‘Laser Man’ calls on Supreme Court to lower sentence

A man serving life in prison for a series of brutal attacks on immigrants has turned to Sweden's Supreme Court in a bid to have his sentence reduced.

'Laser Man' calls on Supreme Court to lower sentence

John Ausonius, more widely known as lasermannen (‘Laser Man’), has approached the country’s most senior court after his request for an early release was refused by the Örebro District Court in April this year.

Prosecutors highlighted the seriousness of Ausonius’s crimes and stressed the likelihood of him returning to a life of violent crime if released. The Court of Appeal later upheld the decision.

Ausonius was convicted in 1995 for one case of murder and ten attempted murders of immigrants, as well as eight bank robberies.

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 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 Laser Man terrorized 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 experts believe further casualties were only prevented by Ausonius’s incompetence when modifying his weapon.


‘Laser Man’ murderer starts prison blog

Convicted killer and serial sniper John Ausonius, who terrorized Stockholm in the early 1990s by attacking foreigners and immigrants, has started a blog about life on the inside, his fiancée, and starring in a Waiting for Godot-inspired prison play.

'Laser Man' murderer starts prison blog

With two entries to date, Ausonius, 59, opens his heart about his fiancée and wanting to meet her friends so they can come to grips with her “somewhat discussed choice of sweetheart”.

Ausonius, who was convicted in 1993 of one murder, but was also suspected of 11 attacks that earned him the nickname Laser Man (Lasermannen) because he used a laser on his rifle scope, was recently transferred from a high-security prison and there given the right to blog.

In his second post, he speaks about taking part in the play. He was told he could invite his fianceé’s friends to a prison play entitled Who will jump first?.

But prison officials revoked the decision one week before Ausonius went on stage.

On the blog, the decision prompted a few paragraphs questioning bureaucratic hiccups and “poor internal communication” between prison personnel.

A disappointed-sounding Ausonius wrote that social networks were important for inmates.

He then spent a few sentences discussing cutbacks to prison staff, saying inmates were let out of their cells an hour later in the morning following scaled-back staff in 2005.

Ausonius is serving a life sentence, which in Sweden can either be fixed-term or open-ended.

Convicted criminals with fixed-term life sentences must nowadays serve a minimum of two-thirds of the period before applying for parole.

No such guiding rule of thumb exists for open-ended life sentences.

Ausonius has unsuccessfully appealed to have his sentence converted to a fixed-term sentence three times, according to the newspaper Aftonbladet.

Visitors to his blog mostly left comments asking Ausonius to speak about how he felt about the racially-motivated crimes that he committed two decades ago.

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