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Thomas Quick
Background information
Birth name: Sture Ragnar Bergwall
Born: 26 April 1950 (1950-04-26) (age 59)
Korsnäs, Falun, Sweden
Number of victims: 8+
Span of killings: 1964 – 1993
Country: Sweden, Norway

Thomas Quick (born Sture Ragnar Bergwall, 26 April 1950 in Korsnäs, Falun, Sweden) is a convicted Swedish serial killer who has confessed to more than 30 murders, although he has only eight convictions. With no technical evidence, the only evidence police have held on Quick is his own confessions, and elements in these confessions that have been judged to match classified facts from the police dossiers on the crimes in question (e.g. clothing and birthmarks of victims). The credibility of Quick's confessions has been widely debated in the Swedish media. Critics of these confessions and the trials claim that Quick never murdered anyone, but that he is a compulsive liar. In December 2009 Quick recanted his confessions, and denied taking part in any of the murders for which he was convicted. Quick has since changed his name to his baptismal name Sture Bergwall.


In 1990-1991 Quick was sentenced to lengthy prison terms for armed robbery, and consigned to closed psychiatric care. During therapy he confessed to some 20 murders committed in Sweden and Norway between 1964 and 1990. Two of the confessions led to the solving of an 18 year old murder considered to be unsolvable and a murder in Växjö in 1964. The 1964 crime had passed the Swedish 25-year limit of punition (abolished, though not retroactively in 2010), but with the information given by Quick the case was closed; his story matched information that had never been published about the crime.

Over time, Quick was sentenced for eight murders at six different trials:

  • Charles Zelmanovits, Piteå 1976, Sentence in 1994 - no forensic evidence but a confession.
  • Johan Asplund, Sundsvall, 1980, Sentence in 2001 - No body, no forensics but confession.
  • The Stegehius couple, Appojaure, 1984, Sentence in 1996 - No forensics, but Quick gave information regarding facts which had never been disclosed to the public. This has been put into question later, as Quick had been party to all information before the trial.
  • Yenon Levi, tourist from Israel, Rörshyttan, 1988, Sentence in 1997 - No forensic evidence, but statements included in Quick's testimony were matched against undisclosed police facts. Later on, this has been questioned for reasons similar to the Stegelius case.
  • Therese Johannesen, Drammen, Norway, 1988, Sentence in 1998 - No forensic evidence.
  • Trine Jensen, Oslo, 1981, Sentence in 2000 - No forensic evidence.
  • Gry Storvik, Oslo, 1985 - No forensic evidence, confession; the semen found in victim did not belong to Quick.

(In Sweden a defendant always gets access to the full police-investigation before the trial.)

Quick's confessions and subsequent withdrawal of confessions

In the years following 1990, when Quick was sentenced to closed psychiatric confinement, he confessed to several unsolved murders.[1] His first murder, according to his own accounts, occurred in Växjö in 1964, when Quick was only 14 years old. The victim, Thomas Blomgren, was described by Quick as being the same age but not as strong and tall as himself. The second alleged victim was Alvar Larsson, whom Quick claimed to have murdered at Sirkön in the lake Åsnen outside the town of Urshult. According to Quick's sister he never left Falun at the time of this murder.

The credibility of Quick's confessions has been widely debated in the Swedish media since 1993 and until Quick's withdrawal of the confessions in 2008.[1] There have been doubts about the reliability of his statements since some of the confessions have been proven to be fabrications. Sometimes the victims have turned up, alive and well. Another dubious circumstance about the crimes is the fact that no witness has ever seen Quick at the crime scenes, even though 10,000 people have been interviewed.

Critics of these confessions and the trials claim that Quick never murdered anyone, but that he is a compulsive liar. Among the critics are the parents of a child he confessed to having murdered in the late 1970s. In response to these accusations, Quick himself wrote an article for the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter in 2001, in which he said that he refused to cooperate further with the authorities concerning all open murder investigations.

May 2009: Quick's brother Sten-Owe Bergwall and lawyer Pelle Svensson with their books where they criticise the authorities' handling of the Thomas Quick case.

In November 2006 Thomas Quick's trials were reported to the Swedish Chancellor of Justice by a retired lawyer, Pelle Svensson, on the behalf of two of the murder victims' relatives, who wish to have the trials declared invalid.

Several principals in the field of law and psychiatry, among them Swedish police professor Leif G.W. Persson[2], journalist and writer Jan Guillou[3] and secret sources in the Swedish police [4] all claim that Quick is mentally unstable, but not guilty in many, if any, of the crimes he has confessed. They all describe the case as the "most scandalous" chapter of Scandinavian crime history, branding it as glaring incompetence, naivete and opportunism within the police and judicial system.

Quick withdrew all of his confessions in 2008 during the taping of a TV documentary [4]. He has since handed in an application for a retrial of the murder case of Yenon Levi at Rörshyttan to the Supreme Court.

On April 20, 2009 Thomas Quick has recanted his confession and wants the Svea Court of Appeals to order a new trial for the crimes he confessed on in 1997. Quick's attorney contends that the Prosecution held important investigative material from the defense (which the Prosecution adamantely denies). Quick's attorney also maintains that his client is mentally ill and took narcotics prescribed by a doctor when he confessed to the killings. [5]


  1. ^ a b "Quick retracts serial murder confessions", The Local - Sweden's News in English, December 15 2008.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ [3]
  5. ^ Stockholm, Sweden News, April 20, 2009

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