It hasn’t been an especially uplifting past few weeks in the news here in Sweden. The newspapers have been filled with murders. And not just any murders. The murder of children has dominated the media.
Most recent is the murder of a 10 year old girl who was on her way home from soccer. She was just a little ways away from home and had just called her mom on her cell phone. And she never made it. Turns out a 42 year old had “accidentally” (his lawyer’s term) killed her, hidden the body, and denied any knowledge of it. He later confessed, led them straight to the body, confessed to another murder, a rape attempt, and is being linked to at least one other murder. This along with some other crimes he had already been convicted for. Quite a nice burgeoning rap sheet. No word yet on if all of these were “accidental.”
Before that a one year old and a three year old were murdered while their mother was severely injured. It seems that a German woman with connection to the father of the children is behind that attack. Seems, not is, because of the whole innocent until guilty thing.
For some reason the murder of children always strikes a chord in any community. Something about the loss of innocence, the potential, the life not lived that really gets to people. And it’s understandable. Because to be able to kill someone that young takes a special kind of person. Special in a way that I can never understand. Special in a way that is horrifying. Special in a way that makes you question just how messed up people actually can be.
I love being in Sweden because of the reaction to this sort of thing. There is a sense of innocence and community throughout the country that just can’t be achieved very often in a place as big as the US. While sometimes misguided (like the woman who was out searching in the woods in southern Sweden while the girl had disappeared north of Stockholm) it is mostly a display of togetherness and faith in humanity. It speaks to the Swedish culture. It speaks to the smallness of this country. In a good way.
So as murder and crime dominate the news, I really hope Sweden keeps this sense of community that seems to stretch the entire country
Welcome to Sweden.