A gang boss suspected of direct involvement in three savage murders is so consumed with paranoia he has threatened to murder a woman and one of his closest associates.
The 34-year-old Traveller hood is said "to have lost the run of himself" and "is issuing threats left, right and centre" after being released from garda custody last Wednesday. The gang boss was being questioned about ordering the murder of Benny Whitehouse, who was shot dead in Balbriggan last September.
The feared thug is also suspected of being involved in the suspected slayings of his former associate Willie Maughan (34) and Mr Maughan's Latvian partner, Anna Varslavane (21). They were last seen in the Gormanston area of Co Meath on the afternoon of April 14.
"Since he got out of custody, the gangster has gone completely crazy - probably because he now knows how much the gardai actually have on him, which includes CCTV and phone evidence," a source said.
"He seems to have got it in his head that a woman who has also been arrested is talking to the gardai about him.
"This fella was going around laughing and joking after it first came out about the missing couple, but the smile has turned to the other side of his face now. He is panicking in a big way," the source added.
Further evidence of the criminal's twisted state of mind is shown by the fact that he is now understood to think one of his former top associates is speaking to the gardai.
This criminal is believed to have been strongly involved in the Whitehouse murder plot - but now the gang boss is threatening to kill him. It is understood gardai have visited the Louth-based thug to tell him of an official threat on his life.
Gardai believe Maughan and Varslavane have been murdered and their bodies may have been dumped in a rural location, but no trace has been found of them.