Suspected Belgian knife killer ‘inspired by Heath Ledger character’

Belgian day care attacker 'inspired by Health Ledger death'

The suspect thought to have launched a horrific knife attack on a Belgian crèche was apparently inspired by the anniversary of Heath Ledger’s death, new reports suggest.

Police are currently questioning 20-year-old Kim De Gelder, over a gruesome knife attack on a Belgian day-care centre last week, after former workmates described Mr De Gelder as a ‘film freak’ and ‘movie addict’.

Witnesses who saw the attack, which left two babies and a 54-year-old carer dead, as well as others critically injured, say De Gelder had dressed as the Batman character The Joker, painting his face white, blackening his eyes and wearing a red wig.

Now investigators are inspecting whether the suspect was inspired by Heath Ledger’s character in The Dark Knight movie and timed the attack to coincide with the first anniversary of Ledger’s death.

The actor died on 22 January 2008 in a New York apartment from a drug overdose.

The distressing details emerged as the Storyland crèche in Sinaai has been permanently closed to stop children and parents being ‘constantly confronted with the buildings where the attack occurred’.

Mr De Gelder
now remains in police custody in Bruges and is reportedly on hunger strike, refusing to speak to police.

He will be examined by psychiatrists before a closed court this week to determine whether he is mentally responsible for his actions.

Neighbours describe the accused as ‘someone who lived in his own world’. ‘He was sometimes seen chattering away to himself,’ said one neighbour. While another revealed: ‘He was local but he was a stranger to everyone here. He was a loner who shunned contact with others.’

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