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Burning goat tattoos arouse police suspicion

19 Dec 2012, 10:16

Published: 19 Dec 2012 10:16 GMT+01:00

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The 13-metre Christmas goat in Gävle, eastern Sweden, was torched late on Wednesday night last week. On Thursday, an anonymous confession popped up on the controversial Swedish internet forum Flashback.

By Saturday, a picture of four legs also appeared on the site, each with a cartoon tattoo of the flaming goat together with the time and date that the straw creature was set alight.

“This kind of tattoo isn’t done by just anyone,” said Mikael Hedström of the Gävle police to the Expressen newspaper.

“But even if we find out who it is, it’s no proof.”


The police are now working to identify the person responsible for posting the messages online.

“Then we have to tie them to the crime scene. The tattoo is not enough,” Hedström told the paper.

The Flashback forum postings are not the first clues police have had.

Reports came on Thursday of four men who changed clothes in a restaurant toilet after the goat was burned, with witnesses claiming the men smelled of smoke.

The perpetrators face a risk of prison or fines for aggravated damages or arson. According to Hedström, a fine of up to 200,000 kronor ($30,300) would be reasonable.

Story continues below…

Gävle first erected the straw sculpture in 1966, meaning this year was the goat's 46th birthday. It has been burnt to the ground for the majority of the past 46 years.

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Your comments about this article

20:37 December 19, 2012 by Elijah
"...Do not mark your skin with tattoos...." Lev. 19:28, The Holy Bible.
02:23 December 20, 2012 by saab
Yes, this is a very important story.

And so is the Instagram story though The Local won't let us comment on it. I don't know why but censorship must be "in". I guess we can't have an honest debate about the dumming down of our youth. The issues here are just rubbish.

The world is in chaos but here in Sweden we are interested in a burning goat tattoo and obnoxious postings on line. Hey, why don't we spend less time on Facebook and Instagram? Maybe our troubles will get less...serious?

Unfortunately some if not most of our youth are focused on unimportant issues. Are they protesting confiscatory tax policy? Are they discussing the 60 000 dead in Syria? Human rights abuses in China? Are they reading Dostoyevsky or history books on WWI or WWII? Can they find France on a map? Have they ever seen a Periodic Table?

If it's not on Facebook, it's just not worth the time (I guess)
15:17 December 20, 2012 by Woww
I find myself intrigued by this story and almost find myself rooting for the arsonists. It's such a peculiar funny story. Maybe they should erect two Goats...One for the arsonists to try to burn(As in they are encouraged/enticed to try their best but of course this goat will be hard to conquer-almost like winning a science fair.) and one for actual viewing pleasure. That may not work though ha-ha.
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