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Radio Sweden. Security was tight at the Malmö court on Monday morning. Photo: Scanpix
Security was tight at the Malmö court on Monday morning. Photo: Scanpix
Malmö serial shooter

Courtroom report from suspected serial killer trial

The suspected Malmö serial shooter denied on Monday all three murders that he stands accused of. He also denied the long list of attempted murders being leveled at him by the prosecutor.

There was significant police presence at Malmö district court this morning.

Some areas were cordoned off, several police vehicles were parked around the building and officers were checking traffic coming in and out of the area. There were metal detectors and bag checks at the entrance.

The chief prosecutor, Solveig Wollstad, went through the three murder cases, then went through the many cases of attempted murder that Peter Mangs is charged with.

The suspects appeared relaxed. When the first charges were read out – two murders in 2003, one in 2009 – he leaned back in his chair.

Wollstad also showed a map of Malmö. Mangs has lived at five different addresses during the time period covered by the crimes.

The prosecutor also included two addresses where Peter Mangs' mother lived. The locations of the murders and the attempted murders were then added to the map.

The rest of the evidence has already been made public. A gun barrel, silencer, ammunition, masks, a fake moustache, wig, packaging for a Glock – to name but a few.

The prosecution also played an audio recording from when Peter Mangs is about to be arrested.

It is a long and rather confused conversation. In it, Mangs says he has just stepped out of the shower.

At the end, the police are heard coming into the apartment, and the police officer on the phone says: “Do exactly what they tell you to do, Peter.”

The media could not see how Peter Mangs reacted to this audio. The trial is held in Malmö district court’s high-security court room, which means there is not enough space for all the victims, their friends and families, and the journalists.

There were reporters there from all major media in Sweden, and some from Scandinavian, UK and US newspapers.

There were not, however, many civilians present–perhaps only a handful.

Media were in a side room, viewing a stream of the proceedings live on video. When the prosecutor went through the audio, but also later pictures, reporters could no longer see Mangs.

Among other noteworthy finds that the prosecution has included as evidence was one set of keys hanging by Peter Mangs' front door. It matches the lock to the first murder victim’s apartment – the man who was shot in the chest in 2003.

The police also found a weapon with a silencer lying in a bag on the bed, hidden only by a cushion.

The basket for Peter Mangs’ bike had several paper scraps in it. One had different locations written down on it. Several in the vicinity of some of the attacks, says the prosecutor.

Several quotes and jargon from the US military – “off the grid”, “act on instinct” – and war movies were also found. His DVD titles included "Natural Born Killers" and "American Psycho."

The police also found a copy of the book "Lasermannen" by Gellert Tamas, which outlines the life and racially-motivated crimes of John Ausonious, who is serving life in prison for one murder and nine attempted murders carried out in the early 1990s.

The majority of the crimes that Mangs is suspected of were committed against foreign-born Swedes, but the police has repeatedly said that there is no "clear motive" which unifies all the alleged attacks.

Some credit a hatred of criminals as a potential motive. Mangs' older sister died of a drug overdose in her early 20s, when he was still young.

Her ID card was found on the "safety vest" that Mangs has admitted to wearing in public to test his nerves and build mental strength.

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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