Six jailed over murder of woman in Dalarna

Six people were on Friday sentenced to jail in connection with the murder of a 61-year-old woman.

Six jailed over murder of woman in Dalarna
The woman's body was found near Långshyttan in Dalarna. Photo: Niklas Hagman/TT

The woman disappeared after a barbecue party near the village of Långshyttan in the rural Dalarna region last summer. She was found dead two weeks later in a water-filled mine shaft.

Falu District Court found four people guilty of murder. Newspaper Expressen reports that it sentenced Joakim Hessling, 26, who stabbed the victim, to 17 years in jail.

Daniel Viberg Wahlgren, 21, and Martin Broling, 24, were sentenced to 16 years in jail. Benita Hokkanen was handed a shorter punishment – 12 years – because she was only 20 at the time the murder was committed.

Two people – Per-Olov Höflinger, 46, and Mats Hedin, 45 – were found guilty of complicity in murder and sentenced to ten years in jail.

Another three women were convicted of failing to reveal murder, one woman was freed of all charges and one man was convicted of “less serious crimes”, wrote the court in a statement.

The court heard that the victim had lent money to some of the people charged, who did not appreciate her attempts to get the money back. In mid-June last year they decided to kill her.

They invited her to a barbecue party at a lake. Afterwards, they sat down in a car where some of them strangled her with a rope while singing along to the song 'Forever Angel' on the car stereo.

She was eventually stabbed to death after they noticed she was still breathing. The body was wrapped in plastic and thrown down the mine shaft. The group then used her bank card to make several purchases and took items from her apartment, reports Swedish news agency TT.

The lawyers for Broling, Hessling and Wahlgren told the newswire that they would likely appeal the sentence. None of the other people's lawyers immediately commented on whether or not they would appeal.


Sweden launches major state initiative to fight cybercrime aimed at smart cars

Connected cars are increasingly exposed to security threats. Therefore, a major government initiative is now being launched via the research institute Rise.

Sweden launches major state initiative to fight cybercrime aimed at smart cars

More and more technical gadgets are now connected to the internet, and cars are no exception. However, the new reality raises questions about security, and from the Swedish side, an initiative is now being launched to combat cybercrime in the car industry through the government research institute Rise.

“We see a great need (for action), in regards to cyber-attacks in general and solving challenges related to the automotive industry’s drive to make cars more and more connected, and in the long run, perhaps even self-driving,” Rise chief Pia Sandvik stated.

Modern cars now have functions that allow car manufacturers to send out software updates exactly the same way as with mobile phones.

In addition to driving data, a connected car can also collect and pass on technical information about the vehicle.

Nightmare scenario

However, all this has raised questions about risks and the worst nightmare scenario in which someone could be able to take over and remotely operate a connected car.

Sandvik points out that, generally speaking, challenges are not only related to car safety but also to the fact that the vehicle can be a gateway for various actors to get additional information about car owners.

“If you want to gain access to information or cause damage, you can use different systems, and connected vehicles are one such system. Therefore, it is important to be able to test and see if you have robust and resilient systems in place,” she said.

Ethical hackers

Initially, about 15 employees at Rise will work on what is described as “Europe’s most advanced cyber security work” regarding the automotive industry.

Among the employees, there are also so-called “ethical hackers”, i.e., people who have been recruited specifically to test the systems.

“These are hackers who are really good at getting into systems, but not with the aim of inflicting damage, but to help and contribute to better solutions,” Sandvik noted.