Transcript: 186. The Knutby Affair | Affair

You are listening to: The Evidence Locker.

 

Thank you for choosing our podcast. Our sponsors make it possible for us to keep bringing you new episodes – please support them as they have some great deals, just for you, our listeners. If you prefer to listen to ad-free content, simply find us on Patreon, where plans start from as little as $2 a month. 25% of these proceeds are donated to The Doe Network – working to bring closure to international cold cases. For more information, follow the link in the show notes.

 

Our cases deal with true crimes and real people. Some parts are graphic in nature and listener discretion is advised. Each episode is produced with the utmost respect to the victims, their families and loved ones. 

 

It was a cold January night, when a hooded figure emerged from the woods and walked through the snow towards a family home in a small village in Sweden. Upstairs, the 23-year-old wife of a local pastor, Alexandra Fossmo was asleep, when the assailant entered her bedroom, and fired three fatal shots.

 

Moments later, her 30-year-old employer and neighbour, Daniel Linde was awoken by the sound of his doorbell ringing. He looked at the time and saw it was just after 4:30am. Confused, he made his way to the front door and opened it, just to be shot in the face and chest. Unlike Alexandra, Daniel survived the shooting and managed to call for help.

 

The investigation that followed uncovered a dark world of skewed religious views, infidelity, murder an intrigue. All of these elements might make a good crime novel, but in the end, truth will always be stranger than fiction.

 

>>Intro Music

Knutby is a small hamlet, about an hour’s drive north of Stockholm, Sweden. It’s home to just over 500 people, mainly young families who have an appreciation for pastoral values of the country life.

 

In 2004, one of the most beloved pastors of the local Pentecostal church was 30-year-old Helge Arnold Fossmo. Helge was born on the 27th of July 1971 in Kristinehamn, Sweden. His Norwegian parents weren’t particularly religious, but the young Helge found his way to Christianity through a local scout group. 

 

As a born-again Christian, he devoted all of his free time to Church-related activities. When he was 17, he volunteered at a Christian youth café, where he met Heléne Johannson who would one day become his wife. Helge went on to study teaching, hoping to become a science teacher, but dropped out. Nothing came close to his greatest passion, which was religion. So, instead of following a traditional career path, he became involved in Christian organisations like Word of Faith. In the mid-90s he was employed as a youth pastor at the church where Heléne was a member, The Pentecostal Church of Kristinehamn. A Christian newspaper once reported about Helge’s ability to speak in tongues. He was a fervent young believer who garnered the attention from everyone in the congregation and beyond.

 

It was through church connections that Helge met Åsa Waldau, a passionate member of the Pentacostal church at Knutby. In 1997, Helge, Heléne and their two young children moved to the small town, where he would serve as a pastor. He was a fun-loving, energetic evangelist, with a great sense of humour, and settled in without any trouble. Some might say that, at the time, the town of Knutby was almost indistinguishable from the parish of the Pentecostal Church, Knutby Philadelphia. And one can also say that Helge’s life was indistinguishable from his calling as a pastor

 

The Fossmo’s third child was born in Knutby, and Heléne found herself alone a lot. Helge was spending all of his time with Åsa Waldau, training and recruiting new members of their congregation. He started a charity foundation and bible schools abroad in locations like India and Hong Kong. There was no stopping this dynamic young duo, working for God. 

 

Like Åsa, Helge saw himself as an expert when it came to interpreting scripture. In reading Psalm 45, regarding the ‘Bride of Christ’, Helge believed that God was communicating a message to him: that the Bride of Christ was in fact Åsa Waldau. Helge vowed to do everything in his power to protect the Lord’s betrothed until such a time that they were united. In March 1999, during a private ceremony between Åsa and God – and Helge as the only witness – she accepted a self-purchased gold ring with seven diamonds. From that day forward, she was to be revered as the closest living being to God on earth. Helge later claimed that Åsa forced him, as her righthand man, to channel her godly husband and satisfy her sexually, using his hands. Åsa denied this ever happened. 

