Misdirection in the UK: Is the Media Hiding Something About Knife Crime?


We’ve written about the UK getting their collective panties in a bunch about novelty Zombie Killer knives before. While we all realize the facileness of targeting certain knives based purely on cosmetic features, the UK press did not get the memo. Much like the American media will breathlessly natter about scary-looking “assault weapons” which are mechanically identical to Pa’s hunting rifle, the Guardian ups the ante in their latest media salvo Teenager fatally stabbed with ‘Zombie Killer’ knife in gang attack:

“But this was not the sort of small kitchen knife that is so often so foolishly carried by young people and then used in a moment of madness. This was a weapon with no legitimate purpose. It is called a Zombie Killer, which sounds as if it should be a toy, but is anything but.”

Note the between-the-lines suggestion that knives are partly to blame for crime, dubbed moments of madness? The article paints a picture of an innocent teen being targeted by two youths. Tragic loss of life though it is, I can’t help think but things aren’t quite as they seem. A few relevant bits in the article muddle the account.

Stefan Appleton, 17, was targeted by two youths on a stolen moped in the early evening of 10 June last year. Moments earlier he had been playing a “pound up” game outside Nightingale park in Islington, north London, where children were enjoying the summer evening on swings and slides.

I’m not sure what a “pound up” game is (and my Google-fu was inconclusive) but the Guardian sets the scene as an idyllic summer evening, full of childlike innocence. Things took a turn when two youths rode up and attacked the young Mr. Appleton.

Simon Denison QC, prosecuting, told jurors they had a “fearsome weapon” known as a Zombie Killer knife in a sheath. The pillion passenger jumped off, pulled out the machete-like knife and ran at Stefan and his friends.


Despite being mortally wounded, [Appleton] got up and ran away from the youth who chased after him before turning back. As the youths rode off on the moped, the passenger shouted out “RP”, standing for Red Pitch, a rival to another gang in the Nightingale park area, the court heard.

So, some sort of gang connection? Was Stefan Appleton involved with the aforementioned “rival gang?” The article does not delve into his background – not even a bit – so it is difficult to say, but buried at the end of the article was this.

The court heard that the younger [attacker] had been stabbed two months earlier. Denison told jurors that this knife attack near to where Stefan was killed was “very much connected”.

That certainly raises the question in my mind… how was it connected? The Guardian does not even attempt to explain, despite alluding to a gang association. The skeptic in me might wonder if they are trying to hide something.

Whether or not the court case is so infatuated with the zombie killer knife aspect or not, the article sure makes it seem that way, fetishizing the object over more relevant details of the event. Anything to fit a narrative. Case in point:

Denison said: “He was formally pronounced dead at 7.45pm, an hour and three-quarters after he had been playing ‘pound up’ with his friends on the edge of the park. Another tragic waste of a young life in this city taken by a knife.

No. His life was taken by two lowlifes on a bike.


  1. Sam L. says:

    PC uber alles.

  2. Roger says:

    Let’s be honest here, you can’t market something as being better to kill with and then drag on about how dimwitted the media is when someone uses it to kill someone. That’s what a lot of the “tactical” and “zombie” products aim at.

    That being said. holy shit the media here sucks even if the story they push(the innocent teen angle) is completely true.

  3. Elcas says:

    Stop weaponizing the poor bike!

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Misdirection in the UK: Is the Media Hiding Something About Knife Crime?

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