The Suspicious Case of the Reykjavik Confessions
This. Week on BuzzFeed himself we discussed the reykjavik confessions and icelandic case in which six people confess, to murders that police have no physical evidence ever occurred, this is a treat for me because. As. You, know yeah i went on a trip to Iceland, last year yeah I've heard about it it certainly is one of the many arrows in your anecdote, quiver a big one well I'm excited to tell you that perhaps the place that you deemed, heaven maybe, isn't so heavenly, stunning. This. Does yeah. Hot springs great stuff let's get into it on January. 26th. 1974. Booth moon Dare Anderson, a quiet, 18, year old laborer went, out drinking with some friends, they ended up in a dance hall and happen Arthur a town, just south of Reykjavik. Goof, moon Dare left the party in the early hours of the day and decided to walk home around. 2:00 a.m. two, of his friends saw, a good mood there on the road trying, to hitch a ride with another, man they did not recognize both. Men were clearly drunk and Guth moon there swayed, as he stumbled his way through the snow booth moon there never made it home, at the, time the, entire country, of Iceland's, population, was about two hundred and twenty thousand people for context that's five thousand, fewer people than lived in Reno Nevada, in 2010. Major, crimes were very very uncommon, they, didn't even have government. Bodies tasked, with finding missing, people after. A few weeks of searching and coming up empty the, volunteer, search parties ended, their hunt yeah, not a lot of crime they're not used to it still, I mean you should have some systems in place let me tell you something about Iceland. One morning we, woke up to, go on a beautiful kayak, trip, the woman who drove us to the kayak thing we were talking about just, the way things go there and she. Said you know we don't have a lot of crime here about, once a year we will do a murder and she made. And. I was like okay, I know you know you're not implying that the whole country gets, together and picks one person like the lottery and decides, to sacrifice, them. She. Said, we will do over there do a murder. Around, ten months after good moon there anderson disappeared. On november 19, 1974. A quiet, construction. Worker given their anderson, with no relation, to good moon there was watching TV with a friend at his home in kep Levesque the pair briefly left to go to the harbor cafe but Geffen there shortly returned, back, at home he received a phone call his. Wife goofed knee said governor, told the man on the other end of the call quote I've already. Come end quote. Followed by quote I'll come, and quote, GERD Fenner then drove his car into town parked, close to a cafe, left, his keys in the ignition exited. His vehicle and, was never, seen again, two, guys disappear, within the span of ten months they have the same last name no relation in a place where this is not common yes, so, we may have a bit of a crook on our hands, yeah maybe, turning around up the. Task force. To. Find the missing people another. Missing person, meant another search party of, volunteers, who, found no trace of Garin er this being the second disappearance, within the year detectives. Decided, it might be time to do a bit more sleuthing, the, first step for police, was to find out who called Garin er two teenagers, and a cafe employee described, a man they had seen place a call from a phone booth outside the cafe, from, these descriptions, the, police made a clay recreation. Of a man's face and began, showing it around kept, Levesque is a small town so, when no one could identify the man depict it in the police's, model, they assumed the man was from out of town the. Manager of a nightclub in nearby Reykjavik, was questioned, but released by, the following summer detectives, had no witnesses, and crucially, no, bodies, what they did have were rumors swirling around once, Ivar, see sales key so. This is a. Possible. Suspect. Based, off description, so instead of doing like a a police sketch they, did a yeah arts and crafts I got a little mr. Potato Head mr.. Potato Head here. Sy, VAR c sales key was a local petty criminal, with a penchant, for stealing things like alcohol candles. And checkbooks, he, sold drugs and, would tell his girlfriend. But let doctor about, his desire to commit, the quote perfect. Crime end quote, together, the two would forged checks using, airless, job as a telex, operator for Iceland's post and telecommunication.
