Wild Conspiracy Theories Abound In Death Of FPS Russia Producer

Last week, a body was discovered in Carnesville, Georgia. It belonged to 32-year-old Keith Ratliff, who was a producer on the YouTube series FPS Russia. Ratliff had died of a single bullet wound, execution-style, to the back of the head. FPS Russia has not posted a new video since.

FPS Russia is a massive online hit, so popular that it's the third-biggest series on YouTube. Its influence on the video game community is strong too; aside from the name, which obviously draws from the genre of first-person shooters, the show's host Kyle Myers (imitating a Russian for the show's gag) has been promoting games like Black Ops 2 and Far Cry 3 on the channel.

That's about where the facts end. And where the crazy conspiracy theories begin.

Ratliff was the guy responsible for actually getting hold of all the amazing weapons for Myers' show. Many of the exotic and dangerous firearms he uses are illegal for private purchase in the US unless you have a special kind of federal firearms licence, which he had.

This "type 11" licence didn't just let Ratliff buy weapons for use on an online program; as outlined in this excellent report on Vice, it also let him "import a weapon once and then reproduce or modify it to sell on a large scale".

In other words, it gave him a licence to be an arms dealer.

Now, whether he was or not is a mystery. But when you combine this rare privilege with his (relatively) public role and the manner of his death, not to mention a heightened (and heated) level of gun debate in the US at the moment, you can understand why some crazy conspiracy stories are starting to emerge.

The first, and most obvious, is that Ratliff was killed in connection to that firearms licence. Maybe he was looking to set himself up as an illegal arms dealer, and established players didn't like that.

Another more amazing one being put forward by crackpot sites is that "Ratliff was targeted by some kind of clandestine assault against the pro-gun movement."

Or anti-gun people who use guns to kill pro-gun people.

The third, and most amazing, is that the US government did it, because they're in the process of killing "pro-gun leaders" (a gun company owner was killed in a car crash recently).

Regardless of how credible or fanciful these theories may be, as the Vice piece points out, the real interesting thing here isn't the investigation into Ratliff's death. It's that the conspiracy theories are evidence of the fact that, while a lot of Americans take the debate about gun control seriously, some people maybe take it a little too seriously, so much so it makes having a proper debate all but impossible.



    Mad detective skillz. 'sexed in the butt you say? this is the sign of a secret anti-homo movement!'

    Oh my GOD! Unbelievable that you guys STILL don't get it! He wasn't killed because of the guns! That's what THEY want you to believe. Didn't you know that Ratliff was part of the secret anti-lizard-people task force? I know because the Martian Wizard Voices in my head told me. He and David Icke were planning to finally destroy the evil lizard queen (aka Queen Elizabeth II (or isn't the III? Secret Queen, anyone?)) with the guns Ratliff got. This was tied in with their attempts to stop the Chem-trails being spread by the Illuminati.

    It's so obvious.

      I know. How could anyone not know this?

      You forgot to add Dave Mustaine is their PR guy, since he knows all about chemtrails!

    All this pro and anti firearms talk and changes that everyone seems to want are starting to make me feel like I'm only going to be safe if I have an assault rifle available to me..


      Gotta watch out for them "dangerous gun-free zones"!

      Yes thats a real line from the pro-gun folks! *facepalm*

    love that Kyle as a suspect hasn't been thrown around.. that was my first go to conspiracy theory

      hah, that was my first thought too, but it seemed too crass and unrealistic to actually mention

      Why would kyle do it when Keith was the one with the license to buy all the guns they used. Conspiracy busted on that one

    Glad im in Australia where unless i become a criminal my chances of dying to a gun are extremely low. As most of the gun deaths in australia are criminals killing other criminals. and there is only about 200 per year.

      Good point. Now if we could stop home invaders armed with knives and bats, and avoid being king hit or glassed when we go out on the weekends, we might live to old age peacefully.

        Nobody ever walked into a primary school and glassed all the kiddies to death before king-hitting themselves in a bizarre massacre/suicide plot...

          don't give them ideas....

      I'm in Brisbane and there have been a few shootings where I've been just down the road when they occurred. It's rare, yes, but it's still a little unnerving to know that if I'm in the wrong place at the right time, I could become another shooting victim.

    The picture that they display is not even the real Keith Ratliff.

    Australia had a fire arm ban implemented???? The death toll went up since then, criminals knew innocents couldn't protect themselves??

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