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Suspect: double murder was 'impulse thing'

TT/Vivian Tse · 10 Sep 2010, 21:35

Published: 10 Sep 2010 16:42 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Sep 2010 21:35 GMT+02:00

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Laughs and shoves escalated into a brawl that resulted in the couple losing their lives at the Hovs Hallar nature reserve northwest of Båstad on Sweden's southwestern coast.

"It was a pure impulse thing," the suspect, identified as Joakim Ericsson in tabloids Expressen and Aftonbladet, said during questioning in Helsingborg district court on Friday.

Ericsson is on trial for murder and dismemberment of Sölve Svensson, 64, and Irene Saldert, 58.

The couple were last seen alive at their home in Båstad in mid-January 2007. Ericsson has been charged with murder and disturbing the peace of the dead, but he claims the murder of Svensson was in self-defence.

This is the second time Ericsson has been on trial for charges related to the couple's disappearance, having first been arrested in March 2007 on suspicion of fraud after he sold the couple's car and took out large loans in Svensson's name.

Police later extended their suspicions to kidnapping and murder. But, in part because the bodies and Svensson and Saldert had not yet been found, Ericsson was cleared of the murder charges and sentenced to one year in prison for fraud.

But prosecutors were granted a new trial after the couple's mutilated and dismembered bodies were found in May 2008 in Häljasjön lake near Veberöd, 140 km southwest of Hovs Hallar, in an area familiar to Ericsson.

Ericsson said that his memories of the killings are hazy. He said that he was invited to dinner at the home of Svensson and his partner. During a walk on the beach, Ericsson lost his car keys, but that Svensson then agreed to help find them.

He said that he happened to laugh when Svensson slipped on the rocky shore in his wooden clogs. The older man became angry.

"Then he shoved me with his arm. I took it in the stomach area," Ericsson said, adding that he later shoved back because he was irritated.

"When I shoved into him, he became mad as hell. I called him 'stupid bastard.' There were harsh words and curses, but nothing I remember," Ericsson said, adding that he received several hard blows to the head from the shaft of Svensson's flashlight.

Ericsson had extreme difficulty recalling the blows and injuries. The prosecution pointed out that since Svensson was an older man, Ericsson was physically stronger. However, Ericsson responded that Svensson was not weak and was as tall as himself, standing at 1.9 metres.

Prosecutor Göran Olsson wondered why the row became so heated as Ericsson straddled Svensson and why he did not choose to run away.

"He was beating me with this flashlight," Ericsson replied, according to the Expressen newspaper.

Olsson also asked why Ericsson used a rock to strike Svensson's head, again when he simply could have chosen to run away.

"It was a purely impulsive act," he said.

"It was the adrenaline and anger."

In addition, Olsson and fellow prosecutor Anna Broomé questioned Ericsson as to why he went as far as knocking Svensson down.

The 24-year-old suspect gave the same monotonous answers to all the questions in a quiet voice.

He did not remember details, had faint memories, and was filled with adrenaline and anger.

Ericsson said felt so threatened, he did not think clearly and even beat Saldert, who grabbed the back of his jacket.

He then calmly recalled the panic he felt when he realized he had just killed two people.

"I realized I'd have to move them," said Ericsson, according to Aftonbladet.

"The right thing to do would have been to call the police."

But instead of calling the police, Ericsson instead went to Svensson's cabin where he found tools he could use to cut up the bodies so he could more easily carry them from the beach and load them into the back of the car.

"I wanted to hide my involvement," he said, according to Expressen.

"It was a decision I made when I was completely panic-stricken."

Story continues below…

He then drove home and contemplated what to do with the dismembered bodies, eventually deciding to dump them in Häljasjön lake.

Ericsson then borrowed his father's car, rented a trailer, and stole a boat in Landskrona before making his way to the lake.

After experimenting with different methods to weigh down the bodies and being forced to call a tow truck to help him dislodge the trailer, which had become stuck, he managed to dump the bodies.

The following day Ericsson returned to Häljasjön lake to see if anything had floated up to the surface.

He then drove to the harbour in Landskrona with Svensson's car and dumped the tools he'd used to cut up the bodies.

Despite the tough questioning faced by Ericsson, his attorney Lars Tindberg was satisfied with the day's proceedings.

"I think a lot more is coming out. We're going to claim he acted in self-defence," he told Aftonbladet.

The trial resumes on September 16th.

TT/Vivian Tse (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:02 September 10, 2010 by crofab
Lock him away and throw away the key.
18:12 September 10, 2010 by boby
Cant believe how deep is the control of the left-fachists over the media.

When it is a native Swede, name and pictrue are OK to publish. When the criminal is an immigrant (or even a Muslim god forbid), no detailed are provided. Sick.
21:06 September 10, 2010 by Rick Methven

Whats wrong spoil? your claims that only immigrants commit crimes in Sweden
22:00 September 10, 2010 by booka
No both types commit crimes however one is a 30 male or something and the other is Joakim Ericsson from Båstad.........
22:12 September 10, 2010 by wxman
Perhaps once incarcerated, a fellow prisoner will be overcome by an "impulse thing" upon the sight of this human debris' arrival.
22:36 September 10, 2010 by saar
@Rick M....

If you want to play stupid, I can tell you that boby is talking about double standards.
02:14 September 11, 2010 by onoaptelunga
bobby this is a man who cut two innocent people to pieces and who probably enjoyed it too, and you are worried about his privacy? let him rot in jail!
09:47 September 11, 2010 by Rick Muslim
It is racist to publish photo of Muslim who is suspect in crime because Muslim is never guilty. if swedish woman have someting happen to herself becoz of Muslim man it is becoz she did not wear proper niqab or cover head. i agree with Rick Meethven. If you sayd invandare commit crime in Sverige you are racist and Nazi. Rick Meethven why we always agree? We should have kebab and then go to mosque together someday. haha. good buddy.
10:43 September 11, 2010 by bolababu
how in the freaking hell did this end up as an immigrant thing? ..this confirms to me that Swedes are actually deep racists like everyone already knows.

The sun doesn't shine, blame it on the immigrants, i can't pay my bills, blame the immigrants, i can't get social benefits, the immigrants get too much, thats why and so on ...

wake up you freaking bigots, ..there are hundreds of Swedes abroad doing time for pedophilia! ..talk about double standards!
10:56 September 11, 2010 by spo10
"I think a lot more is coming out. We're going to claim he acted in self-defence," he told Aftonbladet.

What in the world are you thinking lawyer? Are you freaking high or something?
15:57 September 11, 2010 by ricenbeans
look at the picture, one of the lawyers is george W! bush
23:42 September 11, 2010 by deblom
I have heard about these dangerous Swedish pensioners. Strömming addicts they roam the the countryside in pairs. Thrashing the living daylights out of poor unsuspecting young bruisers like Ericsson.... No wonder he was so scared...

I am sure he only hacked them up because he had heard the rumours about how these violent super strong, (well stronger apparently than a young fella that resembles a tank) pensioners turn into zombies when they die.

Reality check!

He absolutely deserves to be named and photographed. What is all this crap about immigrants... maybe the government and media are not dealing with criminals equally or probably hard enough but that doesn't mean this homeboy should expect privacy rights he lost them at the point where he straddled Svensson.
06:44 September 12, 2010 by Andersonville
i hope they throw the book at him.

on a more sour note, someone here always has a way of bashing Muslims...i mean not only does this article have nothing to do with Islam or Muslims in any way at all, but now the whole lot of us need to be portrayed as deviants anyway. guilt by association. shameful.
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