Thomas Quick The making of a serial killer

Hannes Råstam

Book - 2013

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Subjects
Published
Edinburgh : Canongate 2013.
Language
English
Swedish
Physical Description
xv, 459 pages ; 20 cm
ISBN
9781782110705
1782110704
Main Author
Hannes Råstam (author)
Other Authors
Henning Koch, 1962- (translator)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

There's no denying the popularity of serial killers, both fictional and real. In the case of Swedish murderer Thomas Quick, that popularity played a part in creating a serial killer, denying justice to the families of murder victims across Sweden and Norway. Thomas Quick was the assumed name of Sture Bergwall, who was incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital for his role in a bank robbery. Quick was also accused of molesting several boys. In the hospital, he discovered that confessing to murders earned him respect, interest from staff members, and a free-flowing supply of benzodiazepines. Eventually, Quick confessed to 30 murders, supplying investigators with grisly details of sexual assaults, dismemberments, and cannibalism. Quick was convicted of eight of those killings and is widely regarded as Sweden's worst criminal. Journalist and documentarian the late Råstam (1956–2012) became interested in the case several years after Quick stopped cooperating and reverted to his birth name, interviewing Bergwall in 2008 and eventually coaxing the truth from him. The author has produced two award-winning documentaries on the Quick proceedings, and this book provides a painstakingly detailed analysis. The confessions were riddled with errors, none of the forensic evidence matched, and the time lines made no sense. Bergwall has since been cleared of the murders though he is still incarcerated. VERDICT Råstam's lengthy dissection of the case will appeal to readers of Scandinavian crime novels, as well as to police procedural buffs.—Kate Sheehan, Waterbury, CT [Page 97]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Investigative journalist Rastam (1956–2012)—who tragically died the day after finishing this manuscript—shares the compulsively readable story of Thomas Quick (whose real name was Sture Bergwall), who came to be known as "Sweden's most notorious serial killer." Though Quick's confessions to more than 30 murders led to eight convictions, Rastram was fascinated by the phenomenon of false confessions, and the more he examined Quick's story, the more problems he found. With painstaking attention to detail, Rastram compiled a devastating list of inconsistencies in Quick's accounts and proof that the information Quick provided was accessible to others. Even more disturbing is the evidence that Swedish law-enforcement fed Quick some of his story, that heavy medication affected him during the confessions, and that Quick's lawyer abrogated his role to force the state to prove its case. This fascinating true crime story, which reads like a detective novel, is a fitting legacy for its author. Agency: Salomonssen Agency. (June) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

In 1992, behind the barbed wire fence of a psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane, Thomas Quick confessed to the murder of an eleven-year-old boy who had been missing for twelve years. Over the next nine years, Quick confessed to more than thirty unsolved murders, revealing he had maimed, raped and eaten the remains of his victims.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

'I wonder what you'd think of me if you found out that I've done something really serious . . .'So begin the confessions of Thomas Quick - Scandinavia's most notorious serial killer. In 1992, behind the barbed wire fence of a psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane, Thomas Quick confessed to the murder of an eleven-year-old boy who had been missing for twelve years. Over the next nine years, Quick confessed to more than thirty unsolved murders, revealing he had maimed, raped and eaten the remains of his victims. In the years that followed, a fearless investigative journalist called Hannes R?stam became obsessed with Quick's case. He studied the investigations in forensic detail. He scrutinised every interrogation, read and re-read the verdicts, watched the police re-enactments and tracked down the medical records and personal police logs - until finally he was faced with a horrifying uncertainty. In the spring of 2008, R?stam travelled to where Thomas Quick was serving a life sentence. He had one question for Sweden's most abominable serial killer. And the answer turned out to be far more terrifying than the man himself . . .