OT: Story of Rochester Football Player Kidnapped and Tortured

Submitted by FauxMo on June 30th, 2017 at 10:36 AM

Wow, I had heard absolutely nothing about this story before reading the article this morning. I won't ruin the story too much, but it is an incredible read, and sure looks like a case where a higher-end football player is prioritized over the team and his teammates, and this leads to a ridiculous crime, a case of mistaken identity, and a kidnap and torture scenario straight out of a Hollywood Movie in its level of gruesomeness. 



uncle leo

June 30th, 2017 at 10:39 AM ^

Post about this yesterday but did not.

Read the whole thing through, some parts twice.

Besides the obvious with the physical stuff, the part that disturbed me the most was that random people came into the house to watch football and other things, and KNEW what was happening and that did not bother them. Some even went out to buy them food!

How would any decent human go to that place, knowing what was happening, and not feel sickened by it?


June 30th, 2017 at 10:41 AM ^

Yeah, the whole story is almost unbelievable. If it were a movie, it would seem too ridiculous to believe at times. And that was just a classic crack/drug house; the shit that goes on in those places in front of others who are totally indifferent is...absurd... 

I Like Burgers

June 30th, 2017 at 1:42 PM ^

I thought it was a bit of an odd choice to not release the full feature at the same time as the article.  I read the story, I really liked it, and if there was a feature along with at the time, I would have watched it.  

But expecting me to wait until Sunday AM to watch it?  Or even more likely, remember to DVR it when I get home tonight and then watch at some other point on Sunday?  Like....I'm kinda good with the story now, man.  Don't really need to watch a version of what I've read and had an entire two days to process.

Just release it all now and let people consume things whenever they want.

I Like Burgers

June 30th, 2017 at 2:14 PM ^

Its still the TV people that produce the video thinking and feeling like TV is the most important and largest audience for that piece.  But E:60 on Sunday AM only gets a couple hundred thousand people watching it.  I don't have the pageview data for the story front of me, but the promo for it has around 100-200k views.  I'd guess the written piece is somewhere around 500k-1M.

To me, you should make content and put it on as many platforms as possible to maximize your investment in making the piece.  But TV people are still VERY territorial when it comes to their content.


June 30th, 2017 at 3:56 PM ^

is obviously an extreme situation, but sometimes the more people that bear witness to a bad act can decrease the likelihood that anybody does anything about it, particularly if there is no cohesion of purpose. The bystander effect. Aside from those directly involved with the kidnapping (who are clearly evil people), it is very unlikely that any one person alone would have allowed it to continue and not taken action but many people around means they can transfer responsibility for their inaction onto other people. (Added on to the uncertainty as to whether they could be considered culpable based simply on their being present in the first place, and very realistic fear of reprisal). See Alpha Dog. Or Penn State.


June 30th, 2017 at 10:45 AM ^

I read this story yesterday after I saw Angelique RT it.


What an incredible story. The first paragraph was nauseating in it's graphic detail, but the story itself and all the moving parts is unbelievably fascinating. I can't help but agree with Kollias though. If the coaches had actually done something about the actions of their star player from the get go, this all could've been avoided.


June 30th, 2017 at 10:45 AM ^

Let's be clear about this: The football player that was the dealer that started the ball rolling was an idiot and deserves his prison sentence. Perhaps the staff could have kicked him off the team earlier, but that aspect of the story is not thoroughly repolrted.

He was not the monster who conceived and executed a plan of torture revenge against two innocent parties, one of whom is traumatized enough to request to remain anonymous. 

The monsters that did do that deserve and received massive prison sentences. 

A horrifying account, and that's with the author deliberately leaving out details.


June 30th, 2017 at 10:56 AM ^

Huh? There is literally no scenario where the kidnapping and torture of two innocent kids happens without the "idiot" deciding to bash a group of drug dealers on the head with a hammer (in the apartment of two of his teammates, without their knowledge or consent) so he could steal 4 pounds of weed. Sure, the kid didn't do the kidnapping and torture. But as the judge who was sentencing him said:

"I suppose you couldn't realize what events you set up when you did this." As the judge sentenced Smith to 13½ years in prison, he said, "This is all your fault."


June 30th, 2017 at 11:22 AM ^

Not clear where I dispute what you say, and I clearly stated that his role merited the life-altering prison sentence that he received. But the people who set the trap and actually performed the torture have agency. They are not mindless automatons incapable of making moral choice, any more than the drug-dealing MLB was when he decided to ambush some drug dealers. 


June 30th, 2017 at 11:31 AM ^

Ah, OK. You seemed to me to be "clearing" the player that set this series of events in motion, at least to some extent. It seems to me that the sentences were about right. The mastermind that planned and executed the kidnapping got 150+ years, while the player got 13 years. I think that's fair too, as long as we admit that in at least a moral sense, none of this happens without the drug dealing player who wanted to be a gangster...

