UPDATED: A Swedish psychiatric patient was acquitted on Wednesday of the last in a series of murders he’d claimed to have committed in Sweden and Norway in the 1990s. Sture Bergwall, also known as Thomas Quick, now wants to be released from mandatory psychiatric care as well, while politicians in both Sweden and Norway were calling for investigations into how he could have been convicted in the first place.
Bergwall had been charged with the murders of Norwegians Therese Johannesen, who went missing in 1988, of Trine Jensen in 1981 and Gry Storvik in 1985. He was convicted in each case but acquitted of all three over the past three years.
Bergwall had also claimed to have committed 30 other murders, and he was convicted of eight of them in Norway and Sweden. His convictions were based largely on his confessions, which he withdrew in 2009, while courts and prosecutors later determined there was no hard evidence against him.
The lengthy and traumatic case is now raising questions over how the justice systems in both countries functioned, with politicians like Jan Bohler of the Labour Party in Norway telling Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that he’ll bring the matter up in Parliament and call for an investigation.
It’s unlikely Bergwall, now age 63, will soon be a free man, though. The Swedish court believes there’s still a high probability he’ll commit other crimes because doctors still don’t think he’s mentally healthy.
Meanwhile, the families of Johannesen, Jensen and Storvik may never learn who’s responsible for their disappearances and deaths. All three cases are now more than 25 years old, exceeding the statute of limitations, ruling out chances for reopening any new murder investigations.