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Triple murder suspect 'may have Asperger's'

TT/The Local · 14 May 2010, 13:58

Published: 14 May 2010 13:58 GMT+02:00

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Lawyer Fredrik Lindberg added that he will press for a comprehensive psychiatric examination at the remand hearing.

"There have been reports saying that he may have a serious mental disorder," said Lindberg. "He has no official diagnosis, but it is possible that he suffers from Asperger's syndrome."

Lindberg did not go into detail about the origin of the information on the possible link to a mental disorder.

Asperger's syndrome is a diagnosis in psychiatry and an autism spectrum disorder. Those with Asperger's display significant difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests.

The man's 12-year-old half-sister, 15-year-old half-brother and their 49-year-old father were murdered with an axe in Härnösand, 400 kilometres north of Stockholm. Their bodies were found early on Tuesday evening at the house where the two younger children lived with their mother and her new partner.

Two other people initially arrested in connection with the killings - the man's 63-year-old father and the 62-year-old partner of the murdered children's mother - were released without charge.

Lindberg disagreed with police that his client planned the attack against his half-siblings and their father.

"He has had something in mind for a long time, but what he meant and what he meant to do is not clear," said Lindberg.

What motivated the man to kill his three family members is not clear, he said.

"It is still shrouded in mystery," said Lindberg.

The suspect was remanded in custody on Friday and a remand hearing was held at the Ångermanland District Court in Härnösand at 1pm. When the remand hearing began, the suspect admitted the charges of murder through his lawyer and did not contest the application to remand him. After a brief introduction, the hearing continued behind closed doors.

"I will probably insist on it for the sake of the investigation," said deputy chief prosector Bertil Månsson. "The man has indeed admitted to the crime, but there are a lot of things we will want to hear about him later on, especially about the motivation behind the crime, I can imagine."

In the remand petition, Månsson wrote that the man is suspected on probable grounds of murder in Härnösand on May 11th.

Story continues below…

The man has provided DNA samples to the police. The sample will then be compared with DNA traces from unsolved criminal investigations in Sweden, including a double murder in Brattås outside Härnösand in May 2005.

"Since there are DNA traces from Brattås, we will check them against this man's DNA," said Börje Öhman, information officer of the Västernorrland police authority.

In the Brattås murder, a 70-year-old man and a 57-year-old woman were killed.

The police expect results from the DNA test for the Brattås case at the earliest on Tuesday, but probably at the end of next week.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:23 May 14, 2010 by tadchem
Us 'Aspies' are different, but we do not generally consider our difference a 'disorder.' We think differently, but not less well. We are far less prone to fits of violent rage, so our difference cannot be used as a justification for homicide. Our emotional responses are simply not directly 'wired' to our behavior, so we have difficulty expressing our own emotions and understanding the physical cues to others' emotions. Our emotions are filtered through our intellects. But we DO know Right from Wrong. If an Aspie kills three people, you can be assured it was not in an uncontrolled rage. It was intentional.
17:30 May 14, 2010 by Tall swede
Asperger is no excuse or cause for brutal multiple ax murders! Why not report that he suffered of a cold too? Asperger equal some difficulties with social interactions. To kill several people you need to suffer from faaar worse things. Maybe aspergers was part of what made him keep everything inside until he exploded, but so could a simple speech impediment. But we do not expect lisping people to commit murder! Stop blaming irrelevant things and put this bastard behind bars and lock him up for ever!
17:52 May 14, 2010 by Puffin
This guy is not even DIAGNOSED with Aspergers - it's pure speculation at this stage!!!!!!!

I'm pretty stunned that the The Local has decided to make this speculative comment into its headline - even the Swedish tabloids have avoided doing this - it seems very sensationalist. It is this type of reporting that creates negative perceptions of Autism and Aspergers

Sad that The Local is fuelling this on the basis on unfounded statements
18:31 May 14, 2010 by munched
What does Aspergers have to do with cold-blooded murder? Comedian Robert Gustavsson also has Aspergers and the only threat from him would be to die laughing. Bring back the old viking tradition of letting the family of the victum spare the accused or exact corporal punishment themselves. It's not up to the state to give this animal a 10 year sentence and then let him out after 5 or 6.
19:17 May 14, 2010 by zooeden
Poor guy, affected with Aspergers is death penalty... Tyvärr!!!

Is he an american citizen???
19:18 May 14, 2010 by silly t
its simple...let the court also be diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome and do justice to the guy...
12:47 May 15, 2010 by Frasure
He's not diagnosed and furthermore, had he been it is no excuse to commit three murders. It was by all reports premeditated.

As someone diagnosed with Asperger, I can only say that having Asperger is no excuse than is allergies. You can have a lousy childhood, you may have Asperger. That doesn't mean that you kill three people in cold blood. You certainly do know how to separate legal from illegal, asperger or not. To say otherwise, THAT is insane.

So spare me articles like these, they are speculative at best.
16:14 May 17, 2010 by ramazama
Sad Swedish low life, alcohol filled , atheistic society , broken home , broken family , so called step father , how many sex parteners has the " mother " had ? , is it any wonder the guy cracked ? is it not a miracle this dosn"t happen every day ?
06:03 May 28, 2010 by kengel1021
I'm from the United States and also have high functioning autism (Asperger's Syndrome). I know a lot of other people with Asperger's Syndrome including one who is a social worker and not one of them runs around chopping up people with an axe.
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