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'Serial killer' gets retrial for three more murders

'Serial killer' gets retrial for three more murders

Published: 01 Feb 2013 14:27 GMT+01:00
Updated: 01 Feb 2013 14:27 GMT+01:00

A court in northern Sweden has granted Thomas Quick, who had previously been found guilty of eight murders, a retrial for the last three killings for which he had been convicted.

The convictions to be reviewed include those for the murder of a Dutch couple near Gällivare in 1984 and the murder of Charles Zelmanovits in Piteå 1976.

"What we've believed all along has been verified and confirmed, that Quick didn't have anything to do with these murders," Björn Asplund, the father of 11-year-old Johan Asplund, who Quick had previously been convicted of killing.

Prosecutors will now examine whether the charges in the two cases should be dropped, at which point a district court would make an eventual ruling as to Quick's innocence or guilt.

"This scandalous process has gone on for more than 20 years without any concrete evidence or any indication that Quick was the perpetrator," said Asplund.

Quick was previously convicted of eight murders committed between 1976 and 1988.

During therapy he admitted to the eight murders, as well as 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.

He was convicted in January 1996 for the murder of Marinus and Janni Stegehuis, who were found stabbed in their tent in Appojaure outside Gällivare in 1984.

In November 1994, Quick was convicted for the murder of Zelmanovits, who disappeared in 1976 and whose remains were uncovered in 1993.

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 have since been raised about the strength of the evidence used to convict him.

TT/The Local/dl

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Your comments about this article

15:07 February 1, 2013 by RobinHood
In any other European country, a scandal of such proportions would trigger an inquiry. A small clique of police, prosecutors and psychiatrists has perverted Swedish justice in a way so cynical and cruel to the victims of the bereaved, and it is beyond belief.

Before his interviews, Mr Quick was doped with massive and dangerous quantities of psychotic drugs, well known to induce fantasies, and then spoon fed information only the real murderers could know. He was then asked a series of blatantly leading questions, and his ramblings presented to a rather gullible judge as his "confessions". The prosecution probably only stopped at 28 murder "confessions" because they had run out of unsolved murders that occurred during Mr Quick's adulthood. One wonders if they considered sub-contracting him out to other countries to clear up their cold-case load too.

The small prosecution team made their careers on this charade, and to this day, have important and well-paid jobs in government, justice and medicine. They must have known Mr Quick did not commit all these murders; basic detective work carried out later proved he was in a different place when many of them occurred. In many cases, the real murderers remain unpunished, and free to kill again. As for the bereaved, they must be devastated.

The Swedish justice system will now go to a great deal of trouble to cover this up; that is no surprise, it is led by many of the people who so badly betrayed Mr Quick, the bereaved, and all the future victims of the real murderers, whoever they are.

This is a scandal of titanic proportions that brings great shame on Sweden. On top of the Assange case, jurists from other countries must be wondering what on Earth is going on here.
10:41 February 2, 2013 by nuke
Well said RobinHood!

This is unfortunately reminiscent of the way Swedish Social Services 'investigate' family crises - by only partially investigating the state of a family as a whole.

It is sad, because the whole approach to investigation in Sweden is marred by the inability or unwillingness to be curious and to dig deep. I once asked an investigator if they would like some witnesses, and she said "No, because it's your word against the other person's". I was amazed, because the logic was so twisted.

If it is one person's word against another, then in my world this is when an investigator should look for further evidence to support the claims presented. This is when investigation really begins, when things are unclear and facts need to be dug out. But here in Sweden, it is the opposite. If it is one person's word against another, this is then given as the reason for NOT asking for witnesses!!!

Since curiousity is not taught in Swedish schools, it is perhaps understandable that many Swedes just don't know how to investigate even the simplest of confusions.
11:03 February 2, 2013 by SimonDMontfort
Indeed - good post Robin Hood.

Interestingly enough, I listened to an interview this morning on BBC Radio 4's news prog featuring an interview with a Swede woman who has apparently written a book about the case. She described Thomas Quick as an 'attention seeker' for having made the confessions.

Although she generally agreed that the case was troubling, when asked whether there was much concern about it, in Sweden, she replied "not really"

'Nuff said...?
19:34 February 2, 2013 by skumdum
He's being granted new trials, so what cover up are you talking about Robin Hood
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