When the Law Turns Bad: Tore Hedin

Josie Klakström
3 min readAug 20, 2020

Tore Hedin was a Swedish spree killer, born in January 1927, in Stora Harrie, around 18 miles from Malmö, Sweden. Hedin excelled at school but lacked social aptitude. He wanted to be a police officer and so he worked hard, ensuring that he made the grades he needed to enter the academy.

Tore Hedin via Wikipedia

Hedin became a celebrity in Saxtorp, as he was now a respected officer in the police force and was on the most important case the town had seen; there was an axe murderer on the loose. He was the face of the investigation, and updated townsfolk at community meetings and answered their questions. His fame had become national, with far corners of Sweden knowing the name of Tore Hedin.

September 1943 saw his first, petty, crime. Hedin broke into a brewery near his parents’ home to steal oats. He then burned down the brewery to conceal what he had done.

Eight years later, he committed his first murder. He killed his friend John Nilsson whilst playing a game of poker at Nilsson’s home. He took the money from the poker game and again burned down the building to prevent anything from the crime scene being linked to him. Because the crime happened in his jurisdiction, Hedin took part in the investigation into his own crime and steered his fellow officers away from his involvement in the murder and arson.

In 1952, his fiancé, Ulla Östberg, broke off their engagement. Angry, he hit her in the face with his handcuffs and threatened to kill her with his service weapon. She subsequently reported him for this incident, and he was fired from his role as a police officer. Attempts to win back her love failed, and Hedin grew more desperate and even more irate.

On the 21st August, his killing spree began. Hedin drove to his parents’ home in Saxtorp and killed them both, burning down the house in the process.

He then travelled to his girlfriend’s workplace, a retirement home in Hurva, Skåne County. He climbed up the fire escape and through the window of the room she was renting, but was surprised by the matron, Agnes Lundin, and killed both her and his girlfriend, hitting them multiple times with an axe.

Retirement home after the fire via lifedaily.com

He proceeded to barricade the entrance to the retirement home and set the building alight. Four residents died in the fire from smoke inhalation, and another died several days later from severe burns to their body.

Because of the identity of the victims, the police department now knew that they were searching for one of their own and had begun their manhunt for Hedin. He knew that they would eventually find him, so he drove to a cabin nearby a lake, wrote a suicide note stating his occupation as a murderer and his reasoning as to why he killed his parents. He then weighed down his body and drowned himself in Brösarp lake.

Tore Hedin’s spree became known as Hurvamorden and is still known as the worst killing spree in Sweden’s history.

--

--

Josie Klakström

Josie is a freelance journo who writes about writing, true crime, culture and marketing. www.truecrimeedition.com