Swedish ‘butcher’ killer locked up for life

UPDATED: A Swedish woman who killed and then hacked up a love rival has had her sentence increased to life in prison by an appeals court.

Swedish 'butcher' killer locked up for life
Police investigating after a 22-year-old woman was found dead in Askersund. Photo: Pavel Koubek/TT

The 25-year-old was accused of killing a 22-year-old woman in a brutal attack in Askersund, central Sweden, in June last year. The victim was repeatedly stabbed before her body was then chopped up with a saw and knife.

In court the woman denied the murder charge but did admit to aggravated assault, manslaughter and grave desecration charges.

She was sentenced to 16 years in prison by Örebro district court in December. But the Göta Court of Appeal on Wednesday upped her punishment to lifetime imprisonment.

The verdict said that the murder was "completely unprovoked and [carried out] in an especially brutal way" and that "the chain of events was extended and meant much suffering and death anxiety".

Prosecutor Lars Duberg told The Local on Wednesday that he had not yet read the sentence, but welcomed the decision.

"I do not feel pleased, but it was the right decision," he said.

But the woman's lawyer, Johan Eriksson, told Swedish news agency TT that they would appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

"She is very determined about the fact that it was not her intention to kill," he said.

During the whole court process, the woman has said she had only intended to frighten the 22-year-old. She said she had gone to the victim's apartment to confront her as they were two parts of a love triangle involving a man they were both seeing.

The district court heard that the murder was committed in an apartment after the woman showed up with a range of weapons including a set of hammers, a carving knife as well as sleep hormones, syringes and needles.

After killing the victim, the woman then dismembered the body in the bathroom with a saw and knife. Afterwards she then stuffed the remains into Ikea bags and dumped them in a forest.

The prosecutor had demanded that she spend life in jail for murder, arguing that the killing was premeditated. He welcomed the appeals court verdict on Wednesday.

"The case is unique. A female culprit, a jealousy drama, a planned murder and the murder being carried out by a woman. That's not very common," Duberg told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet.

Few women have faced life sentences in Sweden. On average there is just one dismembering type murder in Sweden a year and the culprit is usually a man who has killed another man or a woman.


Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.