The rapes and murders of two little girls in the Baneheia area of Kristiansand 22 years ago amounted to a national trauma that’s being ripped open again. One of the two young men convicted for the murder of one of the girls has now been re-charged with the other murder as well, and his alleged accomplice who spent nearly 21 years in jail may be cleared.
Police told state broadcaster NRK and Nettavisen this week that Jan Helge Andersen was charged as an “automatic consequence” of a raid that was part of a new investigation against him. New and far more advanced DNA testing methods have also linked him to the rapes and murders of both girls.
Andersen was initially charged and convicted for the murder of eight-year-old Stine Sofie Sørstrønen, who was out swimming with her friend, Lena Sløgedal Paulsen at the lake at Baneheia on May 19, 2000. Andersen testified that his co-defendant, Viggo Kristiansen, had been the main man behind the rapes and murders, while Kristiansen claimed all along that he was innocent and not even present when they occurred.
Andersen was ultimately convicted for the rape and murder of Sørstrønen and contributing to the rape of Paulsen. He was sentenced to 19 years in prison and released after serving 16. Kristiansen, meanwhile, received a 21-year sentence that could have been extended but his case was finally reopened last year and he was released after serving nearly 21 years in prison.
Now Andersen has been charged with both rapes and murders, with Kristiansen claiming he’s the victim of a miscarriage of justice. The new Baneheia investigation continues.