WARNING: This story contains graphic details and is not suitable for all readers
A clinical psychologist told a Vancouver courtroom Friday that the man accused of murdering a Vancouver couple in 2017 may have thought he was in a video game at the time of the killings.
Rocky Rambo Wei Nam Kam has admitted to killing Richard Jones, 68, and his wife Dianna Mah-Jones, 64, on Sept. 26, 2017, but has maintained his plea of not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder.
Defence has argued that Kam, who has previously described his obsession with video games, was suffering from a mental disorder at the time of the murders, and believed he was in one of his games.
On Friday, Dr. Dr. Edward Shen described an 11-hour session he had with Kam while he was in custody two years after the crime.
“Perhaps Mr. Kam was operating in a game consciousness,” he further suggested, adding the accused might have anticipated “gaming consequences instead of real consequences.”
Kam has testified he spent as much as 15 hours a day playing violent video games like Skyrim. He even provided play-by-play commentary while his lawyer played the game in court last week.
Shen told the court that during their session together, Kam told him he was shocked when Mah-Jones screamed after Kam made his way into the couple’s Marpole home, a hatchet in one hand and a pocket knife in the other.
According to Shen, Kam didn’t know what to do because characters in the video game “don’t scream.”
At another point, Shen said Kam couldn’t explain why he stabbed Richard Jones over 100 times “because in a game, when you hit a person, a person dies. If they don’t, you keep hitting the button.”
The court has heard that Kam’s DNA was found under Mah-Jones’ fingernails, which Crown says came from Mah-Jones scratching Kam’s face during a struggle before her throat was cut.
Several witnesses have testified that a knife and a blood-stained hatchet were found at the scene of the crime, which Kam has admitted to purchasing at a Canadian Tire about two weeks before the murder.
Shen testified he did not see any of the evidence presented at trial before his first meeting with Kam in September 2019.
But when Kam was asked about committing the violent crimes, Shen testified he hit a wall.
“He felt no remorse. He felt no anxiety,” the doctor told the court. “He could not give an explanation why he didn’t feel these feelings.”
Under cross examination, Crown argued Shen has no training in forensic interview techniques, and has no professional experience interviewing people who claim to have “gaming consciousness.”
Prosecutor Daniel Mulligan said Shen’s opinions are based on “novel science.”
Shen testified he also dove into Kam’s family history and the history behind his name, which Kam has told the court he didn’t like.
According to Shen, Kam told him his father, an engineer from Hong Kong, was a big fan of Sylvester Stallone — leading to naming his son “Rocky Rambo.” “Wei Nam,” meanwhile, means “powerful male” in Chinese.
Shen’s testimony was given in voir dire — a trial within the trial to determine whether it will be admissible as evidence.
Madam Justice Gerow will decide if it will be admissible in the trial proper.