Entertainment

How Pentecostal pastor convinced his lover to murder his wife


A Pentecostal minister who pushed his children’s nanny and lover into murdering his wife and shooting their neighbor by convincing her it was what God wanted is the subject of a fascinating new true crime series that lifts the lid on the horrific crime – and the events that led up to it. 

Premiering on Monday, HBO’s Pray, Obey, Kill details the shocking murder of Alexandra Fossmo and the attempted murder of her employer Daniel Linde on January 10, 2004, in Knutby, a small Swedish village that is home to a Pentecostal religious sect that some claim is a cult. 

‘This is one of the most bizarre criminal cases in Sweden in modern time — a web of religion, sex, and cruel, callous murder,’ a Swedish journalist explains in the trailer for the five-part series, which premieres on Monday. 

Scroll down for video 

True crime: HBO’s Pray, Obey, Kill explores how Sara Svensson (pictured) was manipulated into murdering Helge Fossmo’s wife, Alexandra, in Knutby, Sweden, on January 10, 2004

Homicide: Svensson shot and seriously injured Daniel Linde (pictured) and fatally shot Alexandra that morning. She confessed to the crimes the next day

Homicide: Svensson shot and seriously injured Daniel Linde and fatally shot Alexandra (pictured) that morning. She confessed to the crimes the next day

Homicide: Svensson shot and seriously injured Daniel Linde and fatally shot Alexandra that morning. She confessed to the crimes the next day 

On that fateful morning, Linde, a 30-year-old IT-Entrepreneur, was shot in his chest and head around 4:40 a.m. and rushed to the hospital accompanied by his neighbor Helge Fossmo, a 32-year-old pastor at a local Pentecostal church. 

Just two hours later, it was revealed that Linde’s employee and Fossmo’s wife, Alexandra, had been fatally shot in her bed. 

Fossmo’s 26-year-old nanny Sara Svensson confessed to both shootings the next day, but it was far from an open and shut case. Investigators learned that Fossmo had been having an affair with Svensson, whom he hired to care for his three children from his previous marriage. 

The pastor’s first wife, Heléne, was found dead in their bathtub in 1999. Even though she had a hole in her skull and toxic levels of dextropropoxyphene in her blood, her death was ruled an accident.    

Relationship: Fossmo was having an affair with Svensson, whom he hired to care for this three children from his previous marriage

Relationship: Fossmo was having an affair with Svensson, whom he hired to care for this three children from his previous marriage

Relationship: Fossmo was having an affair with Svensson, whom he hired to care for this three children from his previous marriage

Manipulation: Svensson detailed at her trial how Fossmo convinced her to kill Alexandra. He told her God wanted his wife in heaven

Manipulation: Svensson detailed at her trial how Fossmo convinced her to kill Alexandra. He told her God wanted his wife in heaven

At the time, Fossmo was a minister at the Pentecostal church in Knutby and worked closely with rumored cult leader Åsa Waldau, who proclaimed she was the ‘Bride of Christ.’ Just a few months after his first wife’s death, he married Waldau’s sister Alexandra.   

While on trial in 2004, Svensson detailed how Fossmo found jobs for her so that he could be closer to her, eventually hiring her to be his children’s nanny. He assured her that their affair wasn’t a sin because they had a ‘heavenly love,’ according to the Irish Times.

The publication reported that in the summer of 2001, Fossmo claimed to be suffering from a mysterious illness. He believed the devil was attacking his soul and Svensson was the only one who could help him stave off his uncontrollable fits. 

Svensson started living with Fossmo and sleeping in his bedroom every night while she helped him fight off the devil with sex. His wife, Alexandra, was relegated to the guest room.   

Guilty: Fossmo sent his lover anonymous text messages urging her to kill Alexandra and Linde. The pastor was also having an affair with Linde's wife, Annette, at the time

Guilty: Fossmo sent his lover anonymous text messages urging her to kill Alexandra and Linde. The pastor was also having an affair with Linde’s wife, Annette, at the time

Trapped: 'My relationship with him was that I was a slave and he was my master. I had no will of my own,' she alleged at her trial

Trapped: ‘My relationship with him was that I was a slave and he was my master. I had no will of my own,’ she alleged at her trial 

Each night we were winning a victory for God’s will through sexual intercourse,’  Svensson told the court. 

