Juha Valjakkala

Juha Valjakkala

Juha Veikko Valjakkala (born June 13, 1965 in Pori, Finland) became a part of Finnish and Swedish crime history in 1988 when he was convicted of the murder of a family of three at a cemetery in the northern Swedish community of Åmsele.

The series of events that led to the murders began when the 22-year-old Valjakkala was released from a prison in Turku on May 1 1988, after which he started wandering through Sweden and Finland with his 21-year-old girlfriend Marita Routalammi.

On July 3 they arrived in Åmsele. After nightfall Valjakkala stole a bicycle. He was pursued by Sten Nilsson and his 15-year-old son Fredrik. The chase ended at a cemetery where Sten and Fredrik Nilsson were both shot by Valjakkala with a shotgun. Later Sten's wife and Fredrik's mother, Ewa Nilsson, went looking for the two, was chased into the woods and had her throat slit by Valjakkala outside the cemetery. Valjakkala and Routalammi were caught in Odense, Denmark just over a week later.

At the trial the two defendants blamed each other for the murders, but the court believed Routalammi's story. A psychiatric evaluation found both to be mentally competent for trial. However, the statement by a forensic psychiatrist found that Valjakkala suffered from a psychopathic personality and was very aggressive.

Valjakkala was given a life sentence on three counts of murder, while Routalammi received only two years for complicity in assault and battery. Routalammi was released after serving half of her time, and Valjakkala was transferred to Finland to serve out the rest of his sentence.

Valjakkala tried to escape from prison in 1991.

In April 1994 Valjakkala fled the Riihimäki prison in Finland where he was being held. He took a teacher as a hostage, but he was apprehended nearby and the hostage escaped the situation unscathed.

In 2002 he escaped from Pyhäselkä prison and traveled to Sweden with his wife, and was captured after a large police operation in Långträsk. Upon returning to prison after the 2002 escape he tried to commit suicide by hanging himself in his cell.

His next escape in 2004 from Sukeva prison lasted only 19 minutes and reached less than 1 km from the prison walls.

Just after midnight on November 28, 2006, Valjakkala escaped for the fourth time, this time from the labor prison in Hamina. He was captured on the evening of November 30, 2006, by police Readiness Unit Karhuryhmä in Maunula, Helsinki. Police assaulted the apartment which was suspected to be Valjakkala's hideout. Valjakkala was captured without resistance. After the incident Valjakkala went back to closed prison.

Nowadays Valjakkala goes under the name "Nikita Joakim Fouganthine". All of his many applications for pardon were denied by the president.


Having served 19 years in prison, Valjakkala-Fouganthine is due to be released on parole on July 1, 2008. [http://www.mtv3.fi/uutiset/rikos.shtml/arkistot/rikos/2007/12/588109]

Valjakkala was finally released on February 25, 2008.

He was arrested again on April 12, 2008, for breaking his release terms. He is likely to face charges for, among other things, endangering the traffic, stealing a vehicle and driving a vehicle without a licence and driving an unlicenced taxi. Valjakkala has admitted to the above. [ [http://www.iltalehti.fi/uutiset/200805137646916_uu.shtml Kuulustelut alkoivat - Valjakkala vetosi paniikkiin | Uutiset | Iltalehti.fi ] ]


In 1991 Swedish director Jan Troell directed a film on the Åmsele murders, "Il Capitano", starring Antti Reini.

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