Episode 131:

Live at the Chinateatern in Stockholm

Nikita Bergenström


Sture Bergwall aka Thomas Quick


Episode 131: Live at the Chinateatern in Stockholm

Karen and Georgia cover Nikita Bergenström and Sture Bergwall aka Thomas Quick.

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Nikita Bergenström

Nikita Bergenström Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Jonathan Brinkhorst on Unsplash

Other Image Sources:

Nikita Bergenstrom photo from MFMlinks.blogspot.com

"Nikita Bergenström (former Juha Veikko Valjakkala, Aslak Valdemar Ahonen, and Nikita Joakim Fouganthine; 13 June 1965 in Pori, Finland) is a Finnish murderer convicted of the triple murder of a family in the northern Swedish community of Åmsele.

The series of events that led to the murders began when the 22-year-old Valjakkala was released from a prison in Turku on 1 May 1988, after which he started wandering through Sweden and Finland with his 21-year-old then-girlfriend Marita Routalammi.

On 3 July, they arrived in Åmsele. After nightfall Valjakkala stole a bicycle. He was pursued by the owners, Sten Nilsson and his 15-year-old son Fredrik. The chase ended at a cemetery where Sten and Fredrik Nilsson were both shot by Valjakkala with a shotgun. Later Sten's wife and Fredrik's mother, Ewa Nilsson, went looking for the two, was chased into the woods and had her throat slit by Valjakkala outside the cemetery. Valjakkala and Routalammi were caught in Odense, Denmark just over a week later.

At the trial the two defendants blamed each other for the murders, but the court believed Routalammi's story. A psychiatric evaluation found both to be mentally competent for trial. However, the statement by a forensic psychiatrist found that Valjakkala suffered from a psychopathic personality and was very aggressive. Conviction for the murders was his 12th criminal conviction.

Valjakkala was given a life sentence on three counts of murder, while Routalammi received two years for complicity in assault and battery. Routalammi was released after serving half of her time, and Valjakkala was transferred to Finland to serve out the rest of his sentence.

Valjakkala tried to escape from prison in 1991.

In April 1994, Valjakkala fled the Riihimäki prison in Finland where he was being held. He took a teacher as a hostage, but he was apprehended nearby and the hostage escaped the situation unscathed.

In 2002, he escaped from Pyhäselkä prison and traveled to Sweden with his wife, and was captured after a large police operation in Långträsk. Upon returning to prison after the 2002 escape he tried to commit suicide by hanging himself in his cell.

His next escape in 2004 from Sukeva prison lasted only 19 minutes and reached less than 1 km from the prison walls.

Just after midnight on 28 November 2006 Valjakkala escaped for the fourth time, this time from the labor prison in Hamina. He was captured on the evening of 30 November 2006 by police Readiness Unit Karhuryhmä in Maunula, Helsinki. Police assaulted the apartment which was suspected to be Valjakkala's hideout. Valjakkala was captured without resistance. After the incident Valjakkala went back to closed prison.

Valjakkala changed his name to Nikita Joakim Fouganthine in 2008 and later to Nikita Bergenström in 2013.

Having served 19 years in prison, Fouganthine was due to be released on parole on 1 July 2008.

Fouganthine was released on 25 February 2008. He was arrested again on 12 April 2008 for breaking his release terms. He is likely to face charges for, among other things, endangering the traffic, stealing a vehicle and driving a vehicle without a licence and driving an unlicensed taxi. Valjakkala has admitted to the above.

Fouganthine and his wife Alexandra married in May 2008.

In December 2008, the Supreme Court of Finland decided that he would be released with a suspended sentence on February 2009. Fouganthine was paroled again on February 2. In a recent interview he revealed that he is currently writing an autobiography.

On 23 November 2011, he escaped from Kerava's parole prison. The Finnish police say that he might be somewhere else than Finland. On 1 December Nikita Fouganthine was found in Vallila, Helsinki. It is not believed that Fouganthine committed any crimes during his escape..."

