One of the strangest unsolved crime mysteries ever is The Unexplained Lake Bodom Murders. This true story is both chilling and fascinating.
The Lake Bodom murders were a multiple homicide that took place in Finland in 1960. Lake Bodom is a lake by the city of Espoo, about 22 kilometres west of the country’s capital, Helsinki. In the early hours of June 5, 1960, four teenagers were camping on the shores of Lake Bodom.
Between 4AM and 6AM, an unknown person or people murdered three of them with a knife and blunt instrument wounding the fourth.
On June 5, 1960 three teenagers were murdered at Lake Bodom in Finland. Early in the morning of June 5, 1060 four teenagers had been camping on the lake’s shores when sometime between 4 and 6 am an unknown suspect or number of suspects attacked all four of them. The four were attacked with a knife as well as a blunt object and while three of the four perished in this multiple homicide, one of the teens survived. The single survivor of the attacks was Nils Wilhelm Gustafsson. Gustafsson continued on with his life until 2004 when he became the subject of the investigation in to the murders. Gustafsson was charged with the murders but in October of 2005 the district court found him not guilty. Two of the three victims were just 15 at the time of their death and the third was 18 as was Nils Wilhelm Gustafsson. The three murder victims were all stabbed and bludgeoned. Gustafsson suffered a concussion, jaw and facial fractures as well as many bruises.
Maili Irmeli Björklund, 15. Stabbed and bludgeoned.
Anja Tuulikki Mäki, 15. Stabbed and bludgeoned.
Seppo Antero Boisman, 18. Stabbed and bludgeoned.
Nils Wilhelm Gustafsson, 18. Survived, having sustained concussion, fractures to the jaw and facial bones and bruises to the face.
A strange twist
After the Lake Bodom murders there were a number of suspects including Pauli Luoma, a runaway from a local work department. Luoma was later cleared of the murders after his alibi was confirmed. Pentti Soininen was also a suspect for the crime. Soininen already convicted of a number of violent crimes as well as property crimes, allegedly admitted to committing the murders while in prison. There was an amount of skepticism about Soininen’s guilt but the truth would never actually be known since he hanged himself at a prisoner transport station in 1969. Valdemar Gyllstrom was another prime suspect in the Lake Bodom murders. Gyllstrom was a kiosk keeper from Oittaa and was known for his aggressive behavior and had apparently confessed to the murders before his death as a result of drowning in Lake Bodom in 1969. No evidence was found to indicate Gyllstrom in the murders although his wife did admit to his alibi for the crime being a lie since her husband had threatened to kill her if she told the truth about his absence the night of the murders. None of the suspects in the multiple murder case were ever convicted and the case remains unsolved.
The sole survivor, Nils Wilhelm Gustafsson, led a normal life until 2004, when he became a suspect and was subsequently charged.
In late March 2004, almost 44 years after the event, Nils Gustafsson was arrested by the police on suspicion of having murdered his three friends.
In early 2005, the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation declared the case was solved based on some new analysis on the blood stains. According to the official statement, Gustafsson erupted in jealous anger over his feelings for Björklund, his new girlfriend. She was stabbed multiple times after the fatal blow, while the two other teenagers were killed less savagely. Gustafsson’s own injuries, while notable, were less severe.
The trial started on August 4, 2005. The prosecution called for life imprisonment for Gustafsson. It argued that the re-examination of the old evidence using modern techniques such as DNA profiling raises suspicion towards Gustafsson. The defense argued that the murders were the work of one or more outsiders and that Gustafsson would have been incapable of killing three people given the extent of his injuries. On October 7, 2005 Gustafsson was acquitted of all charges.
On his acquittal, the State of Finland paid him €44,900 for mental suffering caused by the long remand time.
In October 2005, a district court found Gustafsson not guilty of all charges against him.
Listen to the Lake Bodom Murders podcast The Mystery at Lake Bodom