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Chris Heath • GQ
Why Sweden's most notorious serial killer believes he is "the subject of Sweden's greatest miscarriage of justice" after confessing to eight grisly murders.
"I looked at his background," Christianson says. "If you look at literature on serial killers and rapists, they start early. He was very consistent, these attacks on young guys. And serial rapes. In the hospital he combined violence and rape, strangulation and rape." Christianson offers technical jargon I have read in his book-that most rapists are non-increasers but that Bergwall was in the rare category of increasers, those whose sexual attacks grow in intensity. He asserts that it is impossible for this behavior to simply have gone away. "When sex and violence has been twisted, how do you take that apart?... That sadistic behavior is still there."
Toward the end of our meeting, I ask Sven Christianson this: If Bergwall is an untreated sadistic sexual predator and if someone like him cannot stop himself from expressing it, where has this behavior manifested itself in recent years?
Christianson almost seems to rejoice at this question, as though he has successfully trapped me into asking it. "This!" he exclaims. "This whole pattern!" To have successfully pulled so many people into his fight for freedom-to have made a country's once proud legal system contort itself in knots-is the pinnacle of the sadist's art.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Michael Malice • Reason
Playing tourist in the isolated nation.
At the very top center of the cemetery was the ultimate North Korean martyr: Kim Il Sung's wife and Kim Jong Il's mother. Kim Jong Suk (always called the "anti-Japanese heroine") is the Mother Goddess in the North Korean mythology. She allegedly doted over her husband constantly, cutting off her hair to line his shoes as he singlehandedly defeated the Japs. We all bowed before her grave with due reverence. As the group milled about the cemetery taking pictures, I pulled Kim aside. "Did Kim Jong Suk have any other children?" I asked her.
She froze, and for the first and only time during my entire trip her affect became tense. "...Yes," Kim said. She said it in the same way a Mississippian would reply if asked whether his state was known for lynching. Kim didn't want to lie, but neither did she want to talk about it at all.
I apologized, telling her I didn't mean any disrespect. I deduced what fueled Kim's reticence: Despite being forced to learn the legends of the Kim family in excruciating detail, North Koreans know few actual facts-and never ever ask questions. Kim Il Sung's second wife is a non-person, for example, and to this day few people anywhere know how many times Kim Jong Il was married, and when. It is not known where Kim Jong Un lives; there is no equivalent of the White House in North Korea. In fact, government buildings don't have signs to illustrate what lies within. If you needed to know where to go, then you'd know. Otherwise, mind your business and don't ask questions.
RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images