Company Shortly after Geffen Nair went missing aired 'la and savart bought one-way tickets, to Copenhagen, with money they didn't bezel from Atlas job so, these are these these is like a Bonnie and Clyde situation, yeah, you. Know what actually. Now. That you bring this up I did. Go to Copenhagen. Right after Iceland, and it is a stunning. City. Wouldn't. Mind escaping there in. Denmark. Antlia, soon became pregnant and the couple moved back to Reykjavik, to have their baby in September 1975. In, order to support his new family, cybers, plan was, to smuggle cannabis. Into Iceland. Perhaps. Consequently, Ella, decided, the two should live apart. I'm. Gonna provide, for this family. Some, of that good good good, turn Iceland, into Greenland, baby. While. Police were still stymied, by the previous, year's two disappearances. They had been making progress on a case of some stolen money at the post and telecommunication. Company on December, 12 1975. Savar, was arrested, on suspicion, of embezzlement. Two, days later antlia. Was also taken into custody Ella. Initially, denied everything, authorities. Questioned, her and detained, her in solitary confinement, after. Seven days of grueling questioning. She confessed, to the post and telecommunication. Fraud as she, was preparing to be released, investigators. Showed Erika, a photo of Guth moon dirt intercept the first man to go missing, who, she recognized, from Reykjavik, they, had once shared a card together and had on another occasion ran into one another at a party, etna, told investigators. That she vaguely remembered, the night good moon there disappeared, she, had been at a nightclub without sy bar who she thought was in Denmark at the time when, she got home she immediately, fell, asleep though, she recalled a nightmare, in which she could hear sigh bars boys whispering, outside, her window. Sensing, the faintest, hint of a lead police, asked, her if it was possible she hadn't been dreaming, so instead. Of releasing her they'd been through Ella, back in solitary confinement, crook, Lord she admits to the embezzlement yeah and then they throw a Hail Mary they say here's a picture of goo moon there yeah hey you do crimes, you know. She. Remembers him she, has a nightmare that. Sigh bar who, is unaccounted, for is whispering, outside of her window the. Police then, say maybe, it wasn't a nightmare yeah, they then throw her back into solitary confinement two, birds one, stone as, they say that, is what they say little something I heard in Iceland.
Alone. Air club began to doubt her memories, she, thought quote is it possible, they killed someone in the apartment and I saw the whole thing and I can't remember, end quote, Ella, was questioned, for six hours on December, 20th, naming, sy bar and their friend Kristian Vitter as possible. Suspects, in booth moon dares disappearance. She also, mentioned, being perplexed, to come home On January 27th. 1974. The day after goof moon there disappeared, to find her bed sheet missing investigators. Drew, up a confession that said she saw cypher and three, others, carry the body of guthe Linder while wrapped in the missing bedsheet, antlia, signed it after being kept in solitary confinement, for days and being, threatened, to be kept there indefinitely all while, she had an 11, week old baby at home Eric, but herself was only 20 years old like. You put me in a room for. Three, straight days I'm. Starting, to already questioned my sense of reality yeah I needed. To talk to people the, next day cypher, who had been in solitary confinement this, whole time was, questioned, for 10 hours then, six hours the day after once, investigators, finally showed him airless confession, sy bar told investigators. He was involved along, with three friends Christian, who cypher had seen that adla had already named, Craig, V Runa and Albert, Kaun, so, he's in solitary he's, wondering what the hell's going on they're grilling, him for 16 hours and then, they show that his, you, know I guess former significant, other hasn't, a signed confession saying, this is what he did I think that's the last, draw right that breaks the camel's back and you may suspect if, he's. Thinking well if I confess to this maybe they'll just get me out of solitary but, if I implicate. Some other people maybe. Maybe that'll, spread. It out a bit exactly, the police had developed an unfortunate. Habit of during, their suspects, in solitary, confinement, anytime. They needed to solicit, a confession. In this criminal case they, arrested, the three men and threw them into solitary, eventually. The men all confessed, to playing roles in booth moon dares murder now, that they had extracted, confessions, for one disappearance, the investigators, wondered, was, it possible, that they could solve the second one - pretty. Much everyone I met in Iceland was so kind, and so polite I just. Imagined, the most polite people in the world doing this and being like well, we figured out that if you put them in that room you. Know they'd tell you. So. I guess, maybe we'll just keep doing that I would like to not think that's the case I would like to think that maybe the community is pressuring like this. Guy's running rampant they're killing, they killed two people that's twice the output in the last 20 years we got to do something and this. Is the answer they're they're doing result based investigative, techniques they're getting the signature they did their job in their head yeah that's how they're legitimizing, it which like. I said some people you, could you could understand that police. Went back to air club and asked, if it was possible the men they've gotten confessions, out of for good moon there's disappearance, could have also been involved in get winners as well antlia. Replied quote maybe, end quote. The police told their quote we have a reason to believe that you have experienced, something traumatic concerning, Geffen Ayres disappearance, and we are going to help you remember and quote, they, were like do you think this could maybe be connected, to this other disappearance.
