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The horrific events of May Day in Turku are not forgotten – one of the evildoers made a cold statement: “There was no reason for it” – Turku region

Non-fiction writer Rauno Lahtinen wrote a book about the murders and other atrocities in Turku.


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May Day 1999 Turku brings to mind the gloomy events of Helsinki’s Koskela.

During the evening and at night, a 16-year-old young man in Turku stabbed several people in various parts of the city completely by chance with a butterfly knife he bought from the May Day market.

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The stabbings fit within a few hours of the fork. The town had a large crowd, and it was difficult for the police to find the perpetrator in the midst of May Day.

The young man did not move alone. There were two to ten guys, boys and girls at different stages of the evening who took part in the events by kicking and pushing people. One of them later stated Helsingin Sanomat in an interview: “There was no reason for that. Guys ny a little stabbed ”.

A total of ten people were hospitalized. All younger men. One of them died of his injuries. The perpetrator was so drunk during the evening that his recollection of events was flimsy.

He was sentenced to nine years in prison for murder, two attempted murder, seven aggravated and three ordinary assaults.

In 1999, a 16-year-old young man stabbed several people in Turku on May Day nights during the night. One man was stabbed at this intersection.­

As stated above is one of the many scary events that Rauno Lahtinen has recorded in his work Murders and atrocities in Turku.

It touched the bay insofar as he lives near the place where the last stabbed dragged several hundred meters before he was taken to hospital.

– I remembered it because I live right next door. It was a complete coincidence that I myself was not in their way. When I read about the events in the magazine, I thought this could not be true, Lahtinen says.

– Turku had a bad drug problem at the time and the perpetrators were a group that had used drugs.

A similar random stab in Turku was witnessed in 2017, when a Moroccan Abderrahman Bouanane carried out a terrorist attack on the Turku market square with two kitchen knives he bought from Ikea.

Police caught the perpetrator within minutes, but the consequences were still dire. Two women died in the attack. In addition, six women and two men were injured.

Steel weapons play a significant role in Turku residents, as in Finnish customs and murders anyway. Especially at the beginning of the last millennium, the knife swung hard in Turku. On Midsummer 1907 alone, three stabs occurred in the city.

Many young men always had a knife with them.

– The imprint was in line with that. There were a huge number of cases in the early 20th century. The book I have chosen only a few, Lahtinen says.

Stabbings happened on the streets, at parties, and at the end of drinks at home. A blade weapon combined with drunkenness was a combination of risks that often led to stabbings when emotions were bubbling.

The sting itself did not have to be deadly. Before the time of antibiotics, even small wounds could become the fate of a stabbed person.

One of the flammable places was the suburb of Raunistula. The distance to the market was only three kilometers, but the mood was decisively different from the conditions in the center.

Lahtinen’s book begins with a story about how the “king” of Raunistula Karl Alfred Grahn stabbed to death. First a few bottles of pounds were drunk with a group of men, then the forces were measured on a finger hook and finally the knife was waved.

Grahn, who lost in a finger hook, tried to injure his winner with a knife Antti Tammista. The knife dropped, Tamminen grabbed it and hit Grahn deadly. Tamminen was found guilty, but he was not convicted because “his own life had been in danger and he could not predict the consequences of his actions”.

There were huge stabs in Turku at the beginning of the 20th century. One of the flammable places was the suburb of Raunistula. The distance to the market was only three kilometers, but the mood was decisively different from the conditions in the center.­

For acts of violence there are a wide variety of motives. Jealousy and lust for money, among other things, but sometimes even politics. In 1911, the President of the Turku Court of Appeal was shot Gustaf Waldemar Deer Stump.

The deer population was moderate Finnish-minded, from Hellens changed his name to Hirvikanta, while the shooter is an ardent supporter of Swedishness Bruno Forström. He shot himself after the murder.

The murder was believed to be based on conspiracy, but it could not be proven. According to the court, there were others involved in the murder than Forström. The charges were never brought.

Firearms was also used when a taxi driver Erik Johansson was killed in 1925. He had picked up a man from the Kristiinankatu piercing stop. A little later, a passerby noticed a car crashing into an electric pole at the Bishop’s Cross, six miles from the starting point.

A bloody taxi driver was found near the car, alive, but he died on the way to the hospital. Cause of death: two shots shot in the back.

– Taxi robberies and murders were a real problem in the 1920s and 1930s. There were many cases where a customer shot a driver and took, or tried to take the money. The motive for the Bishop’s Cross case never survived.


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“The book’s cases are a forgotten history,” says author Rauno Lahtinen.­

Murder was suspected Felix Koskinen but the evidence was not enough for the verdict. A year later, the county jail sentenced Aarne Koskee confessed to Johansson’s murder. There were gaps in the rapids ’story that led the court to rule that he could not be a murderer.

The murder could never be solved. The motif was also obscured. The case coincided with the Prohibition Act between 1919 and 1932, when the number of homicides was at its peak.

– Pirtu was strong stuff. Already a few horrors got mixed up. Expenditure calmed down considerably in the 1930s when the Prohibition Act expired.

True crime is fashionable, but Lahtinen sees a broader historical significance in the background of criminal cases.

– The cases in the book are a forgotten history. They once influenced people a lot and shaped their thinking. I wanted to bring it out, and especially in the 1900s first half of the cases describe what kind of Turku at that time was, Lahtinen says.Source: Rauno Lahtinen: Murder and Terror in Turku. Frog 2021.

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