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Gamer Murdered by Obsessive Online Acquaintance

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Matthew Pyke and his girlfriend, Joanna Witton, both 20-year-old residents of Nottingham, U.K., were avid gamers. Their online forum, Advance Wars, attracted equally fanatical fans, including one German student who became obsessed with Witton. The obsession led David Heiss, a 21-year-old resident of Limburg, Germany, to kill Pyke, stabbing him 86 times.

CNET News reported that Heiss met the couple online. Over a six-month period in which they never met face-to-face, Heiss became so enamored with Witton via her Facebook pictures that he made two surprise visits to the couple, refusing to stay in a hotel and insisting on sleeping at the end of the couple's bed. In September 2008, Witton came home to find Pyke stabbed to death, and reports say he had attempted to write the name of his killer in his own blood.

The TimesOnline UK reported that Heiss attempted to make the murder look like a suicide. A fake suicide note was found in his bag, and he elicited his sister to log onto his account from Germany to appear as though he had never traveled to the U.K. Heiss contends that he and Pyke had started fighting each other, and that Pyke had stabbed him in the knee first. He denies murdering Pyke, claiming that he acted in self-defense.

According to Heiss, the suicide note found in his bag was written as a way to "cheer himself up."