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Nordic Noir. True crime and strange tales from Northern Europe.

The story of multiple ‘sonic attacks’ and UFO sightings in a small rural town

Screen shot, still from a video showing a newspaper headline reading ‘People turned away from hall as Warminster discusses — THE THING’, from 1965.
A newspaper headline about the ‘Warminster Thing’, 1965. Image Source.

Warminster is an English town of about 17,000 people on the edge of the Salisbury Plain Military Training Area, about 15 miles (25 km) from the famous Stonehenge pre-historic stone circle in Wiltshire, southwest England.

Beginning at the end of 1964, residents of the town (its population then was about 10,000) started to witness something strange happening in Warminster.

At 1.25 am on Christmas morning, 1964, Mrs Mildred Head was awoken by a strange noise. At first, it sounded as if twigs were scratching on her roof and then as if giant hailstones were raining down. She got up and…

Is the true reason for the 1994 maritime disaster being covered up?

A colour photo of the cruiseferry Estonia, photo taken facing head-on to the ship.
The Estonia. Date unknown. Image Source

The ship which would later be known as the Estonia was constructed in Germany between 1979 — 1980 and sailed between Stockholm, Sweden, Mariehamn, Åland Islands, and Turku, Finland as the Viking Sally, operated by Viking Line.

Before her 1994 sinking, there had already been two murders and an attempted murder aboard the cruiseferry.

In July 1986, a body was discovered in one of Viking Sally’s cabins after she had docked in Stockholm. The body was that of Finnish businessman Antti Eljaala, 44. He had been stabbed and strangled to death. His killer was his business associate, thirty-three-year-old Finn Reijo…

The strange tale of the Tichborne Claimant

A triptych created in 1876 designed to prove that Roger Tichborne (left, in 1853) and the person claiming to be him (the ‘Claimant’, right in 1874) were one and the same, as per the central blended image. Image: Wikipedia/Public Domain
A triptych created in 1876 designed to show that Roger Tichborne (left, in early 1854) and the person claiming to be him (the ‘Claimant’, right in 1874) were one and the same person, as per the central blended image. Image: Wikipedia/Public Domain

As legend tells it, in the 12th Century, Lady Tichborne implored her wealthy husband to donate flour once a year to any in need who came to their gates.

The lady was on her deathbed and her unwilling husband told her that the donation of flour would come only from land that she was able to encircle in the time before a flaming torch burnt out.

Dracula author Bram Stoker, writing in 1910, takes up the tale:

“…the venerable dame, after being carried out upon the ground, seemed to regain her strength in a miraculous fashion, and, to the surprise…

What happened to the teen after she walked out of her family home in 1988?

Black and white photo of missing Finnish teenager Piia Ristikankare. Head and shoulders.
Missing: Piia Ristikankare. This is the last known photo of the teenager. Image source.

On Friday, October 7, 1988, fifteen-year-old Piia Ristikankare finished her day at the vocational school in Turku, southwest Finland where she was studying housekeeping. She was planning to spend the weekend at a female friend’s home but her father, a single parent, told her she needed to babysit her three-year-old brother Kalle over the weekend because he had to work.

Later that Friday evening, when Piia’s father Heikki emerged from taking a sauna with his ex-father-in-law, Piia’s Grandfather, he found that Piia was not in the house.

Piia’s fourteen-year-old brother Teijo told their father that he and Piia had fought…

The unsolved Tulilahti campground murders

Eine Nyyssönen and Riitta Pakkanen. Image source.

On Saturday, July 18, 1959, best friends office worker Riitta Aulikki Pakkanen, 23, and nursing student Eine Maria Nyyssönen, 21, set off from their homes in the city of Jyväskylä, Central Finland for a cycling holiday.

The two had been eagerly anticipating their summer trip. They had been building up their fitness for months by going on long bike rides on their blue bicycles — Riitta’s bike had been bought just the year before.

Riitta had borrowed her brother Veikko’s black Altissa box camera for the trip and Eine and Riitta had also been busy sewing bags in which to…

A historic cold case from 1950s Finland

Kyllikki Saari. Image: Wikipedia/public domain.

(CONTENT WARNING: mention of sexual assault)

Aside from the Lake Bodom murders, the following is probably the most famous unsolved murder in Finnish history.

This case holds an enduring fascination in Finland. there are many factors that led to this: the teenage female victim, who was known as a religious and innocent person, was killed close to her rural home; the media frenzy at the time and later over the murder; and, of course, the fact that the case remains unsolved after almost 70 years.

Sunday, May 17, 1953

On Sunday, May 17, 1953, 17-year-old Kyllikki (pronounced Ku-lick-key) Saari went to church as normal…

Will there ever be justice in this 1980s case?

Klaus Schelkle and Bettina Taxis in Stockholm, Sweden, the day before the crime.

On the evening of 27 July 1987, after cuddling up for a photo at Stockholm harbour, Klaus Schelkle, 20, and his girlfriend Bettina Taxis, 22, boarded the cruise ship Viking Sally to sail from Stockholm, Sweden to Turku, Finland along with Klaus’s friend Thomas Schmid. When they got to Finland they planned to take the train north to Lapland and on into Norway.

The sailing would be overnight and the young West German trio— who were backpacking around the Nordic countries — decided not to spend money on a cabin. Schmid would sleep in a public area inside the ship…

A whole city in deadly danger

Salisbury Cathedral. Photo by Alexander London on Unsplash

The Couple on the Bench

On Sunday, March 4, 2018, the weather is chilly and cloudy in the quiet cathedral city of Salisbury, in Wiltshire, southwest England. The city’s 40,000 residents don’t know it yet, but this day will change all of their lives.

At around 4.15 pm an older man and younger women are found slumped unconscious on a bench in the middle of a small open-air shopping precinct in the city centre called the Maltings. The woman was frothing at the mouth and, according to a bystander, her eyes “were wide open but completely white.” They were rushed by ambulance the 3.5 miles…

Chloe Wells

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