Missing teenagers who ignited ‘cult panic’ over dungeons and dragons

Rules of strategic study, The company, founded by Gary Gaigax, held its annual “Jenkon” conference in the summer of 1979 to publish rules for dungeons and dragons. At the time, D&D did not become the object of mainstream notice, but the game was very popular with gamers, especially college students. During a lucky week in early September, one such student suddenly turned the game into a popular notoriety.

Things were settled A few weeks after the convention, and a TSR employee named Rose Estes was in the middle of writing an article about Jenkins for a hobby magazine when she received a call The Dayton Journal-Herald. Estes was then a TSR spokesman and was accustomed to trying to explain the game by confusing reporters. After hearing complaints from this reporter that the game was completely sold out in Dayton, he was asked to comment on the situation with the missing boy.

“What boy?” He replied

Jenkins ended on August 19th. Michigan State University paper, State News, Ran a headline the following Saturday, reporting an “MSU student reported missing from the case hall for two days”, a university dormitory. It was accompanied by this article with a picture of a young man just 16 years old with the caption Dallas Egbert. It explained that Egbert came from Dayton, Ohio, that he was an honors student at Lyman Briggs College, and that the last time anyone could be sure that he had been seen in dormitory was on August 15, the day before Jenkins began.

Egbert was attending a summer semester because an illness forced him to skip some of his spring classes. Officially, he is still considered a novice. The State News Suggested that a friend of Egbert’s indicated that he had “previously left campus for an unknown destination.” He added, “He left the autumn term and told me he was leaving. He’s been gone for two weeks.” A university official observed that this was “not a unique situation.” He is 16 and bright. We are concerned about his age. His roommate reported that Egbert was usually the one to play his stereo, that it “pushes against the wall, but I haven’t heard of it lately.” Apparently, he did not have a driver’s license and used to ride the bus regularly.

No one has been reported missing for several days, but after another week passed, on Sunday, September 2, the story spread in the local papers and it became a police subject. In Lansing, Michigan, State Journal, An article on the front page that day was headlined with the headline, “Did the missing student leave the clue?” That paper reported that Egbert’s house was strangely tidy, a traditional repetition of his bed sheets and posters, and that it was in their place, “a neatly printed note on an otherwise cleared desktop was two lines long, saying what Igbert wanted to do with his body” Should ‘generously be shortened’, police investigators have admitted he may have committed suicide.

In search of the lead, police took a tarot deck found in the room to a lucky person to find out if there was any kind of message in the card order. But the deck wasn’t the most mysterious object in his dormitory – it would be a corkboard leaning against a wall with 36 plastic and metal tacks, which investigators sorted out for hidden money. In the same September 2 article, Egbert’s mother, who reported that she had played games with her son in the past, suggested that it could be some kind of message, perhaps a map. “This year,” State Journal Related, Egbert told him “he learned about a new game he learned, called Danzions and Dragons.” In fact, the magazine proved the fact that “Egbert’s board tacks resembled a dungeon used in the game” and did not remember seeing the board there before Egbert’s friends disappeared.

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