The excitement began last Wednesday when a photographer at the Linköping paper, Östgöta Correspondenten, was taking pictures of the area.
“A person who was very upset drew our attention to a young man who had been behaving oddly in many ways,” said the photographer, Peter Jigerström. The man had apparently been snapped outside a nursery school.
“I only saw him from a distance and I took the pictures with the zoom lens,” he added.
According to Dagens Nyheter the police heard about the photos and contacted Jigerström. In their comments to the media, police were cautious about the ‘evidence’ and pointed out that this was just one tip among many.
But that didn’t stop the papers from treating this as a major step forward – reflecting the general public’s desperation over the killings.
“Police could have a picture of the murderer,” declared almost all of Tuesday’s papers. “Double murderer could have been photographed,” said Radio Sweden.
Alas, on Tuesday morning the 21 year old man in the photo presented himself at Linköping police station and was eliminated from the investigation.
The man explained to Östgöta Correspondenten that he had gone out to buy milk last Wednesday morning at Konsum but it was closed. He then went to the area around St Thomas Church to take some pictures – and that’s when he was caught on film by the paper’s photographer.
The pictures were distributed to all the local police departments and on Tuesday of this week they were released to the press. The man was understandably surprised when he saw himself making headline news.
“I thought ‘Shit! That’s me!'” he told Östgöta Correspondenten.
He went straight to Linköping police station where police interviewed him and then announced that he was not a suspect.
“Of course, it feels a bit shady to be involved in something like this,” said the man. “But it’s no problem now that it’s over.”
Despite having interviewed 2,000 people and having had around 500 tip-offs, investigators are still no closer to identifying the killer. Nevertheless, police believe the murderer – described as a psychologically disturbed loner – is still in Linköping.
“In every case, there is nothing to point to the fact that he has left,” said police spokesman Kerstin Mälman.