Police identify headless beach murder victim
25 October 2004, BARCELONA – Spanish police said Monday they had solved the mystery of the identity of a woman whose dismembered body was found on a popular Barcelona tourist beach.
25 October 2004
BARCELONA – Spanish police said Monday they had solved the mystery of the identity of a woman whose dismembered body was found on a popular Barcelona tourist beach.
The woman's body was originally found in a plastic bag on the Barceloneta beach in June, without a head and guts.
She was initially thought to have been murdered by someone with surgical knowledge because of the precise nature of the cuts on her body.
The police investigation into her death was hampered because it proved difficult to establish the woman's identity.
But José López, head of the Catalan regional police, said Monday the body was that of an Argentinian woman in her sixties, who had been living in Barcelona.
A neighbour of the woman, whose identity was not revealed by police, contacted the detectives to report her missing.
The police are now piecing together the woman's movements in the days before her death.
Lopez said the investigation was "going very well" but refused to give any more details.
The case shocked Spain, not least because of the gory nature of the victim's death, but because the body was found on a popular tourist beach in the heart of Barcelona.
Initially, police believed that the murder could have been the work of a "expert surgeon" who butchered the body with a scalpel because the cuts were so precise.
However, police later discounted this theory as the way the body had been dismembered would did not suggest a trained surgeon was the killer.
DNA samples could not help as the woman had no police record.
Police also said that no longer believed the murder was a ritual killing as had originally been suggested.
Sources said that they also believed the murder was not a macabre joke on the part of a group of medical students – another of the more imaginative theories which have been suggested.
Subject: Spanish news