The Atlas Vampire Mystery. Horrifying Murder of Lilly Lindeström Remains Unsolved
Prostitute Lilly Lindeström was last seen by her friend Minnie when Lilly came to borrow condoms from her. Three days later, the young woman was found dead - without a single drop of blood left in her body.
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Today we're taking a closer look at another story that will give you goosebumps. It happened in Sweden in 1932, where a mysterious "vampire" murdered a 32-year-old prostitute Lilly Lindeström. Last time anyone has seen her was when she went to her friend to borrow condoms. To this day, no one knows who killed the girl and who drained all the blood from her body.
An ordinary day. Before a mysterious client called
Lilly Lindeström, 32, didn't like her life in the small town of Malmö in southern Sweden anymore. Her marriage was ruined, she wasn't happy and therefore decided to start over from scratch. She got divorced, moved to Stockholm, started working as a prostitute in the Atlas district and found an apartment in the same house as her friend Minnie.
She didn't have a pimp. Lilly ran a sex business on her own, and maybe that was what made her story fatal. She brought her clients to a small apartment at Sankt Eriksplan 11, where her friend and colleague from the industry, Minnie Jansson, also lived on the ground floor. She was also the last one to see Lilly alive, but we'll get to that.
April 30, 1932, the day the whole country was celebrating Walpurgis Night, Minnie was visiting Lilly. The two girls were deciding what clothes to wear for the evening party on Djurgården Island, where they planned to go around nine. The phone rang, an unknown male was looking for a prostitute. At first, Lilly found it strange that she didn't recognize the voice. Strangers usually didn't know her phone number. But she and Minnie, who was listening, agreed that the caller sounded like a gentleman and that she should meet with him.
The stranger was just around the corner from Lilly's house and immediately headed over to her place. Minnie left to her ground floor apartment, where her later murdered friend visited her two more times that night. There was no indication that this visit would be fatal for Lilly.
„Got any condoms?“
Just minutes after the client came to Lilly, the girl came over to Minnie, since she needed to borrow condoms. For the first time, she reportedly came very happy and cheerful. When the man sent her for condoms for the second time, Lilly came naked. Still with a smile on her face. So Minnie didn't think her friend could lose her life, and she looked forward for them to go to Djurgården Island together. But Lilly didn't live long enough to do that.
When Minnie went to knock on Lilly's door around nine in the evening, she got no answer. That didn't seem suspicious to her, she just assumed that her friend had forgotten about the celebrations and set out for the city with her client . She then repeated her visit the next morning, May 1st, but Lilly wasn't getting the door again. When the young woman didn't responding on May 4th, Minnie decided to contact the police.
Ruthless killer or a vampire? There was no blood left in the dead body
The police arrived at the scene immediately and when she opened the door to Lilly's apartment, they found her without any signs of life. The crime scene was perfectly clean, except for a few details. Police began to suspect that they were facing a difficult case.
Lilly was apparently dead for a longer time. According to the investigators, the murder probably took place directly on Walpurgis night or the morning after. The victim's body was laying face down on a neatly made bed, naked, and the woman's clean clothes were folded in a chair beside the bed. In addition, she had pillows piled on her body, the whole apartment was perfectly tidy and there was nothing missing. The only clue was a bloody towel and a ladle.
The coroner, who had come to examine the body, found out that Lilly had sex with the killer just before her death. A condom remained in her anus and the rapist's saliva was found on her neck. The killing probably occurred during the anal intercourse, when the victim didn't see the killer. He hit her on the head with a blunt object several times. However, no murder weapon was found at the scene, and the only thing that the detectives were able to find was a ladle stained with blood. But it was too light for a murder weapon, and traces of blood on kitchen utensils indicated that a large spoon could be used for other purposes…
There was no blood left in the dead prostitute's body. The police thought that the killer had drunk it and even used the ladle to scoop it into another container, which he then took home. In addition, a bloody towel was found in the victim's apartment, which looked as if someone had wiped a blood-soaked mouth with it.
The case was immediately taken up by journalists, who started talking about the killer as an Atlas Vampire. Given that the film Dracula with Bela Lugosi only came out a year earlier, people believed in this scenario and the entire country of Sweden was anxiously awaiting the capture of the perpetrator. But that never happened.
Many fingerprints, but no right one
The police, searched Lilly Lindeström's apartment and found many fingerprints, of course. Most of them belonged to the victims' clients, who were being questioned by the investigators, but there was no indication that any of them had committed the horrific act. About seven men took part in the interrogation, but the police decided that it was a dead end and did not proceed to further interrogations.
In addition, the rapist seemed to have taken the murder weapon with him, and he also made sure that there were no empty glasses, cigarette butts, or other objects left in the apartment that could have his fingerprints. The case therefore officially closed in 1957. The detectives still wondered why the killer cared so much about cleaning the apartment, but didn't bother to hide the victim's body.
Nowadays, an investigation into a similar murder would probably turn out differently, as it would be possible to track down the perpetrators by semen and saliva, but unfortunately the procedures at the time did not allow DNA analysis. In addition, no one saw Lilly's client enter or leave the building, and the police were clueless. Lilly Lindeström's body was buried on May 16th, 1932 in her hometown of Malmö, and the killer was never found.
Did Minnie know more? There's many speculations
The mysterious case has become a real sensation and the country is still into it to this day. Many amateur investigators came up with several scenarios about who killed the young prostitute. One of the most popular ones is that Minnie knows more about the case than she admits. The killer may have been a police officer who knew very well what he was doing, so he left the scene completely clean. With a bloody ladle and a towel, he only tried to confuse his colleagues, who began investigating the case as a vampire attack, and he succeeded.
Other speculations suggest that Lilly may have been killed by her ex-husband, whom the police never interrogated either. He was said to be jealous of his wife that had left him, went to the capital, where she made a living as a prostitute and murdered her in the heat of aggression.
Another speculation concerns what was mentioned at the very beginning. Dracula film was released in 1931, and in the same year, one of the most famous vampires in history, Peter Kürten, was in Düsseldorf. He killed nine people and psychiatrists say he suffered from the so-called clinical vampirism or Renfield syndrome, which is considered a real disorder in which people think they need human blood to survive. Vampires were experiencing a big boom, and it could easily have happened that Lilly's killer wanted to become a vampire and wanted to try what it's like to drink human blood.
The case has attracted many mysterious murder enthusiasts from around the world, so it's no wonder that the Stockholm police have set up the Stockholm Police Museum, which has a lot of evidence of this vampire murder.
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