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We really don't know where to start with this one. Okay, the bare facts to begin with: The Daily Star has somehow managed to report that a video game based on killer Raoul Moat is being planned.
It's even gone so far as to parade a picture of a mocked up GTA, entitled: Grand Theft Auto Rothbury - named after the rural Northumberland area in which Moat ended his own life on July 10.
The Star attributes the doctored image to several 'games websites', which it said 'showed the cover of Grand Theft Auto Rothbury'. We read a lot of games websites. We have not seen these websites.
Read this sentence carefully: This image is the only evidence the Star has to back its claim that a Raoul Moat video game is being planned.
The most shocking thing of all? Not content with taking/creating a fictional/tasteless image of 'GTA Rothbury', The Star then asks the (watch us fly into justifiable tabloid capitalisation here) 69-YEAR-OLD GRANDMOTHER of Moat's ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart - who was not only SHOT AND LEFT FOR DEAD by Moat herself, but whose BOYFRIEND MOAT KILLED - what she thinks of its conception.
"It is sick - it's blood money," Mrs Ann Hornsby tells the paper. "The game is beyond belief."
Understandable rage? You betcha. But "beyond belief". That's kind of the point, isn't it? It's made up. By The Daily Star. Responsible.
The idea that a game is planned at all is linked to the reported publication of a book on Moat and the shocking incidents at Rothbury. The Star does at least speak to a paperback publisher on that one.
It also notes that 'film companies are lining up bids for the rights' to Moat's story. Without noting any source.
Oh, and for those inquisitive enough, The Star's headline is:
'RAOUL MOAT: VIDEO GAME, FILM AND BOOK PLANS CAUSE FURY'
The first of the three is unfounded.
The second is a joke.
Or at least would be. If it were funny.
[Disclaimer: Some aspects of this report - including a section of the headline - represent the writer's opinion]
July 21, 2010