Swedish 'serial killer' who falsely confessed is freed

A Swedish man who falsely confessed to eight murders has been freed after more than 20 years in a mental institution.

Sture Bergwall, once regarded as one of Sweden’s most prolific serial killers, was released by court order last week, Reuters and the Daily Mail report.

Bergwall, 63, was convicted of eight murders between 1994 and 2001 despite a lack of forensic evidence or eyewitnesses. In two cases, there were no bodies, the Daily Mail reported.

Retrials were ordered in each case, but prosecutors said that without the confessions, they did not have enough evidence to retry Bergwall, the Daily Mail reported. The final case was dropped last July.

He confessed to all eight killings, along with many others. But he later recanted, saying he did so only to get attention and drugs..

Bergwall’s lawyer, Thomas Olsson, called his client’s case a miscarriage of justice.

“He has been detained for 20 years in a locked psychiatric clinic,” Olsson told Reuters.

The case against Bergwall has gripped Sweden for years. Last year, the government launched an inquiry into shortfalls in the legal system that could have led to these wrongful convictions.

Olsson said Bergwall is considering filing a civil suit for damages against prosecutors, according to Reuters.

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