There have been a series of incidents 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 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.