A far-right killer who inspired ‘lone wolf’ murderers including Anders Breivik with his 1990s shooting spree in Sweden is going on trial over the murder of an Auschwitz survivor 25 years ago.
John Ausonius was dubbed ‘laser man’ for his use of rifle laser sights that helped him to target 11 people with immigrant backgrounds in the Stockholm and Uppsala areas.
The 64-year-old, who said he wanted to scare migrants out of the country, is already serving a life sentence for the spree between August 1991 and January 1992, which left an Iranian student dead and several other victims severely disabled.
But he is now set to appear in court again, this time in Frankfurt, Germany, over the unresolved murder of a 68-year-old Auschwitz survivor in the city a quarter of a century ago.
John Ausonius (pictured in court in 1995) was dubbed ‘laser man’ for his use of rifle laser sights that helped him to target 11 people with immigrant backgrounds in the Stockholm and Uppsala areas
Ausonius is known to have been in a restaurant in the city in 1992 while on the run for his shooting spree and accused cloakroom attendant Blanka Zmigrod of stealing an electronic device from his pocket.
According to The Guardian, a row erupted and the next night, Zmigrod – who had survived imprisonment at four concentration camps during the war – was shot dead by a cyclist as she walked home.
A Swedish police officer reportedly said Ausonius, who denies carrying out the shooting, appeared happy when he was told Zmigrod had a Jewish background.
His lawyer has said there is ‘no self-sustaining chain’ of evidence which proves Ausonius carried out the killing – though the suspect has admitted that he once possessed the same kind of gun and bullets used in the murder.
German prosecutors had shelved the case, but it was reopened in 2014 as part of a nationwide effort to review suspected far-right killings following revelations about a neo-Nazi gang that had committed a string of murders which authorities initially blamed on migrant gangs
The 64-year-old, who said he wanted to scare migrants out of the country, is already serving a life sentence for the spree between August 1991 and January 1992, which left one dead and several others severely disabled. Surveillance video released by police shows him robbing a bank in Stockholm in 1991
The case comes amid fears his 1990s shooting spree may have inspired killings carried out by the far-right German terror group the National Socialist Underground between 2000 and 2007.
There are also suggestions his actions may have inspired Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik who slaughtered 77 in attacks in 2011 after he referenced the ‘Laserman in Sweden’ during a court appearance.
However, it is not clear whether he was referring to Ausonius of a separate Swedish killed called Peter Mangs.
Experts say Ausonius was the first white nationalist to operate as a ‘lone wolf’ operating on his own to avoid detection.
Ausonius is set for several court appearances between now and late January in Frankfurt but will return to prison in Sweden regardless of the trial verdict.