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TV4 reported after 'Swedish Mafia' suicide

TT/Vivian Tse · 9 Feb 2011, 16:23

Published: 09 Feb 2011 14:39 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Feb 2011 16:23 GMT+01:00

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According to the foster father, the young man, identified as Victor by TV4, did not realise the implications of his participation in the six-part documentary series Swedish Mafia (Svensk Maffia), currently airing on Thursdays.

After changing his mind, he unsuccessfully tried to have all references to him cut from the programme. However, the channel chose to broadcast the episode on Thursday and showed the young man's name and photo.

He was described as a gang member in the programme about criminal gangs. Three days later, he was found dead and is believed to have committed suicide following a pill overdose.

The man's foster father has reported the programme to the Broadcasting Commission (Granskningsnämnden för radio och TV), newspapers Aftonbladet and Dagens Nyheter (DN) reported on Wednesday.

"It caused him a great deal of anxiety when it was broadcast," the foster father told Aftonbladet on Wednesday.

He added that his son did not understand what the programme was about. When he realised that it was about crime, he no longer wanted to take part. He then wrote a letter to Swedish television production company Strix Television, in which he indicated that he would no longer participate in the programme.

Strix was founded and is chaired by Swedish journalist Robert Aschberg. He regrets what has occurred, but does not believe that the company has made any mistakes.

"We have acted entirely properly. That this has happened is a tragedy," Aschberg told the Aftonbladet daily on Wednesday.

When asked by The Local on Wednesday whether TV4 will continue to air the show on Thursday, as well as the remaining episodes, press officer Magnus Törnblom responded that the network's plans are currently unclear.

Fredrik Lundberg, editor-in-chief of TV4 and Lasse Wierup, editor of Swedish Mafia, said in a statement released on Wednesday that they met Victor, a native of Stockholm, in early 2010 through a self-help organisation for former criminals.

Several months earlier, he was convicted of robbery and attempted robbery. The verdict was of the opinion that he had psychiatric problems, but did not suffer from serious disturbances.

The week before the programme aired, a female relative of Victor's called Strix Television after having read an article in DN, saying that he did not realise it would not be in his best interest to participate and that he was incapacitated.

Strix responded that they had no way of determining his clearance and that as an adult, he had consented to his appearance. The relative requested a copy of the requested material on DVD, which was granted, but only to Victor as a participant.

Story continues below…

The same day, on January 31st, Victor went to Strix unannounced looking for a reporter who was unavailable. He left a handwritten note asking that his face be pixellated and that he not be named.

The programme aired as schedule on Thursday. On Monday, Strix received learned that Victor had died.

Police are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the death, the editors wrote. A forensic investigation has begun and is expected to be completed in the spring.

"In the meantime, we can only conclude that there are no concrete signs that Victor decided to take his own life in connection with TV4's publication," the editors wrote.

TT/Vivian Tse (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:02 February 9, 2011 by krow
Hmm maybe a sign to never trust anything swedish.
17:05 February 9, 2011 by wotist
It is reported in other media that this young man was retarded with a mental level of a twelve-year-old. Way to go TV4 and Strix Television! Driving a mentally challenged young man to take his life all for the sake of ratings and the respect of your equally corrupt media colleagues! Both TV4 and Robert Aschberg keep this image of how the stand up for the weak - They pretend to be moral giants, sitting in judgment of those that don't fit in with their Politically Correct lefty moral.

Well, you've shown your true face yet again! You're Politically Correct moral is NO moral at all! Media Scum!
17:20 February 9, 2011 by Juan Harry Bush
Gang Member commits suicide?

Awesome! If he had second thoughts, then here's an idea... Don't be friggin Thug!

