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Swedish 'serial killer' requests new retrial

Swedish 'serial killer' requests new retrial

Published: 08 Sep 2011 15:08 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Sep 2011 15:08 GMT+02:00

Convicted serial killer Thomas Quick, who recently retracted confessions for eight murders, has formally petitioned the Court of Appeal for a retrial over the murder of an 11-year-old boy in 2001.

Quick, who has adopted the name Sture Bergwall, has asked the Svea Court of Appeal (Svea Hovrätt) to grant him a new trial in the case of 11-year-old Johan Asplund from Sundsvall who disappeared in 2001.

Asplund's body has never been found.

Quick is serving a life term in a psychiatric institution after being convicted of eight murders committed between 1976 and 1988.

During therapy he admitted to all eight murders along with more than 20 others committed in Sweden, Norway and Finland, often describing how he butchered his victims and in at least one case ate the body parts.

In December 2008, however, he suddenly withdrew all his confessions, saying he had been craving attention at the time and had been heavily medicated by doctors.

Questions over Quick's involvement in the murders have been raised over the years. His convictions were entirely based on his confessions; there were no witnesses or forensic evidence.

The application is Quick's fourth petition for a retrial, with the Svea Court of Appeal scheduled to take a decision in the autumn on the cases of two Norwegian women Trine Jensen and Gry Storvik, who were murdered in 1981 and 1985 respectively.

He was furthermore granted a new trial for the 1988 murder of Israeli tourist Yenon Levi and was acquitted in September last year.

A new trial was also granted for the 1988 murder of a nine-year-old Norwegian girl, Therese Johannesen, but the prosecutor decided to drop the case in June 2011 due to lack of evidence, effectively acquitting Quick.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:40 September 8, 2011 by johnoleson
Why has "The Local" even honored this man by a photograph as if trying to display his humanity. How about pictures of some of his victims, before and after. My goodness this only emphasizes Swedens lack of ability to deal with real crime. Where is the outrage. I read of outrage when someone violates a politically correct social rule such as speaking unkindly to a protected minority but this seems to shut down common sense.
17:01 September 8, 2011 by Stopbeingsuchawuss
Picture doesn't say much, again with the constant attacks.

Its a picture on the criminal, anyone with an iq over 100 will not judge him by his pose. How exactly does this emphasize anything?

He may request a retrial, doesn't mean much though. Now calm the f. down please.
17:25 September 8, 2011 by johnoleson
@wuss Pictures and symbols are more powerful than words. Those who use them to manipulate try to bypass the intellect. No one is immune.
19:02 September 8, 2011 by B*tchslap
Don't waste taxpayer funds on this idiot. He just wants to see a bit of new scenery, even if it is just a courtroom. Let him rot.
19:04 September 8, 2011 by KungsholmenGuy
If he admitted to and described 28 murders, the job of the interrogator is to obtain information that only he could have known about the crime scene and circumstances, information that was with-held from the media.

This information appears not to have been obtained at least for some of the murders, which would appear to amount to shoddy police work, and/or the police beng outsmarted by the serial killer...
20:10 September 8, 2011 by fedotovskiy
Agree with johnoleson.

The local seems to like such persons that kill as many swedish citizens as possible. It's maybe even not a crime because he killed not immigrants and not gays.

But if policeman says "gay is cancer of society" - this is undoubtedly serious crime.
20:20 September 8, 2011 by bramblebush
A killer of many children is still breathing? His fellow inmates can't take care fo this?
21:41 September 8, 2011 by jostein
One version of the story is that he liked the attention and a prosecutor wanted to make a career. None of the physical evidence in the case held water and there is no physical evidence pointing to this man, as of yet. It is not just a technicality that will get him off if off he gets, it is a total lack of evidence.

However, if there is no chance of reepening cases and getting other people convicted, i think they should let him rot. His behaviour cost tens of millions and he protected the real perpetrators of henious crimes.
00:02 September 9, 2011 by Coalbanks
Admission og guilt should not be enough to convict without physical evidence. Hospitalization...? Maybe. Without evidence we might be convicting insane but innocent while the guilty continue to offend.
00:07 September 9, 2011 by skumdum
This guy never killed anyone. The whole investigation and trial were a joke. I think he will be released within a year or so.
00:49 September 9, 2011 by jamesblish
Victims? This man has no victime, he's not a murderer. The entire series of trials against him are a joke from start to finish. He's a sick man in many ways but no way he's a killer. The people who should be blamed are the idiot cops and prosecutors who, by going after this attention-seeker, delayed the investigations on other murders so much that they've now become barred. And the true killers walk free to this day.
02:39 September 9, 2011 by Token-not-found
It's a dangerous precedent to convict someone based on his confessions.

Think about it , the confessions can be extracted by "breaking" or intimidation done by the police, or other such means , or even insane people or people protecting others...

There needs to be real evidence.
07:39 September 9, 2011 by RobinHood
Some of the dimmer posters here don't seem to have got the point. Several murder convictions against Mr Quick have already been set aside on the grounds that though he confessed to them, he couldn't possibly have done them. This means that for many years, the real murderers have been living amongst us, secure, unpunished and unrecognised. I find that a bit scary.

If there are any more dodgy murder convictions incorrectly laid on Mr Quick, I want to know about them so that the police can reopen the case and at least identify the correct murderer, instead of clearing their books by dumping as many unsolved cases as they could on some old fool who was prepared to "confess" to them.
09:07 September 9, 2011 by Puffin
He may not have committed all of these murders - but innocent??? Don't make me laugh

People forget his previous reconrd of violent and paedofile offences where the victims survived and testified - many scarred for life - he has a long record dating back to 1969 there are plenty of victims of Thomas Quick/Sture Bergwall

So here are his other convictions

1969 - child sexual abuse - sexually abused a number of children on the children's ward of a hospital where he worked - convicted to psychiatric treatment

1974 - attempted murder - stabbed a man in Uppsala - only luck that the guy didn't die - never charged with this crime instead readmitted to psychiatric treatment

1990 - kidnapping and bank robbery - kidnapped and tortured/threatened to torture a bank manager, his wife and his children - readmitted to psychiatric care where he remains today

So even if we ignore the serial murder part - shoul a man with this long history of violent crime and mental illness actually be released??
11:13 September 9, 2011 by Da Goat
The silly old fool must have got sick of living in the kings hotel.

I guess if they let him out the real killers might kill him for ratting them out! (putting the heat back on them)
11:52 September 9, 2011 by jamesblish
No one is saying this guy is a sane person, we're only saying there is no evidence whatsoever that he committed the crimes he previously confessed to.
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