THE ATLAS VAMPIRE CASE
Posted February 21, 2013on:
This is one of the most mysterious murder cases I’ve ever come across. Information on it is scarcer than hen’s teeth. I have only ever seen one very fleeting reference to it in a book, and Wikipedia has only one short paragraph on it, although there is slightly more on Swedish Wikipedia. The details – such as I’ve been able to find – are as follows:
On 4 May 1932 a 32-year-old prostitute, Lilly Lindestrom, was found dead in her flat in the Sankt Eriksplan district of Stockholm, Sweden. She was last seen alive by her friend Minnie, who presumably (although it’s not very clear) lived in a flat below her. Minnie said Lilly had come down twice one evening to borrow condoms. On the second occasion, around 9PM, Lilly was totally naked beneath her coat. That was the last that was seen of Lilly for a couple of days.
Minnie became concerned after ringing Lilly’s doorbell and getting no reply. She called the police, who forced their way in. Lilly was found lying dead, face-down, on the sofa (some say her bed), her clothes neatly folded on a chair nearby. Her skull had been dealt a crushing blow, and there was a condom still in her anus. No fingerprints were found at the scene. What truly lifts this case from the tragic to the utterly bizarre though was the fact that somebody had been drinking her blood! I’m not sure how they had been drinking her blood. Some websites I’ve seen have fretted over whether the culprit had been drinking from a glass or not, but even that I can’t be sure of. Swedish Wikipedia quotes the police as having found a gravy-ladle which “probably been full of blood”, although a Swedish true crime programme ruled out any elements of vampirism.
When reading up on this case I was reminded of the more well-known case of the Black Dahlia from the 1940s. The Black Dahlia case is one of the most notorious unsolved murder cases of the 20th century. A woman walking along a street in a district of Los Angeles on 15 January 1947 found what at first she thought was a shop window mannequin lying abandoned on a vacant lot. To her horror she discovered it was in fact the corpse of a young woman, Elizabeth Short.
Elizabeth’s death was horrific. She had been killed by blows to her head and face, her body had been cut completely in half, and her blood had been drained. (I’ve seen a photograph of this, and have every sympathy with the poor policeman, standing nearby, who was clearly trying not to retch). Elizabeth, a strikingly attractive woman, was nicknamed the Black Dahlia by the tabloid press of the time, owned by newspaper magnate Randolph Hearst (the inspiration for Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane). As if she hadn’t suffered enough, the press tore into Elizabeth’s reputation, branding her a loose good-time girl who wore revealing clothing.
There were numerous suspects in the Black Dahlia case, and like the Jack The Ripper murders of several decades before, the waters were further muddied by fantasists writing to the press claiming to be the killer. One admitted that he was concerned that the case was fading from the papers, and he wanted to keep it going. Ultimately, no one was ever brought to book for Elizabeth’s death, but it has intrigued true crime afficionado’s ever since.
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