It was in August 1965 when a series of crimes became rampant among young students of Manila—particularly, grade-schoolers and colegialas or college girls. Such crimes involved the victims getting their faces slashed by a knife or razor blade; hence, the perpetrators were known as “the face slashers of Manila.”
Over 600 attacks were reported, mostly against schoolchildren in Tondo, Manila. The residents in different communities were panicked by the face-slashing; thus, prompting hundreds of police patrols to be discharged.
The modus of the crime was the same each time—the slasher appears out of nowhere, attacks the victim, then disappears. At the time, authorities shrugged it off as yet another “teen fad” inspired by a local movie about a disguise artist, Pitong Mukha ni Dr. Ivan. However, the 600 cases reported beg to differ, and that the cases should not be dismissed as a mere gimmick.
Two suspects were apprehended, both of which were gang members. They admitted to the crime but refused to give away their motives. The police were not able to gather as much information from the victims and witnesses—who were either tight-lipped or had nothing helpful to offer.
There were theories that involved street gangs (Karate and Bahala Na gangs) to communist tagging; copycat crimes to drug pushers marking their potential abusers.
The strangest theory was how the face-slashings was a communist plot after posters of the Nazi swastika were found at the San Francisco Del Monte Elementary School.
To this day, there were no other suspects that were linked to the crimes as well as the actual motive behind the face-slashing attacks. After the year 1965, the attacks have stopped.
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