Woman beheaded in Spain supermarket
Jennifer Mills-Westley, a British national, was killed in an apparently random attack in Spain's Canary Islands on May 14, 2011.
May 15th, 2011
07:09 AM ET

Woman beheaded in Spain supermarket

A British grandmother was beheaded in an apparently random attack in a supermarket in Spain's Canary Islands.

A man who stole a knife in the supermarket attacked Jennifer Mills-Westley and cut her head off, then ran away with it, government officials in Tenerife said Friday. Shopping center security guards chased the man and subduing him until police arrived. The man, a Bulgarian, was known in the area, a government spokeswoman said.

Mills-Westley was retired and living between Tenerife in the Canary Islands and France where her daughter and grandchildren live, her family said in a statement Saturday.

"She was full of life, generous of heart, would do anything for anyone," said her daughter Sarah. The family is "devastated by the news of her death ... We now have to find a way of living without her love and light."

Mills-Westley had been a county council worker in Norfolk, England, council leader Derrick Murphy told CNN. Murphy said he did not know Mills-Westley because he joined the council after she retired, but he planned to have current and former council employees organize a tribute to her.

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Filed under: Spain
soundoff (209 Responses)
  1. Cricket


    I would call your rambling diatribe the result of some really, really good pot.
    And the universe could be contained in your thumbnail, too, am I right?

    May 16, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Julie

    Needs a shrink? This is becoming so common we should all be on guard for these killers who have no value for life. This was a senseless evil deed. May the Lord help the family of the victim. I cannot imagine how I could get over this tragedy and am sure the man will be found and get the death penalty-nothing less-glad I live in Texas

    May 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joy Lynskey

    A good family sized can of green beans to the head could have ended this for this psycho. What is wrong with people that can IGNORE an attacker with a knife? I bet you anything I can hold a phone that has 911 dialed on it in one hand while beaning (with at least 50 percent accuracy) cans, bottles, grills, (good gosh the stuff in supermarkets these days) at the head of a person with a knife. Maybe I have less self-preservation instincts, but I like to think I just have less headupmyownassitis than most people.

    May 31, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sue

      What the heck is wrong with you? Blaming the victim and Monday-morning quarterbacking is tasteless and vile. Did it ever occur to you that he attacked her from behind? Or that he was far bigger and stronger? Oh, I forgot, you're WONDER WOMAN. Shut UP.

      June 1, 2011 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Sue

      And P.S., you DO have your head up your own ass. That's abundantly clear from your self-congratulatory, idiotic post.

      June 1, 2011 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Jess J

      @Sue:If you would've read Joy's comment correctly, you would've known that she was talking about the bystanders. She was wondering how other people could watch this and not try to help in some way. Obviously, one cut didn't decapitate this woman, so he had to have worked on her for a few seconds atleast! Get it right, before u start chewing people out!

      June 1, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Acquitted


      You're not serious are you? My God, I can't believe how ignorant some people can be. A person suffering from mental illness (schizophrenia) has the strength of a bull. This supermarket tragedy happened in a matter of minutes. You're going to rush a guy with a butcher knife in his hands while hacking on someone or perhaps use a can of beans to disarm him? How ridiculous! With his strength he could decapitate an individual with a baseball bat.

      No pun intended but use your head...

      June 9, 2011 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Jose

      You know how many times my wife asks me why i need a concealed weapon permit? "Why do you need to take a gun to Publix?", she often asks. Why? Because as a law abiding citizen, if some nut tries this crap on any innocent person in a supermarket while I am there, he'll have 10 hollow points in him. Gob bless this poor woman and her family.

      June 9, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. DoubleW

    "The man ... was known in the area" is journalistic PC-speak for "The man was known by local residents to be crazy as a sh!thouse rat," but nothing was done about him until he finally snapped and did something really horrible. After all, taking care of the mentally ill costs money, while murder and other crimes are apparently free.

    May 31, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • logikbuys

      Ding Ding!

      June 1, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate


      June 9, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. global warming conspiracy

    how gruesome. poor family

    June 2, 2011 at 6:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. What the heck

    What is wrong with everyone on here that you feel the need to pick on each other?

    June 2, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. porku

    was this bulgarian guy a muslim...because they like to cut human throats..?????
    please let me know someone...I got to make the connection between islam and this monster crime...

    June 5, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Islam

      Porku, apparently you are a mentally disturbed person. There are no Muslims in Bulgaria, but you need to see a shrink.

      June 6, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Nick Rymond


      June 13, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. zdeneczech

    @islam in bulgaria live large turkish muslim community as well as jewish and of course the majority of christians ,not to mention other smaller religious groups.this country is very good example that people of all backgrounds can live together in PEACE!!!!and im not even bulgarian:)

    June 8, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. HarshReality

    The Government needs to allow concealed carry. Or open carry, I don't care which; a trained civilian could, perhaps, have saved this poor womans life.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Hugh Jarce

    Bulgaria, like that's an actual place.

    June 13, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
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    April 9, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
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