Tyrone Spellman, has been convicted of killing his daughter, Alayiah Turman, in Philadelphia on September 7, 2006. He faces 23 to 47 years in prison.
The spark that lead to the murder was apparently that the 17-month-old daughter, "pulled down his Xbox console".
The fact that Philly was also the most violent city in the USA in 2006 but that this crime is apparently the most worthy of media attention due to its 'Xbox' connection indicate that once again video game-related crime tales make quick, easy copy for the mainstream media.
The Press Association
using the headline, "Xbox-obsessed father kills toddler" reports Assistant District Attorney James Berardinelli stating that, "He (Spellman) spent six to seven hours a day in there playing Xbox".
A terrible, tragic story regarding the death of a small child. The conviction is being widely reported, and that Xbox link is constantly making the headline. Other stats, however, are seemingly being overlooked.The Philadelphia Inquirer
, for example, reporting on the retirement of Police Commissioner, Sylvester M Johnson, states, "In 2006, there were 406 (murders), the most in 10 years. In 2007, there were 392 murders, and Philadelphia had the highest homicide rate among large U.S. cities".
406 murders in 2006? Let's focus a little more closely using the Pennsylvania State's own 'Uniformed Crime Reporting System'
for September 2006. Here we can discover that in Philly, only in that month, there were 38 'Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter offences' reported. That's 38 in the same month.
goes into more detail (and comes up with a list of 34, not 38) - of these 31 murders were committed against African Americans - that's just over 91% or murders were committed against black victims.
Also, how is Philly to live in? AreaConnect also provides some useful comparators. Let's try New York (8,165,001) versus Philly (population: 1,464,576)
for 2006 for murders. Well, in 2006, NYC had 596 murders while Philadelphia had that 406.
Look at the population figures... Mmmm... want some more clarification. Well, as a calculation of murders per 100k population, the national average in the USA for 2006 was seven. NYC came in at 7.3. Philadelphia was a massive 27.7.
So, this Xbox connection? Why in a town that has the highest murder rate in the United States is the only story that gets widely reported the one with a video games connection? Could it be simply a convenient cover under which a lazy media and conniving politicians can sweep the real issues? Were there possibly other reasons for a grown man to murder his own daughter?