Smiley Face Killers: Life Imitates Grand Theft Auto

The news today from the land of the crazies is an apparent series of murders of athletic college-age men by drowning, their bodies found near a smiley-face graffito. At least one was classified as a homicide instead of suicide, with the story being that he was abducted after drinking and tortured in a van before being drowned in a river. Does this have anything to do with the smiley face gang in the Grand Theft Auto videogames? Disclaimer: I have not played the games. They aren’t appropriate for a house with young children in it. It would appear that the gang killers in the game tag the locales where they leave victim bodies with smiley face graffiti.

The Minnesota Monitor also mentions the story of Luke Heider, who planted 16 pipe bombs in 2002 in a multi-state pattern in the shape of a smiley face.

The whole theory is far fetched. But as Lee Cowan said on NBC:

“The idea of some sinister national gang out killing young college men is a hard theory to sell. But to the parents who have lost a son, a far-fetched reason is better than no reason at all.”

It’s hard to accept this kind of horror movie serial killing going on. For one thing, who would want to murder a string of athletic young men across the Midwest and Northeast by drowning, perhaps after kidnapping and torturing them? What could the purpose be?

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10 thoughts on “Smiley Face Killers: Life Imitates Grand Theft Auto

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  2. Jens, how can you be skeptical of what the media says about this? It’s a consensus after all!

  3. The media, ha!

    In the US, our “media” is mainstream and the stories that sell get more airtime than the ones that matter. If we still had public hangings, they would be on the television instead of high-speed car chases!

  4. They’re ritual killings, intended to give the performers personal power. The smiley face isn’t the only tagging found at the drowning sites, it’s simply the only tagging they were willing to disclose at the time. Another thing they weren’t willing to disclose at the time is that the killings are always performed during certain moon phases. There were witnesses, but they don’t have police protection yet because the FBI has so far refused to investigate. The media was only called upon as an attempt to protect the witnesses and to prevent more killings until the FBI can be convinced that these drownings are not accidents or suicides.

  5. Interesting theory, Monkeyshines. I hesitate to venture into the satanic ritual murder craze of the eighties once again, or even into the Process Church ties to the Son of Sam killings from the 70s. Do you have any evidence you would be willing to share?

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  7. The first killing was in 1997. Unless I’m mistaken about what was in GTA1, the only “smiley face” gang in a GTA game wasn’t until 1999, and it is a very distinctive symbol, not just any smiley face. If the killers are really using this as a signature, why are all the various claimed connected smilies such different designs?

  8. Bad, just to underline what I wrote about the theory being far fetched, I’m a skeptic on this story. But I do think it’s interesting. It would probably be a decent plot for a book or movie. Or maybe Dexter will adapt it.

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