Note! This article contains spoilers from the new HBO documentary.
– When the production company contacted me two years ago and asked if we really wanted to dig, the person at the top of our list was friendly. This is a story that fascinated us at the same time we knew there was very interesting evidence in this case. Now that the division has disbanded, then the truth is coming out, says Martin Johnson, who, along with Anton Berg, is behind the new HBO documentary series “In the Blind Hope” about the friendship case.
Fifteen years have passed since the assassination of the Philadelphia congregation in Nautilus, an hour ‘s drive north of Stockholm. On January 10, 2004, Alexandra Fosmo, 23, who married Norwegian Bishop Helge Fosmo, was shot in the couple’s bed. Another ward member, Daniel Linde, was found badly injured in the house next door, but survived.
The next day, Sarah Svensson, the mistress of Helz Fosmo, was arrested and later murdered.
To say that there has been silence around the case since then would be an exaggeration of dimensions. Slowly but surely, the details of the Philadelphia congregation and the participants in the friendship have come out. Details of violence, extreme restraint, brainwashing, jealousy, sexual exploitation and finally murder.
– I think we have never encountered a case where so many people were harassed and destroyed. This has had a huge impact on us, and is something we really had a hard time digesting, the series’ creators tell Duckbladet.
The latest documentary fits the long line of the case, but is even tougher. Johnson and Berg provide a comprehensive overview of church life. New and shocking information is also brought to light here.
At the end of the documentary series, the biggest bomb of them all is dropped, during an interview with the woman convicted of murder. Sarah Svensson breaks the silence for the first time since being sentenced to compulsory mental health care for murder. He was released from the treatment company four years later and now claims that Fosmo’s second wife may have died before he was shot.
– I thought a lot about how it was. In the first shot that hit Alexandra in the waist, nothing. There was no reaction. How could that be, I do not understand. After that, I thought it was my fault because of the thing I did. But now. I do not know. Svensson says she was not alive when I went there.
The information comes as a shock not only to the audience but also to those who worked on the documentary.
– It may have taken her 15 years out of the division to see this. It is now up to the police or others to take further this information and allegations. That’s why we ended the series with what Sarah says, because we leave it to the lawsuit or other organizations to take this more legally, Berg and Johnson tell Duckbladet.
Torn into pieces
In the evidence, the document makers point out, among other things, one of the police reconstructions that was used as central evidence in the murder case. In the sense that the creators received insight, a reconstruction of more than 20 minutes was shown, which was presented in court. The original, on the other hand, was six hours long.
As if that weren’t enough, the way Svensson acts in the reconstruction and the way he shows that he shot the shots that killed Fosmo are in no way consistent with the findings of that scene. When the police who appeared during the reconstruction almost instructed Svensson what to do, he was able to recreate the murder exactly. A situation that can be identified, among other things, from records made during criminal scene investigations in the Thomas Quick case.
In this way, the entire reconstruction of the murder is torn into small pieces, and the evidence is further weakened when the creators of the series themselves carry out the own reconstruction of the Nut murder.
– We suspected we were facing a new Thomas Quick case, Johnson tells Doclad.
This documentary also provides insight into the level of control used in the Philadelphia congregation. Svensson was one of those who spoke about the culture of fear that characterizes the whole category.
– I’m a shell, a robot. The woman in the documentary says she was guilty of murder if I had told myself to shoot myself, and among other things, mentions how Asa Waldov, the so-called “bride of Christ,” the leader and leader, ruled the faction. With an iron fist.
The accident may have been murder
The documentary takes a close look at the theory that Pastor Fosmo’s first wife, Helen Fosmo, was in fact poisoned to death – she did not die as a result of a bathtub accident that police established a month after December 1999. .
The path of poisoning is not new, it was before, most recently when Alexandra was killed four years later. But the creators of the series have conducted investigations, inquiries and interviews that reinforce the theory that Fosmo’s first wife was also killed.
– With the amount of substance found in Helen’s blood, she must have been in a coma at the time of the murder, the creators of the Johnson & Berg series tell DocLadette.
The drug opioid-like substance found in Helen Fosmo is dextroproxybene, which is now banned. The creators of the series interview in the documentary put forward the theory that the woman first drank poison and then attacked against the faucet in the bathtub.
Critical view of the “bride of Christ.”
Voltov is not guilty until 2020 in connection with the friendship case. The woman, who changed her name today, was jailed for eight counts of misconduct in connection with the division.
His influence on members and how the closed community was managed in technique has gradually emerged in the public eye. The official fact is that Helz Fosmo used Svenson to shoot and brainwash his wife – and he is guilty.
However, the documentary series sees the potential role of the “bride of Christ” in the deaths of Fosmo’s wives as very critical. Waltov did not want to be interviewed when “I Believe in Blind” was produced, but responded in the form of a letter to the two series’ creators.
– It is important for us to include asa as a source, but he does not want to contribute further. However, there have been several interviews with him in the past that we have used with the documentary series, and this provides insight into his version of what happened in Friendship, Johnson says.
Do not think that the last word has been said
Another clue the series creators devote some time to in the documentary is that police found other clues in the snow that led to the house where Alexandra Fosmo was found murdered.
In addition, the creators of the series are under intense scrutiny over claims that Helge Fosmo is the “bride of Christ” in the series, who sent her text messages urging Sarah to kill Alexandra. If she kills Alexandra, she will receive grace from God, one of the things that came out. The way the picture was drawn at the time, Helge just sent the brainwashed Sarah text messages that she had to kill.
– There are obvious clues that the police did not conduct an adequate investigation. In addition, new technology makes it possible to immerse yourself in them, say Johnson & Berg.
– Do you think this will be the last thing we hear about the nutty case now, or will it be a consequence of the series?
– So far we haven’t heard anything from the police or others, but we’ll see what happens when Sarah’s story comes out. Johnson says we do not know what the consequences will be.
– The only thing we know is that as more time passes, more details about what happened in the section come out. Let’s see if this will be the last story about Nutty, Berg adds.
“In Blind Hope” will air on HBO Nordic from April 4th.