 

But whatever happened behind church doors… Helge and Heléne’s marriage was taking a lot of strain. Heléne begged her husband to spend more time at home with his family, but the more she asked of him, the more he retreated into his work. Sadly, before things between them could be resolved, Heléne died in a tragic accident. She slipped in the bathroom, hit her head on the bathtub’s tap, causing a fatal injury. 

 

Helge mourned for his wife, and was suddenly a young, single father of three, with an all-consuming job. Fortunately, he had the support of his church community, and while the women of the parish stepped in to help with the children, Helge could continue his work in service of the church. 

 

Within months he had found love again, and wasted no time marrying his second wife, Åsa’s youngest sister, Alexandra in November 2000. But tragedy seemed to follow Helge, when about a year into their marriage, he became sick with a mystery illness. He thought that an evil spirit had possessed him, and decided to stay in bed, commanding around-the-clock care.

 

Sara Svensson, a pretty young blonde, was a smiling and obliging woman from Småland. She was a devoted member of the church and Helge appointed her as his fulltime caretaker. In caring for Helge, Sara moved into the bedroom with Helge and Alexandra was asked to stay in the guest room. Helge and Sara stayed up nights, reading the bible, praying, and sleeping together. A year after moving in with the pastor’s family, Sara divorced her husband. Helge assured Sara that their affair wasn't a sin because they shared a 'heavenly love’. She later recalled: 

 

“Each night we were winning a victory for God's will through sexual intercourse.”

 

To justify the presence of his mistress in his family home, Helge employed Sara as a live-in nanny. Sara was in charge of Helge’s children from his first marriage, which meant she dealt with Helge more than with Alexandra. The nanny was completely taken in by the charismatic Helge and became convinced that she would be the next missus Fossmo. However, as a pastor, Helge was not allowed to divorce Alexandra. So, in an act of desperation, Sara took matters into her own hands, and in November 2003, attacked a sleeping Alexandra with a hammer.

 

Alexandra survived the attack, but instead of alerting the authorities, the church leaders were called to the Fossmo home. Helge’s fellow-pastors decided to deal with the crime in-house, by ostracising Sara from the community and send her away. They did not want to involve law enforcement, because they feared that it would bring their church under public scrutiny. Besides, Alexandra recovered and all was fine, so everyone simply moved on.

 

Meanwhile, Sara was in the deepest pit of despair. Not only was she shunned by the community that meant everything to her, Åsa also made it clear that there was no longer a place for Sara in God’s home. As a sinner eternal life would not be hers to have. The only person that took pity on Sara was Helge, who stayed in contact with her. 

 

Although Helge had promised his fellow church leaders that he would break-off all contact with Sara, he found her cell phone in his house after she left. When she reached out to him, he arranged for them to communicate with him using her cell phone that stayed behind. This way, no one in the church would know he was still in contact with her. 

 

Sara claimed that Helge told her that she had received an anonymous text to her cell phone – the one that he was using to communicate with her – and forwarded it to her. The messages became more frequent and she interpreted it as messages from God.

 

Then, on January 10th 2004, emergency services received a call from Daniel Linde of Knutby. He was shot, point blank in the face and chest when opening the front door of his house. Because of his injuries and shock, he struggled to speak, and handed the phone to his neighbour, who was able to communicate to the operator what had happened. The ambulance arrived shortly and the neighbour assisted as much as he could, and even ended up accompanying Daniel in the ambulance. 

 

The neighbour was none other than Helge Fossmo. As police scoured the area and knocked on the doors of all the surrounding houses, they discovered a second victim. Helge’s wife, Alexandra had been shot in her bed, and was no longer alive. 

