Massey College murder game drama

Every year, many participated in organized sports (volleyball, basketball, hockey) and got involved in squash ladders and ping-pong tournaments. There were laser tag evenings. But the sport that engaged most of the college for the better part of a week each year was, of course, the Murder Game. As [Michael] McGillion observed, it was “always a huge stirring up of your life. If you take it very seriously at Massey, your life stops, really. Your studies are halted. People are in rooms with maps and positioning systems. We had alarms set up. It was ridiculous how seriously we took it.” In the course of one game he recalls an episode “involving the master and Matthew Sullivan, who was in law, a Buddhist, an interesting character, and very quirky. I was his victim and the master was my victim. I saw the master as he bolted and went after him. Matthew went after me. And we had this chase, which must have gone on for half an hour, up and down the stairs of all the houses. The master can move. He’s very quick. He’s hard to catch.” [John] Fraser himself recounted another memorable moment that concerned Daniel Bader (JF, 1998–2000, 2004–5), theology student and successful killer. A devout Catholic who regularly spent time in the Newman Chapel, he was indignant to find himself “killed from behind” while “on his knees” there. Afterwards, he and another junior fellow (a fundamentalist Protestant) expressed their concern to Fraser about this “outrage to religion.” The master probably did not help matters when he responded: “Well, there is precedent. There was an archbishop killed in the Church of England.”

Grant, Judith Skelton. A Meeting of Minds: The Massey College Story. University of Toronto Press, 2015. p. 546–7


Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

2 thoughts on “Massey College murder game drama”

  1. I loved this section of the book! It is described with vivid detail and depicts the passionate involvement of the participants. Similar games were played in high schools and resulted in quite a bit of chaos and excitement.

  2. I remember a dramatic chase in my first year between Clara Steinhagen and Sabrina Tang, which continued out into the snowy sidewalk, across Harbord, and toward/into Hart House. Clara was not killed.

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