Can deadly ‘Trust’ game be stopped?

By Trista Talton – Staff writer, Air Force Times, Monday Sep 7, 2009 11:05:41 EDT

It wasn’t so different from other nights. Outside it was cold and wet. Inside, quarters were close, but they were comfortable enough. The half dozen or so Marines sharing the small wooden hooch at Combat Outpost Viking in Saqlaweiyah, Iraq, were killing time, watching movies and cracking jokes shortly before midnight March 9.

. . .

Trust is not new. In 1997, a lance corporal died in Okinawa after other Marines accidentally dropped him from the third story of his barracks. In that version of the Trust game, the Marines took turns dangling each other out a window, holding only their ankles. Five Marines were charged in the incident — one was sentenced to 10 years in the brig.

The game was played to similar deadly consequences in an Army incident in 2007, when a Kentucky National Guardsman shot and killed his best friend, a fellow soldier. The guardsman who fired the fatal shot later said he learned to play Trust from other members of his Guard unit while deployed to Iraq in October 2006.

And less than four months after Malone’s death in Iraq, another Marine was charged with second-degree murder after he allegedly shot and killed his civilian roommate while playing Trust in an off-base home near Lejeune.


This solicitation is on the Army Times web.

Army Times is looking for readers with knowledge of the so-called “Trust” game in which one person pretends to chamber a round in his pistol and then points the weapon at a friend, asking “Do you trust me?” before pulling the trigger.

Before you answer this – think hard – you could be exposing yourself to discipline under the UCMJ:  failure to report an offense, dereliction of duty, assault, a number of variables are at play here.  There is no “privilege” when “confessing” to news reporters.

If you were not involved but knew of something like this there is a dereliction of duty.  If you were involved you do not have to report yourself, so there is no dereliction of duty for failure to report, but then you’d be liable for being involved.

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