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article imageWas a murder caught on Google Street View? (Video)

By Anne Sewell     Jun 5, 2014 in Internet
Edinburgh - People have found some pretty weird things using Google's Street View, with everything from people making love to donkeys lying dead on the street. This time was more serious, however, as it looked like a grisly murder was taking place.
When viewing Giles Street in Edinburgh on Google Street View, a shocking and gruesome image appears. What looks like a corpse wearing red overalls is lying flat out in the street. Looming over him is a man who appears to be wielding an ax.
As the Google Street View car traveled along the street, the man turns to face the camera, with the ax in his hand. Further down the street, another man just stands there, hand on hip, apparently watching the gruesome scene.
However, like the donkey lying dead on the road and the couple playing around for the camera, the scene is not to be taken seriously.
While all the faces are blurred, apparently everyone in this particular area of Edinburgh knows exactly who they are.
Firstly, the horribly murdered "corpse" seen lying in the street is one Dan Thompson, owner of the Tomson Motor Company on Giles Street. Looming over him is his longtime employee, Gary Kerr. If you zoom in to look closely at Kerr, you will see that the so-called "ax murderer" is actually standing there laughing like a loon.
Now they are becoming famous in the media, but it turns out the photos were actually taken around August 2012. It has taken awhile for the story to come to light.
An apparent ax murderer stands over a corpse in Giles Street  Edinburgh.
An apparent ax murderer stands over a corpse in Giles Street, Edinburgh.
Google Street View
Thompson told CNN, "Giles Street is like a misshapen horseshoe. By chance, I saw the Street View car going in other leg. I knew it would reach us in half a minute."
"I had just enough time to whip in, grab Gary and a pick-ax handle and he came out to give me a so called 'Leith massage,' which is essentially being bashed."
Kerr, who has worked for the business for over a decade, was "right up" for the prank, Thompson said.
According to Thompson, it was some months later that one of their suppliers rang up "in fits of laughter," after spotting the incident on Google Street Views. It was then more than a year before someone got around to contacting the police, who according to Thompson "very properly" came around to check out the incident.
When the police came to call, Thompson explained what they had been up to, saying, "They were smiling when they came in and were roaring with laughter when they left."
Apparently Google declined to comment when CNN contacted them about the prank, but Thompson figures all the publicity will be good for business, not only for him, but for Google too.
"It's nothing obscene, but now a lot more people know about Street View - so I would think this must be a joy to them."
However, its probably best to look at the prank now, as Thompson fears that things will change soon. He told CNN that he thinks he saw the Street View car driving past on Thursday last week, and they didn't have time to set anything up this time.
"I expect there will ll be a lot of copycats of this now but the trick is spotting [the Street View car] in time."
More about Scotland, Google street view, Edinburgh, Murder, axe wielding murderer
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