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Mehnaz Zaman Was A Type Of Mass Killer Known As An 'Injustice Collectors' Says Doc
Criminologist Dr. Michael Arntfield tells Oxygen.com that Menhaz Zaman behaved much like a mass shooter.
Peacock’s “Perfect World: A Deadly Game” documents how mass murderer Menhaz Zaman wrapped his online gaming friends into the slaughter of his family. But why did he do it?
In 2019, Menhaz Zaman, then-23, killed four of his family members inside their Toronto home by stabbing them, beating them with a crowbar, and slitting their throats.
After Zaman killed his 50-year-old mother Momtaz Zaman, he uploaded a photo of her body to a Discord chat about the multi-player video game called Perfect World. The chat, known as the Void community, was an online gaming group where Zaman was an active participant. Soon after posting the photo of his mother, he shared one of his dead 70-year-old grandmother Firoza Begum. He confessed to the murders to his fellow gamers, explaining to his closest online friends that he was gearing up to kill his sister and father next.
The gamers worked diligently to figure out where Zaman was located so they could save his surviving family members. While they successfully pinpointed where Zaman lived, by the time police knocked on his door, his 59-year-old dad Moniruz Zaman and 21-year-old sister Malesa Zaman were also dead.
Zaman pleaded guilty in September of 2020 to all four murders. Two months later, he was sentenced to life in prison.
He claimed that he killed his family because he was ashamed that he had lied to them about being enrolled in university to become an engineer; in reality, he had dropped out. The murders came one day before his supposed graduation.
“I did this because I don’t want my parents to feel the shame of having a son like me," he had claimed, according to a 2019 VICE report. "I chose to kill them instead of me out of cowardliness, due to me being an atheist and believing this is the only life we get. I know it might sound confusing but what’s done is done and what had been planned has been concluded.”
Criminologist Dr. Michael Arntfield told Oxygen.com in a phone interview that he does believe Zaman's explanation is “largely accurate.”
“People of that mindset tend to fixate on particular perceived slights and then develop a plan that they put in place,” he said.
While Zaman is technically a family annihilator, Arntfield said he exhibited traits typically present in mass shooters, specifically school shooters and disgruntled workplace shooters.
These murderers fit into a specific type called “injustice collectors.”
“They have been fixed on little slights,” he told Oxygen.com. “They spent so much time in a fantasy world and detached from healthy relationships and support, they process time much differently. Three years ago in the mind of these ‘injustice collectors’ is like last week. Time goes much more slowly. Whatever the perceived trauma is, time stops.”
He said that while these “perceived traumas” may seem small to the average person, they are very important to the murderer.
“Often the motive to properly-adjusted people seems trivial and absurd but someone this withdrawn and emotionally cold […] something very minor is going to be justification for carrying out these fantasies,” he said.
Arntfield told Oxygen.com that he believes that Zaman had schizoid personality disorder, which he said is typically in nearly every mass murderer, family annhilators included. The disorder is characterized by detachment and apathy, which Zaman’s online friends noted he exhibited.
Arntfield was not surprised by Zaman's gaming obsession, saying that people with the disorder have a “proneness to retreat into fantasy” and are attracted “to activities that allow for a great deal of fantasizing.”
“Perfect World: A Deadly Game” debuts on March 8.