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Dr. Teet HÄRM





Classification: Murderer?
Characteristics: Rape - Mutilation
Number of victims: 0 - 9
Date of murders: 1984 - 1987
Date of arrest: October 28, 1987
Date of birth: 1953
Victims profile: Women (seven prostitutes, his wife and a Japanese student)
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Status: On September 16, 1988, at the end of the murder trial, the jury returned a guilty verdict at the District Court. However, before the verdict could be confirmed by the judge, a number of jurors gave interviews to the press. As a result, the High Court overturned the conviction.  Acquitted on a second trial

Drs. Teet Haerm & Allgen Thomas (1984-1986) were forensic pathologists in Stockholm and Copenhagen who killed 8 prostitutes. Ironically, they were the same doctors who conducted post-mortem examinations on their own victims. Their wives and family had also disappeared under mysterious circumstances, and it was an investigation into charges of familial child abuse that brought them down.

In Dr. Thomas' confession, he named Dr. Haerm as the leader of a secret medical society devoted to the encouragement of cannibalism and necrophilia. During their investigation and trial, they provided lots of intellectual reasons for cannibalism and necrophilia, but refused to provide any more information about this secret society for which they had a higher allegiance.


Dr. Teet Härm

Born in Stockholm during 1953, Dr. Teet Harm was a criminal pathologist, renowned for helping the authorities discover evidence in local homicides. Unknown to the detectives he befriended, Harm was also a practicing vampire and cannibal, ultimately credited with slaughtering at least seven victims in late 1987 and early 1988. 

According to investigators, Harm -- a widower whose wife "committed suicide" in 1982 -- would cruise the Stockholm nightclubs in his search for female prey. Instead of winding up at Harm's apartment, the unlucky ladies were delivered to the morgue where Harm solved crimes by day, then murdered and dismembered on the operating table.

An accomplice, Dr. Thomas Allgren, was occasionally called upon to join Harm in a feast of human flesh, though he apparently did not initiate the murder scheme. Harm's final victim, model Katrina da Costa, was decapitated with a power saw in the presence of Harm's five-year-old daughter, the child later recreating the crime for police by plucking the head from a doll. 

Convicted of da Costa's murder in the spring of 1988, Harm and Allgren were committed for psychiatric evaluation, detectives estimating that at least six other slayings might be charged against them at a later time. With Harm's bizarre activities in mind, a new investigation has been opened in the death of his wife, Christine, found hanging in their bedroom six years prior to Harm's arrest.

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers


Teet Haerm

"It's obvious this man has a scalpel and knows how to use it . . . You don't find that kind of cutting edge on an ordinary knife. He knows precisely where all the internal organs are. Which makes it easy for him to remove the heart, the liver, the kidneys or the womb."

Taken from a report filed by Dr. Haerm on a victim of the Stockholm serial killer.

To begin with I'll sort out the names. Some books refer to the young witness in this case as Teet Haerm's young daughter and others refer to her as being Dr. Allgrens daughter. I guess that I'll let you decide on the identity as I am not 100% certain either way (although I believe that she is Dr. Haerms daughter). ALSO the name of the doctor himself - Dr. Teet Haerm. Sometimes it is spelt Haerm, sometimes Harm, and sometimes Härm. Since I prefer Haerm that's the one I'll use, okay? So let's get to the story.

Dr. Haerm is almost alone in his field when it comes to murder. You see the good doctor was head forensic psychologist for the police in Stockholm, Sweden. He was very highly respected in the field as well.

So let us start this story in 1984. Haerm was a medical examiner that was used regularly by Stockholm police in the cities murder cases. He had also been published in many forensic medical journals which had made sure that he was well on the way to becoming an established expert in the field. His pet topics were suicide by strangulation and the methods of sexual psychopaths. All his success was seen as triumph in the face of adversity as his wife had killed herself two years earlier leaving Teet to bring up their daughter alone.

On July 19, 1984, the carefully dissected body of Catrine de Costa was found in garbage bags on a police sports ground. Dr. Haerm was called in and he reconstructed the body (except for the head and one breast which could not be found). D. Haerm was able to find the identity of the body through fingerprints.

One week later the good doctor was called in again. 26-year-old prostitute Annika Mors was found dead in a public park. Dr. Haerm found that she had been savagely raped, then strangled and mutilated. He also said that he believed the same perpetrator has committed the earlier murder of de Costa. Dr. Haerm told the head investigator in the case that,

"This surgery was done in a very professional manner. . . the person who did this must have medical training."

