Was Sweden's Strangest Murder the Work of a Vampire? May 22, 2015 22:57:00 GMT -5
Post by Joanna on May 22, 2015 22:57:00 GMT -5
Was Sweden's Strangest Murder the Work of a Vampire?
Precious little information exists about what’s known as the Atlas Vampire Murder, so named for the neighborhood in Stockholm where it took place in 1932 ... and for the gruesome crime-scene details left behind by an unknown assailant. Quite obviously, the latter is why this long-cold case is still so tantalizing.
On Sunday, May 1, 1932, Lilly Lindström, a 32-year-old divorcée who made her living as a prostitute, discussed her plans for the evening’s May Day celebrations with her friend, Minnie Jansson, a 32-year-old hooker who lived in the same building. To those in the neighborhood who knew her, Lilly was known as the “call girl,” not because of her occupation, but because she was the only resident who had a telephone. While the two women talked, the phone rang and the man at the other end of the line was a customer who asked if he could come over. Jansson left, but later that day, Lilly knocked on her door asking if she had any condoms she could spare. Several hours later, when Jansson knocked on Lilly’s door, there was no answer. After three days of not seeing her friend, Jansson contacted the police.
On May 4, when the police entered Lilly’s small, dark apartment and their eyes adjusted to the lack of light, they beheld a shocking scene. Lilly’s nude, pale-as-ivory corpse lay face-down on the bed and her clothing was folded neatly on a nearby chair. It was clear the woman had been dead for two or three days and a condom, still in the victim’s anus, made it clear she had engaged in sexual activity just before she was killed.
The cause of death was repeated blows from a blunt object to the woman’s head. Disturbingly, when the postmortem was completed, it was revealed that most – actually, practically all – of Lilly’s blood had been drained from her body. There was saliva on her neck and other parts of her body and police feared the blood-stained gravy ladle discovered in the room had been used for the purpose of drinking her blood. Thus, the suspect quickly became known as the “Atlas Vampire.”
In the days before DNA evidence, investigators weren’t able to do much, despite the abundance of bodily fluids at the scene. Because it is likely Lilly’s last customer was also her killer, as many as 80 of her regular clients were questioned, but no one was ever charged with the crime – and the question of where all her blood went remains a mystery to this day.
The Atlas Vampire case is still intriguing enough to occupy a display case in Stockholm’s Police Museum (above). The photo shows the layout of Lilly’s apartment and evidence gathered at the crime scene. The packets marked “Amor” are vintage condom wrappers.
Sources: Cheryl Eddy, TrueCrime, May 21, 2015, and ListVerse.