Killer released on 20-year anniversary of murders

4:25 min

Mattias Flink was released Wednesday, precisely two decades after shooting to death seven people and seriously wounding another.

The murders of the seven people aged between 20 and 35 in Falun, central Sweden on June 11 1994 shocked the country. Flink, a soldier in the Swedish army, was 24 years old at the time and was sentenced to 30 years in prison, but is now being released on probation 10 years early.

If Flink had committed the murders just a few years earlier, he would most likely have been sentenced to psychiatric care, based on how the law was then written. Instead, he was sentenced by the supreme court to life imprisonment. Later, Flink's sentence was changed to a time-specific one of 30 years. 

Flink was heavily inebriated and in a "psychotic condition" when he committed the murders and has later said in interviews that he has a moral duty not to drink any more. He has also said he fears for his own safety outside of prison.

There has been much criticism that Flink's release coincides with the 20-year anniversary of the murders. Among others, the mother of one of Flink's victims said she found it offensive.

Gubb Jan Stigson, a crime reporter at the Dalademokraten newspaper in Falun, tells Radio Sweden that the murders shocked the town two decades ago and his release on the anniversary of the shootings has been criticised.

"It is just a cruel coincidence that when you are sentenced in Sweden it dates back to the day you were arrested. The murders were a terrible shock at the time and today, with his release, people do not want him free. Many protest that of all days, he has been released on 11 June."