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Escapism turned into a nightmare when a gamer told his online friends that he killed his own mother.
“Perfect World: A Deadly Game,” the first of Peacock’s True Crime Tuesday documentaries chronicles how a group of gamers tried to beat the clock to save lives after their homicidal online friend began revealing his plans to kill his entire family.
Members of the Perfect World Void community were long familiar with a user named Menhaz. He was a troll who liked to make edgy comments and jokes. To some in an accompanying Discord dedicated to the game, he was a nuisance and a pest. To others, he was a good listener who needed a friend.
But even to those who knew him best, at least digitally, he took his comments to a whole new level in July of 2019 when he uploaded a photo of a dead woman. She had been stabbed and he claimed it was his mother. Soon, he was announcing his plans to kill the rest of his family.
The group of gamers, who lived all across the globe, had to work together to win a very different kind of game: trying to figure out who Menhaz was and where he lived so they could save his surviving family members’ lives.
It took 18 hours but the gamers worked together, all putting their different strengths, talents and expertise to work, findingwhere Menhaz lived by honing in on his IP address, which placed him in Toronto, Canada.
By the time that police knocked on an upper-middle-class house in Markham, a Toronto suburb, looking for a Menhaz, four people were dead.
Menhaz Zaman, then-23, answered the door and let the police in. Investigators then discovered the bodies of Zaman’s 70-year-old grandmother Firoza Begum, 59-year-old dad Moniruz Zaman, 21-year-old sister Malesa Zaman and 50-year-old mother Momtaz Zaman inside, Global News reported in 2020.
Zaman pleaded guilty in September of 2020 to all four murders. Two months later, he was sentenced to life in prison. He won’t have a chance of parole for another four decades. The former gamer will be 64 years old at that point.
Zaman 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 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.”
“Perfect World: A Deadly Game” debuts on Peacock on March 8.
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