On August 1st another body was found. Kristine Cravache, 27, was found naked and strangled in Stockholm's red light district.

Over the next few weeks Lena Grans, Cats Falk, Lena Bofors, Lena Manson and Lota Svenson all disappeared. Police assumed that they all suffered the same fate as the first three.

One of these women, Lena Bofors, had promised to supply police with information on the murderer, whom she said worked for the police. Unfortunately for police and Lena she was never seen again following her promise of 'naming names'.

Not having any real clues to go on police chose to blanket the red light district. All prostitutes were questioned about strange men. As one would expect they received quite a few tit bits of information, but almost all mentioned one guy in particular, a man driving a white VW.

Once police did a check on the white VW van they came up with a name that surprised them, Dr. Teet Haerm. He was bought in for questioning.

While Haerm was being questioned police searched his home. There they found something very disturbing - a picture of his wife choking to death. I guess that it would have been hard for her to have taken this picture as she had apparently hung herself. The police believed they had another murder on their hands.

But police still didn't have enough to prove anything definite so they had to release the doctor. The fact that nothing had been proven against him his employer still found reason to fire him from his job.

While Haerm was trying to find his feet back on the street without a job, with a massive stigma attached to his name, police continued to look into the serial murder case that he was suspected of.

But police were getting nowhere, if it was Dr. Haerm who had acted out these murders he had covered his tracks much to well, or so it seemed at this stage.

In March 1985 the bodies of two of the missing prostitutes were found. Lena Grans and Cats Falk were found in a car submerged near the sea near Hamarby. They were killed in a similar manner to the earlier victims.

On January 7, 1986, another body was found. Tazunga Toyonaga, a Japanese student, was found in Copenhagen. She had also been strangled and mutilated.

One of Dr. Haerm's best friends was Dr. Thomas Allgren. Dr. Allgren also had a secret passion, but his was much more nasty than Teet's, he liked to play with his little daughter, Karin. Favourite games probably included "Doctors and Nurses", "Where's My Finger?" and "Suck on Daddies Cock." Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for being close to your kids, but sometimes you can get just a little too close, and this arsehole had gone well over the line.

So when police found out about this sicko's pastimes they were quick to pounce on him. He didn't take his time in admitting his 'love' for his 4 year old daughter. He also, when prompted, told police that his friend Teet was present on some occasions when he molested the little girl. But he went further, he told police that he had helped butcher prostitutes with his friend also.

Allgren told police that Haerm picked up prostitutes from the street and took them back to the morgue. Once there he would 'do his business', then strangle and dismember them.

Allgren told police that Haerm was intent on wiping whores off the face of the earth. He also said that Haerm was very fond of eating the prostitutes flesh. I guess butchering whores can make you pretty hungry. According to Allgren, it was alway Haerm who initiated the murders, never him.

On October 28, 1987, Haerm was arrested and charged with the murder of seven prostitutes, his wife and the Japanese student.

Now we get to my biggest problem in the case, the prosecutions lead witness - Haerm's 5 year old daughter (sometimes referred to as Karin Allgren). Apparently she witnessed the two doctors behead a whore with a power-saw. Now before you go thinking that the word of a five year old is okay, I'll tell you that she was TWO at the time of the murder. She was FIVE when she testified. What the prosecution want us to believe is that she was able to remember something that happened when she was TWO YEARS OLD. Personally I think this is a load of shit. To even expect people to believe this crap seems insulting to their intelligence, but prosecutors were able to find twelve people who bought it, and unfortunately these were the twelve people in the jury box.

"They threw the head away. . . and then the lady was chopped up."

Both Haerm and Allgren were found guilty of one murder, prostitute Catrine de Costa, and were both given life sentences.


In May 1988 Dr. Teet Haerm and Dr. Thomas Allgren were given a retrial. I guess a judge realised how stupid it was to convict a man on the word on an accomplice who admitted his part in the crime under extreme duress and a three year old memory of a five year old child.

The new judge found that while both men probably committed the act of murder there was a high level of doubt. He ordered both doctors to be released.

As far as I know these two are still living the life of free men.

