• Sweden's news in English
 

Swede cleared of serial killing free after 23 years

AFP/The Local · 19 Mar 2014, 10:30

Published: 19 Mar 2014 10:30 GMT+01:00

"The court rules that the forensic psychiatric care of Sture Bergwall shall continue and change from closed to open care," the administrative court in Falun said in a statement.
 
Sixty-three-year-old Bergwall, previously known as Thomas Quick, confessed to more than 20 murders. He was convicted of eight but the guilty verdicts were all quashed after he withdrew his detailed but at times contradictory confessions. 
 
He was later cleared of all the murders due to lack of evidence, amid revelations that he had been heavily medicated at the time of the confessions.
   
The court ruling which ordered his release added that he still suffers from a "personality disorder" but not to the extent that he should be held in custody.
 
Bergwall spent 23 years at the secure psychiatric hospital in Säter in central Sweden. 
 
On Wednesday at 10am, the National Board of Forensic Medicine (Rättsmedicinalverket) deemed that Bergwall could be set free as an outpatient, a decision supported by the hospital.
 
Bergwall said he now plans to head to Jämtland in northern Sweden. 
 
"I have a lot to tell, and this is what I plan to spend my time doing when I leave Säter," the 63-year-old wrote on his blog on Wednesday.
 
Bergwall will have to abide by several conditions to remain an outpatient, including abstaining from alcohol and drugs, undergoing drug testing, and maintaining contact with the psychiatric board.
 
The convictions against Bergwall have been dubbed Sweden's greatest miscarriage of justice in recent times because of the swiftness with which he was found guilty of the eight murders, which occurred between 1976 and 1988.
   
During psychological counselling, following an armed robbery conviction, he confessed to all eight murders as well as more than 20 others in Sweden, Norway and Finland for which he was not tried.
   
He often described how he butchered his victims and how in at least one case he ate body parts.
Story continues below…
   
In December 2008, however, he suddenly retracted all his confessions, saying he had been craving attention at the time and had been heavily medicated by doctors.
   
In July 2013 he was acquitted of the last murder charge.    
 
A number of high-ranking opposition politicians and legal experts have called for an independent commission to examine how Swedish courts could have convicted Bergwall despite the lack of evidence.
   
Justice Minister Beatrice Ask announced a review in July 2013.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Man dies after falling three floors in Swedish nightclub
People queuing outside the Yaki-Da nightclub in Gothenburg last year. Photo: Yaki-Da Facebook

Man dies after falling three floors in Swedish nightclub
5 hours ago

A man in his 30s has died after falling from the third floor inside the Yaki-Da nightclub in Gothenburg late on Friday night.

Julian Assange
British press savages Assange and UN panel
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange holding a U.N. report on the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. Photo: Katy Wrigglesworth/AP

British press savages Assange and UN panel
9 hours ago

UK newspaper columnists on Saturday took aim at Julian Assange and the UN panel that found the anti-secrecy campaigner had been "arbitrarily detained".

Julian Assange
Assange: 'Today is a significant victory for us'
Julian Assange's press conference on Friday. Photo: Mattias Areskog/TT

Assange: 'Today is a significant victory for us'
1 day ago

Will Julian Assange be able to walk free?

Julian Assange
Swedish rape activists slam UN on Assange
The board of Swedish women's refuge lobby Roks. (Zozan Inci front left). Photo: Roks

Swedish rape activists slam UN on Assange
1 day ago

“The UN thinks that the justice of the women who have been assaulted and raped is less important than the right of a possible offender to walk freely in the streets.”

Ikea loses right to own trademark in Indonesia
What four yellow letters can Ikea put up at its store outside Jakarta. Photo: Flickr/BxHxTxCx

Ikea loses right to own trademark in Indonesia
1 day ago

You thought that Ikea was a Swedish purveyor of flatpack furniture? Well not in Indonesia it isn't, at least not any more.

The Local List
Four fab facts about Sweden's 'Melodifestivalen' mania
Måns Zelmerlöw won Eurovision song contest 2015. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Four fab facts about Sweden's 'Melodifestivalen' mania
1 day ago

Christmas, Midsummer and Lucia are all important holidays in Sweden. But there is one event that is bigger than them all.

The Local music
Ten fantastic Swedish songs for February
Maja Francis. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

Ten fantastic Swedish songs for February
1 day ago

February brings a haul of great new Swedish pop - let our music writer, Paul Connolly, take you through the very best.

Elderly Swedes arrested in Thailand for playing bridge
Stock picture of playing cards. Photo: Ingvar Karmhed/SCANPIX

Elderly Swedes arrested in Thailand for playing bridge
1 day ago

A game of bridge had an unexpected ending for 32 club members in Thailand, including three Swedes.

Swedish Volvo's offloads costs for big profit rise
A Volvo trucks plant in the US. Photo: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Swedish Volvo's offloads costs for big profit rise
1 day ago

Truck maker Volvo reported a big profit boost on Friday following a massive cost-cutting programme.

Swede finds 86-year-old condom at grandma's
The condoms were made out of silk. Photo: SVT

Swede finds 86-year-old condom at grandma's
1 day ago

Would you trust a silk condom?

Sponsored Article
How to set up shop in the 'Silicon Valley of Sweden'
International
Who exactly is Julian Assange?
Sponsored Article
US taxes and FATCA: 'The time for hiding is over'
Travel
Stockholm's eight REAL no-go zones
Gallery
People-watching: February 3rd
Blog updates

4 February

City Runs (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Since moving to Stockholm I’ve been blessed to live next to the Djurgarden, and to be…" READ »

 

3 February

An amazing month for The Local as Europe thirsts for news (Globally Local) »

"Here at The Local, we shy away from blowing our own trumpet – but sometimes if…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Swiss hospitality: The ladder to your international career
National
'How confronting the man who robbed me gave me closure'
Sponsored Article
Ice magic at north Sweden island lodges
National
TIMELINE: All the twists and turns in the Julian Assange case
Analysis & Opinion
DEBATE: Why are Swedes so obsessed with Nordic skiing?
Culture
See which Swedish museums are now opening up for free
Sponsored Article
Just landed? Here's the secret to finding work in Stockholm
Gallery
Property of the week: Insjön, Nacka
Sponsored Article
Stockholm's secret ski resort: Kungsberget
National
VIDEO: Tensions caught on camera inside Swedish asylum home
Gallery
People-Watching: January 29th - 31st
Sponsored Article
Luleå: 8 winter must-dos in Sweden's far north
International
How will Sweden deport up to 80,000 failed asylum seekers?
Sport
When you gotta go... Swedish racing dog does poo and then takes gold
Sport
Guess who just got a HUGE pay rise?
Travel
WATCH: Five top tips for safe ice skating on Sweden's gorgeous lakes
Gallery
People-watching: January 27th
National
'Sweden could be at war within years'
Gallery
Property of the week: Öjersbo, Kungsbacka
International
Why is the Pope coming to Sweden?
Travel
Ten must-see Stockholm museums
National
He created Sweden's huge snow penis
Culture
The historic moment when Abba reunited on stage in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
OPINION: Why I can't embrace Sweden's obsession with hugging
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Mamma Mia The Party show opens in Stockholm
3,440
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se