 

With two victims and an attacker on the loose, police brought in extra officers to deal with the case as a matter of urgency. It was curious to investigators that the closest friends and relatives of the two victims did not seem too distraught. Somewhat shocked, yes, but they all felt Alexandra had gone ‘home to God’ and that Daniel was spared. Typically, a community would fear for their safety, and hound police to bring the killer to justice. But this was not the case in Knutby. 

 

When police learnt about the previous attempt on Alexandra’s life, they were eager to speak to Sara Svensson. But they did not have to look for her, as she turned herself in, two days after the shootings. 

 

Sara confessed to the murder and attempted murder. She also confirmed the accusation that she had attacked Alexandra with a hammer in the fall of 2003. She explained to the police that she was acting on orders she received from an anonymous source via SMS. After being shunned by the community, she believed that the texts were prophecy and that, by completing the set tasks given to her, her position in Knutby, and ultimately in heaven, would be restored. The messages, Sara believed, came from God through Helge Fossmo. 

 

She described to police how she had purchased a firearm, made a muffler to serve as a silencer, and practiced shooting. According to Sara, she parked in the woods outside Knutby and walked to the Fossmo home. After the shootings she went back the way she came. She insisted that she acted alone, and that no one helped her.

 

The murder weapon was thrown in the Kalmar Strait, and after an extensive search, a police team was able to find it. They also located the muffler where Sara told them she had disposed of it – in a trash can in Vrigstad.

 

A police informant, Farid Lamrani also came forward, saying that he suspected Sara had been planning the murder for a while. Lamrani claimed that he had trained Sara to use the a firearm she had purchased. Police suspected that it was Lamrani who had provided her with the pistol, but before they could question him further, he disappeared, and it is assumed he returned to his home country of Morocco.  

 

It was clear to investigators that Sara had been severely brainwashed and to her, being a religious outcast was the worst possible punishment. The text messages made her believe that she could come back into the fold, that God would forgive her and she could serve him, and his bride, Åsa again. Bear in mind, in this congregation, death was not feared. It was seen as a necessary step one had to take, to enter their eternal existence, in God’s paradise. There was outside life in society, which was far from God, then Knutby, which was as close as one could get to God on earth, and then, after death, one would finally be home, with God. Tragically, this notion of ‘coming home’ is what desensitised Sara from the reality of the heinous crimes she was urged to commit.

 

Police found Sara’s story strange, as she was adamant she was only acting on God’s command. Especially when ‘God’ was sending text messages to her cell phone, encouraging her to go through with the shootings. These were anonymous messages, forwarded to Sara by Helge Fossmo. Helge admitted to forwarding the messages, but said he received them from a private number. Like Sara, Helge claimed that he only played his part in doing God’s will. If that was in fact true, who then, was sending the messages? 

 

In the two months leading up to the crimes, Helge and Sara exchanged more than 2000 text messages. And significantly: 18 SMS’s and 10 voice calls in the 24 hours leading up to the crimes, and one damning phone call, 15 minutes after Daniel was shot. 

 

Helge Fossmo was arrested on January 28th on suspicion of murder and attempted murder. He fiercely denied any involvement in Alexandra’s murder and the attempted murder of Daniel Linde. When police learnt that Helge had also been having an affair with Daniel’s wife, Anette, they also arrested her, suspecting that she was involved too. However, due to a lack of evidence, she was released. 

 

To better understand the warped situation, investigators needed a better insight into the dynamics within the church community. The Knutby Philadelphia congregation was structurally part of the national network of the Pentecostal Movement in Sweden. 

 

In 1992, pastor Åsa Waldau moved to Knutby from Uppsala, after her husband left her for one of her closest friends. She was determined to devote her life to the church and encouraged fellowship and community within the church. Her congregation in Uppsala prevented her from serving as a pastor after her divorce, but Knutby Philadelphia provided her with an opportunity to start over – thanks to a visiting priest from the Church of Sweden, who claimed he had received a prophetic message that Knutby needed a female servant who had suffered in life, to lead the congregation. And so she became reinstated, and one of the most powerful figures in Knutby.

