Man 'beheads his father' in horrifying YouTube video leading to Pennsylvania arrest

Clip was on the popular video-sharing site for six hours before being taken down

The man posted a video on YouTube purportedly showing his father's decapitated head. Photo: Blog video via YouTube
Powered by automated translation

A man has been arrested in the US on suspicion of beheading his own father and posting the footage to YouTube.

The suspect, who lives in Pennsylvania, identified himself in the video as Justin Mohn, 32, and allegedly said he had killed his father, “a federal employee”. He also called for an uprising against US President Joe Biden's government.

In the political rant, he also said his father, Mike Mohn, was a “traitor”.

The video was online for six hours before being taken down, horrifying users of the platform. YouTube records about 2.7 billion users a month.

Police said they had identified “a person of interest” after being alerted to the video and reached Justin Mohn’s house at 7pm, finding Mike Mohn dead.

Justin Mohn was detained three hours later, after police found his car at Fort Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, a two-hour drive from his family home.

It is not clear who alerted police to the online video, but Phillycrimeupdate, an account on social media platform X, formerly Twitter, posted updates on the situation on Wednesday morning, expressing shock that it took YouTube so long to remove the clip.

YouTube said the footage was removed for breaching their graphic violence policy and Justin Mohn's channel was terminated in line with the site's violent extremist policies. Teams are also closely tracking the site to remove any re-uploads of the video.

YouTube has policies prohibiting content intended to praise, promote or aid violent criminal organisations. Google statistics from July-September 2023 show 8.1 million videos were removed for breaching the site's policies over this period, with more than 95 per cent of those flagged by an automated system.

The arrest comes amid growing concern over fringe anti-government groups in the US. Investigators in New York on Wednesday uncovered an anarchist terror plot to kill dozens of people using home-made bombs and 3D-printed guns.

The suspects, Andrew Hatziagelis, 39, and Angelo Hatziagelis, 51, had written a “hit list” of targets.

Material discovered in their apartment contained “multiple writings, multiple notebooks, showing that they were just very anti-government, anti-society. There were writings quoting Charles Manson, very into human destruction,” said Courtney Nilan of the NYPD intelligence division, speaking to NBC.

Police found eight bombs in their apartment, two semi-automatic “AR-15-style” rifles, a number of pistols and 600 rounds of ammunition.

Updated: January 31, 2024, 4:04 PM