Murder Victim’s Family Dissatisfied with Verdict Skip to content

Murder Victim’s Family Dissatisfied with Verdict

By Iceland Review

hannesThe family of Hannes Thór Helgason (pictured), who was brutally murdered in his home in Hafnarfjördur on August 15, released a statement yesterday saying they are dissatisfied with the verdict over the man responsible for his death.

“It is an absolutely unacceptable message to society that Hannes’s life is estimated as worthless given that a cold-blooded murderer is getting away with the crime of having planned Hannes’s murder for almost an entire year and then killing him in such a brutal manner,” the statement reads, according to visir.is.

Helgason was attacked in his sleep and stabbed to death. Gunnar Rúnar Sigurthórsson confessed to having committed the murder but was deemed non compos mentis based on a psychiatric evaluation stating that he suffered from gedrof, which can be translated as schizophrenia or a split personality.

During questioning in September the perpetrator said he was in love with Helgason’s fiancé, his childhood friend: “I loved Hildur. She was supposed to be with me. She was not supposed to be with him.” Such statements contributed to the diagnosis that Sigurthórsson suffered from amos insanus, visir.is reports.

The psychologists and psychiatrists who diagnosed Sigurthórsson also mentioned that when he was nine years old his father, with whom he was very close, committed suicide in front of him and other relatives. This trauma caused mental and emotional developmental delays.

Sigurthórsson became socially isolated, an isolation which was broken when he met Helgason’s fiancé. He fell insanely in love with her, which is why he started to plot Helgason’s murder.

In their statement, Helgason’s family quoted the journal “The Criminal Responsibility of People with Multiple Personality Disorder,” which they say psychiatrists and psychologist used while performing their evaluation of Sigurthórsson’s mental health:

“First, if all of a multiple’s alters know about and acquiesce in the crime, he should be guilty. Second if the innocent alters make such a limited appearance that punishing them causes only a trivial harm, the multiple should be guilty. Finally, if the multiple is highly organized as some, especially those in treatment are, should be guilty.”

Based on this paragraph, Sigurthórsson should have been found guilty of the murder and made to take responsibility for his actions, Helgason’s family concluded. In an interview on Stöd 2 they said they fear Sigurthórsson could be out on the streets again in a few months or years.

“I think there is a misunderstanding here,” Sigurdur Páll Pálsson, senior physician at the psychiatric ward Sogn where Sigurthórsson will be taken, told Stöd 2, explaining that people aren’t released that quickly from Sogn.

He told Fréttabladid that the average time people spend there is four years. Some people are released after two years and others aren’t released until after 18 years. In a few cases, people spend the rest of their lives at Sogn.

There is room for seven individuals at Sogn. “It should also be mentioned that we have just as many individuals under supervision out in society. They have conditional verdicts so if they fall ill or commit another crime, they go back in,” Pálsson explained.

“It is much more serious to be ruled non compos mentis [than guilty]. There are much stricter rules [at Sogn] than in prisons,” Pálsson added, pointing out that patients at Sogn are not allowed to go on leave.

Click here to read more about this case.

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