It wasn’t a typical start to the day for residents living near the 3200 block of Sherman Court in suburban Nampa, Idaho.
A naked man was walking through the neighborhood on a Wednesday morning. This would have been unusual on any day just about any place, but it was especially strange here considering the likely temperature on a typical January morning anywhere in Idaho.
The 26-year-old man’s name was Brent Eugene High.
Naturally somebody called the cops. The police stopped Mr. High, and after some questioning it became clear there was a crime scene somewhere close by.
According to Nampa assistant police chief Leroy Forsman, that crime scene was “gruesome.”
Nampa, Idaho, population just over 100,000, had its first homicide investigation of 2007, and it was a twofer. Found bludgeoned to death in the 3200 block of Sherman Court were two males — men whose names have not been released as of midnight, January 25, 2006.
Brent Eugene High was arrested. He sits tonight in the Canyon County Jail, charged with two counts of first-degree murder. 1, 2.
It is not yet an axiom that a name in the news, a name like Brent High’s, will lead a websleuth to a profile on MySpace
. Some names are too common, and plenty of people still do not
live their lives online.
In this instance, a search of that domain for the name “Brent High” yielded just a handful of results, and only one was 26 and from anywhere in Idaho:
The MySpacer listed his astrological sign as Gemini. That information dovetailed with the birthdate for the only Idaho-based Brent E. High, age 26, that I could find in public record database searches on the name.
The person who made the profile, (last log-in on November 17, 2006), well — he was pretty kooky, and he loved Everquest
. Everquest is a popular “massively multiplayer online role-playing game” (MMORPG
) that’s been steadily drawing new users since 1999.
Brent High said he was from Idaho Falls, Idaho, which is nearly 300 miles away from Nampa. The database searches I ran gave an address for Brent High in Idaho Falls at one point, then in Boise, which is only 22 miles from Nampa.
Under “About Me,” he wrote:
FU guys, lol J/k but really if you got a problem with my site then STFU Muwahahahahahahah hehe TEEHEE TeeHEHEHE…
Then, under “Who I’d like to meet,” Brent High posted:
That on EverQuest that Trained me that one day back in 2001. Ya i got a Screen shot of that , no not really im not a dick like some of you all. But im a asshole heheh…
For his headline, the quote by the profile pic on all MySpace profiles, Brent High wrote:
EQ Saryrn Brentos DeathMaker’s Myspace Bitches !!!
Working with the assumption that a man found naked near the scene of a gruesome double murder might be a bit odd in general, like the creator of this MySpace page, I felt this profile held information worth searching. Specifically, the name “Brentos Deathmaker.”
It’s a clever, if morbid play on the slogan for Mentos — “the freshmaker.” Clever enough to be pretty unique.
Brentos Deathmaker had an Everquest profile
, of course. It showed his total time played was 403 days and some change. He’d last updated the profile on January 18, and was last online using that profile on the 19th
Removing the space between the first and last name — BrentosDeathmaker — yielded a number of results. On xfire
, for instance, the Deathmaker had logged 130 hours playing Battlefield 2.
I didn’t find any of this remarkable in the way you might think. That the man played online games was immaterial to me. If I was looking at profiles for the same Brent High sitting in the Canyon County Jail charged with a gruesome double murder, I did wonder why he had so much time to play the games.
Then I took a close look at the BrentosDeathmaker user profile
for a game titled, “End of Evolution”:
Disabled SSI , Playing Games is my job !
I couldn’t help but think that the disability would turn out to be a mental illness. My guess would be paranoid schizophrenia.
Sometime in the last few months, Brent High the gamer on social security disability had a huge life change.
Posting to a forum at TheSteelWarrior.org, he gave a breakdown of what was going on, and why he was leaving Everquest. The point to the post
(Yahoo’s cache — to read the original required a login for the site) was to sell his Brentos Deathmaker character:
Broke up with lillyanna after 12 year relationship now im 26 yrs old. Living with Heffe…hauled all that my exe didn’t take to the dump , with the clothing on my back and what little I owned Ie a cmputer left…..and now have a property manager handling my home in that city….to make a long story short. Now that im in the Same Metro area as my RL brother , and friends i’m looking to sell Brentos account and be done with EQ. played it for years and no reason to talk to lillyanna at all we have no kids and the break was rather clean she wants to use illegal drugs and thats fine she can OD for all I care..but after 7 years im honeslty rdy to just be done with EQ……turning now to god and Jesus away from sin and wicked people ie drug abusers , I feel bad for her but what can I do she isn’t my wife so I have no legal hold on her she wouldn’t take me for husband doesn’t want to bring life into the world I would at least like the possiblity to have a son or
well Email me Brentostankfly@hotmail.com
daughter I would love either that god sent me. Well we all got to do what we got to do. so maybe in time god will bless me untill then may god bless my exe and help her see and get off the drugs as I can’t help and at that time myself good bye i’ve moved on …..there alot of great peeps in EQ and what not brentos is a decently geared tank with max AA atm i’ll continue to play him untill I fine someone who is willing to buy him off my hands. Looking for happiness in all the right places I suppose so im optomoistic. Asking 1800.00 for Brentos guildy or not this is RL business looking to use that along with what i’ll get from renting my home ect….. to buy a Steet bike to get around town with… if your self or anyone you know wants to investe into this Warrior let me know
IM me also via this email
or call me on the phone XXX-XXX-XXXX
if your seriously interested in Brentos we’lll work out the details I look forward to hearing from you…
The Deathmaker posted a shorter message here, at RealPoor.com, a site that has forums where gamers can trade, buy, and sell characters.
