Sweden’s National Board of Forensic Medicine has admitted that it lacks the tools to fully assess the risk of relapse for the 52-year-old man convicted of killing his seven-year-old stepdaughter during an “exorcism”.
According to the board’s assessment of the case the crime was “committed in an imaginary cultural context where the influence of evil spirits, witches’ spells and the power of curses are by no means strange, and are instead problems of an everyday nature.”
The board concluded therefore that existing risk assessment methodology is insufficient to assess the case and that it “lacks any experience of phenomena of this kind”.
The board however was able to observe that the 52-year-old has demonstrated exemplary behaviour while in detention with a complete absence of “aggressive reactionary behaviour”.
The board also observed that the man has in interviews, held to consider whether his life sentence should be commuted to a fixed term penalty, “completely distanced himself from his previous world-view which incorporated witchcraft, evil spirits and obsession”.
The case dates back to 1999 when the man’s seven-year-old step-daughter died during an attempt to drive evil spirits from her body.