Revisiting the case of Andreu Coll: murdered his father imitating his favourite video game

by Deborah Cater
Andreu Coll met fellow murderer through Playstation
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In 2013, 18 year-old Andreu Coll murdered his father for money. We look back at the events of that fateful night.

“Let’s see what’s in the safe, mate, I’m waiting for the locksmith to come open it … I don’t want to get excited.” Three days after murdering his father, on June 30, 2013, 18-year-old Andreu Coll Tur was impatient to enjoy the Mallorcan businessman’s inheritance with his friend Francisco Abas Rodríguez, a 20-year-old from Zaragoza, whom he had met on the internet and who helped him commit the crime.

“Hala, man! I’m going to miss it. When your mother sees what there is, she is going to be very happy,” Abas encouraged him by phone. “I’ll take a picture for you,” Coll promised from his father’s chalet. The son of separated parents, Coll was the only one of three siblings who lived with his father, Andreu Coll Bennàssar, in Alaró (Mallorca). His father wanted him to finish his studies, unlike  the boy’s brothers. Although the young man wanted to prepare for the examinations to be a policeman, he ended up working as a personal assistant in his father’s company.

“I wanted to live better”

Earlier, in 2010, he left his mother’s house to live with his father. He did it “because he wanted to live better and with her, he didn’t have so much money.” The boy complained to his father that his mother did not buy him clothes and made him wear the ones that were becoming too small for his older brother. With a net worth of around €50 million, Coll Bennàssar owned a slot machine company and a real estate agency in Mallorca. He also owned a hundred properties spread throughout Spain.

Abas assured that he acted “out of love”, that Coll promised him they would have “a lot of money to live together, even if it was as friends”.

Found a “brother” in Abas

Following broken relations with his ex-wife and other two children, the father had just disinherited them and bequeathed to the young Andreu all his property. This, according to investigators, influenced the young man’s actions.

Two years ago, when he was 16 years old, Andreu Coll met Francisco Abas playing an online video game, Call of Duty. Both shared a fondness for war games and spent up to fourteen hours a day in front of the console. Coll introduced himself to Zaragoza as ‘TacticoMen’, an alias behind which, according to his own profile as a player, “a killing machine” was hiding.

The two young people soon formed a team and became friends, communicating through PlayStation and also on Skype. Coll traveled to the mainland to see Abas and he returned the visit shortly after. Like the man from Zaragoza, the Mallorcan had few friends. According to a neighbour of the family, Andreu had said: “The boys from the town don’t want to go with me because my father is rich.”

He found in Abas “a brother” with whom he shared his confidences. On his side, the Zaragoza-born man saw in Coll “an unrequited love”, to which he had even declared: “I told him I was in love with him, but he replied that he liked girls.”

Sleeping pills in a sponge cake

Two weeks before the crime, Coll asked Abas to “do something” to his father. He told him about the businessman’s millionaire assets and promised that after the crime they would live together “as friends.” On June 26, 2013, Abas traveled to Mallorca to spend the summer at the boy’s house, where they shared a room and a bed. Two days later, they tried to kill the businessman without success. They put several sleeping pills in a cake they offered him for dinner and, half an hour after he fell asleep, they entered his room.

Abas struck him with a wooden bat, while the son shone a flashlight on him. But the father woke up and they both fled before he could see anything more than “a man hitting him with something,” as he told his sister Margarita about him the next day.

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The man called out to his son and Abas, thinking that a stranger had broken into the house, but the two boys managed to convince him that he could have dreamed it all. However, the businessman began to suspect: “I have come to think that it was Andreu. As I have crushed them this week by making them stay to work, maybe their cables have crossed” he told his sister after the assault. And he added a detail that did not go unnoticed: “As they have a stick there in bed that sometimes they play with…”.

40 whacks

The next day, the businessman’s son and his friend tried again, and this time his plan worked. The father came home around one in the morning. His son asked him to go up to the room, on the second floor, to look at his mobile phone. Then, Abas gave the father the first of the forty blows that ended his life. He did it from behind, with a wooden bat with four four-inch nails at one end. Andreu Coll had made it, imitating the weapon from a zombie video game called Dead Rising 2, which the two young men used to play.

A Rolex, a ring and €12,000

Both boys stated they waited for the victim to stop breathing. Then they showered, washed the body with the garden hose and changed his clothes. Later they took a Rolex, a gold ring and a briefcase with €12,000 in cash, to simulate a robbery and dragged the body to the car, a Land Rover SUV. Hours later, two neighbours found the body on a road of Bunyola, 15 kilometers from Alaró. An acquaintance saw the boys returning to the chalet around four in the morning in the Audi TT that Coll’s father had given his son.

Three days after the crime, the Civil Guard heard how the two young men argued over the phone about the distribution of Coll’s father’s inheritance. “We will kick my aunt out of the company and the money will be divided into three piles: for my two brothers and for me “, Coll told Abas. “Well, it shouldn’t be like that, eh?”, complained the Zaragoza native. “Nothing is wrong, Fran, there is a lot,” replied the Mallorcan. But his friend was not calm: “I think your aunt knows something,” he suspected. “She doesn’t know anything. Don’t talk about this here, Fran,” Coll warned her.

A broken pact

After being arrested, the two broke their “pact of silence” and ended up confessing. The businessman’s son tried to justify his father’s murder by claiming that he was “psychologically mistreated”, especially at work.

“He criticised me in front of others and humiliated me, said that I was useless, a social waste and forced me to work longer hours saying, family is family. ”

Abas said he acted “for love”. He said Coll promised him they would have “a lot of money to live together, even if it was only as friends”; and that he did everything he asked. In addition, he downplayed his friend’s version of the abuse.

“Andreu argued a lot with his father, they were not humiliations, but if Andreu left home, his father would take everything from him. The only solution was to kill him.” 

Still in prison

Coll and Abas were sentenced to 17 and a half years and 16 and a half years, respectively. Before the judge, they ended up apologising for the crime. They are still in prison.

Psychiatric reports concluded the two murderers did not have a disorder or hallucination derived from the mass consumption of video games and that they were aware of their actions when they planned the crime and committed it.

The forensics defined Andreu Coll as a “cold and intelligent person, with a dominant character” and emphasized the hatred he felt towards his father, especially since he evicted Andreu’s mother and brothers in October 2012. “I loved my father, but when we were not in the office or at home. I loved him when we were at my grandfather’s house or in the car. I have always loved my mother more,” he declared.

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