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'Laser Man' applies for early release

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10:34 CEST+02:00
After 14 years behind bars John Ausonius, better known as the Laser Man, has applied for an early release. The man behind a spate of attacks on non-ethnic Swedes in the early 1990s has said that he now views immigrants as his fellow humans.

Born in 1953, Wolfgang Zaugg was the son of German and Swiss immigrants. As an adult he changed his name to John Ausonius in order to appear more Swedish. He also dyed his black hair blond.

In 1979 he became a Swedish citizen. He combined a successful flirtation with stocks and bonds with a deep-seated hatred of immigrants.

Some ill-advised investments later put a serious dent in his comfortable lifestyle and he began robbing banks to maintain his position.

At the end of the summer of 1991 Ausonius targeted his first immigrant victim. Two Eritreans saw a circle of red light rest on their compatriot's body before he was hit. The man survived but the Laser Man's grisly exploits terrorised Stockholm's immigrant population for a further eighteen months.

In November 1991 he shot his fifth victim, Jimmy Ranjbar, an Iranian student. Ranjbar did not survive the attack.

In all Ausonius shot eleven immigrants in the Stockholm and Uppsala areas. Many of his victims were shot in the head and can experts believe they only survived because of Ausoius's incompetence when modifying his weapon.

In a letter to the justice department applying for a reprieve, Ausonius writes:

“My opinions about people of foreign origin have changed considerably and I no longer see them as intruders but as my fellow humans”

He also mentions that at the time of the attacks he was suffering the psychological effects of a gambling illness and that he now has a fiancée and a place to live upon leaving prison.

In 2000 Ausonius finally admitted to the charges of one murder, nine attempted murders and seven armed bank robberies, all of which he denied at the time of the original trial.

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