The man had admitted his guilt from the outset, and his defence team agreed with the prosecution that he should be sent to a secure mental hospital, after doctors had said that he had a severe psychiatric disorder. The level of agreement between the defence and prosecution was very unusual for the Swedish system.
The man killed the first of his victims, an 18-year old woman in Gävle, central Sweden, in March last year. In October a 34-year old woman from Skutskär, near Gävle, became his second victim.
The cannibal faced his victims’ families in a packed courtroom. Sitting next to his lawyer and wearing handcuffs, he stared and the table in front of him as prosecutor Christer Sammens read out the charges.
He confessed to both the murders through Magnus Isaksson, defence counsel, but after half an hour he passed a note to Isaksson saying he wanted to leave the room. He was taken out immediately and refused to return for the rest of the hearing.
The court was then played a tape of the man’s police interrogation.
“Suddenly, I stabbed her,” he said, referring to the murder of the 18-year old.
“She said ‘ah’, and I lay over her and just stabbed, stabbed and then she sighed. Then I did the worst thing of all – I drank her blood and chopped bits of meat from her and ate them up.”
The man has not explained the reasons for what he did.
Among those testifying at the trial was the boyfriend of the 18-year old. He had initially been arrested on suspicion of murdering her, but was later released. He told the court of the moment the man burst into the couple’s flat and killed the woman by stabbing her at least 30 times.
The killer was ordered to pay 703,000 kronor to the victims’ relatives and in compensation to the wrongly arrested man.
“This is a total tragedy for all concerned, as well as for society which failed in its duty to prevent what happened,” said lawyer Peter Althin, who had represented the killer.