A Swedish Serial Killer is Claiming his Confessions were all Lies, what do you think?
One things is for sure, this case is quite the conundrum, Sture Bergwall was convicted on eight murder charges, although he confessed to over thirty murders. He is now claiming that his confessions of murder, rape, and cannibalism were all made up because he wanted attention. The question is did the Swedish justice system convict the right man for the crimes, or did they convict someone based on the lies he created? One of the fears of anyone in this field is putting away someone who is truly innocent, and if Bergwall is claiming he was innocent doubt can begin to creep up in the minds of those involved in the case.
The question as to whether or not Bergwall was rightfully or wrongfully convicted is important, but the even better question is now that they have begun to overturn his convictions: are they releasing a guilty murderer? “This is the justice scandal of the century,” Bergwall, 62, told The Associated Press by telephone from a psychiatric hospital. His mental state may also play a role in either his lying about the crimes, or his current beliefs that he is innocent.
Five of his murder convictions have already been overturned. In the remaining cases there may not even be a trial, because with his previous convictions prosecutors dropped the charges instead of going to court. They claimed they had a lack of evidence.
Now you might be asking yourself why might someone lie about murdering and raping so many people? There is no right answer out there. Bergwall claims, however, that he developed an “identity crisis” when he found out he was gay and he started using drugs at the young age of fourteen. He claims he only wanted attention, he was lonely, and hoped to be medicated if he sounded crazy enough. Bergwall stuck by his confessions until 2001 when he stopped taking benzodiazepines, and entered a period of silence in which he didn’t speak to anyone for several years. In 2008 he declared his convictions were lies and began fighting for retrials.
Why did the court believe his “false claims” if they truly were lies? Apparently he gave information about the victims and the sites where either they had gone missing or been recovered that only the murderer would know. On the other hand, there was a discussion about the fact that there was a lack of technical evidence to support his convictions.
Sweden’s chancellor of justice, who is now a Supreme Court judge, said he still believes the convictions were correct. According to the article on the Forensic Magazine website Lambertz said “I’m not saying he is guilty, but the evidence was such that it was without doubt correct to convict him.” He added that “there were a number of circumstances” indicating that Bergwall had been present” at the murder scenes.
At the end of the day there will be questions left unanswered. Why would you lie about so many murders and provide gruesome details about the crimes? Why change your mind now so many years later? Did the Swedish court make the right choice the first time? It is a mistake over turning these convictions? What do you think?
I will leave you with a quote from Bergwall from the Forensic Magazine website that at least leaves me somewhat concerned and suspicious as to whether or not these “lies” he confessed are really false. “There’s a lot left to explain,” Bergwall said. “And I will do that when the time is right.”