The Messed Up Truth Behind The Xbox Murders

It's tough to resist the latest grisly serial killer documentary, isn't it? Perhaps it's a psychological need to try and fathom, to try and understand motives, childhoods, certain personality traits, and everything else that makes someone into a killer. How else could anybody process these dark tales?

Shockingly, on August 6, 2004, a brutal mass killing in Deltona, Florida was seemingly motivated in part) by a video game console.

According to CBS News, six bodies were found in a Deltona home on this day. Young couple Erin Belanger (22) and Francisco Ayo Roman (30) had been brutally beaten to death, as had Michelle Ann Nathan (19), Roberto "Tito" Gonzales (28), Anthony Vega (34), and Jonathan Gleason, the youngest victim at just 18 years old. Ben Johnson, Sheriff of Volusia County, deemed the attack "the worst thing that I've ever seen in my career," after over three decades on the force.

A vicious, vengeful attack

This tragic story began, per House Creep, with a dispute between Belanger and one Troy Victorino. Belanger had recently moved to Florida to help keep a watch on her grandparents' home. Victorino (among others) had been illegally living there, and so Belanger reportedly had the squatters evicted and their belongings packed away. In response, Victorino considered his Xbox and other possessions to have been stolen. When he tried to retrieve these items, it's reported, Belanger called the police.

This led to one of the most horrific mass slayings in recent memory, as Victorino, along with Robert Cannon, Jerone Hunter, and Michael Salas broke into the home and murdered the six people with baseball bats. They were also slashed across the throat in wounds sustained mostly after their deaths, the court would later hear (per Case Law). Belanger's dachshund was trampled to death during the attack.

To make the case even more chilling, according to the court, ringleader Victorino was inspired by the 1988 movie "Wonderland." In the film, a vicious gang breaks into a home and beats the residents to death with lead pipes. Victorino is reported to have declared that he would do the same on that fateful, tragic night on Telford Lane.

The four men were charged with first-degree murder and armed burglary (per CBS). Victorino and Hunter were given the death penalty, but, as The Lowell Sun reports, it was overturned. They remain in jail and prosecutors seek to reinstate the sentence.