The Pentecostal congregation blamed Svensson for the affair and kept her isolated away from other members of the religious sect. Fossmo convinced her that he was the only one that loved her. 

‘In the evenings, I was with the minister in the bedroom where we had a sexual relationship,’ she said. ‘Otherwise, my relationship with him was that I was a slave and he was my master. 

‘I had no will of my own,’ she alleged. ‘During almost all of 2003, I was locked away because I was so incorrigible. God had turned his back on me and I sought mercy.’

According to the Irish Times, Svensson told the court that Fossmo claimed in late 2003 that God wished for Alexandra to be taken to heaven. The nanny then started receiving anonymous text messages on her cellphone encouraging her to kill Fossmo’s wife.   

Possessed: Svensson tried to attack Alexandra with a hammer in November 2003, but it was never reported. Just a few months later, she walked into Alexandra's room and shot her dead

Possessed: Svensson tried to attack Alexandra with a hammer in November 2003, but it was never reported. Just a few months later, she walked into Alexandra’s room and shot her dead

Suspicious: Investigator soon learned that Fossmo was having affairs with both Svensson and Linde's wife, Annette, and he was arrested under suspicion of soliciting the murder

Suspicious: Investigator soon learned that Fossmo was having affairs with both Svensson and Linde’s wife, Annette, and he was arrested under suspicion of soliciting the murder

Justice: Fossmo was sentenced to life in prison for soliciting the murder of his wife, Alexandra, and the attempted murder of his neighbor Linde

Justice: Fossmo was sentenced to life in prison for soliciting the murder of his wife, Alexandra, and the attempted murder of his neighbor Linde

‘I had received a text message…”There is a time for killing.” If I do this, I have proved that I want to belong to God,’ she recalls in the trailer for the series. 

Investigators later learned that the messages came from Fossmo, who also urged her to kill Linde. The pastor was having an affair with Linde’s wife, Annette, at the time. 

Svensson tried to attack Alexandra with a hammer in November 2003, but it was never reported. Just a few months later, she walked into Alexandra’s room and shot her dead while she was sleeping. She then headed next door and shot Linde in the face, but he survived the attack.   

Fossmo and Linde’s wife, Annette, were both arrested under suspicion of instigating the murder and attempted murder of their respective spouses. However, Annette was released two weeks later and never charged with any crimes after she confessed to having an affair with Fossmo. 

The pastor’s involvement in the murder of his second wife led police to reexamine his first wife’s death. It was determined that the injury to her head could not have been caused by a fall.  

Getting help: Svennson (pictured at her trial) was admitted to a psychiatric care facility after her trial per court orders and was released in 2011

Getting help: Svennson (pictured at her trial) was admitted to a psychiatric care facility after her trial per court orders and was released in 2011

Denial: Fossmo (pictured) maintained his innocence for years, but he finally confessed to his crimes in an interview with in August 2006

Denial: Fossmo (pictured) maintained his innocence for years, but he finally confessed to his crimes in an interview with in August 2006

He was sentenced to life in prison for soliciting the murder of his second wife Alexandra and the attempted murder of his neighbor Linde, but he was never convicted of murdering his first wife.

Meanwhile, Svennson was admitted to a psychiatric care facility after her trial per court orders and was released in 2011. 

Waldau has denied having any knowledge of the murder conspiracy and was not found to be involved, though her religious sect and her cult-like claims to be destined to marry Jesus became a media focus during the trials. 

Fossmo maintained his innocence for years, but he finally confessed to his crimes in an interview with TV4 in August  2006. He claimed several others were involved in orchestrating the murder, but the case hasn’t been reopened. 

‘It’s like a role play in reality, where certain characters can be removed if they are of no use or troublesome,’ he explains in the trailer. ‘And in that world… I took that threat very seriously.’ 



Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button