Lake Bodom murders

The lake Bodom murders, also known as the Bodominjärvi Murders, occurred on June 5th, 1960 in Espoo, Finland.

Map of Finland in relation to Espoo.

Espoo is Espoo is in southern Finland, along the shore of the Gulf of Finland and has a population of 284,444 people.

On Saturday 4th four teenagers decided to set up camp near lake Bodom. The teenagers were in fact dating although the females where only 15, the males were in fact 18 years old.

In 1960, dating younger individuals was not as frowned upon as it is now in 2019.

Maila Irmeli Björklund and Anja Tuulikki Mäki where 15 at the time and Seppo Antero Boisman and Nils Wilhelm Gustafsson where 18. The couples chose a comfortable spot by the lake, in a well-known site.

Photos from the investigation.

On the morning of Sunday the 4th of June at 11:00am the bodies of all teenagers were found by a man called Risto Siren, he called the police however the police didn’t arrive until 12pm. When the police arrived, they saw the bodies of Anja, Maila and Seppo they had been stabbed to death between 4:00am and 6: 00am.The only survivor was Nils, he sustained fractures to the jaw and facial bones and bruises to the face.

 Clothing, keys, wallets were stolen from the teenagers.

photograph of lake Bodon.

Although the clothes and wallets were stolen, the police found that the killer never entered the tent. The killer instead killed the individuals from the outside of the tent.  

Nils Wilhelm Gustafsson shoes.

The murder weapon was not located, and as from 2019 has still not been located.

Nils shoes were found hidden not too far from the murder site, they were covered in blood. Eventually, this raised suspicion on nails himself.

the site was not cordoned off and therefore resulted in individuals showing up to the crime scene to have a look, and this was a case of police error.

Two separate accounts remember a blonde man leaving the scene, two bird watchers saw a blonde man near the tents. They could also see that the tent was collapsed, the other account was from a local fisherman. He said he saw a blonde man in the area, the blonde man was not located.  The reason that this lead wasn’t investigated as much was because of the vagueness of the description, the Scandinavian countries very much match this description.

A woman came forward in 2004. However this was for a tv show, and she never said anything despite police continually asking for new information on the murders.  

The woman’s statement was not taken as 100% fact. This account from the woman led the police to point at new suspects.

Suspects

As for the suspects, many people came forward and confessed; however, from these 3 main suspects arose.

Valdemar gyllstrom was a kiosk keeper from the town of Espoo. He was known as hostile towards campers even throwing stone and rocks at them as they passed by,

Allegedly Valdemar confessed to the murders while drunk, to a neighbour. Telling him that he had thrown the evidence into a well, he was investigated by police due to him suspiciously filling his well a few days/weeks after the murders.

The police found nothing linking him to the crime, despite this, family member and close friends believe he murdered the children on 5th of June 1960.  His wife told a story which counted as an alibi. However, this was retracted by her on her death bed.

Valdemar committed suicide by drowning himself in lake Bodom in 1969, the police never believed he was guilty.

Hans Assmann.

Hans Assmann was an alleged spy and worked as a guard in the second world war, the day after the murders he showed up to “Helsinki hospital”. His clothes had red stains, almost blood-like, and his fingernails were black, he was also extremely nervous.

He lived nearby, however despite this information, he was only questioned briefly, and his clothes were not examined.

Hans had a strong alibi meaning that he was dismissed by the police, despite this, the nurses and medical staff insist that he was involved in something due to the stains on his top.

Nils Gustafsson, in 2004.

Nils Gustafsson himself was questioned in connection to the murders. In 2004 he was arrested on suspicion of murder, this was suspected because his girlfriend (Maila) sustained the most injury’s. Jealousy was the motive the police went with and hypothesised that Nils made the injury’s himself.

He was sentenced; however, he only lasted a year before he was acquitted.

This meant that the case was reopened after 2005 and still unsolved.

Tent from the murders, being re-analysed in 2004.

The lake Bodom murders are still unsolved, this case also divides Finland to this day half believe it was Nils and the other Half thought it was one of the other individuals. This case may never be solved; this could be due to police error, or due to lack of evidence, the killer or killers may be dead or have committed suicide.

The lake Bodom murder is still one of the most known crimes from Finland, and it remains unsolved.

if you have any information contact finish police at kirjaamo.poliisihallitus@poliisi.fi

further reading.

The Lake Bodom Murders

https://screamfestla.com/blog/real-unsolved-murders-lake-bodom

Published by Elle Lea

I am an amateur historian guided by intrigue and free Wi-Fi. Solved and Unsolved crimes are intricate puzzles which interest me and others. This blog looks at the evidence and the facts and aims to deliver the cases in a detailed and accessible to all manner.

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