Killer dressed as Jason Voorhees brutally murdered teenager found dead in bath

A sickening copycat killer case saw a teenager inspired by Friday the 13th brutally murder a teenage girl while dressed as Jason Voorhees.

Mark Branch, 18, was said to have been dressed up in a garb inspired by the fictional killer from the Friday the 13th franchise.

The shock killing took place in New England, United States, with a "wave of panic" soon following the murder of Sharon Gregory, who was found "slashed to ribbons" in the bathroom of her home.

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Branch was labelled as a sicko "fascinated by slasher horror flicks", including the Friday the 13th series, which had marked seven releases by the time of Gregory's murder.

Screenings of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers were cancelled following the horrific murder which took place on this day (October 24) in 1988, with Branch's home searched soon after.

Searching Branch's home revealed a collection of "75 horror films, 64 true crime books, three knives, hockey masks – and a machete." and one acquaintance at the time said the 18-year-old was planning as going as "Jason" for a Halloween party.

A video rental employee at the time stated that murderer Branch would only request "gore" films, with "the gorier, the better" being his ideal movie.

Police soon moved to find Branch after his sickening murder of Gregory, who was found dead in the bathtub by her twin sister, Cheryl.

The 18-year-old had disappeared after slicing up the abdomen, chest and head of his victim.

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But police managed to pick up a lead that started a manhunt for Branch over a month later, with officers closing in on him over the course of a month.

Investigating a nearby abandoned slaughterhouse, police found signs of Branch's presence, with a crude drawing of Jason Voorhees on the walls.

By November 28, 1988, officers had managed to track down and find Branch after seeing his car abandoned on the edge of a forest, where Branch was found dead and hanging from a tree.

According to reports from the time, Branch and Gregory had been "friends" despite the murdered party believing there was something "off" about the horror-loving sicko.

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