Wild-eyed, he held his hands wide apart and declared: ‘I want a knife this big – I’m going to kill someone.’
Caught on a supermarket CCTV camera, this is Deyan Valentinov Deyanov, the vagrant held over the beheading of a British grandmother in Tenerife.
Footage shows him walking into the store in the resort of Los Cristianos and explaining what he was about to do.
Unable to obtain a knife, he left and went to a Chinese souvenir shop where, 20 minutes later, he snatched a knife from the shelf and attacked 60-year-old Jennifer Mills-Westley, stabbing her 14 times before running down the street carrying her severed head.
The killer on camera: Deyan Valentinov Deyanov pictured in a local supermarket just before the attack
The shopkeeper who saw Deyanov minutes before the bloodbath yesterday told how the 28-year-old Bulgarian was agitatedly walking through the Avenidas supermarket in a T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops on Friday morning.
The man, who gave his name as Carlos, said: ‘He had a note in his hands which he showed me. It said, “I am God”. I asked him what he was looking for and he held his hands far apart and said, “I’m looking for a knife this big”. I said we didn’t have knives and asked what he wanted it for. He said, “I want to kill someone”, and gestured across his neck.’
Yesterday the family of mother-of-two Mrs Mills-Westley, a retired road safety officer from Norwich, questioned why her killer had been free to walk the streets despite a history of mental illness and violent behaviour.
Deyanov spent time in a mental hospital this year after attacking a security guard with a brick on New Year’s Eve and knocking out his front teeth.
Squalid: The derelict house where Deyanov has been living
Shrine: The makeshift home Deyanov lived in also featured an altar made from breeze blocks and a collection of books
Locals at the resort described him as a madman who was constantly prowling the streets talking to himself, smoking cannabis and telling passers-by: ‘I am God and I’m going to strike you down.’
He slept in a derelict hut on the beach, where he kept a Bible mounted on a breeze block, and had been arrested only two days before the murder for pestering girls at a nightclub.
The Tenerife newspaper La Opinion reported that a judge had issued a search and arrest order for him on May 10, three days before the killing.
He was said to have been involved in a fight a few days earlier in the Veronicas district of Playa de Las Americas. The newspaper said that witnesses had reported that Deyanov appeared to be on drugs.
Mrs Mills-Westley’s ex-husband Peter said: ‘It goes without saying that we need to know why this man was out on the streets, and that needs to be looked into.’
The retired heating engineer, who now lives in Wexford, Ireland, added: ‘Jenny was a wonderful wife and a brilliant mother for my children. She was a wonderful woman, I loved her dearly and she was brilliant in so many ways.’