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CRIME

Swede’s suspected murderer a known sex offender

The suspected killer of a Swedish teenager whose partly charred body was found in a wood outside Paris is a repeat sex offender, sources close to the investigation said on Saturday.

Swede's suspected murderer a known sex offender

The 51-year-old suspect, who was arrested on Friday, has previously spent some 20 years in prison for violent acts, rape and sexual attacks sometimes coupled with kidnapping, they said.

His first brush with the law was at 15 for armed robbery. He was then subsequently convicted for raping and kidnapping a young woman. He raped two others — a 21-year-old woman and a 12-year-old girl.

Meanwhile, the father of the Swedish woman who was murdered in Paris last week said Saturday he and his family were relieved by the arrest of a suspect in the killing, the Swedish tabloid Expressen reported.

“It’s a relief,” he said, adding: “We’re trying hard to get through this.”

The victim, identified as Susanna Zetterberg, was found in a forest in Chantilly, north of the capital, on April 19 with four bullets in the head.

She was handcuffed, had also been knifed, and her body was partly charred.

She had gone missing on her way home from a Paris nightclub just hours earlier.

The victim had gone to a nightclub and after taking a taxi at 4am sent a text message to a friend saying the driver “doesn’t look nice.”

The suspect, a man who posed as a taxi driver, was arrested in a western suburb of the capital on Friday, a police official said, and his Paris flat was searched for four hours.

He was spotted getting rid of potential evidence in Paris’ famed Bois de Boulogne, a sprawling park, before his arrest.

Sources close to the investigation said the man’s vehicle was being minutely examined on Saturday for possible clues, including DNA traces.

Another young Swedish woman was recently raped by a fake Paris driver after she left a city nightclub. She was left in a western Paris suburb.

In France, the brutal murder has been a top news story.

The murder comes just weeks after Sweden experienced an outpouring of grief over the abduction and killing of a 10-year-old girl who had been missing for a week, a story which continues to make headlines.

CRIME

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.

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