And She said maybe. And, they're, like oh yeah that's the Greenline baby fire up that room again. Ridiculous. Oh great great this is the second, time they have taken her out she. Assigned something and thought I'm free good to go and then they said uh-uh uh-uh and, you, go so you just got to think about what. That would do to your brain her. Brain is Plato right now yeah the, police began to question it. Sighs var and Christian, about guarantors, disappearance, and sure, enough received. Confessions. From all of them their, stories however kept, changing at, one point the murder happened on a boat but, the final confession presented, in court said, the men had killed him on land eventually. Christian mentioned, a foreign-looking, man who, helped them murder Jeff inner that, foreign-looking, man was, eventually identified. As Guth yon Scarpia Tinson a former, teacher of ciphers if you had a good teacher they say like write a note to him let him know how much you appreciate it give him an apple or something it'd be weird to be like hey you did a great you I really liked the multiplication. Tables we did you. Want to kill a guy yeah, you did a really good job molding, my mind you did it such a good job I'd, like you to come. In with me on this big score. How'd you like to make a man disappear. Guth. Yan was arrested, on November 12, 1976. Though, he initially claimed, he could not remember the night in question which, at this point was almost two years ago 17. Days of solitary confinement managed. To jog his memory and, he confessed, by, December, 1976. Antlia, sighs Vaart Christian, Guth Yan trivy. And Albert, had confessed to involvement, in the murders despite, the fact that all suspects, demonstrated, foggy memory of the events the fact that aired Lucifer, and Christian all tried to retract their confessions, which the court rejected and the fact that no murdered bodies had been discovered in December, 1977. They were all found guilty by, the court and given, various sentences relating, to their involvement oh boy. Yeah, this, is this is now getting kind of comical at this point yeah they're, just roping him in it's, worth pausing to go over what life was like for the six while they were detained by the police, Albert. Spent a total of 88, days in solitary, confinement, antlia. Spent two hundred and forty-one days, goofy on spent, four hundred and twelve, days trip, Vee spent, six hundred and twenty-seven, Christiaan. Spent, six hundred and eighty two and savart. Spent, a whopping seven. Hundred and forty-one, days more, than two full years in, solitary confinement. They were periodically, prohibited, from sleeping, and interrogated. Hundreds. Of times according. To prison guard Lena Thor Magnussen SCI VARs head would be dunked, in buckets of water as he was told he'd drown if he did not confess that. Is ridiculous. Usually it seems like when they try to force a confession like, this it's. Like they maybe may, not reveal they've got someone locked up Duncan their head, in a bucket. Pretty. Proud of themselves you know I imagine, yeah be they were pleased, with the results while in detention, Christiaan twice, attempted, suicide at times, he was made to pose and recreated, crime scene photos in one, Christian. Strangles, a police officer, who is standing in for given her false, memory experts, say that the acting, out of supposed crimes, can make those crimes more, concrete, and realistic, in the suspects, mind, on May. 3rd, 1976. Art 'la who was not being detained at the time was, brought in for questioning as a witness, she was kept in custody overnight and the following day seemingly, out of nowhere give.
A Statement that she had shot air Fenner she, was then detained in, solitary. Until December, 22nd. Their, cruelty seems, to know no end if, you're already doubting, yourself in, thinking like man maybe maybe, my brain is just blocking. Off that part of my memory suddenly, now, you've. Got sensations, to tie to all the things that you may or may have not done the, psychology, of it is like maybe if I give them this or that they'll, let me go yeah and that's, all it becomes on New, Year's Eve, 1976. Gisli, Guth young son a young, detective at the time of the disappearances. Who has since become one of the world's foremost false, memory syndrome experts. Gave, Guth young a lie-detector. Test that, test, sparked, something in Guth young causing, him to suddenly question, whether he had been involved at all he, couldn't remember any event happening, gisli. Author of the book the psychology of false, confessions, 40 years of science, and practice, says, false memory syndrome which. Can be triggered by interrogations. With false evidence, isolation. And tense emotional, situations, can, lead to false confessions, easly says. Diary kept by Gucci on while he was detained in solitary, for 14 months was, the best example, of false memory syndrome he's ever seen of the, whole case gisli, says that quote these, individuals. Had absolutely. No knowledge of what happened they were just trying to appease the police they, were trying to be cooperative because. They knew if they were not cooperative, they, will be given more solitary confinement, end quote. Well, who's this young go-getter, shown up on the scene because I like the cut of his jib. Yeah. He's, kind of writing in like the white knight I like, you, got this young detective, sitting there he's, probably like hey, you know that guy's been in that room for 700 days maybe, that's not the best practice that we should be engaging, in yeah maybe.
