Son may have murdered ‘holidaying’ dad

Police in western Sweden are soon to start digging for the body of a 65-year-old man who friends believed was in the Canary Islands but may in fact have been killed by his son.

Everyone who knew the man believed he had suddenly headed to the popular tourist destination off the coast of northern Africa.

But now suspicions are mounting that the 65-year-old was actually murdered by his son, who himself died in a traffic accident over the summer in what police believe was a suicide.

Before he died, however, the son had reportedly begun spreading frightening information about his father to the people who knew him.

“The son had given information to different people and in different ways that his father was dead,” said commissioner Thord Haraldsson of the Trollhättan police, to the TT news agency.

The information about the father’s supposed death eventually reached police, who then launched a murder investigation.

“The son had given a version of what had happened and confirmed that the father was dead. But we have reason to question if things really happened the way he described,” said Haraldsson.

The father lived in Vänersborg in western Sweden, where he was last seen around Christmas 2007 or January 2008. He was never reported missing.

“Everyone believed he had been in the Canary Islands. It wasn’t that strange because he didn’t like the Swedish winters and had previously been abroad for extended periods of time,” said Haraldsson.

The police eventually concluded that reports of the 65-year-old’s visit to the Canary Islands had originated with the now deceased son, who managed to deceive everyone who knew his father.

The man’s relatives had called and emailed the 65-year-old, and received replies. But police now believe that it was the man’s son who had responded, the Expressen newspaper reports.

Now police have launched a hunt for the 65-year-old’s body. On Thursday they plan to dig in the backyard of his house.

“We have reason to suspect that the son committed some sort of crime against his father, but we can’t be sure until we find the body,” said Haraldsson.

Other than the son, the police have no other suspects in the case.

“We’ve investigated this over the summer, but nothing [about another possible suspect] has come up, despite the fact that we’ve interviewed many people,” Haraldsson added.

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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.