Beheading Victim Begged for Help

Jennifer Mills-Westley alerted security guard to threats
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2011 9:44 AM CDT
This undated photo issued May 14, 2011 by The Lucie Blackman Trust and Missing Abroad organization shows British woman Jennifer Mills-Westley.   (AP Photo / The Lucie Blackman Trust and Missing Abroad)

(Newser) – Before the horrifying attack that took her life Friday, Jennifer Mills-Westley took refuge in a social security office and told a security guard there that a vagrant had threatened her. But after waiting for her tormentor to move on, Mills-Westley left and entered the discount store next door. There, 28-year-old homeless man Deyan Valentinov Deyanov found her again and attacked her, claiming to be “a prophet of God” as he beheaded the 60-year-old retiree. Authorities know of no reason Mills-Westley was targeted, and one official says she was “chosen … by chance.”

Deyanov was known around Tenerife for being unpredictable and violent and had had several run-ins with police, but it’s not clear whether Mills-Westley, who divided her time between the Spanish resort island, England, and France, knew about his reputation. In February, he left a psychiatric unit where he was receiving treatment for paranoid schizophrenia, the Telegraph reports. Mills-Westley’s family released a statement describing the mother and grandmother as “full of life, generous of heart, would do anything for anyone.”

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