 

Helge Fossmo was one of seven pastoral leaders. The small congregation only had 60 members, so the structure was perhaps a bit top-heavy. Åsa and Helge ran a month-long bible school in Knutby every year, and more often than not, people who attended ended up staying in Knutby for good. Members had to give 10% of their earnings to the church, ruled by Bride of Christ, 36-year-old pastor, Åsa Waldau.

 

In Juddaism, the ‘Bride of Christ’ is a term that refers to the people of Israel. In Christianity, the term refers to the congregation or church as a whole. Åsa Waldau would later deny that she was ever called the ‘Bride of Christ’, but people who have left the congregation of Knutby claim she is lying. Everything within that church centred around Åsa, to protect her, until the second coming, when she would finally unite with her betrothed, Jesus Christ. 

 

After the shocking crimes of January 2004, the national Pentecostal Movement expelled Knutby Philadephia, because their beliefs were deemed ‘unorthodox’.

 

During their investigation, police learnt about another untimely death that had occurred in the Fossmo home five years before. Helge’s 27-year old wife, Heléne was found dead in their bathroom after a nasty fall. It appeared as if she had collapsed forward into the bathtub, hitting her head on the tap – which caused a fatal head injury. 

 

In revisiting the incident, Helge told police that both he and Heléne had a stomach bug on the day she died. They spent the day together in bed, and at one point, Heléne got up to have a shower. Helge claimed he fell asleep. He woke up when a member of their congregation, Samuel Franker, arrived to check on them. Helge realised Heléne was still in the bathroom, he went to check on her, but the bathroom door was locked. Samuel was with Helge and helped him to open the door. They found Heléne, face-down in the tub, and immediately called for an ambulance. Sadly it was too late, and nothing could be done to save her.

 

At the time, there was no investigation, seeing as it appeared to have been a tragic accident, nothing more. However, after Alexandra’s murder, police re-opened the case and found that Heléne’s head injury was not the cause of her death after all. She had a deadly amount of dextropropoxyphene – a drug acting like morphine – in her blood. It had been ingested between 30 minutes and five hours before her death. Because the drug was in her blood, but not her stomach, and there were no needle marks in her arms, she must have ingested it either vaginally or anally. 

 

With the autopsy report, and statements confirming that Helge was the only person with Heléne in the lead-up to her death, he was charged with her murder.

 

Everything came back to Helge. Although he was married to Alexandra, he was said to be God’s chosen companion to the Bride of Jesus, Åsa. This meant he was a stand-in for her celestial soulmate and was occasionally called upon to satisfy her sexual needs. At the same time, Helge was also having an affair with Sara, his children’s nanny, but ultimately, it was yet ANOTHER woman whom he wanted more than anything. His neighbour, Daniel Linde’s wife Anette. Incidentally, Anette’s brother Patrik Waldau was married to Åsa. Here is how Helge described what all the women in his life meant to him:

 

“I’ll be quite frank. These women meant different things to me. Alexandra was like a good friend or sister, than a woman you share your life and your bed with. With Sara, I knew somehow that it was only a matter of time before she would have to leave. This was something that everyone wanted to end because they didn’t want her there. Sara was, for the most part, a mistress, just for sexual pleasure. Anette was much more than that. And this meant that Sara was no longer as close in that way, or as important anymore.”

 

Two months after Alexandra Fossmo’s murder, her widower Helge was officially charged with murder of his first wife Heléne; incitement to the attempted murder of his wife Alexandra in 2003, and incitement to her murder in 2004, as well as incitement to the attempted murder of his neighbour Daniel Linde. 

 

The crimes drew unprecedented media attention to the small town of Knutby. Once perceived to be a wholesome, god-fearing community, the uncomfortable truth emerged. It was likened to a sect, with blurred lines when it came to morality. The Bride of Christ, Åsa Waldau was running the show, and her unforgiving manipulation of members of the congregation was exposed. 

