Swedish Killer Deemed Sane

A Swedish man found guilty of a killing spree targeting mainly immigrants in the southern city of Malmo isn’t criminally insane, a district court said Wednesday.

The assessment, by Sweden’s National Board of Forensic Medicine, means 40-year-old Peter Mangs, who has been found guilty of two murders and four attempted murders, will be sentenced to prison.

Mr. Mangs is believed to have been driven by xenophobia to commit the crimes, and he has been mentioned as a “resistance figure” by Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian far-right extremist who killed 77 people in bombing and shooting attacks in Oslo and on Utoya island last summer. However, unlike Mr. Breivik, Mr. Mangs has denied the shootings, which started with the murder of a 66-year-old man of Iranian descent, who was found dead in his home in 2003.

Mr. Mangs wasn’t arrested until November 2010, amid a massive police effort unleashed in Malmo following a string of shootings targeting immigrants in 2009 and 2010.

He was charged with three murders and 12 attempted murders, but the court found the evidence to be sufficient only in two cases of murder, four attempted murders and a number of lesser crimes.

A preliminary psychiatric evaluation found that Mr. Mangs may have been suffering from a mental disorder, but after an eight-week assessment, a separate forensic psychiatric report concluded that he wasn’t afflicted by a disorder at the time of his crimes. Neither does he have a serious mental disorder at present, the psychiatrist said.

The district court in Malmo is expected to hand down a life sentence against Mr. Mangs in October. Convicted felons can apply to have their life sentence converted into a fixed term after serving 10 years, an option most convicts are eventually granted. 74-year old Leif Axmyr, who was convicted of two murders in 1982, has currently been imprisoned for 30 years, the longest period any current convict in Sweden has served a life-sentence without having it converted into a fixed term.

Wall Street Journal