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CRIME

‘Serial murderer’ gets life for gay killing

A 35-year-old man was convicted on Tuesday of murder, attempted murder, aggravated robbery and theft. He was given a life sentence.

All of the man’s victims were gay men.

“All the victims were, or are, homosexual. He has taken advantage of their sexual preferences and violated them,” said public prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad at the man’s indictment hearing.

The man was convicted of killing a 43-year-old man in the victim’s apartment in the Stockholm suburb of Solna on December 28th of last year, and on the previous day of having robbed and attempted to kill a 44-year-old man on Södermalm in Stockholm.

In addition, the 35-year-old was convicted of having robbed a man in an apartment on Södermalm on December 9th and for having robbed yet another man on December 15th in Midsommarkransen south of Stockholm.

The 35-year-old made contact with the men through different internet chat sites. He gave the impression of wanting to have sex with them, whereupon it was decided he should meet the victims in their apartments.

When the men finally met, the appointments quickly descended into brutal violence.

The December 28th Solna rendezvous ended with the apartment owner dead from knife wounds.

During the attempted murder on Södermalm the day before, the victim received a number of threats and stab wounds, including one on the sole of his foot as he lay naked in bed with his hand tied behind his back.

Before the 35-year-old left the apartment he stole the victim’s wallet, which held 900 kronor ($150).

Nearly the same scene played out during the robbery of another man on Södermalm on December 9th. That time, the 35-year-old took the victim’s computer, several bottles of alcohol, and some jewellery.

The prosecutor has previously confirmed that the 35-year-old had earlier been sentenced for similar crimes and was serving his sentence until January 2007.

He has also been informed that he is suspected of the murder of a woman in Eslöv in southern Sweden in 2000 and may soon be indicted in that case as well.

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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