Little Bits of History

August 7

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 7, 2017

1890: Anna Månsdotter is exectued. Månsdotter was born December 28, 1841 and married a man, Nils Nilsson, who was thirteen years older than she. They had three children. Nils died in 1883. Only one son, Per, lived to adulthood. His mother arranged a marriage between Per and Hanna Johansdotter. Anna was supposed to move in with her mother after her son married, but instead, lived with him and his new bride. The marriage was not a happy one. This may have been because mother and son had been having an ongoing incestuous relationship for a long time. There was speculation Anna arranged the marriage to stop the rumors about this.

It is unclear as to whether or not Hanna knew about the relationship. It is speculated that she did find out and Anna killed her daughter-in-law in order to keep her from telling. It is possible that mother and son killed Hanna together. However, what really happened is muddied by the many various stories both perpetrators told. They differed from each other’s stories and they changed their stories several times afterwards. Hanna was beaten with a piece of wood by Anna and/or Per and then Anna strangled her – just to make sure. They dressed the corpse and threw it down the stairs, hoping to make it look like Hanna’s death was an accident.

The murder took place on March 28, 1889 in Yngsjö, Sweden located at the most southeastern tip of the country. Even today, it is a small village with only 302 inhabitants. Hanna was 22 at the time of her death. Both mother and son were tried and Anna became known as Yngsjömörderskan (English translation – Yngsjö Murderess). Both Anna and Pers were found guilty and sentenced to death. On this day, Anna became the last woman in Sweden to be executed. She was killed when Albert Gustaf Dahlman swung his ax. He was chosen for the position of executioner in 1885, after 200 people applied for the job. He was Sweden’s last executioner and carried out his task six time. Five times using an ax and once using a guillotine.

Per managed to not become one of Dahlman’s subjects. He was pardoned from his death sentence and was sentenced to spend the rest of his life at hard labor. After 23 years in prison, he was released in 1913 (three years after the last execution was performed in his country). He died of tuberculosis in 1918. The macabre story of mother and son murderers was made into a full length movie in 1966 and was part of a mini-series in 1986.

Murder is unique in that it abolishes the party it injures, so that society has to take the place of the victim and on his behalf demand atonement or grant forgiveness; it is the one crime in which society has a direct interest. – W.H. Auden

If your work is deathwork, one weapon is not enough, just as a plumber would not answer an urgent service call with a single wrench. – Dean Koontz

Murder is not some fictional conceit, imagined for the purpose of entertainment, but actually happens: and afterwards no credits roll, and life has to continue to be lived even if you have absolutely no idea where the deeds to the house are kept, or who services the lawn mower. – Michael Marshall

This is the law: blood spilt upon the ground cries out for more. – Aeschylus