— Source: Nikita Bergenstrom Wikipedia

Sture Bergwall aka Thomas Quick

Sture Bergwall aka Thomas Quick Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Illia Cherednychenko on Unsplash

Other Image Sources:

Sture Bergwall from Alchetron.com

Younger photo of Sture Bergwall from Alchetron.com

"Sture Ragnar Bergwall (born 26 April 1950), also known as Thomas Quick in 1993–2002, is a Swedish man previously believed to have been a serial killer, having confessed to more than 30 murders while incarcerated in a mental institution for personality disorders. Between 1994 and 2001, Quick was convicted of eight of these murders. However, he withdrew all of his confessions in 2008, as a result of which his murder convictions were quashed, the final one in July 2013, and he was released from hospital. The episode raised issues about how murder convictions could have been obtained on such weak evidence, and has been called the largest miscarriage of justice in Swedish history. Journalists Hannes Råstam and Dan Josefsson made TV documentaries and books about the murder cases; they claimed that bad therapy led to false confessions, Dan Josefsson claims that a "cult" like group led by psychologist Margit Norell manipulated the police and talked Sture Bergwall into false confessions.

Bergwall grew up in Korsnäs with his six siblings. He adopted his mother's maiden name, Quick, around 1991. After a history of delinquency (molestations of boys and various assaults and drug use), Quick was sentenced in 1991 for armed robbery. He also stabbed a man while in outpatient treatment from a psychiatric facility.

After the robbery conviction, Quick was confined to care in an institution for the criminally insane. During therapy, he confessed to more than thirty murders committed in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland between 1964 and 1993. The therapy sessions were followed by police interviews. One of his confessions led to the solving of an 18-year-old murder considered to be unsolvable, and another to the informal solving of a murder in Växjö in 1964. This 1964 crime was outside the then 25-year statute of limitations in Sweden, but with the information given by Quick, the case was considered closed.

With no eyewitnesses or technical forensic evidence to connect him to the crimes, Quick was convicted solely on the basis of his own confessions while undergoing recovered-memory therapy on benzodiazepines followed by police interrogations. Details in the confessions were wildly wrong and Quick relied on hints and body language from his interrogators to guess the answers expected of him. Bergwall/Quick had been researching unsolved murders on microfilm in the Royal Library, Stockholm when he was on day release and confessing to a murder in Norway led to a Norwegian newspaper writing his story. Quick requested back copies including earlier reports of the story from Norwegian journalists and could include details hitherto unknown to the Swedish police that they concluded only the perpetrator knew. Nine-year-old Therese Johannessen had disappeared from Fjell in Drammen in 1988 and had not been found since. Ten years later Quick was convicted of murdering her. The crucial evidence was the discovery of burnt bone fragments from what should have been a child. In 2012 laboratory tests showed that the supposed bone fragments were composed of wood and glue fused together – probably hardboard. An analysis had not been performed before the evidence was presented to the court.

Examination of his answers showed that his initial attempts to provide answers to questions concerning, for example murder weapons and birthmarks, were wrong, leading questions were asked in police interviews, and the initial erroneous guesses edited out of the version presented to the court.

The involvement of therapists meant that Quick's early failure to provide anything more than a vague, confused and vacillating picture that gradually sharpened and focused was explained away as the result of repressed memories being retrieved as a result of therapy; e.g. In the judgment for the case of Therese one can read that the psychologist Christianson told the court that "Traumatic events are retained in the memory but there can be protective mechanisms that work in the unconscious to repress their recall." Similar arguments about Quick's "repressed" memories recur again and again in the judgments."

The credibility of Quick's confessions was widely debated in the Swedish media. Critics of these confessions, and the trials, including a policeman involved in one of the investigations, wrote that there was no evidence that tied Quick to any of the murders he had confessed, and that until he could show something he had taken that belonged to one of his victims, the probability was that he was a compulsive liar. In a December 2008 television interview with Hannes Råstam, Quick denied taking part either in any of the murders for which he had been sentenced or in the more than 30 murders he had confessed to.

Because the only evidence to support the convictions were his own confessions, that he now retracted, and nothing else remained on which to base the judgments, Quick changed his lawyer and the eight murder convictions handed down in six trials were all quashed on appeal, the last one in July 2013. Quick, who now reverted to his birth name of Sture Bergwall, was set at liberty after having been confined for more than twenty years in an institution for the criminally insane, with conditions that he refrain from alcohol and narcotics..."

— Source: Sture Bergwall Wikipedia