Social networking websites are being blamed for a spate of gruesome killings around the world, according to Interpol.
The latest so-called ‘slash mob’ incident took place on the quiet Greek island of Santorini, when Athanassios Arvanitis, a 31-year-old cook, beheaded his girlfriend and walked around his village brandishing her severed head. He then knifed a policeman, stole a police car and injured two motorcyclists before he was finally arrested.
Other seemingly random acts of carnage in the last week included Vince Weiguang Li, who beheaded a fellow-passenger on a bus in Canada; British teenager Cara Burke, dismembered by her drug-dealer boyfriend in Brazil; and Tony Blair ripping Gordon Brown apart in a memo leaked to the Mail on Sunday.
Police are focusing their inquiries on social networking sites such as Facebook, particularly the so-called ‘slash mob’ phenomenon in which participants are invited to bizarre, spontaneous public events.
“We don’t actually have anything to link any such sites to these murders,” said DCI Slaughter, Scotland Yard’s leading murder investigator. “But we know the public need to kid themselves that we have at least some idea of what the hell’s going on, and that the media are suckers for stories about Facebook. So my message to anyone living abroad, travelling on a bus or living with a partner who has access to a kitchen, and who might be worried about suddenly finding themselves hacked apart for no readily apparent reason, is simple: unplug the computer and set fire to it immediately - your life may yet be spared.”
Detectives are trawling the internet in a desperate race against time to find out when and where the next gruesome event is scheduled to take place. Unofficial sources say they are concentrating their efforts on a shady, underground group calling itself ‘The Labour Party’.
“All we know at the moment is that huge numbers of these people are walking round smiling innocently, but concealing extremely sharp knives,” said DCI Slaughter. “Their target could be a random holidaymaker, for all we know.”