It's one less piece of trash walkin the streets doing bad things to good people, albeit the tax payers will save money on prison expenses : )
17:24 February 9, 2011 by Buccaneer
My condolences to his family for the loss of a child. However, I would like to know how he got involved with the criminals he was filmed with. If he was upset to be filmed with the group, then he should not have associated with the group abinitio.
18:03 February 9, 2011 by Liquidmonkey
i wish all gang members would take his lead, world would be a lot better off for sure.
19:44 February 9, 2011 by Syftfel
Why is it TV4's fault that the 21 year old did himself in? Isn't that "blaming the messenger"? Isn't it more likely the parents/foster parents who failed to provide him behvioral guidance, and failed to stand up to his gang affiliation? It is they who are unfit parents in my opinion. That's where the real story is! I definitely think TV4 should be ordered to continue to air these shows, as it may expose further societal ills that are in dire need of exposure to all Swedes. The two fish-wraps quoted above, Aftonbladet and DN, are both liberal bastions of propaganda who have a tendency to present things with their own skewed, ulterior, agenda.
21:56 February 9, 2011 by Juan Harry Bush

Parents/Foster Parents failed?

OK, this could be a factor, but also keep in mind that children have rights to do what ever they please, Parents have no rights to "Control" the situation.

Perhaps a few "Spankings" would have helped?

No... There are "Laws" against this sort of "Parental Guidance".

Kick the troubled holigan out of the house, ask the police for asistance?

I don't see any help from the state in this matter, so if the Parents tried, their hands may have been tied by lame "Soft-Touch" policies.

Suicide is a sad affair, but I have to blame an ignorant goverment for setting up the situation...
22:33 February 9, 2011 by Syftfel
Hence, Bush, wherein lies the parents' resonsibility? Or are you one of those useless socialists who think that the State(Capital "S") should do everything for us, including bringing up our children? It is this twisted attititude that is at the very root of Sweden's societal problems right now. No one assumes responsibility for his actions or for anything. "The State did it". I'll say it again, his parents are unfit to bring up children.
23:03 February 9, 2011 by Keith #5083

Using a section of the media to condemn another section of the media - and then calling all the media 'scum' - seems like throwing the baby out with the bathwater!
00:18 February 10, 2011 by jbat
Why on earth this tv producer choose to name the former (if not still) gang members on TV.. does he have any concern that this man will suffer serious treat from his this other gang members? Its common sense... this man tried to help this tv program and why not this tv program hide his identity for his safety reason?

The morale maybe : Never trust journalists... they always want to write or produce something that is sensational and never care about others including the person who tried to help them getting that story (i have read many times the story about the person who tried to cooperate with the journalist and end up this person get into trouble because of his identity have been reveal by the journalist as a source of the story even he/she is not agree with it)
03:05 February 10, 2011 by Juan Harry Bush
@ Syftfel

Please pull your head out of your butt and read My post again, S L O W L Y.

... or are You Swedish : )

You read My post wrong, I agreed with You. It was meant to be sarcastic.

More to the point for the more mentally challenged readers...

Maybe if His parents smacked Him around a bit, things would have been better, He'd still be alive and NOT hanging out in a gang.

And... I don't support any governments bringing up children, the parents own this responsibility.

Got it? Get it? Good!
05:54 February 10, 2011 by UScitizen

Your rant shows us that you must be retarded with a mental level of a twelve-year-old. Well, you've shown your true face"

@ Liquidmonkey

You and I have had a lot of differences of opinion but I have to agree with you totally on this one.
13:39 February 10, 2011 by Ben5
It is a tragedy and I feel sorry for his family, but if you are a gang member what kind of end do you expect !

You can not blame the media for showing the face of the criminal actions.
14:53 February 10, 2011 by Jack Mehoff
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
04:03 February 11, 2011 by Da Goat
I guess the poor sap was stuck between top oneself or be topped by the/a gang, as they normally don't like grassers !

yes the TV should have pixel-ed him out as they basically put a concentric circled pattern on the poor sap's forehead so are indeed guilty. (cheap way of putting a hit on someone ehh?)

yes this world would be a lot better without the crims 4 sure!
08:54 February 11, 2011 by loudasthunder
Maybe this will set a trend for all gang members to follow his lead : )

It's really sad that the Parents allowed this tragic event to happen : (
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