A young man accused of a quadruple homicide allegedly shared pictures of his murdered family using Discord, a chat app aimed at gamers.
On July 29, police charged 23-year-old Menhaz Zaman with four counts of first-degree murder. York Regional Police told VICE they attended the home in Markham, a suburb just outside of Toronto, on Sunday for “a report that multiple people had possibly been injured.” Zaman answered the door when they arrived and was taken into custody.
Inside the home, four bodies were found. Police have not released the specific causes of death yet or released their identities or ages.
As was first reported by Global News, the suspect contacted several fellow users on Discord and allegedly sent them photos of his murdered family. A Discord user who goes by "Maroon" provided VICE with several screenshots showing a user named "Menhaz" claiming he killed his family in private chats, and said he posted graphic photos.
“I wanted them to die so they would not know what a pathetic subhuman I was,” the user named Menhaz wrote.
The Menhaz Discord account is connected to an account on the forums for Perfect World Void (PWV), a private server for the massively multiplayer game Perfect World. The PWV and Discord account both have the username Menhaz, and Maroon is a moderator on the PWV forum. The Menhaz PWV account has an avatar which Global News confirmed was a photo of Zaman. Perfect World was released in 2005 in China (2008 in North America) and today many players remain active on unofficial, bespoke servers like Perfect World Void.
In the screenshots provided by Maroon, the user going by the name Menhaz starts the conversation by saying “I just slaughtered my entire family and will most likely spend my life in jail if I manage to survive.” He then asks the user “do you want the pics.”
The user then sent over a set of graphic photos. Maroon did not share these photos with VICE “out of respect for the deceased,” but Global News confirmed their existence although the outlet did not verify them. Maroon said the photos show all the victims “laying on the ground, bleeding out of their necks."
In Discord messages, the Menhaz account told Maroon that they had been “planning this for three years.” They had been skipping university classes unbeknownst to their family, the messages explain, and “chose to kill” their alleged victims instead of themselves “out of cowardice.”
“I know it might sound confusing but what's done is done and what had been planned has been concluded," the messages read. "I'm sorry if this makes you upset. Please remember the good times.”
Initially, the killings were reported to have been published on the Perfect World Void forum, which spurred the forum moderators to write a lengthy post explaining what happened. The post says that Menhaz has long been known as a troll on the forum but had recently become “more offensive than usual" and was banned earlier in July. The post credits an "anonymous player" with "having the cleverness to trace his address" and alleges Manhez continued chatting until police arrived.
“I was shocked, I didn't expect this of him,” Maroon told VICE. “He seemed calm but later stated that he was shaking during the whole thing, I couldn't understand him but he seemed very rational and well planned.”
Staff Sergeant Dave Mitchell of the York Regional Police told VICE that all avenues, including “information from the world of instant messaging and online social media” are currently being investigated. Mitchell said police discovered the grisly crime during a welfare check that was prompted by receiving some information. Mitchell would not confirm where the information initially came from.
“How that information came about is something under active investigation,” said Mitchell.
Police are urging anyone with information to come forward.
Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.