It bugs the hell out of me why this has not been solved.
During annual carnival celebrations, a call-girl was murdered in her apartment and the blood drained from her body, leading to the case being cited as proof of vampires.
The following story is a one-chapter preview of Vampires: Monsters of True Crime.
For many people, the concept of vampires are very much fictional monsters, brought to life by fantastical authors and historical inaccuracies. For others, vampires are as real as the person sitting next to you on the bus – at night.
Some killers who have been attributed the title of vampire were known to have sipped the blood of their victims or eaten part of their remains. The line between vampirism and cannibalism is drawn at consumption of the flesh, where flesh is eaten only to consume the blood.
Serial killers like Peter Kurten and Richard Trenton Chase were known to have something called clinical vampirism, referred to as Renfield Syndrome. It is a rare psychiatric disorder in which the sufferer feels a compulsion to consume blood by drinking or eating organs. The disorder is classified as some rare types of schizophrenia or paraphilia.
Some people live a vampiric lifestyle, preferring to practice safe blood-drawing techniques from close partners or donors. They do this because they believe the blood keeps them strong or they have a blood fetish.
The fictional vampire is harder to prove. However, there is one bizarre murder case that has never been solved and is still cited today as the Atlas Vampire case. It begins with a prostitute in 1930s Sweden.
On 30th April 1932, the residents of Stockholm were celebrating Walpurgis Night, which is a traditional holiday celebrated annually in Northern Europe and Scandinavia. In Sweden, typical holiday activities include the singing of traditional spring folk songs and the lighting of bonfires. It is an event and party which continues long into the weekend.
In the Stockholm region of Atlas near Sankt Eriksplan, 32-year-old sex worker Lilly Lindeström paid her rent to the landlord then went back to her apartment to meet a client. The apartment block was a known to be home to several prostitutes, including Lilly’s friend, 35-year-old Minnie Jansson.
Later that evening, as the celebrations were continuing outside, Lilly knocked on Minnie’s door to borrow a condom, which was a usual thing to do in the block. Minnie sometimes worked as a prostitute and helped look out for girls in the area.
A little while later, at 9pm, a dishevelled Lilly knocked on the door again, wearing only a coat covering her nude body, and asked for another condom as the first one had broken. It was the last time that Lilly was seen alive.
Minnie went to check on her friend the following morning but Lilly didn’t answer the door. Minnie assumed that Lilly was continuing the Walpurgis Night celebrations. It was four days later on 4th May when Minnie decided to call the police after becoming concerned she hadn’t heard from her friend.
Police turned up at Lilly’s apartment to perform a welfare check. Upon entering the apartment they were met with a horrific sight. Lilly had been dead for three days and was found nude lying face down on an ottoman.
Her head was rested on her left arm and it appeared she had been positioned as such. Blood had dripped to the floor from a large wound on the right side of her head. It seemed she had died from being beaten to death with a hard object.
There was a used condom left in her anus, supposedly from the last client she had been with. Her clothes were folded neatly on a chair next to the ottoman, and the apartment was clean and untouched.
If the sight of the stiff nude corpse was shocking enough, there was something else wrong with the body. Due to the suspicious nature of the death, a physician was called in to perform an autopsy. He revealed that almost all of Lilly’s blood had been drained.
A bloodstained soup ladle in the sink suggested the killer had drunk some of the blood at the scene. This combined with traces of saliva on Lilly’s neck and body led to the conclusion that someone had consumed her blood. When the media got hold of the story, the Atlas Vampire was born.
The physician claimed the head wounds were probably caused by a small section of lead pipe, and that Lilly had been struck from behind. Though some of the blood was consumed at the scene, it was suggested more blood may have been taken away in small containers.
It was later suspected the lack of blood may have been to do with the massive wound on her head, but the bloodstained ladle in the sink – which wouldn’t have been heavy enough to kill her – suggested otherwise.
Many reports claim that all her blood had been drained but it simply wasn’t the case, at least not according to official reports of the day. The fact remained that Lilly had been brutally murdered and a large portion of blood had exited her body.
One of the investigators, Alvar Zetterquist, wrote about the case later in his life and said the killer had left no evidence behind. There were no fingerprints, no hairs, no used drinking glass, no cigarettes, nothing to connect anyone with the crime.
The police searched Lilly’s apartment inch by inch and found no clues. They also interviewed everyone living in the building and searched the area around it but had nothing to go on.
The murder weapon was never found. It was believed the killer visited Lilly with the weapon and took it with him when he left. It is suspected he was the client that Lilly had to get a second condom for.
In 1930s Sweden, sex workers were generally picked up on the street. Lilly was an oddity at the time in that she allowed clients to visit her at her apartment, foreshadowing the move from street prostitution to in-house call-girls and escorts.
Because of her unique work method, she may have attracted clientele that preferred to be more discreet in the way they carried out their business.
Due to the lack of evidence, the case went cold quickly and it became a footnote in the history of 1930s Sweden. Yet, as the decades went by, the case was cited as one of the most infamous cases of real-life vampire attacks in history.
Was a vampire really responsible for the murder of Lily Lindeström? Well, that depends on how much you want to believe in vampires or in the monstrous capabilities of humans themselves. There was a lot of blood missing from Lilly’s body but a lot of that was to do with the massive wound on her head.
We do know that throughout history there have been cases of clinical vampirism, as in the crimes of Kurten and Chase. It then remains plausible that whoever murdered Lilly was a killer who had a desire or need to drink another human’s blood, indicating the killer would have killed again.
Yet, there is no other case like it in Sweden during that time.
What is mysterious is that police found no clues aside from the saliva on Lilly’s neck and body. Due to the murder taking place in the pre-DNA era, there is no way to test the evidence today, despite claims it is being held at the Swedish Police Museum.
Perhaps Lilly had been killed by a foreigner visiting Stockholm for the Walpurgis Night celebrations or maybe a local who had already planned to kill her. Her schedule would have been easy to uncover and she would have been easily contactable.
Due to the lack of evidence, one theory points to a police officer, who would have known how to clean the scene and leave no trace he was ever there. Could the lack of evidence itself have been – evidence?
Another theory points to a madman using the spaces between the walls of the apartment block to spy on call-girls. After being caught by Lilly, he was forced to kill her and redress the crime scene before making his way back into the walls.
Perhaps, just perhaps, there may have been a mythical creature involved – but then, what kind of vampire uses condoms? Despite the enticing story of the Atlas Vampire, what remains certain is that Lilly Lindeström was brutally killed in her apartment and the case has never been solved.
Check out Vampires: Monsters of True Crime.
It bugs the hell out of me why this has not been solved.
I feel like there should be more killers who use the internet especially in today's world.
Thanks for this. Anymore podcast lists coming anytime soon??
Not just females.
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