with his fellow role-players indicated that he tended to play good guys and that his nickname in RPG circles was "goody two-shoes". As well, anyone familiar with the Vampire game would realize that the term "Master Vampire" is totally inconsistent with the characters and settings described in the game.

Anyway, I thought it interesting that the prosecution felt Feeney's involvement in RPG's was worth bringing up. There was no reference to any other RPG-related ULs, but there certainly seemed to be an inference that playing the game had somehow 'influenced' Feeney. Does anyone know of any other cases that suggested a defendent's criminal behavour was influenced by RPGs?


Subject: Re: Role-Playing is evil UL vectored on NBC dateline
From: lamaia@unm.edu (LaMaia Cramer)
Date: 1997/11/27
Message-ID: [65kiur$41qk@argo.unm.edu]
Newsgroups: alt.folklore.urban

Mark Towler [marknospam_spamlesstowler@nt.com] wrote: [on Dateline on NBC a story about Feeney, whose wife and two children were murdered while he was out of town]
[snip]
>In their rebuttal, the prosecution claimed that Feeney played RPGs since
>the 70's - and we all know what that means, right kiddies? Furthermore,
>they found rule books to "Vampire:The Masquerade" in his home room (he's a
>teacher). Some completely illegible scrawls of paint on the wall at the
>murder scene were purported to read "MV" (looked more like MY to me) so
>that must mean "Master Vampire" right? The word "bit" was also (clearly)
>written on the wall and they seemed to feel that was related, even though
>none of the victims had been bitten. Dateline then conveniently showed us a
>passage from the rulebook saying that "a vampire in frenzy is a wild,
>uncontrolled killing machine with no remorse, etc, etc".

I laughed loud and long at this point in the show. I was then very much surprised that the television show didn't go on to suggest that Feeney's high schoolers had murdered his wife and child. After all, they're teenagers who play role-playing games, which is usually sufficient to convict in the unblinking eye of the media.

>Anyway, I thought it interesting that the prosecution felt Feeney's
>involvement in RPG's was worth bringing up. There was no reference to any
>other RPG-related ULs, but there certainly seemed to be an inference that
>playing the game had somehow 'influenced' Feeney. Does anyone know of any
>other cases that suggested a defendent's criminal behavour was influenced
>by RPGs?

They sure seem to crop up on news/entertainment shows often enough.

-LaMaia


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