Thanks to the OD&D message boards, I came across the website of William C. Dear, the private investigator hired to look into the disappearance of Michigan State University student James Dallas Egbert III in 1979. The website is surprisingly spare and unimpressive for this day and age, but I suspect Dear gets by on his reputation for being involved in high-profile investigations.
I remember the Egbert case quite clearly, because my father was following the story in the newspapers and magazines at the time. His interest in the story was what got my mother to buy a copy of the Holmes Basic Set, believing (incorrectly) that Dad would want to see the game for himself. Instead, the game sat in the hall linen closet unopened until Christmas. So, strangely, all the negative publicity about D&D turned out to be a catalyst for my becoming involved in the game -- an irony that was probably not lost on TSR, whose sales almost certainly increased due to the notoriety the Egbert case provided, even if they'd much rather have avoided the negative publicity that came with it.
Dear wrote a book called The Dungeon Master that chronicles his involvement in the Egbert case and which was published in 1984. I read it many years ago and found it a very odd document, mostly because Dear's experiences playing D&D (in order to understand what James Egbert might have been thinking) were so alien to my own, both then and now. But then roleplaying has always been a hobby whose participants often play the game in wildly divergent ways -- none moreso than D&D. I should see if I can hunt down a copy and read it again. I wonder if I might have a different reaction to it now than I did previously.