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'Laser Man' denied bid for early release

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'Laser Man' denied bid for early release
11:53 CET+01:00
John Ausonius, better known as the ‘Laser Man', will not be granted an early release from his lifetime prison sentence for a series of brutal attacks on immigrants, the Örebro District Court ruled on Friday.

Ausonius, who was apprehended in June 1992, was sentenced to life in prison following a 1995 conviction for one case of murder and ten attempted murders of immigrants, as well as eight bank robberies.

He has been in prison for more than 20 years and Friday's ruling marked the third time the court in Örebro in central Sweden has rejected his application for early release.

In its ruling, the court cited findings by the National Board of Forensic Medicine (Rättsmedicinalverket) that concluded earlier this year there was a "medium-high" risk that Ausonius would commit crimes in the future, an assessment the agency made in 2008 and 2010 during previous bids by Ausonius for early release.

According to the court, he still runs the risk of "sudden violent criminality which is likely tied to Ausonius's autistic problems and personality disorders".

Born in 1953, Wolfgang Zaugg was the son of German and Swiss immigrants. As an adult he changed his name to John Ausonius in order to appear more Swedish. He also dyed his black hair blond.

In 1979, he became a Swedish citizen. He combined a successful flirtation with stocks and bonds with a deep-seated hatred of immigrants.

Some ill-advised investments put a serious dent in his comfortable lifestyle and he began robbing banks to maintain his position.

At the end of the summer of 1991, Ausonius targeted his first immigrant victim. Two Eritreans saw a circle of red light on their friend's body right before he was hit.

The man survived, but "Laser Man" terrorized Stockholm's immigrant population for a further eighteen months.

In November 1991 he shot his fifth victim, Jimmy Ranjbar, an Iranian student. Ranjbar did not survive the attack.

In all Ausonius shot eleven immigrants in the Stockholm and Uppsala areas. Many of his victims were shot in the head and experts believe further casualties were only prevented by Ausonius's incompetence when modifying his weapon.

Many experts have compared his crimes to those committed more recently by Malmö sniper Peter Mangs, who was found guilty in July 2012 of a series of attacks against immigrants in Malmö over several years that left three people dead.

TT/The Local/dl

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