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Is Netflix series behind ‘stone murder’ of German woman?

As Danish police continue to investigate a stone-throwing incident that claimed the life of a German motorist, there is new speculation that the perpetrator may have been inspired by the Netflix series ‘Slasher’.

Is Netflix series behind 'stone murder' of German woman?
Police said that the sheer size of the stone leads them to believe that it may have been planned in advance. Photo: Fyns Politi

There have been a series of incidents in Denmark in recent months in which heavy stones have been thrown down from motorway overpasses onto passing vehicles below.

In August, a car belonging to a family of German tourists was struck by a 30-kilo stone tile on the island of Funen. The 33-year-old female passenger was killed, while the 36-year-old driver was seriously injured. The couple’s five-year-old son escaped injury.

Similar incidents have been reported throughout Denmark, one as recently as Monday, when an ambulance that was transporting a heart attack victim was hit by a stone thrown from an overpass in Aalborg.

Now police say that whoever is throwing the stones may have been inspired by a Canadian horror series called ‘Slasher’ that recently premiered on Netflix in Denmark.

“In connection with our investigation we have been made aware of a Netflix series that includes an episode in which a person throws a concrete block down on a driving car. The series is called ’Slasher’,” Funen Police Commissioner Michael Lichtenstein told Jyllands-Posten.

“A resident directed our attention to it and it can’t be ruled out that someone may have been inspired by it. Just like all of those people who are going around doing it [throwing stones onto cars, ed.] may have been inspired by our current case,” he added.

The trailer for the series shows a clip in which a concrete block is thrown from an overpass onto an oncoming car.

Jørn Beckmann, the head psychologist at Odense Hospital, agreed that the recent spate of stone-throwing incidents could very well be the result of the copycat effect.

“Typically it is young people who don’t have the sufficient self control to stop themselves. The obvious adrenaline rush in throwing stones is appealing,” he told Jyllands-Posten.

Lichtenstein said last month that many private citizens and local businesses have offered to put up a reward for any information that would lead to an arrest in the fatal Funen incident, which police are treating as a murder and attempted murder.

“The enquiries about a reward go to show how much this case has affected the public,” he said.

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CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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