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"World of Warcraft" Played Role in Teens' Rape, Murder of Canadian Girl Kimberly Proctor, Experts Say

Kimberly Proctor (Personal Photo)
A scene from the online video game "World of Warcraft" (Blizzard Entertainment)

NEW YORK (CBS) Prosecutors in Canada hope to have two teens sentenced as adults after they admitted to planning the brutal rape and murder of 18-year-old Kimberly Proctor, and bragged about it on World of Warcraft, a sometimes violent online role-playing game.

Some experts believe the killers' involvement with World of Warcraft, which has 12 million subscribers worldwide, may have been a contributing factor in the crime, and say the game provided key information to police, according to CTV.

CTV reports that the teens planned the killing online, using code words to "initiate the attack, maps of where to dispose her body and what kind of fuel to buy to burn her body."

Those messages were collected by police and used by prosecutors.

The teens, ages 16 and 18, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder Wednesday in a British Columbia court.

Bonnie Leadbeater, a psychology professor at the University of Victoria, says some kids have trouble knowing that what's acceptable in a game may not be in real life.

"You don't know which aggressive kid is going to take the fantasies of video games and try them out in reality. You just can't predict those very rare occurrences," she said.

"There would have been signs early. I don't know these two boys at all, but generally, kids who go on to kill other kids or to act out in this sort of extreme manner are having problems early."

Both teens were avid fans of the online game.  After Proctor's murder, the boys told a friend on World of Warcraft what they had done. One of the teens admitted that the murder didn't feel like he thought it would.

Now the teenage killers are undergoing psychiatric exams, and a judge will decide in March if they should be sentenced as adults.

Officials say they lured the girl to a home, sexually assaulted her, killed her and then took her body to a popular hiking trail where they set it on fire.

Officials have yet to determine a motive, but prosecutors say one of the killers had dreamed of killing someone since he was a boy.

The teens have not been named due to their ages when the murder occurred.

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