Nazi poison used in ex-lover’s murder bid

A 32-year-old man from northern Sweden charged with trying to kill his ex-girlfriend four times had enough Zyklon B pesticide, once used in Nazi gas chambers, to kill 42,000 people.

Nazi poison used in ex-lover's murder bid

In addition to being charged with four counts of attempted murder, the man from Luleå has also been charged with drugging and raping his former partner.

“Zyklon B exists to extinguish life,” prosecutor Ulla-Karin Lindström told the Norrländska Socialdemokraten newspaper.

On Thursday, the prosecution presented a comprehensive indictment against the man, who is accused of attempting to murder his 27-year-old former girlfriend with up to three kilogrammes of the poison Zyklon B, the notorious cyanide-based pesticide used in the Holocaust.

The case is unique, as it is the first time in Sweden that someone has been charged with attempted murder using Zyklon B.

Prosecutors allege that the man tried to murder his former partner on four separate occasions.

The first of these attempt took place on December 23rd of last year in a house they shared in a village outside Luleå.

On that occasion, the man allegedly placed a deadly dose of potassium cyanide in his former partner’s food while the two were having dinner together with their two children.

A second attempt occurred on January 3rd this year when man is alleged to have placed a flask containing a deadly dose of potassium cyanide under his ex-partner’s nose and mouth while she was sleeping.

The man’s third attempt, carried out on February 3rd, involved him allegedly placing a deadly dose of Zyklon B in the woman’s car.

Several days after that, the man is alleged to have placed a deadly dose of the the cyanide-based pesticide in his former partner’s stairwell, and to have taken a quantity of the poison into the woman’s house.

Prosecutor Lindström considers that it is just a matter of chance that the woman is still alive.

The accused man has confessed to buying the Zyklon B and admits to having handled the deadly poison.

But he denies that he decided to use the poison with the purpose of murdering his former partner.

“My client has given an explanation of why he bought the poison,” the man’s lawyer, Jan Wennerbrandt, told the newspaper.

During earlier police questioning, the man stated that he was going to use the Zyklon B to kill rats.

Using the name of a close relative, he had ordered three kilogrammes of the deadly poison – which prosecutors claim is enough to kill 42,000 people – from a factory in the Czech Republic which markets the substance under the tradename ‘Uragan D2’.

When the man’s relatives received a confirmation for the order, which cost €82.50 ($115), they became suspicious and contacted the police.

The couple have two young children, aged seven and four years, but have been separated for some time.

The separation has reportedly long been distressing for the man, leading him to prior acts of violence against his ex-lover.

Prosecutors also charge that back in December 2007, the man assaulted and drugged his former partner and then raped her.

The woman eventually sought help of a women’s emergency help service in April 2008 and later reported the man to police for the December 2007 rape.

The 32-year-old is facing a lengthly prison sentence should he be found guilty of all charges.

He has been remanded in custody since February.

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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.