Elderly Hostage Saved Thanks to Wordle

Wordle played an important part in saving a woman taken hostage.
Wordle played an important part in saving a woman taken hostage. / Photo courtesy of The New York Times

The viral word game Wordle is good for more than killing time, as it contributed to the saving of an elderly woman taken hostage by a home invader.

80-year-old Denyse Holt woke in her home earlier this week to see a naked man covered in blood and holding a pair of scissors in his hand. James H. Davis III, 32, proceeded to get into bed with Holt, who said she remained calm.

"I was trying to survive, that's all," she told CBS Chicago. "He said, 'I won't harm or molest you.'"

Holt says Davis told her to take a shower with him, then changed his mind and decided to take a bath because he wasn't warm enough. He then led her around the home, disconnecting phones and leaving bloodstains from the injuries he'd sustained breaking into Holt's home through a window. With the phones disconnected, Davis took her into the basement and barricaded the door. They stayed there for the next 17 hours.

Holt's friends and family began to notice something was off when she failed to read texts they sent. Her daughter also found it unusual that Holt had not shared her Wordle results for the day — so unusual that it prompted her to call police and ask them to perform a wellness check.

When police arrived at the scene, they began an hours-long standoff that ended with a SWAT team making its way into the house and subduing Davis with a stun gun. Holt was taken to safety and found physically unharmed, and Davis, who has been deemed mentally unwell, has been charged with home invasion with a dangerous weapon, aggravated kidnapping while armed with a dangerous weapon and aggravated assault against a peace officer.