LASERMANNEN – EN BERÄTTELSE OM SVERIGE
THE LASER MAN – A STORY ABOUT SWEDEN
BY TAMAS, GELLERT
During a few months at the end of 1991 and at the beginning of 1992, the city of Stockholm was stricken with terror. An unknown culprit, armed with a laser-sighted rifle, manages to shoot a total of eleven people during ten separate attacks. One person died and many others suffered permanent injuries. The only thing that these victims have in common is the dark colour of their skin. At the same time, Sweden was experiencing its worst economic crisis in decades. In its wake, a new militant racist movement emerged. Refugee reception centres throughout the country were attacked with incendiary bombs and Molotov cocktails. In the Swedish Parliament, a political party called Ny Demokrati (New Democracy) rallied against immigration. The rifle attacks started the biggest manhunt since the murder of Prime Minister Olof Palme. After ten months, a man, later known as the Laser Man, was found by the police and arrested under dramatic circumstances. Even though he denied the charges, John Ausonius was sentenced to life imprisonment. After almost ten years in prison he finally decided to confess to the attacks, as well as to twenty bank robberies. Besides the police, Ausonius has only spoken with one other person about the attacks – the journalist and author Gellert Tamas.
Lasermannen (The Laser Man) attracted a great deal of attention and was one of the most critically acclaimed books of 2002. The book is based on extensive source materials and portrays the police’s intense struggle to capture a killer before he has the chance to strike again. In addition, it also presents a portrait of the society, the debate and the political climate that influenced the Laser Man – and which he in turn also influenced. Gellert Tamas received the prestigious Guldspaden Award (The Golden Shovel) for his book. The book was also adapted into a TV mini-series for Swedish Television in 2005, directed by Mikael Marcimain, and awarded with the Kristallen Award as ”The Drama Show of the Year”.
ABOUT THE BOOK
First published by Ordfront, Sweden, 2002.
RIGHTS SOLD TO
Czech Republic, Absynt
Denmark, People’s Press
Greece, K. Adam Ekdotiki S.A.I.C. Editons
The Netherlands, De Rode Kamer
Slovakia, Vydavateľstvo Absynt
Gellert Tamas’ book is an exceedingly exciting and reliable piece of journalism: last year, 52 Swedish crime novels were published and many of them dealt with matters such as this, but most of them don’t even reach up to the ankles of Lasermannen (The Laser Man).
Per Olov Enquist, Expressen
It is a frightening story, told by Gellert Tamas in a masterful documentary book that at the same time is a breathless page-turner…
Jesper Högström, Svenska Dagbladet
A document over an era that every politically and socially involved citizen must have in their bookshelf. The best book I have read in a long time.
Magnus Utvik, Swedish Television, SVT Morgon