The girl who really kicked the hornet’s nest

From The Telegraph:

The real-life Swedish murder that inspired Stieg Larsson

De-costa-col_1771675b Malmskillnadsgatan, Stockholm, used to be where street prostitutes in the capital gathered. The 600m-long road in the city centre was always teeming with drug-addicted women at night, weaving in and out of the traffic, some barely able to stand. This was the street where Catrine da Costa, a 28-year-old prostitute and heroin addict, sold herself. A police mugshot, taken after she was arrested for soliciting, shows a pretty young woman with pale freckled skin and sad eyes. Her light coloured hair is feathery against a thin neck. Da Costa was last seen in Malmskillnadsgatan on June 10 1984. She had previously been married to and had a son with a Portuguese man. Her mother, to whom she was close, raised the alarm after not hearing from her daughter for a few days.

Five weeks later some of her remains were discovered in a bin bag near Solna, north of Stockholm, and close to the Department of Forensic Medicine at the Karolinska Institute. Almost three weeks later, another bin bag full of da Costa’s body parts was discovered less than a mile away. The head and some internal organs were missing, and have never been found. It is not unusual for street prostitutes to be murdered, but the mutilation made this case different. The case, known in Sweden as styckmordet (the ‘cutting up murder’), gave rise to an almost unprecedented public outrage. It has spawned four books, several television documentaries and countless newspaper and academic articles in Sweden over the years.

More here.