Jackie Banny Arklöv (born 6 June 1973) is a Swedish convicted criminal. Arklöv is an ex-neo-Nazi and Yugoslav Wars mercenary and war criminal, who, with two other neo-Nazis, murdered two police officers after a bank robbery in 1999.
Arklöv was born in Liberia; his mother was black Liberian woman and his father was a German national. He also briefly had a white American stepfather, who later rejected Arklöv’s attempts to contact him. At the age of three he was adopted by a couple from Sweden and grew up in the Lapland village of Ankarsund. Arklöv was reportedly the only adopted child in the town and he has said that he had a hard time fitting in when growing up, and being both bullied and also bullying others. Arklöv told the police that he received corporal punishment, which was illegal in Sweden from 1979, from his adoptive parents from grade 1 to 8.
Arklöv apparently had an identity crisis as a young boy and tried scrubbing his skin to make it white. As a child he also tried “colouring” his skin white at school by using flour. In his teens he developed a strong interest in Nazism and World War II. He has later said that he became a nazi, among several reasons, because he “was lonely and full of hate” and “identified with those who were the losers” in the war, as he “felt as one” himself.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Arklöv participated voluntarily in the war in Yugoslavia in the 1990s from the age of 19 as a mercenary on the Croatian side. Arklöv was a convinced neo-Nazi at that time and he wanted to “experience war”. As he read history he studied the fascist Ustasha and became fascinated by their reputation for extreme violence. At first he travelled from Sweden to join the French Foreign Legion but he heard that they weren’t participating in any wars, so he continued until he reached Yugoslavia where he joined a Croatian neo-Ustasha unit “for special purposes” called Ludvig Pavlovic. He kept a war diary which has yet to be released to the public, but in which he wrote down his experiences. He participated in heavy and violent battles and committed crimes against civilians in villages. The unit sometimes dressed in ski-masks when they were going on “special missions” as they called it, which would often include breaking international law against human rights.
Not much is known about the group but Swedish journalist Magnus Sandelin wrote a book about Arklöv called The Black Nazi (Den Svarte Nazisten) detailing his childhood and his time in the war. Sandelin is one of few reporters who has been able to study some material from the war diary and wrote that Arklöv had written that he participated in “cleaning up” towns, by throwing grenades into houses and then shooting those inside. He often listened to extreme metal while in combat zones or on these so-called missions. He had also scribbled pages full of swastikas and written a short dictionary containing insults that he could say to his victims. He once sent a package home to his family during Christmas which contained the cap or hat of a killed soldier. Arklöv’s mother said she felt disgusted when she opened it.
Arklöv once went back home to Sweden for a short break, and has admitted to experienced psychosis-like hallucinations from the war then. It is documented that he once saw a black dog in his room at home while fully awake, and his family and friends which he slept at has stated that they heard that Arklöv had night terrors, but he still went back to Yugoslavia and to his group and continued his life as a mercenary until the fighting ended.
Arklöv was arrested a short time after the fighting ceased, while walking over the Bosniak border while drunk and was accused of war crimes, including torturing pregnant Bosniak prisoners in concentration camps in Gabela camp, Dretelj camp and Grabovina. The crimes were severe and he had, among other things, forced a woman to say “Allahu akbar” before shoving his rifle into her mouth, whipped prisoners with a Waffen-SS belt, abused and tortured pregnant girls, as well as having beaten young men and broken their arms and legs. Prisoners in the camps called Arklöv “the Black Devil” because of his black fascist uniform and skin-colour. When civilians were forced under torture to humiliate themselves by Arklöv but didn’t obey him, other guards would step in and tell the victims to “do as he says, or he’ll kill you, he is totally insane” and laugh. Arklöv was seen talking to camp commander Bosko Previsic (known as “Boko”) before and after tortures. Some inmates were forced to hold their fingers apart or stick their tongues out while on the ground in a shed and then get hit with metal objects so hard that the skin between their fingers and their tongues would split. Arklöv wrote in his diary that joining the Croatian militia was a fulfillment to his “fascist dream” and that killing Muslims was “almost as good as an orgasm”.
After the war he was sentenced to thirteen years in prison by a Bosnian court. The court later changed the sentence to eight years, taking his youth into consideration. He spent one year in a Bosnian prison, but returned to Sweden after an exchange of prisoners organized by the Swedish Red Cross. In Sweden he was taken into custody, but after a while he was acquitted for lack of evidence.
