Mattias Flink (born March 8, 1970) is a Swedish spree killer who killed seven people on June 11, 1994, in Falun, Sweden. He was at the time a second lieutenant in the Swedish Army. He was released from prison on 11 June 2014 exactly twenty years after the murders.
Flink was born and raised in Falun, Sweden. His mother was a housewife and his father and grandfather worked as gunsmiths with their own shop. At the age of seven Flink joined the Scout Movement. His parents divorced when he was nine years old and the divorce is described as having been calm and sensible. Flink chose to stay with his father in the family house while his mother moved to an apartment just a couple of hundred meters from the house. According to psychological evaluations his mother’s departure left deep scars within Flink. It is said that Flink developed some kind of alienation towards women.
Flink attended high school with a focus on Electric Mechanical studies. After his graduation Flink enlisted as a conscript with Dalarna Regiment. He committed himself to become an officer of the Swedish Army and was employed at Dalarna Regiment in 1993.
During the spring of 1994 Flink suffered severe problems with his mental health, resulting in aggression, severe jealousy, sleeping disorders and paranoia. This led to a total mental breakdown. He was reported as having been “thrown out of a restaurant for bothering women”.
On June 11, 1994, Second Lieutenant Mattias Flink consumed a large amount of alcohol, then he went home to change his clothes. Dressed in his field uniform he walked to his regiment. He equipped himself with his Ak 5 assault rifle and 150 rounds of ammunition, 5.56×45mm NATO caliber. Flink then set out for a park in Downtown Falun where he shot 6 members of the Women’s Auxiliary Services. The women were shot at random. Shortly thereafter, he shot two men, one cyclist and one security officer, at a nearby road crossing. Six of the victims died immediately, while one woman died in the hospital. One victim survived the attack.
- Karin Alkstål, 22
- Therese Danielsson, 20
- Helle Jürgensen, 21
- Lena Mårdner-Nilsson, 29
- Jenny Österman, 22
- Maths Bragstedt, 35
- Johan Tollsten, 26
After the shootings Flink sought refuge in a nearby crane. He remained there for some time before he made his way down to walk home along an abandoned railway. It was at this time that two policemen discovered him. Flink fired two rounds at the policemen who then returned fire. Flink was hit in the hip and collapsed. At 03:25 Flink was apprehended and brought to Falun hospital. His blood alcohol level was 1.69 at the time of the arrest.
In the district court the defense never questioned the prosecutor’s description of the crime. The question for the defense was whether or not Flink was mentally ill at the time of the shooting. According to experts, Flink was in a self-inflicted temporary psychotic condition, triggered by alcohol, on the evening of the crime. If Flink was found to be mentally ill he would not be able to be sentenced to prison. The final verdict came in the Swedish Supreme Court; Mattias Flink was sentenced to life imprisonment. This precedent verdict made it possible for the courts in Sweden to sentence people to prison for crimes stemming from and committed during an alcohol-induced psychosis.
Time in prison
Flink was placed in the Norrköping prison but was subsequently moved to Beateberg prison outside of Stockholm. When the prisoners of Beateberg learned of Flink’s move they arranged a meeting to show their disgust towards his actions of killing innocent women.
Flink has been allotted protected identity by Swedish Authorities. He has refused to give any interviews. During his years in prison he has been described as a calm and well-behaved prisoner.
During the spring of 2008, Mattias Flink applied for parole to the District court of Örebro. On June 9, the court ruled that Flink must go through a psychiatric examination to determine whether he is likely to be dangerous to others before a decision on parole can be made. The examination by the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine (Rättsmedicinalverket) was finished by July 7. The victims’ families strongly opposed the fact that Flink might be released.
Mattias Flink was given several monitored short-term leaves from prison, and in May 2007 he was granted unmonitored leaves since he behaved well during his other leaves. Relatives and families of the victims strongly opposed these leaves and expressed worries about the same thing happening again.
Conversion of life sentence to a set time sentence
In January, 2008, Flink requested that his life sentence be limited to 24 years imprisonment. However, on September 3, 2008, Örebro municipal court rejected the request with the motivation that the circumstances regarding the case are “exceptionally difficult” and that a set time punishment has to greatly exceed 24 years.
On July 7, 2010, Flink’s request to convert his sentence was approved by Örebro tingsrätt (district court). His punishment was set to 32 years imprisonment, which would have made him eligible for parole sometime in 2015. The decision, however, was appealed by the prosecutor, and on December 21, 2010, Flink’s punishment was adjusted to 36 years by Göta Court of Appeal, pushing his potential parole date to the summer of 2018. After yet another appeal, Flink’s punishment was adjusted to 30 years by the Supreme Court making his parole date to the summer of 2014, after serving 20 years in prison.
On 11 June 2014, Flink was released from jail on the 20th Anniversary of his shooting spree.