Fredrik von Sydow
(1908 – 7 March 1932) was a law student who became known for the "Sydow
murders" in Stockholm and Uppsala on 7 March 1932.
Fredrik von Sydow came from an upperclass family
in Stockholm and studied Law at Uppsala University.
On March 7, 1932, his father Hjalmar von Sydow,
who was a conservative member of parliament and the managing
director and chairman of the Swedish Employers' Federation and
two maids employed in the household were found dead in the
family residence in Stockholm, all bludgeoned to death with an
iron bar. Even though the police soon came to suspect the son,
Fredrik, it took a few hours before they were able to locate
Fredrik von Sydow had taken a taxi with his wife
Sofie to Uppsala, where they entered the restaurant of Hotel
Gillet and ordered Champagne, caviar and oysters. When the
police eventually arrived to the restaurant, Fredrik von Sydow
took up a gun and shot his wife and himself to death.
The motives of Fredrik von Sydow have never been
clarified, but the relative prominence and public position of
the family made the murders a significant scandal and the object
of much speculation. The writer Sigfrid Siwertz wrote a play,
Ett brott ("A crime", 1933) based on the murders, on which a
1940 film of the same name was based.
In the early 21st century two books were written
about the Sydow murders, Uppsala attorney Anders Frigell's
von Sydowmordens gåta ("The riddle of the von Sydow
murders"; Uppsala: Uppsala Publ. House, 2002) and the novel I
skuggan av ett brott ("In the shadow of a crime", Stockholm:
Bromberg, 2004) by the writer Helena Henschen, who is herself a
granddaughter of Hjalmar and niece of Fredrik von Sydow.