Think About what we're doing here folks oh no no okay well I'm gonna write a book about you, know ya with youth comes a changing of the guard so to speak yeah it was necessary, here yeah in, September, 2018. Everyone. Was acquitted but ECLA who was still fighting a conviction of perjury, by, then everyone, had already finished, serving their sentences, and savart, and Cristian had already died both in their 50s while. Much of that was about how horrible, the justice system in Iceland, was in the 1970s, they're still a mystery, to get to the bottom of so, with that here, are some theories about what happened to Guth moon there Anderson, and gif man they're a nursin the, first theory is that the police got this one right Guth, moon dare was murdered by Erica sigh Park Christian, Albert, and trig, V governor. Was murdered by Erica Savar and Christian, and Booth Yin what. Evidence is there of this no, bodies were ever found, though there, was it was missing bedsheet. Missing. Bedsheet doesn't, always equal murder you know my, freshman year of college, mm-hmm, we, went to Bed Bath & Beyond to get some some. Stuff and my mom was like hey, you. Should get these rubber, sheets, I. Said. Why. On why in the hell would I buy rubber sheets and she was like you know case you spill like a pop, on your bed I thought she was gonna say cuz you're like sleeping, in a pool of your own vomit no no. Anyway back, to the murder did you buy the rubber sheets I'm actually no I didn't buy the rubber sheet I think who, would do that apparently. You because you're getting pretty touchy about it which makes me feel like I just know why we're standing in that room for ten days and then I'll ask you about the road okay how about that is good, you're bringing them back around the second theory is that neither man was, murdered while, crime was very uncommon, in Iceland, disappearances. Were not in fact, disappearances. Happened so often in Iceland, that they feature prominently. In the country's folklore, in the 50 years prior to these cases dozens. Of people had gone missing in Iceland, most, of them their cases unsolved, in the, more than 40 years since, the disappearances. Of gooth wonder Anderson, and get, veneer Anderson, they too have, also taken on in nearly mythical. Quality within Icelandic, culture, oh I'm, buying that because, in, Iceland, big open, fields were I don't think people are walking but, on the on the Reg so, you can get a body out there. Decomposes. Nobody, knows yeah. I'm booking up two years later than that book you might take a Dyson right now you've sold me you gotta check it I wasn't on board until you got to the decomposing, body in an open field but after that. Yeah. A third, theory is that the men were murdered but by someone else new evidence, in the case has compelled investigators. To reopen it a new, witness says they saw two men carry, a third weakened, man onto, a boat the date governor, went missing, that, man allegedly, told the eyewitness.
Quote Remember. Me end quote, when, the boat that was carrying two men and the one Wigand man returned, to shore there were only the two men, on board recently. This, witness, claims to have seen one of the men in East Iceland, decades, later working, on electricity, lines weird. That you wouldn't just if you saw someone carrying. A weekend de man who looked at you and said remember me you. Wouldn't maybe. Yeah. Get, the police on the horn maybe do a little hey, I saw a guy get carried off it looked like he couldn't walk he said remember me may want to look into it maybe like well we don't have a missing task force so so. Do you later you later. Hang, it up and that's that yeah, while these mysterious disappearances took, place over 40 years ago we can draw important, lessons, for today in the way the cases were handled while. It might be tempting to try and cram facts to fit a convenient, theory truth, works the other way around had. Authorities, been better equipped to discover the facts of the case perhaps, we'd know what happened to Goodwin there and get Vener but, because of a rush to find a convenient, solution these. Icelandic, disappearances. Remain. Unsolved. It's. Not often, that I have almost, zero hope. That. This one a case is going to be solved I just I feel that way about most cases I'm really a bit, there's, a small glimmer but this one it just I just don't think so and for, the record. Iceland. Is. Breathtaking. And you should really consider heading, out there men hard sell after this story but yeah I'll check it out I met an unsolved, fan there oh really, yeah so shout out to all our murder. Heads in. Iceland. You thought you were doing so well we're caller. Alright. See you next week everybody.