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Couple found 'executed' on Swedish farm

TT/The Local/dl · 20 Oct 2011, 07:36

Published: 20 Oct 2011 07:36 GMT+02:00

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“They've been brutally executed,” county police chief Thord Haraldsson told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

Police describe the victims as a pair of well-meaning farmers who operated a farm in the small village of Långared, about 15 kilometres north of Alingsås.

“It's a very ugly murder. This is a blameless, industrious pair of farmers who, for some reason, have been subjected to extremely aggravated violence,” Haraldsson told the TT news agency.

“We can't come up with a motive.”

What is all the more strange for investigators is that the killings appeared to have taken place when the couple were on their way to choir practice.

Out in the garage nine neighbours and friends were waiting to take them to the nearby evangelical church in which they were active.

The group had driven out to the farm after the couple failed to appear at the scheduled afternoon choir practice.

“It was the neighbours and friends who were coming to get them and take them to singing practice,” said Haraldsson.

The group of people were interviewed about the incident, but none of them are currently suspects in the killings.

The couple were apparently attacked by one or more people who wanted to do them harm.

The dead man was found lying in a barn, while the dead woman was found in the farm's main residential house.

“We received a call from [emergency services operator] SOS saying that a person had called them and said that something serious had happened. We went out there and found a dead man in a barn,” Västra Götaland County police spokesperson Ulla Brehm told the TT news agency.

Shortly thereafter, police found nine people in an adjacent garage.

“Then when we searched the residence we found a dead woman,” said Brehm.

Story continues below…

Kjell Norberg, pastor at the nearby Mission Church, spoke with some of the people who were aware of what happened.

“I know where the farm is, who they are, and a whole lot more as well. But there's nothing more I want to say,” he told TT.

“At this point there aren't that many who know about what happened, but people are going to be shocked, sad, and mystified.”

Police continue to examine the crime scene and Haraldsson urged members of the public to come forward with any information that might be relevant to the police investigation.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:22 October 20, 2011 by Opinionfool
Very sad, if true. But at first reading this looks like a summary of one of Henning Mankell's Wallander stories.
09:25 October 20, 2011 by engagebrain
"It's a very ugly murder. This is an unscrupulous, industrious pair of farmers who, for some reason, have been subjected to extremely aggravated violence," Haraldsson told the TT news agency.

I guess something went wrong with the translation.
10:30 October 20, 2011 by Rick Methven

an UN to far
11:08 October 20, 2011 by anonymous4
Swedes should think seriously about investing in security systems for their barns, houses, all their property. Security systems are costly but even sensor flood lights can help. Very sad.
11:50 October 20, 2011 by skogsbo
anony, most security systems are pretty worthless in these events as they were still active pottering about. Unless you spend tens of thousands, upgrade all external wood doors and locks, replace all traditional windows, if somebody wants to get into an old wooden house, it's easy enough. Sensor lights, just go on and off all night, foxes, badgers, hares the list is endless, you certainly wouldn't be leaping out of bed each time the light went on, you would never sleep.

Sometimes putting lights, cameras and big locks everywhere draws attention, as people think you must have something extra to steal compared to everyone else.

Unless it's a pure nut job, there will be a motive and if they had been targeted for some reason, sadly there is little that could be done to a house to stop someone who is determined.
12:32 October 20, 2011 by anonymous4

I grew up on a remote farm. very prosperous. You have to start somewhere to protect yourself, especially if there are only 2 residents. We had our encounters with those who tried to become violent. An electric fence is also another option. Costly, tax deduction, and worth saving your life.
14:40 October 20, 2011 by skogsbo
anonymous, this is Sweden not Zimbabwe?! How big is your electric fence going to be, must be quite long to go around your property? how much did it cost? Did you have watch towers? Search lights? Perhaps a no-mans land with mines etc.. ;)
15:06 October 20, 2011 by anonymous4

Your attitude almost indicates that you feel there is no hope and farmers should die. Don't you realize that farmers generally have cash on hand and other valuable goods? In this day and age, it is easy for any couple to carry cell phones and guns. (don't think you have any concept of farming)
15:25 October 20, 2011 by Rick Methven

You may know something about ( very prosperous) farming in the USA but you clearly know SFA about farming in Sweden or Europe. Both Skogebo and I DO know about it, you on the other hand just spout Bullsh*t
15:29 October 20, 2011 by skogsbo
Anony, you might be little off the mark there, but then you are in the US. Most Swedish farms are not rich, or hold lots of cash, margins are very tight. Apart from in the very south, the average Swedish farm is about 50-150hectare, probably about 75% forest or marsh, it's hardly super rich farming and most folk make a modest living, often having 2nd jobs and sidelines to make enough money. As for fencing, lights etc. it just wouldn't work and isn't practical at all in this environment. Unless your going to install a standby generator too, make you fence high enough to cope with 1-2metres of snow, so you're looking at a 4m fence to fairly safe.

The most valuable things on any farm is the tractors and forest machines etc. usually (other than your life), if you don't lock it away like fort knox, you won't die when the theives force you tell them where all the keys are to your underground vaults.

Nope farmers shouldn't give up hope and die, why? Because I live on a farm in Sweden, so feel fairly well informed to it might or might not pan out and to the functioning of Swedish Farming in general.

Mobile phone and gun safe upstairs, plus the usual hatch from the 3rd floor / attic onto the roof, is always my plan should the pikeys or other theives come a roaming around. Valuables are in a bank safe deposit box in town. Older folk often have more cash at home, or little safes in their houses.

Having done many years in the military(3 tours to hot sandy places, plus Balkans), now farming, with farming as the child in the UK, I feel pretty confident that I know what I'm talking about and exactly to defend myself and family. Anonymous you are clearly just commenting from afar on a situation you don't really possess any knowledge of.
16:11 October 20, 2011 by anonymous4

I could be sitting here right very close to you. If the two of you are content to let these people die in vain, it is very sorrowful. Too bad the two of you never spent your lives farming year round. What you pointed out Skogsbo regarding little safes in homes could have been the motive. Or, since the deceased were church going people, that could have been a factor. Lot of mosques going up. Argue it out between yourselves. I have better things to do.
19:39 October 20, 2011 by BigDogRex
I once had a (U.S.) farmer tell me it's easy to make a million dollars farming - you just have to spend two...

As for the murders, there is always a motive (even if the act itself is the motive). Any worthwhile investigator will already have started digging into the victims' lives for leads. The story didn't mention whether one of the deaths was self-inflicted, so assuming there are two murders occurring apart from each other, it does not appear to be a random act.
21:20 October 20, 2011 by jem1963
I think as this terrible crime is investigated, it will show that there was some link between the victims and the murderer. Even in countries with relatively high crime rates, like the US, it's extremely rare that a murder would be completely random. There's some important information that we don't know yet.
21:50 October 20, 2011 by skogsbo
those living rural have been robbed for their valuables before, sometimes a bit of torture to get pin codes etc.. but never both killed. Normal is they get tied up so the theives, generally eastern european make a get away before the cops are called. As you say, possible motives & connections, even the most innocent and ordinary looking folk, often have dark secrets or double lifes.
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