Man Wearing “Scream” Mask Kills Neighbor with Chainsaw

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Authorities have arrested a 30-year-old man from Lehighton, Pennsylvania, accused of killing his neighbor with a chainsaw and knife while wearing a mask from the Scream horror movie.

Zak Russel Moyer faces charges of criminal homicide following the alleged murder of his neighbor, 59-year-old Edward Whitehead Jr., a gruesome incident that occurred on Monday, March 25, 2024.

According to the Pennsylvania State Police, authorities were dispatched to a home on the 200 block of Carbon Street in Leighton around 3:30 p.m. on Monday after receiving reports of an active assault. Upon their arrival, law enforcement officers found Whitehead suffering from severe injuries that a battery-operated chainsaw and a knife had inflicted.

Whitehead was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital-Carbon Hospital, situated in the neighboring Franklin Township, where he was declared dead by the authorities. He had sustained an incision on his right arm, a laceration above his right eyebrow, a significant injury to the right portion of his head, and wounds on his hands that appeared to be defensive in nature, as per the police.

The rapid response and ensuing investigation led to Moyer’s arrest. A significant breakthrough in the case came from surveillance footage, which depicted an individual fully clad in black, donning a mask reminiscent of the infamous antagonist from the Scream horror movie series. This eerie disguise played a crucial role in aiding the police to pinpoint Moyer as the primary suspect.

After the attack, Moyer allegedly took refuge in his house next door, momentarily eluding capture. Reports indicate that, as police cordoned off the area, Moyer resorted to a unique method of communication, placing notes on his window that levied grave accusations against Whitehead. According to reports, the note read, “Ed murdered women and kids. Eddie Junior murdered women and kids last summer.”

Despite these claims, officials have clarified that no investigation is underway on Moyer’s allegations against the victim.

Court documents show that Moyer’s sister claimed her brother had expressed intentions to harm Whitehead in the week leading up to the incident, potentially pointing to a premeditated murder. According to Trooper Anthony Petroski, the suspect has no court records and surrendered to troopers on-site without any incident. “There was communication between him and troopers on the scene, and eventually, he did open the door himself and exit on his own will,” Trooper Petroski said.

Moyer revealed to investigators that after the assault, he had returned to his residence to watch a film while waiting for law enforcement to show up. He also confessed to concealing the weapon used in the attack, a chainsaw, as well as stashing the knife inside a drawer of a desk.

Upon serving a search warrant, authorities located the chainsaw, which is powered by a 20-volt lithium battery, a knife, and the Halloween attire linked to the crime. When inquired about a wound below his eye, Moyer suggested it was the result of a scuffle with Whitehead, according to the police report.

In a court session presided over by District Judge Eric M. Schrantz, Moyer faced the formal charge of homicide. He was then transferred to the custody of the Carbon County detention center, where he was held without the option for bail. A preliminary examination has been set for April 3 as a provisional date to assess whether the evidence is compelling enough to progress the case to trial at the county level.

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