Nicholas Salvador became 'obsessed' with beheading videos weeks before killing grandmother Palmira Silva

Friends of Mr Salvador say that the 25-year-old was watching videos of beheadings 'for weeks' before killing the 82-year-old grandmother

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The Independent Online

The young killer Nicholas Salvador who stabbed and beheaded a 82-year-old grandmother at her north London home was "obsessed" with watching beheading videos in the weeks before he killed her, it has emerged.

Friends of Salvador say that he underwent a dramatic change of character prior to his rampage through the streets of Edmonton, that ended in the death of Palmira Silva, revealing that his friendly disposition transformed after visiting an internet café to do some "research".

According to The Sun, a friend of Salvador said: “He was looking at the videos of beheadings for weeks. He became obsessed by them.”

Another friend, who has known Salvador for a decade told the newspaper: “He was watching beheading videos online. He was laughing about it, but took his religion seriously.”

It has further emerged that before Salvador’s brutal attack the 25 year-old was in a “bad place” after losing his job as a billboard worker three days before. Mr Salvador was also reported to have been involving himself with drugs and prostitutes.

Another of Salvador’s friends said:  “A lot of people thought this was coming. He would snap.”

“He had never had a girlfriend, he was abusing cocaine and used prostitutes whenever he had the money. The guy was in a bad place.”

According to The Sun, Salvador who converted to Islam in 2012 but discovered Buddhism last year, spent hours on the internet researching Jihadi messages and conspiracy theories. However,Mr  Salavdor apparently abandoned religion before killing Silva in September 2014.

Yesterday, the Metropolitan Police released shocking video footage of Salvador’s attack on Mrs Silva in which he stabbed the great grandmother multiple times before beheading her and holding her head aloft. He was eventually restrained in a neighbour’s garden during an aggressive confrontation in which he was tasered six times and left an officer injured.

Salvador was found not guilty at the Old Baily yesterday on the grounds of insanity, after the court heard that he had torn down fences and kicked in doors under the belief that he was killing “demons”. Salvador is also reported to have thought that Mrs Silva was a supernatural entity. 

Salvador will continue to receive treatment at Broadmoor high security hospital and will be confined in a high-security psychiatric hospital indefinitely.

Silva’s daughter, Celestina Muis, said in a statement that her mother's death had been devastating for her family: “Palmira had a full life, loving her children, grandchildren and great-grandchild. She was very much the glue that held us all together. Our lives have been torn apart knowing what happened to my mother.”