Press Association/AP
Chief Inspector Michael Hanlon holds a press conference at Stevenage Police Station
in Hertfordshire.

UK Police Make Headway in Disturbing Murder Probe

April 24, 2009 05:30 PM
by Sarah Amandolare
Detectives have arrested two suspects in the mysterious U.K. murder case of a man whose body parts have been discovered in different English villages.

Two Being Questioned

According to BBC News, one man, 37, and one woman, 20, hailing from north London are the prime suspects being questioned and have been spotted at Hatfield Remand Court. The duo was arrested in Southgate and police are allowed to hold them in custody until late Friday.

Furthermore, police think they have identified the victim, a 49-year-old male from north London. Detective Andy Shrives, of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire major crime unit, told reporters he was grateful to the press for furthering progress in the case, according to the BBC.

Investigators believe the man died from a stab wound in the back, The Independent reported.

Earlier this month, the BBC reported that police had found a suitcase containing a man's torso. The torso was believed to be from the same male victim whose body parts had been found in various places across Britain.

The man's leg and arm were found first, in the town of Hertfordshire in late March, followed by the discovery of his head near a farmer's cattle pen, located approximately 80 miles away in Asfordby, in early April. A week later, police found another unnamed body part on a highway, the A10 Puckeridge bypass, according to The Daily Telegraph. The find marked the third in nine days.

Historical Context: Feet washing ashore

The U.K. murder recalls the equally mysterious severed feet case that confounded authorities in the U.S. and Canada in 2007 and 2008. Five human feet were discovered washed up on shorelines in Canada over 18 months, and one additional foot washed up in Washington state last August. Detectives said that each was a right foot, and each was found in a low-cut man's sneaker, according to statements from authorities in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported last December that DNA tests linked a left foot found in the Fraser River with a right foot found in Kirkland Island, British Columbia, the previous May. Both were thought to belong to the same unidentified woman, but foul play was not suspected, indicated Terry Foster, a senior public affairs officer quoted in a news release.

Related Topic: Fake limbs used to promote video games

Last month, to promote a Sega video game called Madworld, a Japanese firm scattered prosthetic arms soaked in fake blood in cities around Britain, reported The Sun. Also in March, promoters of the Nintendo Wii game Resident Evil 5 left severed fake heads and fake torsos in London's Trafalgar Square.

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