The newspaper interviewed the parents of killer Stuart Harling, 19, who bludgeoned Moss to death with a hunting blade in Hornchurch, East London on April 6th last year.
Under the banner headline, ‘Sadistic games turned our baby-faced son into killer’, the NOTW reports:
‘Every night [Harling] would retreat into his darkened bedroom at home in Rainham, Essex, and enter a grisly virtual world that revelled in sadism, ritual blood-letting and death. Just like millions of other youngsters.
‘One of baby-face Harling’s favourite games was the notorious Manhunt, where players SLASH and SLICE their victims with meat CLEAVERS, cheese WIRE and chainsaws.’
Harling’s mother Lorraine is quoted as saying: “I knew he was playing the video games but we didn’t really know what went on in them; how brutal and graphic they were,” adding, “For a long time I didn’t even realise games had age limits on them. We’d just buy him the game that all the other kids had.”
The caption to the lead image – a montage of photographs of Harling superimposed on images from Manhunt – reads:
‘MAKING OF A MONSTER: In the hushed darkness of his bedroom Harling secretly lapped up sick scenes in his Manhunt PlayStation game, immersing himself in the brutal characters – until one day fantasy and reality merged in his brain spawning a callous killer.’
Harling was convicted of Ms. Moss’ murder two weeks ago at the Old Bailey. According to the BBC, the trial revealed that Harling was ‘obsessed’ with pornography and serial killers.