The suspect is a 21-year-old from Sundbyberg, a municipality in Stockholm County, in the East of Sweden. Although he didn’t do too well in elementary school, he did go on to high school. His upbringing and youth he calls “safe” and apart from some tickets he got for riding a moped without wearing a helmet, minor offences threatening only his own safety, he has no criminal record. Neither has he ever paid a penny in income tax.

Yet he is in court now, facing charges in what the public prosecutor Olof Calmvik calls “an extremely complex investigation“. On 22 January, a man travelling in his car in Sundbyberg was shot. One of his passengers then drove him to hospital, but on the way there, the car was rammed and the man shot again. The man later died of his wounds after getting to the hospital. “The victim had a criminal record. We believe there was a conflict,” says Calmvik. Police arrested a man in his 20s, on suspicion of murder or complicity in murder.

On March 8, a man and a woman were cut to death in Hallonbergen, a suburb North of Stockholm. According to Expressen, the man had reason to be suspicious and called the police some time before the attack. The killers got in nevertheless, stabbing the woman before leaving her to die, while chasing the man. He, meanwhile, had escaped through a window. Police arrived at the scene too late to save the man’s life, although shots were fired in an attempt to stop the killing. Three suspects – all male and in their early twenties – were arrested on the spot and have been detained ever since. A fourth was arrested three weeks later.

During the subsequent investigation, a link was found with the January killing. One of the victims is rumoured to have been heard as a witness in the shooting, with the possible motive for the killings being an attempt to stop the testimony.

The 21-year-old from Sundbyberg is facing the most serious charges: he is being charged with three murders and leading his group of friends to murder. Since being arrested, he had undergone the required ‘Section 7’ mental examination, with the doctor noting “meaningful conversation has not been possible.

While the suspect calls himself a “genius in cheating” in school and says he is religious and does not use drugs, he lied when asked whether or not his parents are alive. “In the next life,” he reportedly answered, while only one of them passed away. While he calls himself “170% healthy” the coroner recommends an extensive investigation to find out if the 21-year-old is not mentally ill.

During the detention hearing, the man made obscene gestures at the camera and called Calmvik “a monster.” He has since fired his defence counsel, who wrote the court requesting his dismissal on the basis that “NN at the recent inquest raised very serious accusations against me which make it impossible for me to carry out my job.” Even so, the case now moves forward against the 21-year-old and his seven friends and suspected partners in crime.

The investigations are largely over, says Calmvik, confidently looking forward to the trial:

Some technical evidence needs to be analysed by the National Forensic Center. But most of the witness statements and a large number of the interviews with the suspects have been completed. It has been a very large investigation.