While in custody Arklöv received several letters from another neo-Nazi, Tony Olsson, who was starting a new militant neo-Nazi organization and, impressed by Arklöv’s war experience, wanted him to join. Arklöv wrote back, and the two became friends. After being released, Arklöv and Olsson met with the other members of the newly started NRA (Nationalistiska Republikanska Armén, “the Nationalistic Republican Army”), among them Andreas Axelsson and Mats Nilsson.
This arrangement resulted in a robbery tour of the Swedish province of Östergötland in 1999, which ended on 28 May in Kisa where Arklöv, Axelsson and Olsson robbed Östgöta Enskilda Bank. Olsson waited outside the bank armed with an Uzi submachine gun while Arklöv and Axelsson went inside the bank, kicked open a door to the offices and cashregisters and threatened the employees to open the vaults. As the vault was time-locked, the robbers were forced to wait 12 minutes before leaving the bank with a large sum of cash. They got away with over two million SEK, but during their escape a lone policeman, Kennet Eklund, followed them in his car. The robbers spotted him and opened fire, two hand grenades were thrown in his direction and against his car. Both hand grenades exploded but Eklund got away without any injuries while the robbers continued their escape. About 10 minutes later two policemen, Olle Borén and Robert Karlström, spotted the robbers’ vehicle and drove after them in their own police car. Gunfire occurred as both cars had stopped, and the two policemen were gunned down and executed with their own guns.
Arklöv and Olsson fled, but Axelsson had been hit by a bullet and was taken to the hospital by a car flagged down by Arklöv. On 31 May 1999 Arklöv was shot by police in Tyresö, arrested and taken into custody.
During the trial, Arklöv claimed to be completely innocent. He said he had been in Stockholm the entire time and did not take part in any of the robberies or the murders. But the evidence against him was strong. The police had found his fingerprints on a gun used during the crime, and his DNA on a mask and in the car. After that he confessed to the robbery in Kisa, but still denied having killed the policemen. The court couldn’t prove who of the three robbers had fired the fatal shots, so they sentenced all three to life imprisonment for murder, since it was clear that all three had participated and had shot at the two policemen. The sentence was appealed to the Court of Appeal, and Arklöv kept denying he had anything to do with the murders. The Court of Appeal gave the same sentence; life imprisonment for all three. Arklöv later confessed to killing the policemen and to several war crimes in Bosnia.
Crimes against humanity charges
In March 2004, the Dagens Nyheter journalist Maciej Zaremba published an article strongly criticizing the closure of the case about Arklöv’s war crimes when he was returned to Sweden from Bosnia, and he also managed to find several witnesses and victims of Arklöv from when he guarded prisoners in Croatian concentration camps. Later that year the prosecutor decided to re-open the investigation, and in June 2006 it was clear that Arklöv would be prosecuted. His trial opened on 10 November 2006 and the judges made their ruling on 18 December 2006. The court ruled that Arklöv was guilty of wrongful imprisonment, torture and assault of 11 Bosnian Muslim prisoners of war and civilians, ethnic cleansing, looting, and arbitrary detention of people; crimes protected by international law. He was ordered to pay between 70,000 kr and 425,000 kr (€7,700–€47,000; US$10,100–US$62,000) to 11 victims.
On 8 June 2001, Arklöv confessed that he killed the two policemen in Malexander. Olsson and Axelsson moved a petition for a new trial to the Supreme Court, but that court regarded the life sentence as written in such a way that Arklöv’s confession would not change anything. The petition was rejected. At the same time Arklöv said he had abandoned his Nazi beliefs and had contacted the Exit group for support. Arklöv is serving his life sentence at the Kumla High Security Prison. He is an artist, and had seven paintings put out on an exhibition for prison art at Långholmen in Stockholm. His paintings often depicts historical battle scenes, nature landscapes, surrealism, charicatures and war memories.
In October 2010, Arklöv requested a time-limited imprisonment, but this was denied.
In May 2016, Arklöv was moved to the prison in Storboda because he had an inappropriate relationship with one of the guards at the last prison.
In October 2016 Arklöv was assaulted by his fellow inmates in Storboda prison.