Call Of Duty Blamed As Boy Admits Killing Mum With Birthday-Gift Rifle

It's been a cheerful few days for video game crime news, hasn't it? First was the teenage father who sawed a former friend's neck down to the trachea over some Xbox Live name-calling. Now an Iowa boy says he killed and attempted to rape his mother after she took away Call of Duty.

That's according to the 911 call 14-year-old Noah Crooks of Osage, Iowa placed on March 24, 2012, the night he shot his mother 20 times. It was played in court this week as his trial began. His mother, Gretchen Crooks, had confiscated his video game about three hours before she was shot to death, an act believed to spark the fit of rage that led to her killing. It was the first homicide reported in that town since 1898.

"I'm not joking at all. She's dead. I'm scared. I killed my mum with my .22. I don’t know why I did it," he told the 911 dispatcher. "I tried to rape her. I tried to rape her but I couldn't do it." He spoke of playing Call of Duty and said his mother took it away because he got bad grades. "Something just came over me," he said.

Crooks shot her with the .22 rifle he was given as an 11-year-old. Considering a five-year-old in Kentucky just shot his two-year-old sister to death with a candy-coloured, small-size .22 rifle made especially for children, one would think this type of product or gift-giving practice should come in for a public arse-kicking, but I doubt it will.

The defence opened its case on Friday with testimony from Noah Crooks' friends, one of whom played Call of Duty with him online. The testimony is meant to establish some type of rapid change in Crooks' behaviour. Despite constant references to an attention deficit disorder and the rambling 911 call in which he appears divorced from reality, he did say, "I feel crazy and I know I'm not."

Jury listens to 911 tape during testimony in Crooks case [Mason City (Iowa) Globe Gazette, via Destructoid. Image via KAAL-TV.]


    Wait...there's attempted rape in CoD now? Does anybody even play the accused games before making an accusation? If anything blame television and movies!

      You haven't played much CoD online have you? Kids are always threatening to rape me.

        Now that you mention it, maybe that is the reason I have yet to buy an X30/PS3

        Kids these days. Bunch of savages.

          It's funny how you are using one child to kids these days, savages. I would like to point out that situations like this are extremely god damn rare and this child had something mentally wrong with him. Unless you have any statements or facts saying that young people are all horrible, please shut your generic trap and do some research.

            Jesus, calm the fuck down man. For starters I wasn't commenting on the one kid in the story, I replying to Bangers comment referring to the number of pre-pubescent boys threatening to rape people and what not over the chat in online games such as CoD. My comment was based on my personal experience, and as I inferred from Banger's comment and other people I know who have experienced and sometimes perpetrated such things. So I don't think I need to shut my generic trap and cite any sources to back up what was basically a throw-away 'tut-tut' type comment. Sheesh.

      'It's the Tea Bagging! The "Tea Bagging" is a sexual act simulated in a violent videogame that makes you want to rape and kill your mother!'

      ~ Fox News.

      I don't think he specifically mentioned anything about it being in the game, just that having the game taken away made him want to rape and kill.


      Why don't we blame the person responsible for committing the actions they do, rather than external influences that have little or nothings to do with their behavior.

      People the world over play video games and watch violent movies. The gun related deaths seem to be mainly a US phenomenon.

      I have to wonder, did he mean "rape" as in "nonconsensual sex" or as in "pwn"? Either is possible, but given the reputation of 14-year-olds on Xbox Live and the fact that he cared so much about the game, I'd have to at least consider that in his mind at the time of making the call "rape" was synonymous with "shooting many times so she's good and dead".

      Not that it makes him much less of a sicko. A little bit, perhaps.

    why do all these crazy people play video games?

      Because playing video games is a common hobby. Why can't they blame 'playing tennis' or 'watching movies' as the cause?

        Proven fact: 100% of all rapists drink water and breath air! Quick, ban air and water and save our kids before it's too late!!!

    Jesus. He was obviously inspired by the mum rape scene in black ops 2.

    Isn't CoD 18+ in the states?

    Last edited 05/05/13 4:56 pm

      there's no enforced rating system for games in the states, it is a guideline system to help people make informed decisions.

        that's not true, children 18+ can't buy M-rated games, but their parents can buy them and give them to their children legally.

          Sorry mate, its not like that at all. The kids can buy any game, because in the US the ratings aren't enforced at POS (Point of Sale). They should just enforce it. Problem solved. Also don't buy anyone a gun ever. Period.

    Kids throw tantrums when things they like are taken away from them. A child throwing a tantrum with easy access to a rifle is a terrifying proposition. Once again, the issue here isn't video games. It's gun control.

