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Christine SCHÜRRER





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Jealousy?
Number of victims: 2
Date of murder: March 17, 2008
Date of arrest: 3 days after (in Germany)
Date of birth: June 30, 1976
Victims profile: Max, 3, and his sister Saga, 1 (attempting to kill the children’s mother, Emma Jangestig, 23, with 15 blows to the head with a hammer)
Method of murder: Hitting with a hammer
Location: Arboga, Västmanland County, Sweden
Status: Sentenced to life in prison on October 14, 2008

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christine schürrer

the victims


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Christine Schürrer (born June 30, 1976, in Hanover) is a German citizen who murdered two Swedish children and seriously injured their mother with 15 blows to the head with a hammer after attacking them in their home in Arboga, Sweden, on March 17, 2008.

The motive for the murders has been identified as jealousy, since Schürrer had dated the children's stepfather while he was on holiday on the Greek island of Crete in 2006 where she was working at a local hostel.

Schürrer's case became the most noted and most followed criminal case in Sweden in 2008, along with the crimes of Anders Eklund.

Early life

Schürrer was born in Hanover, Germany. When she was 11 years old, her father left the family for good; Christine and her father had very little contact afterwards. Christine went to New York as an exchange student and lived with relatives in Manhattan. During her stay in the United States she also studied in Oklahoma.

After she moved back to Germany she settled in Göttingen where she studied history for the next six years before traveling to Athens, Greece. In Athens Schürrer got a job at a hostel and also worked as a historian during that time. After one year she once again moved back to her hometown in Germany to work but she was soon back in Greece again, this time on the island of Crete, where she would meet and have a romantic relationship with a Swedish man, the stepfather of her future victims.

Murders and arrest

Christine had arrived in Sweden during the summer of 2007 where she settled in Södermalm, in central Stockholm. She later found a new apartment in Skarpnäck, a suburb of Stockholm. During this time Christine tried for a third time to commit suicide. She was admitted to Södersjukhuset hospital and was later released with only minor cuts on her arms. She had earlier tried to commit suicide as a result of feeling betrayed by the Swedish man leaving her after a two week romance in Greece.

Police believe that Christine arrived in Arboga by train on the afternoon of March 17. She went to the victim's house and knocked on the door. When the mother, 23-year old Emma Jangestig, answered the door, Schürrer snuck inside and struck her over the head 15 times with a hammer. She then attacked the woman's two children, 3-year old Max and 1-year old Saga, causing fatal trauma to their heads.

Schürrer had visited Arboga two times before on March 12 and March 14, possibly to get more information on where to locate the mother who she would attack days later. The mother's ex-boyfriend, the father of the two children, was arrested, but he was released the day after as it was established he was not the killer.

Schürrer was arrested in Germany on March 22, 2008, but was released again the same day. On March 24, German police sent DNA samples from the suspect to Swedish police for testing. The mother had begun to wake up from her coma in a hospital around that time, and she could identify Christine as the attacker.

Swedish investigators also examined a surveillance camera from the railway station in Arboga and a witness identified Christine, which proved that she had been in Arboga on that day during the time of the murder. She left Sweden and headed home to Germany on March 18 where she was arrested by German police on March 30, the day after an arrest warrant had been signed. She was later transferred to Sweden for the trial.

Trial and sentence

On August 26, 2008 Schürrer was found guilty of the murders and assault on the mother. Schürrer underwent a psychological evaluation to see if she was fit to be sentenced to prison or receive psychiatric treatment. She refused to cooperate in the tests so it was not possible to make a correct assessment on her psychological health.

On October 14, 2008 she was sentenced to life in prison as the evaluation showed that she suffered from no mental illness (as defined in Swedish law). If - or when (life sentences are typically commuted after 10–15 years in Sweden) Schürrer is released from prison she will also be forced to leave Sweden and barred from entering the country for life. Schürrer's defense attorney said that he would take the case to the court of appeals. The case received extensive coverage from both the Swedish and other world media.

Autopsy photos

In September 2008, the Swedish media reported that the public preliminary investigation protocols concerning Schürrer's murder trial had been made available through a torrent on The Pirate Bay, a Swedish website providing magnet links. In Sweden, preliminary investigations become publicly available the moment a lawsuit is filed and can be ordered from the court by any individual. The document included pictures from the autopsy of the two murdered children, which caused their father Nicklas Jangestig to urge the website to have the pictures removed. The Pirate Bay refused to remove the torrent. The number of downloads increased to about 50,000 a few days later.

On 11 September 2008, the website's press contact Peter Sunde participated in the debate program Debatt on the public broadcaster SVT. Sunde had agreed to participate on the condition that the father Nicklas Jangestig would not take part in the debate. Jangestig ultimately did participate in the program by telephone, which made Sunde feel betrayed by SVT. This caused The Pirate Bay to suspend all of its press contacts the following day.

“I don’t think it’s our job to judge if something is ethical or unethical or what other people want to put out on the internet,” said The Pirate Bay’s spokesperson Peter Sunde to TV4.


Schürrer appealed to the Svea Court of Appeal for a new trial. Schürrer's sentence was finalised on February 16 when her appeal was rejected. Schürrer was transferred to a womens prison in Vechta, Germany in March, 2012 to serve out the remaining time of her sentence. Schürrer is the seventh woman in Swedish history to be sentenced to life imprisonment.


Life sentence upheld for Arboga killer

February 16, 2009

German woman Christine Schürrer has had her life sentence upheld by the Court of Appeal for the murders of two young children in Arboga last year.

The Court of Appeal also served Schürrer with a permanent deportation order and ordered her to pay damages of 100,000 kronor ($11,800) each to the children's parents.

Schürrer, 32, was convicted in October by Västmanland District Court of murdering three-year-old Max and his one-year-old sister Saga, and then attempting to kill the children’s mother, 23-year-old Emma Jangestig, at the family’s home in Arboga on the evening of March 17th 2008.

Schürrer had been in a relationship with Jangestig’s then boyfriend, Torgny Hellgren, and according to prosecutors Frieda Gummesson and Johan Fahlander, her obsession with her ex-boyfriend served as the motive for the killings.

The Court of Appeal did not entirely dismiss Emma Jangestig's testimony, as was the case with the district court. The appellate court considered certain memory fragments to be reliable, such as Jangestig's firm belief that she had been attacked by a woman.

Investigators were never able to tie Schürrer to the crime scene with physical evidence. Instead, prosecutors based their case on strong circumstantial evidence. The appeal court agreed that the overall evidence was sufficient to secure a conviction.

The appeal court determined, for example, that Schürrer had lied about her reasons for visiting Arboga the night of the murders and that she had access to a hammer that has not been found.

She also supplied incorrect information about a missing pair of shoes whose soles matched the patterns on footprints found at the scene of the crime.


Arboga murderer gets life in prison

October 14, 2008

Christine Schürrer, the German woman found guilty of murdering two children in Arboga, has been sentenced to life in prison.

Schürrer had been convicted by Västmanland District Court of murdering three-year-old Max and his one-year-old sister Saga, and then attempting to kill the children’s mother, 23-year-old Emma Jangestig, at the family’s home in Arboga on the evening of March 17th.

Schürrer had been in a relationship with Jangestig’s then boyfriend, Torgny Hellgren, and according to prosecutors Frieda Gummesson and Johan Fahlander, her obsession with her ex-boyfriend served as the motive for the killings.

Investigators were never able to tie Schürrer to the crime scene with physical evidence. Instead, prosecutors based their case on strong circumstantial evidence.

Despite the lack of fingerprints or DNA evidence, the court ruled that there was “overall convincing evidence” against Schürrer.

The court determined she had lied about her reasons for visiting Arboga the night of the murders. They also attributed the distress caused by her break up with Hellgren as a motive for the killings.

The court found Schürrer guilty in late August, at which point it ordered a psychiatric evaluation to determine the appropriate punishment.

She refused to answer questions about the crime, and was ultimately deemed healthy enough to be sentenced to prison.

In addition to receiving a lifetime prison sentence, Schürrer must also pay 457,892 ($64,600) kronor in compensation to Jangestig, as well as a total of 131,329 kronor to other plaintiffs in the case.

Schürrer’s attorney Per-Ingvar Ekblad has said previously to the TT news agency that he plans to appeal the district court’s decision.


German woman 'can be jailed'

September 25, 2008

A German woman accused in Sweden of killing two children and trying to murder their mother is sane, said a psychiatric assessment published Thursday, paving the way for a prison sentence.

The Västmanland court said in August there was "convincing evidence" that 32-year-old Christine Schürrer was guilty of the crimes.

But it held off presenting its verdict until a psychiatric evaluation had been conducted to determine whether she should be sent to prison or a psychiatric hospital.

"Christine Schürrer does not suffer from a serious psychiatric disorder," the evaluation found. Nor was she "under the influence of a serious psychiatric disorder when she committed the crimes for which she has been charged," it added.

There was "therefore no medical reason to commit Christine Schürrer to psychiatric care."

Schürrer has been charged with "using a hammer or a hammer-like object" to bludgeon to death a nearly four-year-old boy and his almost two-year-old sister on March 17th in the small Swedish town of Arboga. She has also been charged with attempting to kill their 23-year-old mother, Emma Jangestig.

Jangestig is the live-in companion of a man Schürrer once dated.

The prosecution argued during the trial that Schürrer "had not got over the split from (him), still had feelings for (him) and was hurt that (he) was living as a family with Emma Jangestig and her children.

Schürrer denied all wrongdoing during the trial, which dominated headlines in Sweden and Germany in August.

According to Swedish news agency TT, Schürrer refused to cooperate with doctors for the psychiatric evaluation.

The Västmanland court is scheduled to reconvene to discuss the case on October 8th.

The verdict could be announced on that date at the earliest, a court clerk told AFP on Thursday.


Court: German woman 'guilty of murder'

August 26, 2008

A Swedish court has ordered a German woman suspected of the brutal murder of two toddlers to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, an indication that the court finds her guilty as charged.

The court said there was a risk that Christine Schürrer would flee, and therefore ordered her continued detention until a verdict is given.

In its decision, Västmanland District Court wrote that "overwhelming evidence has been produced" to show that the woman "is guilty of murder and attempted murder in accordance with the charges".

The decision was unanimous, with chairman of the court Per Kjellson and a three member panel of judges all in agreement that Schürrer on March 17th bludgeoned to death a nearly four-year-old boy and his almost two-year-old sister, and attempted to kill their 23-year-old mother, Emma Jangestig.

A psychiatric evaluation is expected to take four to six weeks, after which time prosecutors and the counsel for the defence will be invited to present their closing arguments.

If Schürrer is found to suffer from serious psychiatric problems, the court is precluded from awarding a prison sentence and will instead recommend secure psychiatric care.

The prosecutor in the case was unable to present any forensic evidence tying the suspect to the scene of the crime and relied instead on circumstantial evidence.

"Of course I am disappointed," said defence lawyer Per-Ingvar Ekblad on learning of the decision.

Ekblad had argued on Monday, the final day of the trial, that his client should be cleared of the charges.

"There is no motive, just an incorrect identification. There is no DNA, no murder weapon, and the footprints at best resemble shoes worn by my client," he said.

"The fact that neighbours saw a mysterious person in the area does not mean my client has been identified."

Ekblad said he would be appealing the decision as soon as the district court reached its final verdict, which will be announced after the completion of the psychiatric evaluation.


German suspect 'should get life sentence'

August 26, 2008

A German woman charged with the murder of the two children and the attempted murder of their mother in Arboga in central Sweden should be awarded a life sentence, a prosecutor argued as the case wound up on Monday, news agency TT reports.

The date of the verdict has yet to be announced.

Prosecutor Frieda Gummesson called for 32-year-old Christine Schürrer to spend her life behind bars or alternatively in psychiatric care, as the month-long trial in the Västmanland court, west of Stockholm, concluded.

Schürrer is suspected of "using a hammer or a hammer-like object" to bludgeon to death a nearly four-year-old boy and his almost two-year-old sister on March 17 in the small Swedish town of Arboga, and attempting to kill their 23-year-old mother, Emma Jangestig.

Jangestig is the live-in companion of a man Schürrer once dated.

The prosecution argued during the trial that Schürrer "had not gotten over the split from (him), still had feelings for (him) and was hurt that (he) was living as a family with Emma Jangestig and her children.

Schürrer denied all wrongdoing during the trial, which has dominated headlines in Sweden and Germany since its start on July 30.

The court on Monday ordered Schürrer to remain in custody, but said it would announce in the coming days whether she would be released pending the announcement of the verdict.

Schürrer's lawyer, Per-Ingvar Ekblad, called for his client to be acquitted, stressing there was no physical evidence to prove her guilt. There were no DNA traces linking her to the scene of the crime, and the murder weapon has not been found.

"Why would my client, who has a clean criminal record and who has a functioning social life, want to kill two small children," he argued.

He said the prosecution's theory of a crime of passion was "only a hypothesis."

The prosecution had however presented a witness -- a friend of Schürrer's -- who claimed that she had joked about getting rid of a hammer at Skavsta airport in Sweden.

The prosecution also argued that Schürrer had lied about her whereabouts on the day of the crime and refused to provide explanations about inconsistencies, including why there was information about Jangestig's family on her computer.


14 people 'spoiled Arboga crime scene'

August 20, 2008

The lack of forensic evidence in the high profile Arboga child murder case is a direct result of at least 14 people unwittingly spoiling the crime scene, experts say.

Healthcare workers and police both entered the house where two children were brutally murdered on March 17th before forensic tests could be carried out, the court heard on the second last day of the trial.

“This made it impossible to find any DNA to compare with a suspected perpetrator,” said one expert witness.

Apart from the two dead children, Saga and Max, their seriously injured mother, Emma Jangestig, and her boyfriend, Torgny Hellberg, forensic expert Weine Drotz calculated that a further 14 people -- consisting of ambulance staff and police officers – had made it almost impossible to gather evidence.

“That kind of crime scene does not lend itself to finding small, invisible traces such as a speck of saliva. Unless there is a clear glob of spit it is difficult to find DNA,” said Drotz.

Suspect Christine Schürrer’s lawyer pointed out that a forensic team had found a strand of hair containing DNA that could not be traced to the suspect or anyone else known to have been at the scene of the crime.

“Is it correct that you found a strand of hair from an unknown man?” asked Per-Ingvar Ekblad.

“Yes, or a boy,” said Drotz.

Medical examiner Dr Lars Eriksson testified that the children, Max, 3, and Saga, 2, had died of brain injuries after being struck repeatedly in the head with what he suspected was a hammer.

“I estimate that the boy was hit at least 15 times. He seems to have tried to protect himself by holding up his hand, which was also injured. The girl received around ten blows,” said Eriksson.


Arboga murder weapon: witnesses testify

August 13, 2008

The trial of the German murder suspect accused of killing two toddlers in Arboga, central Sweden continued on Wednesday, with witnesses testifying about a hammer that is the suspected murder weapon.

The woman returned to Germany the day after the murders. One male friend from Germany testified that suspect Christine Schürrer told him she was forced to leave a hammer at Skavsta airport.

The man testified that he met her when she returned home from Sweden on March 18th. He had the impression that she was well and happy about her new job as a tourist guide in Stockholm.

He testified to say that she claimed not to have known how the hammer got into her handbag and that it probably belonged to her landlady, but he could not remember exactly.

So far, the 32-year-old suspect has only mentioned the hammer in connection with doing repairs at the flat where she rented a room.

The witness also testified that he did not think she could have been pregnant last year, though she did wear a lot of baggy t-shirts. On the contrary, he had the impression that she had lost weight, he said.

Several other witnesses testified on Tuesday to say that Schürrer could not have been pregnant, as she claims. She also claims to have given the baby away.

The male friend who testified on Wednesday supported the suspect after her suicide attempt. She told him that she was depressed because of the break-up with her Swedish boyfriend, Torgny Hellberg, who is the live-in partner of the murdered toddlers' mother.

Another witness, the German woman's best friend in Sweden, said the same.

Schürrer told her that she moved to Sweden for her Swedish boyfriend, and that she was deeply disappointed when it didn't work out as she had hoped for. According to the woman, this was what Schürrer said after her suicide attempt last autumn.

Schürrer's friend had the impression that the suspect fell into a very deep depression at the beginning of the year. The witness was not sure if that was because Schürrer might have stopped taking the anti-depressants she was given after her suicide attempt.

Two more trial days remain, with the concluding arguments due to be presented on August 25th.


German suspect 'lying about pregnancy'

August 12, 2008

More witnesses appeared in court on Tuesday to say they do not believe Arboga child murder suspect Christine Schürrer gave birth to a baby last September, as she has claimed.

Schürrer's landlady was in court on Tuesday and was absolutely sure that the 32-year-old German could not have been pregnant when she rented a room from her in Skarpnäck, south of Stockholm, last year.

"Absolutely not", she said.

A male friend of Schürrer's also testified on Tuesday to say that the suspect could not have been pregnant last September.

Both these witnesses further stated that they have seen the suspect wearing a pair of shoes that the prosecution believes she wore on the day of the murder.

The suspect claims she never wore them in Sweden, and threw the shoes away in Germany. However, one of Tuesday's witnesses had a photo of her wearing them at a crayfish party in Sweden last year.

He is the third witness to cast doubt on many of the suspect's statements. On Monday, another male friend of Schürrer's testified that she could not have been heavily pregnant last September.

The suspect claims that she had a child fathered by her ex-boyfriend Torgny Hellberg. The prosecution is trying to establish that the suspect is a prone to telling lies and was obsessed with her ex.

It was Hellberg who discovered the bloodied bodies of his girlfriend Emma Jangestig and her two toddlers, Saga and Max, on the floor of the home they shared in Arboga in March of this year.

Several months after their break up, Schürrer sent a letter to Hellberg explaining that she had given birth to his child and given it up for adoption.

Schürrer's former landlady testified in court on Tuesday that the suspect had returned home at midnight on the day of the murders, before leaving for Germany the next day.

She noticed the suspect's return as the German woman kept her awake all night, making a lot of noise moving around the flat.


Suspect's friend: 'There was no baby'

August 11, 2008

A friend of child murder suspect Christine Schürrer testified on Monday that he did not believe the 32-year-old German woman had given birth to a child last September as she has claimed.

Schürrer's friend said he was first introduced to the suspect in spring of last year. The pair continued to meet up sporadically during the summer.

Testifying in court on the seventh day of the trial, Schürrer's friend said he had no recollection of the alleged pregnancy, which has also been called into question by a number of other witnesses. He said he did not believe she was close to giving birth to a child at this stage last year.

"I doubt it because as far as I remember she wasn't pregnant. If she gave birth to the child in September it would have been visible," said Schürrer's friend when questioned by prosecutor Johan Fahlander.

The suspect claims that she had a child fathered by her ex-boyfriend Torgny Hellberg.

It was Hellberg who discovered the bloodied bodies of his girlfriend Emma Jangestig and her two toddlers, Saga and Max, on the floor of the home they shared in Arboga in March of this year.

Several months after their break up, Schürrer sent a letter to Hellberg explaining that she had given birth to his child and given it up for adoption.

Schürrer's friend also called into question another aspect of her testimony. He said he was not aware that she had a special interest in Swedish history and had never spoken of visiting ancient Swedish monuments, which Schürrer has said was her reason for visiting Arboga on the day of the murders.

"The topics we spoke mostly about were football and music," he told the court.

On March 17th, the day of the murders, Schürrer borrowed 1,000 kronor ($156) from her friend. She picked up the money from his place of work but did not say that she planned travelling to Arboga.

Earlier on Monday, a number of Emma Jangestig's neighbours testified that they had seen a person behaving strangely outside her house and on her driveway on the day of the attacks. The person in question was wearing a large hood and has not been identified by any of the witnesses as Christine Schürrer.

The trial is set to continue in Tuesday when more of Schürrer's friends will be called as witnesses.


Child murder suspect 'lied to police'

August 6, 2008

Christine Schürrer, on trial for the murder of two toddlers, admitted in court today that she lied or withheld the truth during questioning in an effort to keep details from police.

As the trial entered its fifth day, Schürrer also refused to talk about the child she claims was fathered by her ex-boyfriend Torgny Hellberg and which she then gave up for adoption.

Several people have testified that there was never any trace of the pregnancy.

Prosecutors also revealed that Schürrer had visited Hellberg’s blog 230 times prior to the date when two toddlers and their mother, Emma Jangestig , were attacked in Arboga.

A search of Schürrer’s computer also uncovered several internet searches were carried out using terms connected to Jangestig and Hellberg, as well as pictures of the house the couple shared in Arboga with Jannestig’s two children, Saga and Max.

But Schürrer claimed she couldn’t be held responsible for the search traces left on the computer, as it had been given to her by a friend.

Prosecutors are trying to prove that Schürrer’s jealousy over Hellberg’s relationship with Jangestig caused her to commit the crimes.

They pointed out that Hellberg is prominent in many of Schürrer’s journal entries from last autumn.

In her journal, Schürrer wrote about his new relationship with Jangestig and expressed her devastation that her relationship with Hellberg had come to an end.

She wrote that she continued to dream about him and still loved him.

But when questioned in court on Wednesday whether it was accurate to say that she could not let go of Hellberg, Schürrer thought otherwise.

“I don’t see it that way, even if it appears so.”

Earlier Schürrer was unable to provide an explanation as to why she had the address to the Arboga home shared by Hellberg and Jangestig. But in court on Wednesday she changed her story, saying that she had written it down to forward to the person who adopted her child in order to allow them to contact Hellgren.

“He had asked me about a paternity test and that’s why I wanted to pass along the address,” she said, according to Dagens Nyheter.

Schürrer also admitted that she had not been entirely truthful during police interrogations carried out during the investigation.

“You can’t take what I’ve said in certain interrogations 100 percent seriously,” she said, according to Svenska Dagbladet.

“So what you said during police questioning could have been lies?” asked prosecutor Johan Fahlander.

“Yes, for example the colour of my bicycle pump. At the time I answered that I didn’t know, except that I did know exactly. Or why I was at Stockholm South General Hospital.”

“When you were asked about private matters, such as your pregnancy, earlier you said you wouldn’t answer. Why not simply do that in this case?” continued Fahlander.

“Maybe to give another answer,” she responded.

Fahlander also attempted to cast doubt on Schürrer’s account of a trip she claims she made to Örebro in January 2008.

He pointed out that the odometer in the car she said she took to Örebro more accurately measures a trip to Arboga. But to the majority of Fahlander’s further questions, Schürrer simply said that she couldn’t remember.

During the trip Schürrer placed a call to Jangestig’s phone, according to investigators.

When asked about the call, Schürrer explained that she was hoping to reach Hellberg to tell him about the alleged giving birth to his child.


German murder suspect takes the stand

August 5, 2008

The Arboga murder trial continued on Tuesday in Västmanland District Court the central Swedish town of Köping as the accused, 32-year-old Christine Schürrer, took the stand for the first time.

She began by discussing her reaction to the news that her boyfriend, Torgny Hellberg, had decided to end their relationship in the spring of 2007.

“I was naturally very sad,” she said.

It was Hellberg who discovered the bloodied bodies of Emma Jangestig and her two toddlers, Saga and Max, on the floor of the home they shared in Arboga in March of this year.

The two children later died from their injuries while Jangestig survived.

Schürrer, who has been charged with murdering the children and the attempted murder of Jangestig, continued to discuss how she met Hellberg while vacationing in Crete in 2006.

Later in the autumn, the pair reunited in Arboga.

“It was more or less like Crete. We enjoyed the occasion,” she said.

After another visit, contact between the two cooled off and shortly thereafter Hellberg made a definite break in the relationship.

“I was naturally very sad because it came as such a surprise for me,” Schürrer told the courtroom.

When she moved on to discussing her suicide attempt in March of 2007 following the break up, her story started off with a bit of hesitation.

“It was a gradual process which had gone on for a long time. The separation from him knocked my feet out from under me, took away my security,” she said.

Schürrer swallowed a number of pills in an attempt to take her life.

When she awoke the following day she discovered her wallet was missing.

She then called Hellberg once again and he came to pick her up.

When prosecutor Johan Fahlander then took over questioning, he immediately inquired about the letter Schürrer sent to Hellberg explaining that she had given birth to his child and given it up for adoption.

Specifically, he asked her when the child was born, to which Schürrer responded, “Why do you want to know that? That’s not an important detail, in my opinion.”

Although Fahlander pressed her, Schürrer continued to avoid the question, as is her right under the rules of Swedish criminal proceedings.

Instead, Fahlander moved on to questioning Schürrer as to why she was laughing and smiling throughout proceedings.

“For example, when I questioned the children’s father and he explained how he learned that his children were dead you sat and talked and laughed with your German counsel,” said Fahlander.

“I can’t remember that, but if I laughed, I wasn’t laughing at the father’s story,” Schürrer replied.


German suspect 'tried to kill herself'

August 1, 2008

Torgny Hellgren, the boyfriend of Emma Jangestig, mother of the murdered toddlers in the Arboga child killings case, gave testimony on the third of the trial of his ex-lover, 32-year-old German Christine Schürrer.

Hellgren and Christine Schürrer met in 2006 on the Greek island of Crete.

"We had a passionate affair that lasted 4-5 days. We were good together," Hellgren told the court.

In the autumn of 2006 Christine Schürrer paid a visit to Arboga. Hellgren told the court that he wanted to see if the relationship was worth continuing.

But when Schürrer arrived he said it felt "odd" that she was there. Daily life for the couple did not have the same holiday romance feeling.

Hellgren decided in the end to send a text message to Schürrer explaining that their relationship was over and that he did not want to see her again.

Schürrer proceeded to make a series of telephone calls and send letters in which she accused Hellgren of being the cause of her various problems.

She would not accept that their relationship was over.

Schürrer then tried to commit suicide during a visit to Sweden.

Hellgren interpreted the suicide attempt as an effort to try to gain his attention. He cared for Schürrer for a couple of days after and then took her to Stockholm Arlanda Airport, where he bade farewell.

Earlier on Friday, the court heard testimony from the father of the murdered children.

Niklas Jangestig told the court of the "indescribable" feeling of first being told that his children had died and then that he was accused of the murder.

Jangestig had originally been a suspect in the case. He was arrested, interrogated a later released soon after the March 17th murders.

"My children weren't murdered. They were butchered like animals," Jangestig said when he reflected on the time spent with his dead children in the morgue.

"I have never felt so bad in all my life," he said to Västmanland District Court.


"My kids were butchered like animals"

August 1, 2008

As the murder trial of Christine Schürrer entered its third day on Friday, the father of the two toddlers she is accused of killing broke down in court as he told his story.

Niklas Jangestig was originally a suspect in the case.

Jangestig, who is separated from the murdered children's mother, Emma Jangestig, was arrested and held for several hours after the murders in Arboga on March 17th.

Niklas Jangestig told Västmanland District Court on Friday that he was informed of the death of his children when he was in police custody.

"Then I fell apart. I panicked and found it hard to breath," he said under the questioning of his counsel Kari Skönebrant.

Jangestig told the court that police asked him if he wanted to be given something to calm him down, just prior to informing him that the prosecutor planned to charged him with the murder of his two children and the attempted murder of their mother.

"The feeling that you get when you know that your children are dead and then that you are the one accused of their murder, is indescribable," he continued.

"Everything just vanishes."

Niklas Jangestig was unable to control his emotions in court and cried profusely when he told of his visit to the morgue to identify his dead children - three-year-old Max and his two-year-old sister Saga.

"I sat with my children for around two hours and cried and cried," he said.

It was only then that he fully realized that his children were gone.

"I have never felt so bad in all my life," Jangestig said through his tears.

"My children weren't murdered. They were butchered like animals."

Niklas Jangestig admitted to the court that his relationship with the children's mother, Emma Jangestig, had been tempestuous, but said that lately they had been able to cooperate regarding the children.

The children often spent the weekends with their father. They were with their father over the weekend before their murder.

The boyfriend of Emma Jangestig, Torgny Hellgren, followed Niklas Jangestig on to the witness stand on Friday morning. The prosecutor asked Torgny about his relationship with the 32-year-old Schürrer, who he met on holiday on Crete in the summer of 2006.

"We had a passionate relationship for around four or five days. We were good together," he said.

Day two of the trial ended badly for the prosecution's case when a memory expert questioned the testimony of Emma Jangestig.

Emma Jangestig had told the court earlier on Thursday that when the trial began she immediately recognized Schürrer as the woman who had bludgeoned her two children to death with a hammer.

"When I looked at the accused, I broke down completely. Because I recognized her as the woman who stood outside my door," she told the court on the Thursday morning.

Sven Å. Christiansson, a memory expert that has examined Emma Jangestig, told the court that the murdered toddlers mother is suffering from aggravated memory loss.

"One can question whether she has any memory from the time of the murder or whether she is backing up her memory from her reflections," " said Christiansson to news agency TT.

"If one thinks for enough time about something it starts to feel familiar and ultimately becomes a autobiographical memory."

Christiansson's testimony was backed up by neurologist Jörgen Borg who was the next to testify on Thursday afternoon.

Emma Jangestig said to the court that the discrepancies in her story and recollection of the events have to do with her feeling scared in police interviews in the aftermath of the murders. The support of her family and friends have helped her to "allow herself to remember" the events of March 17th.


Mother identifies German suspect

July 31, 2008

Emma Jangestig, mother of the two toddlers murdered in Arboga in March, told the court on Thursday that when the trial began she immediately recognized the 32-year-old German woman accused in the killings, Christine Schürrer.

“When I looked at the accused, I broke up completely. Because I recognize her as the woman who stood outside my door,” Jangestig said as questioning began on Thursday morning.

She said further that she recognized Schürrer’s voice and her nose when she was asked if she spoke Swedish on the first day of the trial on Wednesday.

Jangestig’s voice was steady as she answered questions from prosecutor Frieda Gummesson.

When asked what Schürrer said when she opened the door for her on the evening of March 17th, Jangestig answered that the German woman said, “Hi, I’m Tine.”

Tine is Schürrer’s nickname.

Jangestig explained that she was very nervous about seeing the woman who may have murdered her children when the trial began.

The day’s proceedings will go a long way toward determining whether or not Schürrer is guilty. Jangestig has identified her, but later a memory expert will testify as to whether or not her recollection is credible.


Prosecutor lacks DNA evidence

July 30, 2008

The police have confirmed that there will be no DNA evidence submitted at the ongoing Arboga child murders trial.

A report, made public at the trial, confirms that the hair found in Emma Jangestig's hand did not belong to the 32-year-old German suspect, Christine Schürrer.

Schürrer is suspected of attempting to murder 23-year-old Jangestig and of murdering her two children, Max and Saga, in Arboga on March 17th.

An analysis by the National Laboratory of Forensic Science (SKL), presented on Wednesday at the trial ruled out that the hair found in Jangestig's hand belonged to Schürrer.

Instead, the report concludes that the hair most probably belonged to the victim herself.

The report also confirmed that the cat hair found on Schürrer's clothing does not come from the cats who lived with Jangestig and her family in Arboga.

The strongest forensic evidence which remains available to the public prosecutor, Frieda Gummesson, is a pair of footprints that will be used to try to establish that Schürrer had been in the house in Arboga on March 17th.

The footprints are from shoes that Schürrer is alleged to have owned but they have not been found.

Frieda Gummesson said in court on Wednesday that Schürrer had been planning the murder for more than two months, arguing the motive for the murders was jealousy.

Gummesson contends that, during questioning, Schürrer attempted to tone down her latent feelings for Jangestig’s boyfriend after their relationship ending.

The prosecutor believes that Schürrer’s past psychological problems, including several suicide attempts, are tied to the break up.

Gummesson also referred to the disappearance of a hammer from the Stockholm-area apartment where Schürrer lived in January.

That landlord responsible for the apartment discovered her hammer was missing early in the year when she planned to remove some nails and couldn’t find the tool.

Gummesson claims that the fact that the hammer was missing back in January shows that Schürrer had been planning the murder several weeks before it was carried out.

"She had already then planned to use it (the hammer) on the children and their mother," Gummesson said.

In February, Schürrer contacted her ex-boyfriend and said he’s given birth to his child, and that she had given it up for adoption.

But police have been unable to find any evidence of the alleged child.

Police have also traced emails which were supposedly sent by the children’s adoptive father to Jangestig’s boyfriend to a computer in the Stockholm apartment where Schürrer was living.


Arboga murder trial underway

July 30, 2008

The trial of the 32-year-German woman (above) suspected of murdering two children and attempting to kill their mother in Arboga is underway in Västmanland District Court.

Public prosecutor Frieda Gummesson wants the accused, Christine Schürrer, to be convicted for murder and attempted murder.

Meanwhile, a representative for the mother, 23-year-old Emma Jangestig, her boyfriend, and the children’s father read a request for several hundred thousands of kronor in compensation.

Schürrer alternated between looking attentively at the prosecutor and conferring with her defence lawyer and her German counsel, who, according to her lawyer Per-Ingvar Ekblad, is there as “an observer and moral support”.

Ekblad emphasized that Schürrer contests the accusations against her.

“My client denies that she could be guilty of the crime,” he said.

A sizeable delegation from the press has gathered outside the courthouse, located in the central Swedish town of Köping.

Among the media representatives gathered in Köping are several from major newspapers from Schürrer’s hometown of Hannover in Germany.

The case is based largely on circumstantial evidence, as solid technical evidence such as DNA, is lacking completely.

Head public prosecutor Frieda Gummesson has called upon an unusually large number of witnesses – 56 in total – to testify in the trial.

Around ten witnesses will help the prosecutor strengthen the motive by demonstrating that the accused hadn’t gotten over her break up with the mother’s boyfriend.

Nearly as many will certify that Jangestig was conscious when she was taken away from the crime scene in an ambulance.

It was the evening of March 17th when the children, three-year-old Max and his two-year-old sister Saga, as well as Jangestig were found seriously wounded in the family’s house in Arboga. The children later died in hospital.

The children's father was initially suspected of the crime, but police quickly shifted their focus to the former lover of Jangestig's new boyfriend, and a European warrant was issued for her arrest.

She was arrested in the German city of Hanover at the end of March and was handed over to Sweden following a request for her extradition.


Indictment reveals gruesome details

July 23, 2008

More details in the Arboga child killings have emerged as the 32-year-old German woman suspected of the double murders and attempted murder of their mother was charged on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old German woman was charged on Wednesday morning with the murder of three-year-old Max and his two-year-old sister Saga, as well as the attempted murder of their mother, Emma Jangestig, in Arboga on March 17th.

The charges submitted to Västmanland district court on Wednesday told how the woman "with a hammer or hammer-like instrument repeatedly beat the children and their mother on their heads and bodies."

On the evening of March 17th the children and their 23-year-old mother were found bloody and beaten in the family home in Arboga.

The children later died in hospital while Jangestig spent an extended period in care and eventually recovered.

The charges confirmed reports that there is no DNA evidence which links the 32-year-old to the the house in Arboga.

"But the body of evidence which exists means that there are a raft of circumstances that are particularly compromising," said prosecutor Frieda Gummesson in a press conference on Wednesday morning.

The children's father was initially arrested for the double murders a couple of hours after the discovery of their bodies.

He was released two days later and police suspicions soon turned to the 32-year-old German woman who is a former girlfriend of the mother's current partner.

German daily Hannoversche Allgemeine, the newspaper from the suspect's hometown of Hannover, has identified the woman as Christine S. and her ex-boyfriend, Jangestig's current partner, as Torgny H.

Christine S. was confirmed to have been in Arboga that night. She left Sweden shortly after via Nyköping Skavsta Airport but was later arrested in Germany.

The charges detail that the 32-year-old suspect admits to being in Arboga on the night of the murders but claims that she was there to look for a rune stone.

She has however been unable to confirm the route she took.

Details have also emerged indicating that she was so keen to make the journey to Arboga that she had borrowed money from a friend to make the trip.

Several witnesses have confirmed that they saw a woman fitting the description of Christine S. in the area of the young family's home in the days prior to the crime as well as immediately before the murders were committed.

The prosecutor, Frieda Gummesson, does not believe that the suspect's explanations are realistic and contends that the murder was planned.

Christine S. has kept a diary detailing her feelings around the journey to Sweden and for her former boyfriend.

"I hate what he did to me. Took from me. It is difficult to describe. I have never felt this way before, but he has broken something inside me. I feel like he has chewed me up and spat me out," Christine S. wrote in her diaries according to the newspaper Expressen.

The diaries confirm that her break up with Torgny H. had left her feeling emotionally very unstable and suicidal.

"It feels so terrible and I don't want to feel this way for the rest of my life. I love you. I miss you. I dream about you but even then you don't talk to me. That makes me so unhappy. But how can I change it? I have no idea...You can carry on playing with your little family. I do what is best for me."

The German woman denies all charges.


Fresh leads in Arboga double murder case

May 24, 2008

The investigation into the Arboga child murders case has been given a boost. Police have gained access to a laptop, mobile phone and clothing belonging to their prime suspect, a 31-year-old German woman.

German police made the seizure of the items when the 31-year-old gave herself up over two months ago, according to Vestmanlands Läns Tidning (VLT).

The items came into the possession of Västerås police on Wednesday. They are now being analyzed by police IT technicians to try to extract information helpful to the case.

The woman has claimed in interviews with police that it was her interest in archaeology that led to her being in Arboga at the time of the murders on March 17th, according to reports in the newspaper Aftonbladet.

The woman's mobile phone is therefore of particular interest to police as the woman has claimed that she used it to photograph rune stones in the town. She claims that the photographs were then deleted because they were of poor quality.

If the German woman's story is true then the photographs should be recoverable.

"Generally speaking, it should be possible to recover certain things," said Jan Sjöberg of Västerås police to

The laptop is the computer that the woman has used to update her Facebook page and surf the internet.

The items of clothing are those that the woman was wearing when she handed herself in to police in Germany and have been sent to the Swedish National Laboratory of Forensic Science (SKL) for analysis.

The 31-year-old German woman is being held on suspicion of the murder of two children and the attempted murder of their mother in Arboga on March 17th 2008.


Arboga suspect gives her story

May 6, 2008

The prime suspect in the Arboga child murder case has now told Swedish investigators what she was doing in the city on March 17th, the day the murders took place.

“She has given an account which I see as extremely plausible,” said the 31-year-old German woman’s lawyer, Per-Ingvar Ekblad, to the Vestmanlands Läns Tidning (VLT) newspaper.

“Both she and I, as her defence attorney, naturally want to straighten out any possible questions which remain. She is a suspect for an extremely serious crime and thus there are natural reasons for her to want to explain what she has done,” he said.

German prosecutors have also delivered the results of their analysis of scrapings taken from the woman’s finger nails.

“We found no DNA which matched that of the victims,” said Kathrine Söfker, spokesperson for the prosecutors’ office in Hannover.

Police in Germany have still not received results from analysis of the woman’s clothing.

Swedish police had not received the results of their own DNA analysis of the fingernail scrapings, said the police’s Bo Forsman to the Aftonbladet newspaper on Monday.

On Tuesday, investigators will continue their questioning of the woman, who was extradited from Germany to Sweden on April 29th.

The 31-year-old woman was ordered on Saturday to remain in custody on probable cause stemming from suspicions of committing two murders and one attempted murder.

The woman continues to deny the crimes.


Child murder suspect arrives in Sweden

April 30, 2008

A German woman suspected of the murders of two young children in Arboga has been sent back to Sweden by German authorities.

The 31-year-old arrived at Arlanda airport at 9pm on Tuesday and was sent directly to a detention centre in Västerås in central Sweden, Aftonbladet reports.

The suspect left Arboga on March 18th, the day after the murders of two children, 1 and 3, and the attempted murder of their 23-year-old mother.

Ever since she was arrested by German police, the justice system in Sweden has worked to have her surrendered to the country, a move that was opposed by the woman's lawyer.

The 31-year-old suspect was previously romantically involved with the 23-year-old's current boyfriend.

The murdered children's mother left hospital for the first time since the attack just a few days ago.

In an interview with Aftonbladet, she says that it has taken until now to fully understand that her children are gone but she does not remember anything from the night of the murders.


Police hunt for new Arboga weapon

April 7, 2008

Police plan to dive in the waters the Arboga River to search for a what may be a weapon used in the murder of two small children three weeks ago.

Meanwhile, attempts continue to get the mother to talk about the night of the murders and to extradite the prime suspect in the case, a 31-year-old woman, from Germany to Sweden.

The investigation into the murders of the two small children and the attempted murder of their 23-year-old mother continues with police following up a tip from a witness who saw a woman throw an object into the stream the night of the murder.

“Soon we’ll see if we’ve found a new murder weapon. We still don’t know if the Skavsta hammer is the murder weapon,” said Börje Strömberg from the Västmanland County Police, referring to the hammer now in possession of police which was left at a security checkpoint in Skavsta Airport near Nyköping.

Currently, much of the police investigation involved waiting.

The mother’s life is no longer in danger and she has been moved from the University Hospital in Uppsala to the central hospital in Västerås. But she has not yet been able to tell the police anything about the night of the murder.

“We continued to meet with the mother and slowly establish contact with her so that she feels secure enough to open up. The mother’s story is incredibly important for the investigation, but we have to wait and see,” said Strömberg.

The 31-year-old German woman wanted in Sweden on suspicions of murder and attempted murder still refuses to talk to police. The Swedish police who traveled to Hanover, Germany were unsuccessful in their first attempt to meet the 31-year-old and returned home empty handed last Friday.

“Now we are trying to get the woman extradited here so we can question her. In the worst case, it may take 90 days before the woman comes to Sweden and that will impede the investigation,” said Strömberg.

In addition, police in Sweden are waiting for German police to send samples collected from the suspect’s fingernails at the time of her arrest.

So far tests conducted by Sweden’s National Laboratory of Forensic Science (SKL) on samples collected from the family of the victim and emergency workers haven’t yielded any useful results.

And no answer has come regarding the hammer taken at Skavsta Airport when the 31-year-old flew to Germany the day after the murder.


Child murder suspect arrested in Germany

March 20, 2008

A 31-year-old woman from Stockholm suspected of the brutal murder of two small children in Arboga in central Sweden has been arrested in Germany.

A 1-year-old girl and her 3-year-old brother were stabbed to death in Monday evening.

The children's 23-year-old mother was also seriously injured in the attack.

The main suspect in the case handed herself over to police in Germany at around 5pm on Thursday after an international warrant had been put out for her arrest earlier in the day.

"She stopped a police car and said she believed the police were searching for her," Thomas Klinger, a spokesman for the German prosecutor's office, told Aftonbladet.

The woman was being held for questioning in Hanover, said Klinger. She had not confessed to the crimes of which she was accused, he added.

A decision is to be taken tomorrow as to whether the suspect should be extradited to Sweden.

The suspect is a foreign national and lives in the Stockholm region. She travelled to Germany on Tuesday evening, one day after the double murder in Arboga, a family member told news agency TT.

Several websites contain pictures and information showing strong ties between the woman and the injured mother’s new live-in boyfriend.

Two police technicians from Västmanland county have been examining the woman's apartment in a suburb south of Stockholm.

Investigators have now cleared the children's 28-year-old father, initially the prime suspect, of any involvement in the case.

Prosecutor Frieda Gummesson submitted the new warrant on Thursday morning. Shortly before noon police stated that they had not taken any coercive measures or carried out any home searches in the hunt for the suspect.

The children and their mother were found with serious stab wounds at their home in Arboga on Monday evening. The children later died from their injuries.

Police have not yet been able to speak to the mother, who was seriously injured and remains under observation at Uppsala University Hospital.

According to the newspaper Stockholm City, several guards are on duty outside the victim's room.

“We need to make sure that the woman is safe and undisturbed,” said police spokesperson Börje Strömberg.

He points out that there are no specific threats against the woman but that doesn’t mean that the perpetrator might not make another attempt to harm her.

“Since the man who was previously head denied any involvement we were forced to look at other alternatives and it is within that context that we became interested in the current suspect,” said Strömberg.



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