Wordle, the popular word guessing game that led to a bunch of green and yellow squares all over social media, was inadvertently involved in a hostage situation in the US city of Chicago. Denyse Holt, an 80-year-old grandmother, was held hostage for 17-hours by a naked mentally ill man and was rescued after her daughter got worried when Holt failed to send her daily Wordle score over.
She had been alone at home on 5 February when suddenly James H. Davis III, a 32-year-old with mental illness, entered her house and aimed a pair of scissors at her. Davis was naked and bleeding having been cut by the window he broke into. He then forced her to take a warm bathe with him. Despite having told Holt that he wouldn’t harm her, after the bathe he then took two knives from the kitchen and disconnected the house phones, before locking her away in the bathroom of the basement.
Meanwhile, Holt’s daughter Meredith Holt-Caldwell was getting worried when she wasn’t responding to text messages. Specifically, Holt had yet to send her daily Wordle score to her daughter as Wordle had become a daily routine for Holt. Holt-Caldwell found it very disconcerting, and as she lived in a different city and couldn’t visit her mother herself, she called the police.
Police officers then arrived at Holt’s house to conduct a well-being check the next day, but found Davis instead. There was a stand-off between the police and Davis, leading to police to call in the SWAT team to come in. The SWAT team then used a stun gun against Davis, subduing and arresting him. Davis is now being charged with a number of felony charges, including but not limited to home invasion with a deadly weapon, assault against police officers, and aggravated kidnapping. Thankfully, Holt herself was found unharmed.
“I never thought in a million years this is what was happening, but it was. I’m very lucky.” – Denyse Holt
It’s just the latest news Wordle finds itself in, having spread like wildfire in early January before quickly being picked up by The New York Times in a deal worth somewhere in the low-seven figures. It’s spawned other versions of Wordle too, such as Katapat which is Wordle but in Bahasa Malaysia.
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