Publisched by Dispatch International March 28, 2013. Third in a series.
In the previous installment we described how completely impossible it was that the two doctors could have managed to pick up da Costa, bring her to the medical investigation clinic, have sex with her, kill her, dismember the body, clean up the autopsy room, bring away the body parts and get back home.
In order to disguise this fact and prevent the doctors from being acquitted, the way the first trial collapsed due to procedural errors and blabbering jurors, the ultrafeminist Hanna Olsson launched a campaign aimed at demolishing the doctors based on emotional arguments.
On the same day that the renewed decision to prosecute came, March 31st, the leftist lawyer Christian Diesen wrote in the communist newspaper Proletären that he was convinced that the doctors were guilty, and that it was frustrating that with their perversions they ”will get away with it because the head of the victim was never found.”
Hanna Olsson and Cristian Diesen were now seen as the standard-bearers of truth, not least among the leftist journalists at the state broadcasters Sveriges Radio and Sveriges Television. They had been convinced by the political and feminist rhetoric surrounding the case about the two high society men and the defiled woman.
The retrial against Thomas Allgén and Teet Härm went much more according to the tastes of Hanna Olsson and Christian Diesen than the first. The prostitute with the diary eventually played a key role, providing support for what the child Karin had said.
Much later, the professor and author Leif GW Persson judged the diary a forgery, and the author Jan Guillou believes that the woman committed perjury in giving her testimony.
During the second trial at the end of May 1988, the witness with the diary made a powerful impression, not least because she previously, in an interview given to Sveriges Television, had explained how a tied-up da Costa had been subjected to throttling sex games in the presence of the small child. But to the police she had given an entirely different story. The possibly forged diary was proclaimed a document of truth by the media.
Public prosecutor Helin’s tactic was to prove both doctors to be perverted with an abnormal sexual interest in defiling weak women. In this way, he was entirely in line with the two self-proclaimed experts Hanna Olsson and Christian Diesen.
Witnesses from the first trial now appeared in court again. The court chose to screen two gory movies which had been confiscated from Teet Härm. That decision was taken after Folkaktionen mot Pornografi, (“The People’s Campaign Against Pornography”), backed by some 70 more or less militant feminist women’s organizations, had written an open letter to the prosecutor, demanding that the movies be shown.
Screening the movies made a great impact in the media, in Sweden as well as abroad, and leftist journalism with its tainted feminist reporting reinforced the image of both doctors as being sexual monsters.
But the judgment at the court of Stockholm on July 8th 1988 became a double surprise. Teet Härm and Thomas Allgén were acquitted of murder. The charge of having dismembered the body fell away due to any such crime being past the statute of limitations.
But the judge, Carl-Anton Spak, also wrote in his verdict, which could not be appealed, that it had been made clear that the two had dismembered the dead body. At a press conference, he said “one could view that as consumer information”.
Three years later, after a series of trials, both doctors lost their licenses to practice. The corruption of justice had now dug itself into the bedrock of Swedish law.
In the next installment, we describe the doctors’ battle, lasting more than 20 years, to obtain justice and redress from the scandalous verdicts.
By Anders Carlgren