Dozens of Swedish cold cases ‘solvable’: expert

Dozens of Swedish cold cases 'solvable': expert
Hundreds of unsolved cases of deadly violence in Sweden deserve further investigation, criminology professor and crime fiction writer Leif GW Persson said in a new report released on Friday.

Persson believes that 300 out of 430 unsolved cases that occurred between July 1st 1985 and December 31st 2010 deserve further attention.

About 25 of these cases could be resolved, the report says, and in several cases police have secured forensic evidence tying a perpetrator to the crime, but the suspects have not yet been found.

The statue of limitation for crimes punishable by lifetime imprisonment and committed after July 1st 1985 was abolished in July 2010.

These include cases of murder and manslaughter.

Sweden’s national police commissioner tasked Persson with compiling a list of all unsolved cases of deadly violence that were not barred by the statute of limitation.

“Of the cold cases about 75 percent occurred in the major cities,” Persson said at a press conference on Friday.

“That is an overrepresentation.”

The national police commissioner, Bengt Svenson, told the press that the National Bureau of Investigation (Rikskriminalpolisen) and the National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen) will make a joint decision regarding which cases to re-open.

Svensson also wants to create a national register for unsolved cases.

Persson mentioned several complications he faced in summarizing the material.

It was difficult to find the cases in the first place, he explained, since there is no central registration.

In addition, a great deal of important evidence has been disposed.

The pile of unresolved cases is expected to continue to grow because of the dropped statute of limitation. But Svenson is not worried about the costs for police work surging.

“It won’t happen if get our priorities straight. And we can never say that a murder is too expensive to investigate if it is possible to resolve it,” said Svenson.

TT/The Local/nr

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