The Wacky World of Murder


The real-life Swedish murder that inspired Stieg Larsson

Long before the books of Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell shone a light on Sweden’s dark underbelly, there was the murder of Catrine da Costa. It's a case that continues to shock, baffle and divide the nation.

By Julie Bindel -

November 30, 2010

Malmskillnadsgatan, Stockholm, used to be where street prostitutes in the capital gathered. The 600m-long road in the city centre was always teeming with drug-addicted women at night, weaving in and out of the traffic, some barely able to stand.

This was the street where Catrine da Costa, a 28-year-old prostitute and heroin addict, sold herself. A police mugshot, taken after she was arrested for soliciting, shows a pretty young woman with pale freckled skin and sad eyes. Her light coloured hair is feathery against a thin neck.

Da Costa was last seen in Malmskillnadsgatan on June 10 1984. She had previously been married to and had a son with a Portuguese man. Her mother, to whom she was close, raised the alarm after not hearing from her daughter for a few days.

Five weeks later some of her remains were discovered in a bin bag near Solna, north of Stockholm, and close to the Department of Forensic Medicine at the Karolinska Institute. Almost three weeks later, another bin bag full of da Costa’s body parts was discovered less than a mile away. The head and some internal organs were missing, and have never been found.

It is not unusual for street prostitutes to be murdered, but the mutilation made this case different. The case, known in Sweden as styckmordet (the ‘cutting up murder’), gave rise to an almost unprecedented public outrage. It has spawned four books, several television documentaries and countless newspaper and academic articles in Sweden over the years.

The discovery of the body parts, and the arrest of two seemingly respectable men for da Costa’s murder, provoked the women of Sweden to organise against male brutality. They marched through the city centres; circulated petitions; and appeared on television programmes protesting against the ill-treatment of women, particularly vulnerable females such as da Costa. The case was to lead to a change in the law on prostitution; men who pay for sex are now criminalised. Yet outside Sweden this dark and twisted tale has received little attention.

Until the da Costa case, Sweden liked to think of itself as a respectable, liberal country where not much happened. Today, thanks to the uniquely dark and grisly novels of Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson, we know that isn’t the case.

Larsson, a life-long opponent of violence against women, witnessed a brutal rape when he was just 15; the Swedish title of his book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was Men Who Hate Women. And Mankell has often said that the underlying purpose of his Wallander books is to ask the question ‘what went wrong with Swedish society?’ For many, the answer is ‘Catrine da Costa’.

But who killed her? Last July, the statute of limitations on the case ran out, which means no one can ever be tried again for the crime. Half of Sweden believes that they know who killed da Costa, except they got away with it. The other half believes the alleged murderers’ arrest and trial was the worst miscarriage of justice ever to occur in Scandinavia. The suspects may have been cleared, but their names have been blackened.

At the time da Costa went missing, two bright, successful doctors named Teet Härm and Thomas Allgen were working in Stockholm, progressing well in their lives and careers. Four years later, they were on trial for murder, their reputations in ruins.

Although acquitted in court of the murder, the two men’s innocence was by no means confirmed. Dismissing the case, the trial judge even declared that though murder could not be proved, he was convinced that they had cut up the body. Ever since the first finger of suspicion was pointed at them a quarter of a century ago, Härm and Allgen have been suing the Swedish government for 40million krona (just over £3m) in an attempt to finally clear their names. But earlier this year the Attunda District Court ruled that the doctors are not entitled to financial compensation. Kammarrätt, Sweden’s main administrative court, withdrew Härm and Allgen’s licences to practise medicine in 1991. Since then there have been numerous legal attempts to strike the remarks of the judge. Neither suspect has been employed since first arrested.

I travelled to Sweden to ask those involved in the case if Härm and Allgen are the victims of a prejudiced media-led campaign. Or are they cold-blooded psychopaths and master manipulators of their supporters?

Teet Härm was a young forensic pathologist working at Karolinska Institute when the body parts were found. In a photograph taken in the early Eighties, Härm looks pale and thin, with cheekbones jutting out from under small, staring eyes. One eyebrow is higher than the other, giving him a look of perpetual inquisitiveness. He was regularly called upon by police to help solve murders and unexplained deaths.

At 30, Härm had already published papers and spoken at international conferences on his main topic of interest – death by strangulation. Härm had personal experience of this type of death. In 1982, two years before da Costa died, his first wife was found hanged in their bedroom.