      Guns dont kill people

      People do

        People with guns.

        We can't exactly take away the people. We CAN take away the guns. Why the hell do kids needs guns?

        Guns dont kill people.
        But they help.

    Wow that's disgusting... how could she take away his game like that.

    So a 14 year old is playing games he shouldn't be allowed to play and gets given guns for his birthday, obviously has other mental issues but video games are the culprit...

    Something is wrong in that.

    How can you say that when it's clear the problem here isn't the firearm being owned by a child, it is the Mother's failure to own her own rifle to defend herself with. If everyone had access to high powered murderous death dealing firearms, there'd be fewer shootings. It's obvious idiot!

    Crooks shot her with the .22 rifle he was given as an 11-year-old.

    Lets look at the REAL problem here shall we...

      Gun Control can never work as proven by the statistical anomally that is Australia.

      Warning this Video makes John Howard look freakin incredible.

        Eep we're planet x! There's alot Howard did in his time I have a lot of respect for him for. I consider him to essentially be 'the last of the old guard'. One of the last politicians that, despite wether you liked him or not, you had to respect him. He at least had the courage of his convictions to do what he believed in, such as the Port Arthur massacre gun control. I never once voted for him and I violently disagreed with workchoices but I always had some level of respect for him, unlike the leaders these days.

        Last edited 05/05/13 10:36 pm

          Yep, took his policy to election and let the people decide.

          Was defeated by the new "Sunrise with Mel & Kochie" style politician (on both sides) which is more worried about popularity than policy.

            You know, I LOVE that description lol. It so fits politicians these days lol 'Sunrise with Mel and Kochie politicians' lol! They're more worried about how they look on morning tv and come across than how the nation is actually going... my parents and I were discussing what I said last night and they agree with me. Howard is definitely the last of his kind. Possibly there's one or two left in the local governments but on a federal level they're gone. Now it's all social media politicians. Media whores.

            BS. Howard's campaign was nothing but scare-tactics and lies. One of his major 'selling points' was keeping interest rates low and threatening that the opposition would let them skyrocket. Howard got in, interest rates soared, and thus began the era of financial hardship for the common man that has been plaguing Australia for nearly two decades.

        Whoopdefucking-doo. lol. Go Professor Duncan, go!

          *hearts* him as Professor Duncan on Community :D

          "All life ends in death which we as a species are cursed with knowing which ends with........soooooomething..... really, this is NOT my field!"

          Last edited 06/05/13 9:55 am

      My thoughts exactly.

    How American news will react to this: "Let us not dwell in the perfectly natural, God-given right to give your unstable kid a gun as a present; we're not here to talk about everything that's well and good in the world. Rather, let's us stress the fact that the kid in question had been playing one of these satanic, soulcorrupting video-games which, by the dark sorceries etched in it by the foulest demons, completely overrode the poor boy's will and forced him into the vilest evils: to misuse his gift and legal rights of owning a weapon."

      Heretic! Blasphemor! Why do you try to destroy freedom with your sound reason and logic?!

    “I tried to rape her. I tried to rape her but I couldn’t do it.”

    Hey kid, when someone says they're going to 'rape' you in CoD, doesn't mean they're actually going to force sex upon you. This is the worst goddamn CoD-kid story I've ever heard and of course, you give the dropkick teen with anger management issues a gun as a gift.

      Have to admit, this is close to what I imagine the CoD douchebags I've played against, look like.


    If this was really something to be blamed for CoD he would have called her a noob, done the act and tea bagged her. Not "tried to rape" which is just retarded. The kids just insane in the membrane, this isn't CoDs fault. Its a lot of things all bunched together really. Bad parenting, gun control, kids a fool etc...

    "candy-coloured, small-size .22 rifle made especially for children" what the hell is the world coming too!

      Reminds of this article I saw the other day.. They ended up pimping the company who makes them FOR KIDS at the end of the article too, disgusting.

      Edit: If I had seen where your quote came from it was about the story I linked, whoops.

      Last edited 05/05/13 6:24 pm

    Lets see... In the US you can't drive until you are in your late teens, you can't drink until you are even older, you can't vote until you are an adult, but by god you can be given a rifle and the capacity to murder people when you are 4 years old; especially if you have a psychological or sociological medical condition.

    But oh no, it has to be the games the kid is playing and has absolutely nothing to do with arming someone who may not have the appropriate psychological resources to make value judgements. I wonder if arming the school teachers would have prevented this...