 

The public was shocked to learn the intricacies of relationships within the church and the media lapped it up, dubbing Helge and Sara ‘The Pastor and The Nanny’. They wrote sensationalised articles with headings like ‘She said she was the pastor’s slave’ and ‘The nanny wanted to regain God’s grace’.

 

The trial against Helge Fossmo and Sara Svensson began on the 18th of May 2004 in Uppsala District Court. 

 

Addressing Helene’s murder the Prosecution argued that Helge Fossmo drugged his first wife, and when she was unconscious, struck her head against the tap in the bathtub, to make it appear like a tragic accident. 

 

His involvement in the death of his second wife, Alexandra, and the attempted murder of his neighbour Daniel Linde, was presented together with Sara Svensson’s case, as she had confessed to both crimes. 

 

In a tight-knit, closed community like Knutby, going against one’s fellow parishioners was unheard of. Yet, many congregation members testified at the trial, providing context about the circumstances leading up to the night of the shootings. 

 

The Prosecutor laid out the case as such: on January 10th 2004, Alexandra Fossmo was asleep in her bed when Sara Svensson came into the bedroom and shot her, killing her instantly. Alexandra had received two of shots to the head, and one to the leg. Then Sara walked to the house across the road and shot Daniel Linde. Prosecution reminded the court that a subsequent investigation revealed that Alexandra’s husband Helge and Daniel’s wife Anette had been entangled in an affair. 

 

In the time leading up to the shootings, there was a multitude of messages between Helge Fossmo and Sara Svensson. In less than 2 months they exchanged over 2200 messages and calls, averaging at 44 per day. The last of the messages were exchanged AT the time of the crime. Although the messages had been deleted, Sara told police what was said between her and Helge. At the time of the investigation, police were unable to retrieve the deleted messages from Sara’s Nokia 3510 – remember this was in 2004, before smart phones and cloud storage. However, they eventually managed to crack it by retrieving some texts from Sara’s sim card – sent between the December of 2003 and February 2004. The content of these messages confirmed what Sara had said: it was clear that she believed the messages were from God, guiding her to do his will. She thought Helge was simply a messenger who had forwarded the texts.

 

However, the SMSes proved that it was Helge Fossmo, playing God, who had incited the murder and attempted murder. Helge claimed he never wrote the messages, but only forwarded them to Sara, also believing that he was acting according to God’s will.

 

A reconstruction video was viewed in court, showing Sara Svensson calmly walking through the crime scene at the Fossmo house, describing step-by-step how she did it.

 

When Sara was called to the stand to testify, Helge was taken from the courtroom. He listened to her testimony from another room, but because of evidence of his influence over her, the court decided it would be better for her NOT to see him. The hope was that by removing Helge from the courtroom, Sara would speak freely and truthfully.

 

During her testimony, she recalled a conversation with Helge Fossmo sometime before killing his wife. This is a quote from her testimony:

 

“Suddenly Helge said to me: If God were to tell you to kill a human being, would you do it? I thought it was a very strange question but thought that if I really knew it was God saying it, I would have to obey. There would be no alternative.”

 

Sara also said that Helge told her God wanted Alexandra with him in heaven. Many conversations on this topic and completing God’s plan were held between the two.

 

Her testimony of her movements that night tied in neatly with the reconstruction video. The biggest conclusion drawn from this was that Helge Fossmo must have heard the gunshots that killed his wife, even though he claimed he never heard anything, until there was a commotion at Daniel’s house.

 

Helge Fossmo’s defence attorney admitted that Helge was the one who had sent messages to Sara but claimed that the texts were intended as guidance, and that Sara Svensson misinterpreted them. However, months and months of messages showed the level of brainwashing and manipulation at hand. For instance, this text sent on December 17th 2003.

 

“The first is your obligation. The other you can do out of love. It must be done some way or another. You would benefit from your selfless assistance unto Him. You can do it!” 

