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malmö serial shooter

Investigation notes reveal few clues to a motive

Published tisdag 8 maj 2012 kl 19.48
"Sister's death affected his personality"
(2:56 min)

The charges against the suspected Malmö serial shooter were made public this week. Along with it, the 7,500-pages long police investigation was released. What can we learn from the 18 months spent interrogating Peter Mangs?

He calls himself left-wing, but subscribes to a right-wing publication.

He thinks immigration is both "positive and negative", but stands accused of only attacking foreign-born Swedes. He says he's not a racist, because when he still practiced music, he played African songs.

He also says that he doesn't like globalisation. He likes things to be neat and tidy.

Who is Peter Mangs? His answers do not paint a uniform picture, and for the victims' families, a straightforward motive so far remains unclear.

Some observers early on drew parallels between 40-year-old Peter Mangs and the Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, and with the convicted murderer John Ausonius, who shot and in many cases killed immigrants to Sweden in the 1990s.

But when this investigation was made public, closer reading reveals that Mangs does not think of himself as an ideologue, like Breivik. Nor does he give the same impression of single-mindedness that was displayed by Ausonius - also known by the nickname Lasermannen, The Laser Man.

About a year ago, says the prosecutor and the police, Peter Mangs stopped answering their questions. He would remain silent, sometimes put his hands over his ears, and on occasion he would start singing during questioning.

Yet he seems to have fared well while in his year and half in custody. His lawyer Douglas Norking says Mangs has remained creative, composing music and also began writing a book.

Next Monday, Mangs will be charged for three murders and 12 attempted murders - and Radio Sweden will be reporting from the court room.

He denies committing these crimes, but has confessed that he used to wear what he calls his "safety vest" when out and about in Malmö.

When police raided his apartment, that vest contained a spare gun barrel, a silencer, and, according to media reports, also held a picture of his dead sister.

At this week's press conference, police officer Börje Sjöholm said the death of Mangs' older sister from a drug overdose in 1990 clearly made a big impact on his personality.

Sjöholm was quick to note, however, that the police do not know to what extent her death can be linked to the streak of shootings Mangs is suspected of.

The police found several lists of names in the suspect's apartment - they included names of criminals.

One police source tells the regional newspaper Sydsvenskan that they think Mangs wanted to avenge his sister's death, which he blamed on drug dealers.

One man previously convicted of selling narcotics has said he believes Mangs sat in on and observed a trial against him. That same man was told by neighbours that Mangs had visited his apartment armed, and wearing the safety vest.

Ann Törnkvist
Radio Sweden

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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