Helena Jämiäluoma’s murder has been in the dark for almost 49 years. However, new investigations may solve the mystery, says Crime Commissioner Kimmo Heinonen.
The story series deals with homicides that never survived.
The last sign of life at midnight. Early morning and shocking discovery. A life that never reached adulthood. A 17-year-old girl who attended a business school, Helena Jämiäluoman, the murder has been in the dark for nearly 49 years.
His cruel fate was revealed when a retiree living in Kankaanpää Aarne Asell went out to walk his bear dog Kill after five in the morning. Asell found Helena’s body in the small Pohjanlinna park in the center on August 17, 1972. It was not even six o’clock.
By midnight, Helena had certainly been alive and accompanied by a man at the intersection of Kuninkaanlähteenkatu and Tannerinkatu.
In the morning, only a small sweater covered Helena’s body. He had been beaten to death and had been sexually abused. The face was badly bruised. His clothes and bag and shoes were scattered around.
– The dog did not behave any more miraculously at night, and I myself did not hear anything out of the ordinary, but when we went for a run in the morning, I immediately noticed the girl’s naked body on the grass. I went to report it to the constable Tauno Lahtinen at home when there is no police station on duty at Kankaanpää at night, Asell said.
It was 5.43 when Constable Lahtinen was informed. Police isolated the area and covered Helena’s body. Hundreds of pairs of eyes gathered to follow the investigation.
A couple of hours later, before eight, the first arrest was made in the downtown Y-bar. A young man from the locality had come to the bar to buy a beer with his hands in his blood. The man had paid for his beer with a bloody viton note. The arrest did not resolve Helena’s fate.
– It was a normal drunkenness arrest. The guy was already a boy ready at the bar this morning, and of course his contribution to this blood work is also being investigated, but by no means do we associate him with death despite his bloody hands. The boy has reportedly had a quarrel at home, and he has slit his hand with a knife, police repelled wildly rampant rumors in a small town.
Alibi liked the bloody young man. Another rumor said two strange long men had harassed women the night before.
Murder investigations immediately transferred to the Central Criminal Police, its Turku County Department. The investigations were led by a commissioner Pentti Harju. Four new researchers were sent to the site in addition to the two previous ones. The Turku Criminal Police also assisted in the investigations.
This seems to be the act of an individual. I could imagine the killer has not done anything like this since.
Soon there were already 13 scholars. Faith was strong at first.
– It is not yet a hopeless case, although it is undeniably more tenacious than usual, the top management of the investigations told Ilta-Sanomat in November 1972.
As for long hair What happened to Helena? It’s been someone’s gloomy secret for almost 49 years. Helena’s last steps are known only to her murderer.
Now the investigation is being led by a criminal commissioner Kimmo Heinonen from the Central Criminal Police Unit in Western Finland.
– I think Helena knew her murderer. Almost everyone who was on the move on the night of the incident and a huge number of other people have been heard about the incident. I’m pretty sure that the murderer has already been in the hands of the police. His alibi has been so strong at the time of the interrogation that it has not been possible to break it then, Heinonen says.
Three cardboard boxes have been collected for research material related to Jämiäluoma.
– According to the records of Pentti Harju, who led the investigation at the beginning of the investigation, in April 1973 there were already 582 people questioned about the murder, 252 under suspicion and eight under arrest. The police have done a tremendous job, this thing has not caught on, Heinonen says.
Helena, who attended a business school, was working on the E-grill in the city center during the summer. However, on his death, Wednesday, he had a free evening. He spent it with his friends in the center of Kankaanpää.
The barbecue was open until two at night. By then, Helena was already dead. At eleven o’clock in the evening, Helena had visited her workplace toilet.
– There have been a lot of people on the move in the evening. There was a disco then. However, I would like to cut off the wings from wilder rumors. There has been talk of all kinds, for example, in connection with the Big Shoe Festival. I don’t think those parties had anything to do with Helena’s fate, Heinonen says.
– This seems to be the act of an individual. I could imagine the killer has not done anything like this since. We have several interesting people in the research material whose life course we have followed. They have not sat in prison later for a similar act, Heinonen explains.
No time in 1972 was on the police side. The police were able to determine the possible factor of the blood type through investigations, but it was a very common blood type.
– At that time, for example, there were no DNA tests that would have caught the author. However, evidence has been recorded from the scene, some of which is still preserved. These samples are examined at regular intervals in the criminal laboratory of the Central Criminal Police, Heinonen says.
– I have a strong belief that the development of research such as DNA research will provide an answer to this crime.
Helena came from a farming family in Jämijärvi. He had had time to attend a year of business school. He would have gone back to school in the fall.
– She was just an ordinary farm girl, Heinonen describes.
Helena had a boyfriend who has also been heard in the pre-trial investigation, like everyone who knew Helena. Weekly messages interviewed a boyfriend who said he had met Helena just over a month before the murder.
In the vicinity the man who lived said he had been in the center of Kankaanpää before the murder and had seen Helena leave the market in the company of a dark long-haired man after 11 p.m. The man said he had visited the girl’s apartment later, but did not meet Helena again.
The man said he escorted Helena home as far as possible when the girl got off work from the grill. So he had done on Tuesday, the day before the murder. On his death, he reportedly returned home at midnight.
Next on the day at her workplace it was reported that “a girl has been murdered in Kankaanpää”.
At noon, police came and asked the man to join him. Police asked him to identify the body. It was hard for the man to believe what had happened.
“I didn’t know him much like her hair …” The Weekly wrote in August 1972, about a week after the murder.
– It’s just such a strange thing that it doesn’t come true, the man said in a quiet voice to the reporter.
The magazine wrote about how the man, too, had gotten his share of the rumor spotlight, even though “the police have immediately rushed to establish (the man’s name) innocence based on his checks”.
Coworkers from the grill said every trip home after Helena’s fate was horrifying.
One lady living nearby had heard the woman screaming at about one o’clock at night. He hadn’t reacted to it any more strangely because “all kinds of screams and cries for help are so common today”.
– Oh, when there would be a place in Kankaanpää where young people could be in the evenings, without having to cycle around the market square and sit in the gate corridors of the shops! Helena’s roommate and friend Sinikka gasped in shock when she heard about her friend’s brutal fate.
Eleven at that time there was still a lot of youth in the market. At the time, Helena had been seen both alone and with the boys.
At first, the police missed a young man with about 175 centimeters, long hair, dressed in dark clothes, who talked to Helena shortly after midnight about 50 meters from the scene of the killing at the corner of Kuninkaanlähteenkatu and Tannerinkatu.
– One person who was once announced as an unknown man has been interrogated, his identity is known, Heinonen comments.
There were traces of drags at the scene. Helena was a tall girl and relatively strong. It is possible that he tried to struggle and free himself from the murderer’s grip.
Heinonen does not want to tell the exact time of his death. Old newspaper stories talk about the murder that took place between midnight and two in the morning.
The Kankaanpää City Council once promised FIM 3,000 for a crucial tip.
Neither solved the murder.
– The thing is still alive. We get a few tips every year. We do not currently have a person we could say is a suspect. There are potential people in the material.
Statistics show that the killer of a young person is usually of the same age group.
– It is possible that the perpetrator is still alive. He may have been living a normal life. All things are still being dug up and the interrogated people are going through again, Heinonen says.
Why was Helena killed?
– Only the author knows that. No one has yet acknowledged this act.
Sources: Archive of Ilta-Sanomat, Helsingin Sanomat and Viikkosanom.
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