Brent High, or “Brentos Deathmaker” was a still-young man on disability, who even joked that gaming was his “career.” Yet here he was, trying to sell the character he’d used to represent himself online for so long.
Incidentally, he mentioned moving to a “metro” area. In Idaho, that typically means Boise/Nampa. So Brent High/BrentosDeathmaker may have been in Boise by the beginning of this month.
“Brentos Deathmaker” posted the RealPoor.com message on January 15, 2007. The upheaval described in the longer message on the SteelWarrior site was recent.
I believe Brent High spent several years forging a life in the fantasy worlds of Everquest and World of Warcraft. It was his way to pass the day when he had nowhere else to go, since he was on disability. In this instance, it may be that the games actually provided him with a sort of stability.
With the severing of a relationship, Brent’s brittle fantasy world began to shatter.
And it just may be that in one night, Brentos’s self-created name — Deathmaker — went from a morbid joke to a horrific reality.
Any updates will be posted below.
UPDATE, 12:45 p.m. ET
The Idaho Statesman
has a good article about this double-homicide here
. They have yet to pick up on this angle of the story — how Brent High’s online presence may have given some insight into what was going on with him, but I’d be surprised if they didn’t happen onto this info eventually.
The names of the murder victims have not been released as of noon today.
UPDATE, 4:41 p.m. ET
The details of the murders Brent High is accused of committing are not fully known, but what the Idaho Press-Tribune
publishes in an update
is pretty awful:
Magistrate Judge George Soughworth said Thursday that suspect Brent High is accused of torturing two men in Nampa Wednesday and then killing them by striking them with a “sharp, heavy object in the face and or body.”
Soughworth said in a video arraignment that the murderer of two men committed the crime “to fulfill some sadistic desire.”
The bodies of Brandon Johnson and an unidentified man were found in the 3200 block of Sherman Court on Wednesday…
This story is even more chilling than it seemed.
A Ladawn Johnson lives at 3220 Sherman Court in Nampa, so it is likely this was the address where the double homicide occurred.
UPDATE, 5:16 p.m. ET
Brandon Johnson may have been Brent High’s stepbrother. Again, from the Press-Tribune, another update
Coroner Vicki DeGeus-Morris said officials are “99 percent sure” the victim is Brandon Johnson, stepbrother of suspect Brent High, but there are “still things we need to do” to confirm that he was indeed the victim.
De-Geus Morris said she is also “99 percent sure” about the identity of the second victim but is not releasing the victim’s last name until his identity is confirmed and his parents are notified. DeGeus Morris did say the second victim’s first name may be Randy…
This news renders the posts made by Brentos Deathmaker about his move to the same metro area as his brother more ominous than they seemed before.
It is also apparent that law enforcement doesn’t believe the man they have in custody is insane, but more likely a stone-cold psychopathic killer. I base this on the “sadistic desire” statement from the previous update.
Further updates to follow.
The Idaho Statesman
has an article
detailing just how insane and awful the murders of Brandon Johnson and “RB” may have been:
No suspected motive for the killings was revealed in the affidavit, and Nampa police have not disclosed a motive or other details. High seemed lucid during the hearing and answered the judge respectfully. Family members at the hearing appeared distraught; one woman cried softly. They declined to comment as they left the courtroom.
According to the affidavit:
• Both victims were found in pools of blood — BJ on a bed in the master bedroom, RB face-down in the kitchen. Blood spatter and other evidence indicate RB “had been followed and struck throughout the home.”
• A single-blade ax was found in the toilet, blade down. Blood and hair were found on the ax head and blood on the handle.
• Bloody footprints led from RB’s body to a bathroom, where police found blood-soaked jeans, other clothing, shoes that matched the footprints, and High’s wallet.
• Blood was smeared on closet doors and spread on the floors, ceilings and walls in the hallway, entryway and living room.
• High’s hair was wet when officers stopped him, as if he’d taken a shower. Cowdery said he examined High and saw flecks of red on his ear that seemed consistent with blood spatter. High’s left hand, particularly around his knuckles, was yellowish and dark.
BJ’s wife told investigators that High had been living with the couple at the home on Sherman Court for about a month. She said her husband and RB were asleep when she left the house about 6:16 a.m. Wednesday, but High was awake.
Officers responding to a report of a naked man found High several blocks from the home around 9 a.m. When officers interviewed High, he continually made comments about the Bible, religion, God and Jesus Christ, they said in the affidavit…
Religious delusions, walking naked through the cold… this man was sick. It just remains to be seen as to whether or not he was too sick to know that what he did was wrong. It will be the difference between life in prison or the death penalty or life in a psychiatric hospital.
(other than original research):
1. “Naked man arrested for double Murder,” Fox Channel 12, KTRV, Boise/Nampa/Caldwell.
2. Wikipedia entry on Nampa, Idaho.