 

Four days before the crimes, a daily message containing scripture quotes was sent from Helge’s cell phone to Sara’s. In hindsight the texts appear to confirm to Sara that she was going to act according to God’s will, and because of that would not suffer the consequences. Here are three verses, sent on three different days:

 

Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:1 – There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Romans 8:31 – What, then shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

 

Sara sent a message at 4:30, moments before the shootings, asking if she could call Helge. He simply replied: ‘Yes’. Helge claimed that the conversation was incoherent, that Sara sounded confused, emotional, telling him she had completed her task.

 

Lastly, Sara received a message, sent the day after Alexandra’s murder and Daniel’s attempted murder:

 

“Romans 12:12 – Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

 

Åsa Waldau, as Alexandra’s sister, was also called to testify. She denied any involvement in the crimes and vehemently denied sending the messages to Helge, who then forwarded them to Sara. In an awkward gesture, she reached out for Sara’s hand. In that moment, the world stopped for Sara: it was a sign that Åsa had forgiven her and that she accomplished what she had set out to do: to appease The Bride of Christ.

 

The verdicts were handed down on the 30th of June 2004: Sara Svensson was found guilty and sentenced to forensic psychiatric care – with a special discharge examination before she could be released. Helge Fossmo was sentenced to life in prison for incitement to murder and incitement to attempted murder, but he was acquitted of murdering his first wife, Heléne. 

 

The Pentecostal Movement finally distanced itself from the Knutby congregation, after they failed to adhere to an ultimatum, forcing the resignation of their pastors. The congregation was adamant to protect their leaders, and by doing so, Knutby became an independent church. 

 

With all the controversy surrounding the events of January 2004, however, things within the church changed for good. In 2016, after many years under the spell of their peers, two of the pastors left the town, and by implication, the church. Some members went on to join other congregations and in May 2018, the once-was Philadelphia parish disbanded for good.

 

However, the controversy was all but over. In 2019, four of the former parish's pastors were accused of abuse and defilement by eight different plaintiffs. This came about, when one of the pastors, Peter Gembäck went to police to inform him what he himself, as well as others have done. One pastor, Urban Fält, who had replaced Helge Fossmo as Åsa’s wingman, was accused of sexually exploiting a 17-year-old girl in his care, convincing her he was ‘caring for her soul’. Åsa Waldau was charged with biting a member of the congregation in the face, kicking her in the stomach and banging her head against a wall. What started as a group of faithful, kind and caring individuals had turned into a cesspool for the ages. 

In 2020, former pastor Peter Gembäck, was sentenced for assault and unlawful coercion to a suspended sentence with an 80-day fine. Åsa Waldau was convicted of eight counts of assault and given a suspended sentence of 120 hours of community service. Urban Fält received a suspended sentence with community service for 160 hours, for the sexual exploitation of a dependent person. He admitted to having a relationship with the girl, but denied the crime, stating she was not dependent on him. At the time of the crime, Urban was in his forties and his victim was only 17. 

The name Knutby has become a common-used term in the Swedish language, serving as a metaphor. When the national soccer team presented a united front against the media, by NOT discussing a personal dispute, one article had the headline:

 

"The National team is like Knutby".

 

Anton Berg and Martin Johnson, two Swedish journalists who studied the case for years, co-created the HBO docu-series ‘Pray, Obey, Kill’, revisiting the evidence and witness testimonies from all angles. In the documentary, the viewer becomes a fly on the wall of Helge Fassmo’s interrogation back in 2004. He casually sits in a chair, smiles and talks comfortably. At one point he even invites the detectives to dinner – once the case was all over, of course. He does not appear to be distressed about losing his wife in the least, and converses freely about the insider-politics of the church. Berg and Johnson also interviewed Helge recently, after many years in prison. He claims there was more to the murders than met the eye. He said he was threatened to comply with Åsa’s wishes, or his children would come to harm.

