Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mass murderers and 'CSI'

Perhaps it's not so strange that I'm a fan of the television series "CSI." Since I was 15, I have been fascinated by psychopaths and mass murderers.

So much so, that during a school break in the fall of 1994, I took a bus for 2 hours to the town of Falun to visit he site where Mattias Flink, a sergeant in the Swedish Army, shot eight people after a night of angry binge drinking. Notebook in hand and armed with my first very own camera, I walked in his footsteps from the gate of the restricted section of the military base to the park where the six ladies from the auxiliary where maimed with his AK-5.

Newspaper clippings had mapped out exactly where the bodies were found, and I could picture the young male cyclist and the security officer being hit by bullets as well - it was like a fuzzy re-enactment you see on television, where the shadows of those who died reappear to give you an idea of exactly how things went down.

After a couple of hours of research, I had lunch, then took the first bus back home.

Although I never really knew what to do with the materials I had gathered, I organized it with my newspaper clippings in a binder and tucked it away in a drawer of my desk. I briefly considered writing to Flink in prison so he could answer a list of questions I had, but I quickly abandoned the idea, realizing only crazy people write to mass murderers.

Flink, who is serving a 24-year sentence (lifetime, in Sweden), has denied all interviews by news media. After being threatened by fellow prisoners who were disgusted with his actions, Flink got a new identity and was moved to another prison. His request for a lower sentence was denied last year, but he has been allowed to leave the prison unsupervised several times due to good behavior. The families of the victimes have repeatedely protested his parole.

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