Nils Gustafsson

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Nils Gustafsson
Born Nils Wilhelm Gustafsson
(1942-05-10) 10 May 1942 (age 75)
Vantaa, Finland

Nils Wilhelm Gustafsson (born 10 May 1942) is the sole survivor of the Lake Bodom murders in Finland in 1960.


Gustafsson was a bus driver and lived a normal life until 2004, almost 44 years after the event, when he was arrested by the police on the suspicion that he was the murderer. In early 2005, the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation declared the case reopened, based on some new analysis of bloodstains found at the scene. These analyses required DNA testing, a technique not available at the time of the murders. According to police theory, Gustafsson had an alleged outburst of jealousy involving one of the victims, Irmeli Björklund, his girlfriend. Irmeli was stabbed fifteen times that night, while the two other teenagers were killed less savagely. Gustafsson's own injuries were also severe.

The trial started on 4 August 2005. The prosecution called for a life sentence against Gustafsson on three counts of murder. They claimed that the re-examination of the old evidence using modern techniques pointed directly to him. The defense argued that the killings were the work of one or more outsiders and that Gustafsson suffered injuries similar to those sustained by the other victims, and therefore would have been incapable of killing three people. Gustafsson had allegedly admitted to a police officer, following his arrest, that he had committed the murders, saying: "What's done is done, I'll get 15 years." However, the court dismissed this and charges of false perjury were raised. On 7 October 2005, Gustafsson was acquitted of all charges. He was awarded 44,900 (58,229.31 USD) in damages for his time in prison and the mental anguish he suffered in being accused.

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