 

Berg and Johnson also uncovered the unedited version of Sara Svensson’s re-enactment video. It is chilling to see how rehearsed the recording is, and detectives can be heard suggesting certain things, like adjusting the position from where she fired the shots. “Do it like we did during the dress-rehearsal” proved that this was a production, NOT a police re-enactment. 

 

Typically, a re-enactment video is an opportunity for police to corroborate the victim’s statement, with their actions, and then go back and compare it to forensic analysis of the scene. However, this opportunity was lost, with Sara doing what she was instructed to. And in fact, in the unedited version, there were many inconsistencies. For instance: the position next to the bed from where she claimed to have fired the shots, does not link up with the evidence. The bullet-wounds on Alexandra’s skull were inflicted at close-range. On the video, Sara stands several feet away. She is adamant that she could not get any closer, because she was terrified of waking Alexandra. This discrepancy was never revealed during the trial. Had the court known about this, perhaps they would have reached a different verdict.

 

Another point of contention was Sara’s account of arriving and leaving the scene. According to Sara, she drove into the woods, where she parked and left her car and walked to the Fossmo home. Sara said she left the way she came. However, this did not add up, as police dogs traced the footprints leaving Daniel Linde’s house to a location in town, close by, with fresh tyre track prints in the snow. Was someone waiting in a car, ready to drive her away after the shootings? Did someone else move Sara’s car from the woods? If so, who was it? Helge was with Daniel, could this have been Åsa? Or perhaps one of her loyal followers, duped into driving the getaway car? How many people were involved?

 

In 2006, Helge Fossmo admitted to his role in his wife’s death and the attack on Daniel Linde for the first time in a televised interview. However, he hinted at the fact that there was someone else pulling the strings. In a subsequent interview, he named this person to be none other than the Bride of Christ, Åsa Waldau. He claimed that a linguistic examination of the anonymous texts he forwarded to Sara, proves that it was written by the same person who wrote the Tirsa prophesy. Tirsa, which was the name Åsa chose after learning that she was the Bride of Christ. All members of the congregation addressed her using this name. The prophesy was a 14-page Microsoft Word document that reads like a letter from Jesus to his Tirsa. Åsa Waldau and her supporters struck back, insisting that she had nothing to do with the crimes and that it was, in fact, Helge Fossmo who had written the Tirsa Prophesy.

 

After the crimes, Åsa became somewhat of a celebrity in Sweden. She did countless TV and radio interviews, proudly explaining what being the Bride of Christ entailed. But the media pressure became too much and she was often ridiculed. Today, Åsa Waldau is no longer a pastor, and lives a life of seclusion. Her husband Patrik left her to be with the woman she assigned for him, while she was coveting her betrothed. 

 

In ‘Pray, Obey, Kill’ journalists Anton Berg and Martin Johnson interview Sara Svensson – her first media interview since the shootings in 2004. Sara claims that that the night of the shooting still haunts her. Mostly the fact that when she fired the first shot into Alexandra’s leg, she didn’t move. Here is Sara’s account:

 

“I’ve thought a lot about how it was. The first shot, which hit Alexandra in the hip, there was nothing. There was no response. How can that be, I don’t understand? At the time I thought it was because of me, because of something I did. But now. I dont know. Maybe she wasn’t alive when I got there.”

 

Which begs to question: was Alexandra already dead by the time Sara shot her? Was Sara manipulated to shoot an already deceased Alexandra, knowing that she was the ideal fall-person? Did the actual killer or killers do the unthinkable, and in the end got away with murder?

 

If you'd like to read more about this case, have a look at the resources used for this episode in the show notes. 

 

Also visit us on social media to see more about today's case – we’re on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can also check out our channel on YouTube.

If you like what we do here at Evidence Locker, subscribe in Apple Podcast or wherever you are listening right now – and kindly leave a 5-star review.

 

This was The Evidence Locker. Thank you for listening!

 

©2022 Evidence Locker Podcast

All rights reserved. This podcast or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a podcast review.