Although the death was ruled a suicide by the coroner, police had their suspicions that Härm had murdered her. Ann-Catherine was found hanging from the side of a bed with a ligature around her neck. She was, however, dressed up for a night out. Two months later, Härm submitted his very first paper on strangulation.

He was, by then, considered somewhat of an expert on sexual violence. A paper he published weeks after his wife’s death, entitled ‘Face and Neck Injuries Due to Resuscitation Versus Throttling’ is cited in an American publication, the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence Investigation and Prosecution of Strangulation Cases.

Police officers had noted that Härm’s response to his wife’s death seemed unusual and callous. He was viewed by many as cold, arrogant and, in the words of one former colleague, ‘creepy’. Härm took great interest in his work; would invite friends to view post-mortems; and was a consumer of violent pornography and frequent buyer of prostitutes. He had been known to send unsolicited post- mortem reports to friends, complete with photographs.

His wife was in the process of divorcing Härm when she died. After the discovery of the bin bags, Härm’s former father-in-law contacted the police. He’d reported his suspicions of Härm at the time of his daughter’s death and now thought the young doctor could have killed da Costa.

During a visit to Sweden in 2007, I met the lawyer representing the suspects, Anders Angell, who died last year. ‘I have always viewed this case as a gross miscarriage of justice,’ he told me, ‘and I do believe that Ann-Catherine’s father, who always thought Teet was perverted, simply made up his mind that his son-in-law was guilty of the styckmordet when he read about it in the press.’

As a result of the tip-off from Härm’s father-in-law, when police set about their investigation, Teet Härm’s photo was among the pictures of suspects that officers trawling the red light area showed to the prostitutes. Almost 50 of the women said they recognised Härm from Malmskillnadsgatan. One woman said she was frightened of him and that he had previously been violent to her.

Later, during questioning, Härm admitted buying sex ‘only once’, after a fight with his wife, but in fact he was known as a regular among the street women. Härm was arrested for both murders in December 1984. His house was searched and police recovered a number of items, including a knife in a leather sheath. After five days of questioning, he was released without charge.

Working with Härm at the forensic department was his former supervisor, Jovan Rajs. He had performed the post-mortem examination on da Costa’s body parts and initially told the police he thought that, based on the incisions, the perpetrator could have been a butcher. Rajs, together with police investigators, visited a slaughterhouse to examine the method used for cutting up animals.

He was initially sceptical about Härm being a suspect in the case, but was soon to change his mind. He claimed, after a second examination, that the incisions used to dissect da Costa had probably been made by someone skilled in dissecting human, rather than animal, corpses. Eventually, Rajs became so convinced of his former colleague’s guilt that he told police, in a statement in January 1985: ‘I think if you do not establish his guilt, then you might as well all go and hang yourselves.’

That same year, a young GP at a hospital in Alingsås, near Gothenburg, Thomas Allgen, was going through a separation from his wife Christina. Allgen, who is older than Härm and whose warm brown eyes and perpetual smile made him look like a favourite uncle, knew Härm, as they had worked together for 18 months at a hospital in Stockholm between 1980 and 1981. Allgen had invited Härm and his new girlfriend to dinner at his home shortly after the death of Härm’s wife in 1982. Christina Allgen took a strong dislike to Härm and he was not invited back.

At the time of Härm’s arrest in December, Allgen was under investigation following an allegation from his wife that he had sexually abused their daughter, Agda (not her real name), aged two. She remembered Härm and had realised that he was the styckmordet suspect hinted at in the media.

After months of investigations, Christina sensationally reported that her daughter had said things that suggested she was present during the cutting up of da Costa’s body. Agda also made reference, it was alleged, that Härm was with her father during the dissection.

Christina had worked out soon after the initial arrest who the suspect was – she had telephoned the police after reading the press reports describing the suspect as ‘a young doctor’ and asked if the man they were holding was Härm, which they confirmed. When Agda began to ‘disclose’ what Christina believed was hard evidence that the two men were the killers, she said she felt she had no choice but to involve the police.

Christina reported her theory to the authorities, and a child psychiatrist and psychologist were engaged by police to examine the evidence. Both found it credible.