    This is beyond fucked up. How in hell could you pin blame on a video game for this kids deranged thoughts?! He seriously has some deep psychological problems if he thought of raping her. This kid needs help fast. I don't see him getting that in the USA though, which is sad, so he's going to probably be a bigger lost cause later on in life. Sad.

    Geesus kotaku by posting this you are just confirming the problem ffs. the kid had mental issues, the parents were irresponsible there is no game connection stop trying to make one.

    While this kid is all sorts of messed up, having access to this game wasn't helping him either. Combining that type of personality with a game like that was creating a countdown till something along these lines, or worse, would happen.

    For those of you who like math, here's the formula:
    Kid with psychological issues + Violent Game + Real Life Weapon = Really Bad Thing.

      Yeah, its amazing. I am over 30 years of age, and have played games since the XT (286) days. I loved Mortal Kombat when i came out, but did it make me want to tear someones spine out or punch a hole through them? Investigators need to spend more time looking at the person and what sort of environment the child has been grown up in. They need to look into his personality and influences, they need to do a whole bunch of things before deciding 'it was video games', because to me it sounds like an excuse, and its an excuse more people are using every day in an attempt to blame everything else but themselves. And for some reason people are believing them.

    Wait.. Let me get this right. She took the game off him, therefore he re-enacted some violence? Did I get that right? Nope. That's not the game. That's violent thug trying to use "Video games made me violent" as an excuse.

    Christ. I've trained in Kungfu for 27 years and I've still never punched someone. Obviously, I'm not doing it right.

      apparently you have to play a video game - then you'll punch someone.

    This is not gaming news, as tragic and awful as it is. Putting this on a gaming news site just reinforces the stereotype that this is what games do to people when it had nothing to do with this kid's mental issues.

    R18+ game in the hands of a child who has access to a rifle since his parents gave it to him at the age of 11.

    I made the part that his parents were responsible for bold. The part that can be blamed on video games is underlined.

    im sure there where more reasions for this to have happened than just cod i think more info is needed

    One thing stands out for me about these people... They're all frakked in the head.

    All this is, is a very sad story where a kid has murdered his mother and that's a life lost, regardless whether she was good or not, I think all mothers try their best. Now this kids life if ruined as well, even though it's by his hands.

    We're so focused on defending our beloved games these days while the other side is so focused on pointing out key factors to why this situation occurred.

    When it comes down to it, what we really get is two sides coming close to the fence and putting their arms in the air and going "f it" because at the end of all this, we know screwed up things happen in life and that's just life and some wishful thinker will hope that if everyone has a kind heart...maybe just maybe these things won't happen.

      DM, I'd love to agree with you, really I would. And yes, I do find it incredibly sad that people are dying and having their lives ruined by this sort of thing. Yes, we defend games, because games are not the reason for these deaths. They may be a contributing factor, but the real reason is through some form of neglect, either the neglect of raising their children to know what is acceptable or the neglect of seeing signs of dangerous behavior of their children.

      Academically, I could construct jokes, arguments, and snarky observations.

      Emotionally, a woman has been killed by her child doing just what people suggest - limiting video game time for children. And the kid has lost his Mum. Forever. And it was his fault.

      Back to logic and academically looking at things... People call giving a kid a firearm bad parenting, but is it really if everyone is doing it and that's a normal part of your society? We allow kids to drink at 18, but in the US they don't allow it at 21. Does it cause our 18yr olds to go out and get their punch on and glass each other? Why yes, actually. A few bad apples. Does that make our society irresponsible? Not especially. Just different. Like the US gun culture is different. If everyone in that town had been given guns as children and only one in the last two generations actually killed someone with one, that kind of helps that 'normalcy' seem reasonable.
      The catch to the difference is the impact. A glassing or punch-up isn't likely to kill someone quite like a gunshot.

      And for the rape thing... yeah. WTF. I guess you could write that off as truly weird in the head, but I wonder a little about the reason for that head weirdness. Killing someone? That's pretty intense. And what is intensity, chemically? Intensity is all in your head, and by 'in your head' I mean slushy chemicals. Adrenaline and similar. At an age where hormones are rampaging out of balance, testosterone and adrenaline are potent brain-chemicals.
      Fun fact. Surges in testosterone are linked to aggression... and erections. Both cause and effect. Confusing the two isn't much of a stretch if you're a child who hasn't had much opportunity to viscerally understand outlets for either and the difference between them. 'Why do I have a boner now, and what am I supposed to do with it?'
      Anyone who's ever had a random 'pop up' in the office while working on completely non-sexy spreadsheets with no sexual stimulus or arousal whatsoever should be pretty aware that the function of that organ isn't always tied to what you're thinking/feeling.

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