The “perp” (or perve) on Långholmen was actually a voyeur so the “blottare” (Swedish slang for an exhibitionist) in the title employs a great deal of poetic license. Unfortunately, it still does not adequately achieve the ick level that accompanies the event today. Mostly because the “victims” (though I don’t think Sweden has any criminal voyeurism laws on the books ) were all pubescent girls.
Now Swedes, and especially Swedish children, are not particularly prudish and the flashes of public nudity (pretty much exclusively at places people swim/bathe) can ironically occasionally offend the unwilling non-Swedish observer. But it’s deeply unsettling when you witness, confront and confirm a voyeur of pubescent girls changing innocently (and relatively discretely) out of their swimsuits on a public beach in central Stockholm.
What also disturbs me (this was a real-life event for me and I’m not really thrilled to have it as a living memory) also takes into account how we (that’s all of us) are so unsure of how to evaluate and then confront someone we suspect (and the perves know it.) Also, how our prejudices want to discount anyone young and decent looking from being “icky”. This guy was in his early 20s and clean cut –so unassuming.
It was my friend who had noticed him setting himself up in spots on the grass to observe a changing girl. When she called my attention to it I saw that he even went so far as to stretch his neck to get a better view if a passing/shifting person obstructed his view.
My blood started to simmer. But how do you know? How can you be sure?
There’s a point of no return in me in these types of circumstances; the point where I’m in for the count and if I come out bloody it’s the risk I’m willing to take. That point occurred when I confronted him asking in Swedish “Vad gör du” –What are you doing? –And we quickly arrived at his arrogant response along the lines of “So what you (or the Police who I had threatened to call) gonna do about it?”
He couldn’t speak Swedish so this was all in English (Yay, I MUCH more aggressive and scary in English.) The arrogance faded fast when I told him that I would photograph him and show the police his picture. He didn’t like that and quickly covered his face.
I never did get a good shot of him, but I did run him off and planted the fear of a crazed American mom on him.
This is one shot I got of him.
He’s in his early 20s, somewhat Asian looking, wears black wire glasses. He takes out his phone to take pictures and he targets pubescent girls.
Give ‘im hell if you spot him (or anyone for that matter)
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