Compelling evidence of murder was building against the two suspects. During the latter stages of the pretrial investigation, in autumn 1987, a married couple who owned a photo shop close to the Karolinska Institute contacted the police. They said that years before, in the summer of 1984, they had developed and processed prints of a film roll that contained horrible images of a body cut into pieces. They, and their employees, had apparently been very upset by these pictures, they said, but didn’t notify the police of their existence.

The owners told police that the customers – two young men – had claimed that the pictures were part of a top secret investigation. The photo shop owners were shown line-ups with the two doctors, and they identified Allgen and, to a lesser extent, Härm.

Härm was arrested for a second time in October 1987, more than three years after the discovery of the body parts. Allgen was also arrested – for child abuse and the murder of Catrine da Costa. At the pretrial hearing, the senior prosecutor ruled that evidence from the scores of prostitutes who had encountered Härm was inadmissible, because the women were ‘unreliable’. He also made derogatory comments to the press about them. This, alongside the fact that one of the suspects had been accused of abusing his own daughter, added fuel to a growing feminist campaign for justice for da Costa.

At the end of the murder trial, the jury returned a guilty verdict at the District Court. However, before the verdict could be confirmed by the judge, a number of jurors gave interviews to the press. As a result, the High Court overturned the conviction and ruled that the two doctors were free to go.

That could have been the end of the case, but a public outcry, greatly assisted by the tabloid press, followed. These two dangerous men, it was claimed, had got away with a heinous crime. After a campaign led by the journalist Hanna Olsson, who was then researching the book Catrine and Justice (1990), a retrial was ordered. (Olsson had interviewed a number of prostitutes for governmental research, one of whom was da Costa. She had got to know her very well.)

At the end of the second trial, Härm and Allgen were acquitted of murder. But the judge, swayed by the child’s testimony and the proximity of da Costa’s body parts to the hospital, announced his belief that they were guilty of cutting up the body. They could not be sentenced because the statute of limitations had run out for that crime, which, at the time in Sweden, was seen as a relatively minor one.

Psychologist Lennart Sjöberg, professor at the school of economics at Stockholm University, had been recommended to me as an expert on the da Costa case. Sjöberg is, he admits, ‘a bit obsessed’ by it and has written research papers on the topic.

Why does he think the case became so notorious in Sweden from the outset? ‘The feminists really put pressure on the prosecutors to retry the doctors,’ Sjöberg says. ‘They believed that the case was symbolic of powerful men getting away with abusing helpless women.’

Sjöberg’s major criticism of the way the investigation was conducted rests on the validity of the evidence from Allgen’s daughter. ‘The child was only 18 months old when she was supposed to witness the cutting up,’ he says, ‘and yet she was supposed to be able to, some two years later, give credible evidence to child psychologists that is used against the doctors in court? Unbelievable.’

Agda’s testimony threw up the whole issue of so-called ‘false memory syndrome’, developed by those who have allegedly been falsely accused of child sexual abuse. Supporters of the notion of such a syndrome, which is supported by a number of psychiatrists, argue that adults, whether parents or psychologists, can mistakenly label a child’s ‘fantasy’ or ‘imagination’ for real memories of abuse.

Leif GW Persson is head of research at the Swedish National Police Board. He has worked as adviser to the police for 30 years and was involved in the da Costa investigation from the beginning. ‘When I first heard about the case and the apprehension of Teet Härm, I was sceptical,’ he says. ‘I spent thousands of hours studying this investigation and I am convinced that both the doctors accused are innocent. There is no evidence whatsoever. [The investigation was run by] lousy and biased cops, and the media was running berserk.’

Mihkel Kärmas, a television journalist based in Estonia (where Härm’s parents were born), has also followed the case for a number of years and has interviewed Härm on a number of occasions. The media have led the case against the two doctors, Kärmas believes, given licence partly because of their unsavoury lifestyles.

‘Teet fits the Hannibal Lecter of Sweden image,’ Kärmas says, referring to his piercing stare and square jaw. ‘He is a tabloid editor’s wet dream.’ According to Angell, Härm’s former mother-in-law was also, at the time of his arrest, employed by the Swedish tabloid Expressen, a newspaper which was to be at the forefront of the later campaign against Härm.

Having initially been convinced that the two men were guilty and had escaped justice, I began to doubt that version of events. Härm and Allgen appeared to be unsavoury characters whom the police had decided were guilty due to circumstantial rather than forensic evidence.