Whole Milk

June 30th, 2017 at 2:26 PM ^

Yes, without the linebacker's actions, this exact situation doesn't happen. But the tormentors knew way before the majority of the torture that Kollias had nothing to do with the original robbery. In my opinion, the vast majority of blame should be placed on the individuals who simply had a clear desire for cruelty. 


June 30th, 2017 at 10:46 AM ^

Read this this morning. It is like Varsity Blues meets Alpha Dog. 

The victim seems to be doing well considering. I was amazed at his openness and his choice to attack his recovery both physical and emotional. 


June 30th, 2017 at 10:56 AM ^

I can't believe the University or Police weren't obligated to tell the apartment residents what type of beating occured in their apartment. Had they known, I'm sure they is no way they'd continue living there. Not that they would have expected something this awful to happen, but wouldn't want to have any connection to what happened.

uncle leo

June 30th, 2017 at 11:09 AM ^

For people to uproot their lives and just move. Maybe for some of those people, it is their only option with living. Others may be used to the happenings in the building.

I am not a lawmaker or wise with the details, but I do not think the police or university have any obligation to go door to door to tell people what happened. If that were the case, no one would live anywhere. 


June 30th, 2017 at 11:59 AM ^

Not door to door, just the one apartment that it occured in, not the whole floor or building. Have it taped off and blood stains everywhere, then clean and cover it up without disclosing what happened? Just seems irresponsible. It would just be 2 people moving into a different apartment, maybe even in the same building if they had one available, just not the same living room that this occured in.

I Like Burgers

June 30th, 2017 at 1:47 PM ^

Yeah, that was one of the odder details to me. Kid walked into his apartment, went to his room and found it taped off with yellow police tape, shit knocked all over the place, and blood everywhere.  And the university came through, cleaned it up and was like "don't worrry about it. Nothing happened."

MI Expat NY

June 30th, 2017 at 2:52 PM ^

I read the story yesterday, so maybe I'm forgetting something, but it's not entirely clear to me that the players were targeted because one of them was still living in the apartment.  It seems like the attackers found out their names some other way, possibly from police reports or whatever, and used the name to hunt for them.  

I do think that a little more detail from the police could have lead the players to be more suspicious of anyone contacting them.  The attackers don't strike me as the most sophisticated of people.  I doubt if the teammate doesn't accept a random friend request and participate in a conversation with the girl, that the attackers figure out a different way to isolate and kidnap one or more college football players.   


June 30th, 2017 at 11:23 AM ^

Three things stick out to me:

  • Smith's role as the catalyst to the whole story. As the article (and others here) pointed out, none of this happens if he doesn't organize the assault on the dealers in the first place.
  • The fact that Strickland appeared to have been a ticking time bomb. Sounds like potential mental illness, if not a severely disturbed childhood. But the extent to which he went to torture the victims is incredible. It sounds like he took things further than the others wanted (which is admittedly easy for them to say after the fact, when they are trying to protect themselves), and his response to his sentencing was disturbing. My point though is, even if Smith hadn't gotten the ball rolling, it seems that Strickland was just waiting or looking for an opportunity to lash out.
  • As others have noted here, the fact that people came in and out of the house throughout the weekend to hang out, knowing what was going on. I just don't understand how someone reaches a point where that kind of harm goes unnoticed, or unaddressed.

Just a sad, disturbing story overall.


June 30th, 2017 at 11:24 AM ^

Not even mistaken identity. They said in the article that they knew he had nothing to do with it but were holding and torturing him anyway. Sounds like it was initially for revenge but mostly for money after everything was said and done. Unbelievable what kind of trash there is floating out there.


June 30th, 2017 at 12:21 PM ^

is really floating out in the world you would probably stay locked up in your house most days. A very small fraction of this type of thing ever reaches us. My best friend is a DA in Denver and the stories he tells me just blows me away. You would be shocked how stuff like this is happening all the time and even worse. It amazes me what humans can do to each other.


June 30th, 2017 at 11:26 AM ^

the one thing I never understood was why did they choose to tortue someone that had nothing to do with it?  the story never mentions their motive to choose a random football player.

MI Expat NY

June 30th, 2017 at 2:55 PM ^

I think the story said, or at least implied, the plan was only for the unnamed player/victim.  The second player was with him and when the unnamed player/victim mentioned his friend was with him, the attackers included the second girl as a lure.  I read it as implying that if they had just gotten the one, targeted player, they would have been fine with that.  


June 30th, 2017 at 11:56 AM ^

especially ones who are struggling on the field or on the recruiting trail is to take questionable guys like this. You see it all too often- coaches take questionable kids hoping that it equates to 1 or 2 or 3 more wins a year and better job security for them and then they get burned. It happened at Baylor, MSU, UofR, etc. and will continue to happen unless the NCAA tries to do something about it, and that will be very difficult to do