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Anna BodinPeter Sjölund

The Breakthrough

In October 2004, the quaint university town of Linköping is struck by a heinous crime. Eight-year-old Mohamad Ammouri is brutally murdered by a disguised man on his way to school. A witness, Anna-Lena Svensson, 56, tries to save the boy but is also slain by the perpetrator. For many years, the police are at a loss and the cold case remains a devastating trauma for the peaceful city.

Sixteen years later, the gruesome double homicide is finally resolved by a rather unusual approach. Behind the breakthrough is genealogist Peter Sjölund, who has traced the DNA two hundred years back in time and created a family web that finally identifies the likely murderer. As the police arrests the man, previously unknown to them, he almost immediately admits to the crime.

A recent change in legislation had made it possible to use genealogy databases and for the first time in Europe, a murder was solved by using this groundbreaking method, which may prove even more revolutionary than the fingerprint.

The Breakthrough follows the extraordinary quest leading up to Peter Sjölund identifying the killer. But it also a book about everyone whose lives were shattered that October day in 2004 and the many gruelling years during which the families had to wait for answers. Journalist Anna Bodin has followed Peter Sjölund from the very beginning of the case, and this is their unique story about the quest that put an end to the second largest murder investigation in modern Sweden, the first being the murder of Prime Minister Olof Palme.

Anna Bodin has worked as reporter at Dagens Nyheter since 1998.

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Peter

About the author

Sjölund

Peter Sjölund is Sweden’s prime expert on DNA genealogy. Sjölund is currently putting together a DNA team to assist the police with murder investigations.

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About the book

In October 2004, the quaint university town of Linköping is struck by a heinous crime. Eight-year-old Mohamad Ammouri is brutally murdered by a disguised man on his way to school. A witness, Anna-Lena Svensson, 56, tries to save the boy but is also slain by the perpetrator. For many years, the police are at a loss and the cold case remains a devastating trauma for the peaceful city.

Sixteen years later, the gruesome double homicide is finally resolved by a rather unusual approach. Behind the breakthrough is genealogist Peter Sjölund, who has traced the DNA two hundred years back in time and created a family web that finally identifies the likely murderer. As the police arrests the man, previously unknown to them, he almost immediately admits to the crime.

A recent change in legislation had made it possible to use genealogy databases and for the first time in Europe, a murder was solved by using this groundbreaking method, which may prove even more revolutionary than the fingerprint.

The Breakthrough follows the extraordinary quest leading up to Peter Sjölund identifying the killer. But it also a book about everyone whose lives were shattered that October day in 2004 and the many gruelling years during which the families had to wait for answers. Journalist Anna Bodin has followed Peter Sjölund from the very beginning of the case, and this is their unique story about the quest that put an end to the second largest murder investigation in modern Sweden, the first being the murder of Prime Minister Olof Palme.

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