Desperate to get Härm and Allgen’s side of the story, I made several attempts to contact them through Angell. Allgen has long refused to speak about the case and Härm is very reluctant. After weeks of trying, Härm finally agreed to correspond with me via email. It is impossible to speak on the phone as Härm lost most of his hearing when attempting suicide in 1985, as a result of the adverse effects of the investigation.

I ask if he killed da Costa. ‘I’m innocent and my life has been totally ruined by all this slander,’ Härm wrote. ‘It has been impossible for me to get any kind of work after what happened to me due to all those rumours that were spread about me all over the country and abroad.’

If the two suspects are not guilty, how did da Costa die? Three months before she was found, a Polish butcher named Stanislaw Gonerka had been released from a psychiatric institution. He had been serving a sentence for the murder of a young woman in 1974, whom he strangled and cut up into pieces before packing her remains into bin bags. Her head, like that of Catrine da Costa, has never been found. Gonerka had no alibi and had been seen among Stockholm prostitutes at the time of da Costa’s disappearance.

Police knew him to be very dangerous, particularly when drunk, but dismissed him as a suspect at a very early stage of the investigation, for unknown reasons. Many of the prostitutes in the area knew Gonerka as a customer. Several said that he frightened them. He died in 1987.

The Prosecutor General recently applied to the court for a search order to obtain tissue samples collected and held at the Karolinska hospital from Gonerka. Skin samples were taken from his body at the time of his death, to see if it matches a number of hairs found with da Costa’s remains in the bin bags. If it matches, the two suspects could be presumed innocent.

But will we ever truly know who killed Catrine da Costa? Gonerka’s name has, according to police sources, been discovered in da Costa’s diary. But could he simply have been a customer and transferred his hair to her body during sexual contact?

‘There are a great number of people who will get their reputation destroyed when the truth is revealed,’ Angell told me the last time we spoke before he died. ‘These men have been branded as the most notorious killers of our time and yet they are totally innocent.’

But we will now never know for sure who killed Catrine da Costa. She continues to haunt Swedish society, her sad mugshot rarely leaving the news. A strange legacy for a woman who few cared about when she was alive.


Dr. Teet Haerm

The Vampire Doctor

STOCKHOLM, Sweden: The brutal murder of Katrina de Costa, a prostitute in the red light district. Began the case against two rather unlikely suspects. Over a five-year-period, between 1982 and 1987, at least seven prostitutes solicited by the night stalking pair were pulled from the streets and seedy nightclubs. Dismembered and bloodless bodies were found strewn around fields, parks, and ravines in the city suburbs. The deaths of two socialites and a Japanese student were also believed to be the work of the same pair.

What the investigating detectives were unprepared for was the identity of the perpetrator. The medical mind they had been searching for was none other than their friend and valued colleague, Dr. Teet Haerm, the senior police medical examiner. Haerm was one of the world's most respected pathologists, and his best friend, Dr. Thomas Allgen was a family doctor and dermatologist.

At their trial, information was brougth forth that shocked the entire nation. Dr. Haerm was regularly called in to perform official autopsies on his own victims. The good doctor had a few skeletons scattered around his office as well - literally. He kept the skulls and brains of some of his victims, and the heart of his young wife on prominent display. (He is also believed to be responsible for the death of his wife, Anne Catherine, but the death was officially ruled as a suicide.)

The body of Annika Mors was found in Hagensten Park. Under a bridge leading to the suburb of Sollentuna, police found the body of Kristine Cravache. In both cases Dr. Haerm preformed the autopsies, showing nothing but cold detachment to the investigators. Playmate and confidante of the country's leading citizens, Lena Grans and her close friend, television announcer, Cats Falk were reported missing. Shortly after, prostitute Lena Bofors dropped some interesting information on the police. She told them the murders were being committed by a team, and she thought she knew who they were. That visit to the police station was to be her last. She was never found, neither was the next victim, Lota Svenson.

Detectives, out of anger, anguish, and an overwhelming frustration began cross-checking and re-interviewing more than 600 street walkers. The description of a boyish-looking, well-dressed young man kept appearing, as did the mention of the white Volkswagen Rabbit he drove. One terrified young woman, who refused to be identified in any way, told police she had been beaten by a client matching the same description before having sex, then he dropped her off at her home as if nothing had happened. The quick-witted and badly abused hooker had the presence of mind to note the attackers appearance and clothing, as well as the liscence number off the VW Rabbit.

