Swedish murder suspect in custody in Thailand

Murder suspect Kenneth Eriksson made a dramatic public appearance in Pattaya, Thailand earlier today. The 40 year old Swede, accused of killing a local prostitute, was led through the streets by police, handcuffed and with armed officers protecting him from vengeful locals.

The purpose of the exercise was to show investigators what happened on the night of 15th February, when Eriksson is alleged to have beaten and stabbed a woman to death in his hotel room. According to police sources, Eriksson burst into tears when he came to the supposed scene of the crime. Photographer Tophong Tomechai told Expressen:

“He was extremely shaken and almost completely broke down.”

Police lieutenant Jongrak seemed satisfied with what he learned:

“Now we’ve got a better picture of what happened.”

Eriksson admits killing the woman, but claims she attacked him first, stabbing him in the foot with a piece of glass in the shower. However, he says he has no idea how the fight started. The woman’s body was found on Friday 18th February on a piece of wasteland in central Pattaya, about 300 metres from the hotel.

Eriksson told Expressen before his arrest yesterday:

“I don’t know how things got out of hand. What can I say? Presumably it was because I’d been drinking and taken amphetamines. I don’t know why the argument started in the first place.”

Eriksson, who comes from Kramfors in Ångermanland and is a former Foreign Legionaire and ice hockey referee, had lived at the hotel since August last year. Mikael Nyman from Orust was another Swedish guest at the hotel and said that Eriksson frequently took prostitutes back to the hotel:

“He was always coming to the hotel with new women.”

Eriksson was caught on CCTV cameras dragging the body in a black sports bag through the reception to a waiting taxi. The bag was so heavy that he had to ask a passer by to help him throw the bag over a wall when he dumped the body.

Nyman said that Eriksson reacted strangely when the news came through that a body had been discovered not far from the hotel. Later that day he left the hotel with a rucksack containing clothes.

Eriksson spent two weeks on the run from the Thai authorities, who came looking for him the next day. It seems he took the bus to nearby Bangkok and spent the majority of the time there.

During those two weeks, it has emerged that he received e-mails from the Thai police, promising good treatment if he gave himself up. He’s also said to have read appeals from his father in the Expressen. Lennart Eriksson had pleaded:

“Give yourself up, Kenneth. Don’t make your situation worse.”

Kenneth Eriksson presented himself to officials at the Swedish Embassy in Bangkok yesterday. Two hours later he was in police custody.

He’s now being held at Pattaya police station, awaiting trial. If found guilty, he could be sentenced to death, although such sentences are usually commuted to life imprisonment.


Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime