Tunisian Man Says He Gave Accused Killer's Messages, Photos to Toronto-Area Cops
TORONTO — A video gamer in Tunisia says he has turned over to Toronto-area police disturbing messages and images that a Canadian man accused of killing four family members allegedly posted online.
The Tunisian man said he often played video games on a private server called Perfect World Void with Menhaz Zaman, a 23-year-old Markham, Ont., resident who has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder.
The four dead are 70-year-old Firoza Begum, 59-year-old Moniruz Zaman, 50-year-old Momotaz Begum and 21-year-old Malesa Zaman, and friends have identified them as Menhaz Zaman’s grandmother, parents and sister.
The Tunisian player, who asked not to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the case, said he was one of dozens of players who saw Menhaz Zaman’s messages on a third-party app gamers use to chat with each other. In those messages posted on Sunday, Zaman claimed he had killed his family, the Tunisian man alleged.
“I’ve slaughtered my entire family, and will most likely spend life in jail if I manage to survive,” says one of the messages a user named “Menhaz” posted on the chat.
When some players expressed disbelief, the Tunisian player said, Zaman posted several photos that he claimed showed his victims.
The gamer said he reached out to police in Canada to alert them to the disturbing postings, which he has also shared with The Canadian Press. One of the photos shows a young man holding a large bloodied kitchen knife.
“I didn’t sleep or drink for two days, not because of graphic content, but just kept asking the question ‘why’ over and over,” he told The Canadian Press in a Facebook message.
“I’ve already called York Regional Police and Crime Stoppers … and sent them everything I have.”
The Tunisian man, who also moderates the private gaming server, said any disturbing messages posted to the site in the future will be reported immediately to the authorities.
York Regional Police said they couldn’t comment on any evidence received.
The Canadian Press has not verified that the photos or messages were posted by the accused.
Police have said they were called to a Markham home shortly after 3 p.m. on Sunday following a 911 call about possible injuries. They said Zaman, who lived in the house, opened the door to investigators and was taken into custody shortly afterwards.
Zaman was charged on Monday and is set to next appear in court on Friday.
Emerald Bensadoun, The Canadian Press