When police ran a check on the number, it turned out to be none other than the medical examiner, Dr. Haerm. It was at this time that the police put the good doctor under heavy surveillance and did a thourough background check on him. The bizzarre story of his wife's death came to light a short time later. She was found hanging from the end of her bed by Haerm and (coincidentally) the lady he moved in with not long after his wife's death.

Detectives were stunned when they confiscated copies of the medical journal, The Lancet, in which the ambitious pathologist had actually published studies of his own crimes. But dispite this evidence, the case against Haerm was entirely circumstantial, and it was thrown out of court - temporarily.

Haerm was fired from his job with no official reason given and he set himself up in private business where he attracted a popular practice, listing a large number of attractive young women.

In 1985, the skeletons of Lena Grans and Cats Falk were founnd in Lena's submerged car under Hamarby Dock. They were positively identified, but the cause of their deaths was never fully investigated. In 1986, a copycat murder in Copenhagen, Denmark was reported. Japanese student, Tazugu Toyonaga was tortured, strangled and mutilated by a skilled hand. Again, the case was too circumstantial to take to court.

In an assumed unrelated case, charges were brought against Dr. Thomas Allgen by his estranged wife concerning the sexual molestation of his five-year-old daughter. The psychologically disturbed Karin Allgen was interviewed by social workers trying to get to the root cause of the abuse. Even though the child was only two years old when the murder had occurred, Karin was able to recount the grisly murder of Katrina de Costa in graphic detail as only some who witnessed the event could.

Allgen pled guilty to the incest charges and admitted his part in the de Costa murder. He claimed to be a willing part of Haerm's vigilantes, that they lured prostitutes to the city morgue. And not only did they torture and mutilate their victims, they also practiced, cannibalism, blood-consumption, and necrophilia.

On 16 September, 1988, the jury convicted Haerm of the de Costa murder and sentanced him to life in prison. Allgen was also sentanced to life.

Unfortunately, the trial was overturned on a technicality by the Swedish Supreme Court. When the retrial was held in May and both defendants were found 'Not Guilty'. Odd as it may sound, the court wrote that reasonable cause existed to find the defendants guilty, yet both men were released.


The Ingrid Pitt column: Doctors of death

Ingrid Pitt -

Ingrid recalls the case of two murdering Swedish physicians that rivalled anything in the Harold Shipman catalogue of horror...

September 1, 2008

I was sitting in the doctor’s waiting room leafing through a magazine. An article with the intriguing title of The Murdering Class attracted my attention. It seemed appropriate that it should be about doctors. A few years ago I wrote a trilogy of books about assorted gruesome subjects. A fourth, about 'deadly doctors', was abandoned when I left the publisher. The article reminded me of one of the most gruesome twosomes I had researched. I think the doctor theme has come back to haunt me...

A few years ago a couple of doctors in Sweden turned themselves into latterday hybrids of Messrs Hyde and Jekyll with Jack the Ripper overtones;  Dr. Teet Haerm and Dr. Lars Thomas were pathologists working for the police. They both had exemplary records and were looked on as pillars of the community. Haerm was a charming, outgoing type. Good with children and happy to pitch in and help in anything that was going on. Thomas was younger and unsure of himself. He was attracted to the bonhomie and confidence of Haerm and was a willing accomplice. 

When the body of a 30 year old prostitute, Catarina da Costa, was found wrapped in a plastic sheet and stuffed under a sports pavilion, pathologist Haerm was called in. The body had been dissected and the bits and pieces neatly tied in a bundle. The body parts were taken to the mortuary.  After a brief examination of the dismembered body Dr. Haerm opined that it was the work of a butcher. For a week the police hassled every butcher and hunter in the district but drew a blank. Then another body was found. Another prostitute. Haerm confirmed that in his opinion the same person who had cut up Da Costa had done the deed, but now he said that in his opinion a surgeon had perpetrated the dissection. He realised that if he continued to maintain that the murderer was a butcher and the body was examined by another doctor the fact that the body had been carved up by a skilled surgeon would be discovered.  Just to show how open and above board he was, he called in his colleague, Lars Thomas, for a second opinion. 

