Sum it Up! #52 starts with the release of Sture Bergwall. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, “In a series of trials between 1994 and 2001, Sture Bergwall was convicted of eight murders, despite there being no forensic evidence or witness statements, and confessed to many more. But Bergwall, 63, later recanted his confessions, saying he made them to get attention and drugs, and prosecutors dropped the final murder charge in July last year.”
Charges against Bergwall on the murder of the Dutch Stegehuis family were waived in May 2013. The BBC reports that “After his convictions were quashed, Mr Bergwall was still kept at the mental institution until a court could decide whether his mental health was good enough to free him.
Now a court in Falun in central Sweden has ruled that although he still suffered from a personality disorder and should continue to receive psychiatric care, he no longer needed to be held in a secure unit.”
All this means that we now have more cold cases. Bergwall was connected to these cases below. Since the cases were considered closed with his convictions, there are no active leads. In some cases, no bodies were found. This is a major emotional set-back for the victim families involved who for decades thought that they knew the truth. The cases involved are here (from the Daily Mail):
- 1976, Charles Zelmanovits, 15
He claimed to have picked the teenager up in his car by the side of a road. After persuading him to engage in a sexual act he said he strangled him, abused the body and cut it up with a saw in nearby woods. He said he took a leg as a souvenir.
- 1980, Johan Asplund, 11
He spotted Asplund by the side of a road and asked to check if he had run over a cat. When the boy bent over he smashed his head against the door and dragged him into his car. He drove the boy into the countryside, where he sexually assaulted then strangled him. He buried some of the organs, put the hands on the car’s front seat, the head, legs and torso in plastic bags. He said what he did no’t throw out of the window he took home and ate.
- 1981, Trine Jensen, 17
After beating and raping her, he said he strangled her with the strap of her handbag
- 1984, Marinus and Janny Stegehuis
The Dutch couple were on a camping holiday. He said he stabbed the husband through the tent canvas and clambered inside. He described the attack in extraordinary detail, accurately numbering how many times each victim was stabbed.
- 1985, Gry Storvik, 23
He made the Norwegian female prostitute strip before he tortured her, and he described how she vomited as he strangled her.
- 1988, Israeli student, Yenon Levi, 24
He said he and an accomplice took the tourist, who was seeing relatives, to a holiday home in the woods and killed him when he tried to escape.
- 1988, Therese Johannesen, 9
The Norwegian girl was waiting at a bus shelter for a downpour to end when he pulled her down a slope and bashed her head against a rock. he later told how disappointed he was that she was not a boy. He said her last words were: ‘Mummy, mummy’. He then dismembered and buried her, returning a year later to burn the remains. Police later found a bone fragment that matched that of a young girl that appeared to have been cut by a sharp instrument in the spot he identified.
Nicolas Jacobs is on trial in the UK for the slaying of police officer Keith Blakelock during the 1985 Broadwater Farm Riot. A key witness against Jacobs admitted kicking Blakelock himself. He is disguised in court as he fears repercussions. The Guardian posts:
“A key witness, known as Rhodes Levin to protect his identity, told the Old Bailey he had seen Nicky Jacobs, 45, attacking the officer on the estate in Tottenham, north London, on 6 October 1985.
Levin, who himself admits kicking the police officer “a few times”, said he saw Jacobs kicking and punching Pc Blakelock during the onslaught.
He also claimed he had seen the defendant, who denies murder, carrying a lock-knife at the scene with a brown handle and blade of about 6in (15cm). Immediately afterwards Jacobs had told him he had “got a couple of dukes in” on the policeman, he said.”
The trial continues into next week. I hope to hear a lot more about the forensic evidence in this case. Police dug up a knife while ago and I cannot wait to hear whether it contained Blakelock’s DNA and whether they can connect the knife to Jacobs.
This week, I got some links to articles that shed more light on the cold case of Robert Boulin. I have not finished reading them yet and they are in French but Google can translate this for you. The articles are here, here, and here. An update here will follow soon.
Till the next Sum it Up!