STOCKHOLM, Sweden, April 8 (UPI) -- Charred bones used to help put a confessed serial killer behind bars in Sweden were actually wood and glue, a forensic expert says.
Professors Per Holck and Richard Helmer had testified in 1988 that from their visual inspection the materials, which also contained other synthetic substances, likely were human bones from a young person. Their testimony helped convict Thomas Quick in the slaying of nine-year-old Therese Johannessen of Norway.
The Swedish news agency Tidningarnas Telegrambyra reported Thursday independent researcher Ylva Svenfeldt told the newspaper Aftonbladet the burned material was obviously not bone. Testing by the National Laboratory of Forensic Science confirmed last month the items were not human bones.
"I can only interpret this as scientific fraud," Svenfeldt was quoted as saying.
Prosecutor Christer van der Kwast has said it is to soon to know what impact the new evidence will have on the case.
However, Quick, who has changed his name to Sture Bergwall, has retracted his admissions of guilt and is seeking new trials in all the cases against him. He had been found guilty of murdering eight people in six trials, and Tidningarnas Telegrambyra reported he had confessed to police he had killed more than 20 people.
Quick had been granted a retrial in the case of a 24-year-old Israeli tourist found dead near a rural forest road in Dalarna in 1988, The Local reported in December.