This was the sort of headline the newspapers loved and soon the Surgical Serial Killer was blasted across the front pages. The working girls on the streets of the red light district hardly needed any warning that they were in danger. They were resentful rather than grateful for the extra interest the police were taking in civilization’s oldest profession. With the reluctant help of the girls the police began to get a profile of the man they were looking for. In spite of all their efforts the police were no nearer making an arrest than when the first body was discovered. More dismembered bodies began to turn up. Haerm was enjoying himself. He had no illusions about breathing life into the decimated stiffs but it was more interesting than doing jigsaw puzzles.

Haerm, in spite of his disturbingly gruesome hobby, was an intelligent man. He knew that each time he picked up an unwilling playmate he was running the gauntlet of the increased police patrols and the bright eyes of the sisterhood from which he purloined his victims. But that was part of the game - the thrill! Thomas, although firmly under the spell of Haerm, was obviously a weak link. Haerm confided in Thomas that he, Haerm, was in fact a High Priest of an international sect of Druids dedicated to cleansing the world of sin...

By now the two medical ghouls had developed a well-oiled modus operandi: Haerm would patrol the streets until he found a lone working girl. He would tell her about the party he was throwing at his house and promise her a fistful of kronor if she would come and entertain his friends. As soon as she entered the house Haerm and Thomas would overpower the woman, strangle her and then strip the body.  With the body still warm they would take turns in having intercourse with it and then play-act sex games. When the blood congealed they would take the body out to the garage and dismember it. Haerm would then select a part of the body and take it into the house and cook and eat it. This he explained to the credulous Thomas, was all part of the Druid ritual to assimilate the soul of the depraved and cleanse it. 

The police were clueless. Haerm worked assiduously building up a profile of the man who fit the bill of the predatory serial killer. Then the police got a break. One of the girls remembered part of the number plate on a car that she had seen circulating in the area on occasions when one or other of the prostitutes was killed. The police ran a check and one of the cars belonged to their very own Dr. Teet Haerm. He told them a plausible story about wanting to get a feel of the area in which the girls worked to help him with his profiling. Haerm and the detectives had a good laugh about the situation and Haerm went home.

After he left, the detectives stopped smiling and ran more checks on him. Nothing was out of the ordinary. Well maybe his wife committing suicide was a little unusual.  Haerm realised that now suspicion had fallen on him, however fleetingly, he had to clean up his act. The very fact that his name had turned up on the police blotter meant that he was suspended from the pathology department for the time being. He cooperated when the detectives came and made a routine check of his house. They found a photograph of his dead wife with a rope around her neck. He claimed a colleague had sent it to him and he had forgotten about it. As soon as the police left he called Thomas. Haerm and Thomas went to work scouring the garage and house of any clues that might be picked up by a forensic team. 

After so many months without a breakthrough the police were near to shelving the investigation. Then three bodies turned up in rapid succession. Bodies that Haerm and Thomas had confidently expected to be hidden forever. The victims bore all the hallmarks of the serial killer they were hunting.  Unfortunately the bodies offered up no more clues and the search for the killer was put on the back burner. The breakthrough, when it came, was from a totally unexpected source.

A school teacher reported that she suspected that one of her pupils was a victim of abuse.  When questioned the girl said that the abuser was her father, the eminent Dr. Lars Thomas. Thomas at first denied any misconduct.  Questioned further, he broke down and confessed to abusing his daughter - and more. Much more! Once he began he couldn’t stop. Before long he was pouring out the story of his evangelic mission with his friend, the 'high priest' Teet Haerm. Haerm was charged with the murders of eight women: Annica Mors, Catarina da Costa, Kristine Cravache, Lena Grans, Cate Falk, Lena Manson, Lola Svenson, Tazuga Toyanaga and his wife Ann Catrine.

A further body, that of Lena Boyers, was never recovered, but her disappearance was attributed to the work of Haerm. Haerm pleaded insanity but the jury wasn’t impressed and he was sentenced in 1988 to life in prison. The weak link in Haerm’s crusade to make the world a better place, Lars Thomas, was found guilty of the rape and murder of Catarina da Costa and being an accessory after the fact in the other cases. He was also charged with an incestuous act with his daughter. The life sentence handed down to him was the same as that of his partner in crime.

Until the case of Harold Shipman came up, doctors Haerm and Thomas held the dubious honour of being the most active medical serial killers in modern times. “Miss Pitt” sounded like a date with destiny when the doctor called me into his surgery.



Catrine da Costa, a 28-year-old prostitute and heroin addict.


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