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Brazilian Boy Stabs Girl

February 9, 2000

SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) _ Police said Wednesdy that a 9-year-old boy’s knife attack against a neighbor girl was inspired by the slasher doll Chucky of the ``Child’s Play″ horror films.

The girl, 7, received 25 superficial knife wounds in the back, chest and neck and was out of danger, said doctors at Hospital da Base in Brasilia, 20 miles from her home in the poor district of Santa Maria.

The attack Monday came three days after the boy _ who cannot be named because he is a minor _ watched the film ``Child’s Play 2″ on television. It revived a debate on whether violence in the media can influence people’s behavior.

The boy used three serrated knives. The girl’s wounds were not worse because the ``boy is small and did not have enough physical strength,″ inspector Suzana Machado said in a telephone interview from Brasilia, the nation’s capital.

``I’ve never seen a child attack another with such violence,″ said Machado, who is on the police department’s Special Office for Children and Adolescents.

``He came over to our house and asked her if she wanted to die,″ the girl’s mother, Raimunda Nonata do Nascimento, said in a television interview.

Hearing the girl’s screams, neighbors rushed to the house where they found her in the bathroom. The boy climbed to the roof. Police found him hiding behind a water tank.

Machado said the boy told her that he had a ``strong urge to imitate Chucky.″

In the movie, the spirit of a psychotic murderer possesses the doll, which comes to life and stabs several people to death.

The violence follows a shooting in November in which a medical student killed three people in a Sao Paulo movie theater. Police later pointed to eerie similarities between his behavior and the video game ``Duke Nukem 3D,″ which the killer played on a home computer.

``Horror films or violent films definitely stimulate the imagination and fantasies of children and adults,″ said Marcos Roberto Vieira Garcia, psychologist at the University of Sao Paulo. ``For a disturbed individual, already prone to violence or aggressive behavior, these films could easily detonate similar behavior. He sees the action in the film as reality and thinks he has the green light to repeat it.″

It’s not the first time ``Child’s Play″ has been linked to violence. It was a favorite of gunman Martin Bryant, who killed 35 people in Tasmania in 1996.

SBT, the Brazilian network that aired the film, was unavailable for immediate comment.

Because he is a minor, the boy will not go to jail. A judge will decide whether he will be sent to a special juvenile detention center, a psychiatric hospital or home.

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