The police in the Reykjavík metropolitan area are now assessing whether to re-open the investigation into the disappearance of Guðmundur Einarsson and Geirfinnur Einarsson, Vísir reports. The pair disappeared nearly half a century ago but a number of new clues have come to light in recent years. These new clues might make it feasible to re-open the investigation. Guðmundur and Geirfinnur were never found, but six people were convicted of their alleged murders based on confessions extracted by police by intense and lengthy interrogations which included torture and solitary confinement. The sentences were passed despite a lack of of bodies, witnesses, or any forensic evidence. Five of the six originally sentenced were acquitted on the 27th of September, 2018, 44 years after Guðmundur’s and Geirfinnur’s disappearance.
“We are assessing our options and looking into how we might go about it. It’s now explicit that the case isn’t fully solved”, Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir, head of police of the Reykjavík metropolitan police, stated. Sigríður says that the police have to assess the new data that has come forward in the case, and if they give a reason for a special investigation. It is the norm to only open closed cases when new data has been presented.
Sigríður stated the police was not involved in the recently completed re-trial of the case of five of the six who were sentenced for Guðmundur’s and Geirfinnur’s appearance. Read more about the re-trial, and the following aquittal, here.
Read more about the Guðmundur and Geirfinnur case here.
New leads on Geirfinnur
A man presented himself to the police at the end of 2016 and stated that he saw three men dressed in civilian clothing arriving on a small boat to Vestmannaeyjar on the 20th of November, 1974. This was the day after Geirfinnur Einarsson disappeared in Keflavík. Two of the men led the third between them appeared weak, and almost without consciousness. They arrived into the fish processing plant which the eyewitness was situated and stayed there for some time with the company chef’s permission.
The weak man in the middle was to have said “Remember me” when they got ready to return to the boat. The eyewitness then saw them head to the boat and out to sea. A while later they returned to shore but only two people left the boat. The witness did not see the two men again until two decades later, when he saw one of them in East Iceland working on electricity lines for Landsvirkjun.
A report was also taken of the eyewitness’ ex-girlfriend who was with him in Vestmannaeyjar. She did not see the three men, but she received a phone call two days later where she and the witnessed were threatened with execution. They feared the threat and therefore said nothing until now.
New leads on Guðmundur
Stefán Almarsson, who is believed to have lied to the police that Kristján Viðar Leifsson and Sævar Cieselski played a part in Guðmundur’s disappearance, was interrogated by police in 2015. The interrogation took place due to testimony by Stefán’s ex-girlfriend, where she stated that she was a passenger in a car controlled by Stefán which struck Guðmundur Einarsson on the night before 27th of January 1974. According to her testimony, Guðmundur was taken into the car before she was driven home. Guðmundur was getting visibly worse for wear when she left the car.
Þórður Eyþórsson was also interrogated, as the woman stated he was among the passengers in the car. Both Stefán and Þórður steadfastly deny playing any part in Guðmundur’s disappearance.
A report of Stefán, from 1977, exists about his goings on the night before 27th of January 1974. There he states he was partying with his friend in Reykjavík. In the interrogation, this friend neither confirmed nor denied being with Stefán that night, but admitted that he knew Guðmundur from his primary school years. That man is the older brother of Þórður Eyþórsson and is said to have been a greater friend of Stefán than Þórður, who was 16 years old when Guðmundur’s disappearance took place.
In the spotlight
The case is well known outside Iceland. ‘Out of Thin Air’, a documentary covering the events of the Guðmundur and Geirfinnur case was released by Netflix in 2017. Directed by Dylan Howitt, the film covers the events of the murders and was inspired by the BBC programme ‘The Reykjavík Confessions’, which was released in 2014.