Maria Boyland, Age 48, was found dead in her home early this past Monday morning. A local to Cranston, Rhode Island, Boyland lived there her entire life, but neighbors claim she didn’t have many friends.
Boyland was found when a mailman happened to look through the window of her home as he delivered mail, and noticed she was lying on the floor covered with blood. Police arrived on the scene and discovered her body had been stabbed over 18 times, with most of the knife wounds to the stomach and back.
As Boyland was not know to leave her apartment often, and had few contacts outside her family, the trail to find the killer was almost immediately cold, until police were able to get onto Boyland’s Facebook page and review her notifications and messages. As is common with most people her age, police noticed that she mainly had notifications for playing Facebook games, namely Candy Crush, Farmville, and Bejeweled.
When officers reviewed her messages, the case almost began to solve itself. A message was sent to Boyland three days before her murder from a man who lived approximately 14 hours away from in Virginia. The messages were extremely violent and disturbing in nature, including the one that said “Send me one more game invite to FarmVille and I’ll stab you 18 times, b—-!”
Apparently, Boyland didn’t take the warning seriously, and police assume that either Boyland purposely sent, or Farmville automatically sent, the man another game request. His final message simply said “Now you’ve done it.”
After trying to reach the suspect via internet and coming up short, police eventually called a local Sheriff’s Office in his area and had the man arrested. When asked why he drove 14 hours to kill Boyland he responded “I warned her, and having her blow up my Facebook with game invites was annoying.” When told he could have simply blocked the game invites, the anonymous man simply said “Oh. Yeah, I suppose that would have worked, too.”
The arresting officer, patrolman Joe Goldsmith, said that this is the kind of case he never thought he would see in his career.
“I can understand how annoying it is when people send game requests, being a Facebook user myself. But, I urge anyone that gets annoyed by stupid game invites and requests that you simply un-friend the person sending them, because it is a lot easier, faster, and much less illegal than murder.”