This is the suspected serial killer collared by Dutch cops following a spate of three murders targeting elderly people out walking their dogs.
The suspect, identified as 27-year-old student Thijs Hermans from the city of The Hague, was arrested on Wednesday evening in the southern Dutch province of Limburg after a large-scale manhunt.
Hermans is suspected of killing three dog walkers in the last week.
Pictures Credit: CEN
The spree began in The Hague on 4th May with the death of a 56-year-old Japanese woman identified by her first name Etsuko.
She was found dead next to her cargo bicycle in a patch of forest popular with dog walkers.
One of Etsuko’s pets was standing next to her body while her second dog was found by the cops after it fled the scene.
On Tuesday 7th May, a still unidentified 68-year-old man and a 63-year-old woman, only identified as ‘Grandma Diny’, were killed in Brunssum, a town in the southern Dutch province of Limburg, some 140 miles from the first crime scene in The Hague.
According to reports, both victims were walking their dogs in a beauty spot just outside Brunssum when the killer struck.
As the victims did not seem to know each other, investigators were puzzled as to why they were killed.
However, the police recently managed to link the two deaths in Brunssum with the murder of Etsuko in The Hague as all three victims were walking their dog when the killer struck.
Police refused to give details about possible motives and the exact manner of their murders, although media reports said that they were all stabbed.
It is unclear how the police managed to track down Hermans, although local media speculated that he was spotted on CCTV footage near the crime scenes.
The police released an image of him taken from a security video.
Unusually for the Netherlands, the image was released without the suspect’s face being pixelated and with his full name given.
The police spokesman said: “We don’t often do this, but given the nature of the incidents – three dead people – we decided to do it this time.”
The crimes struck fear into the hearts of residents and dog owners across the country.
One neighbour of Grandma Diny said: “I’m terrified because of this, I go for walks three or four times a day. It looks like someone is randomly stabbing people to death. It could easily be me walking there next time.”