Crime news, especially the most macabre and prurient one, has in the abundance of details an essential and carrying element. Vital, we might say. For better or for worse. Biographical details of executioners and victims, investigative details, more or less reliable testimonies which, in any case, enrich the humus on which and in which a given black story develops. Details – real or the result of unfounded gossip, as often and inevitably happens in such situations – useful, indeed, to fully understand the nature, the frame and the dynamics, even the most apparently insignificant, of any crime. Events that, evidently, feed on the same details produced by themselves, in a vicious circle within which history grows without interruption until – but not always – to unravel. A cauldron of news and information that is never full. As per the script.
The story we are going to illustrate, however, differs from this plot. Yet, the following story would have all the ingredients to become, definitively and completely, an important page of crime news: cannibalism, necrophilia, satanic rituals, Black Metal, Finland as a background.
The Hyvinkää court and the Helsinki Court of Appeal have, in fact, secreted the most gruesome details of the case in question, and decided not to disclose many details about the protagonists of this crime. 40 years of silence: this was established by the legal bodies of the country of Northern Europe.
Jarno Elg, the cannibal of Hyvinkää
The protagonist of the story, in part secret, is called Jarno Sebastian Elg. We don’t know much about this Finnish boy. Actually, there is no information about Jarno Elg. We only know his year of birth, 1975, and his passion for Black Metal. According to some sources, since he was a child he has been morbidly attracted to violence: he tortured and killed animals. Prelude to what will happen on 21 November 1998.
November 21, 1998 is a significant date for Finland. On this day, the crime that has most upset public opinion in this country is consumed.
Jarno Sebastian Elg is in the home of a twenty-three year old young man. The name of the victim and his role in the life of his executioner have never been made public by the Finnish authorities.
Jarno, at first, strangles the boy to the point of causing his death. It seems that the victim has also suffered torture and obscene acts prior to the strangulation, the script of a so-called as well as perverse sadomasochistic ritual. Sources report that Jarno and the other three boys in his company wrapped the victim’s head in tape (the boy tried to escape and free himself from his torturers), urinated on his body, then repeatedly pierced him with a pair of scissors.
He’s not alone, Jarno. Alongside him, in this macabre ritual, there are Terhi Johanna Tervashonka, 17 years of Järvenpää, Mika Kristian Riska, 20 years (other sources indicate 21) of Mäntsälä and a sixteen year old (whose name has not been disclosed) from Kerava.
Finally, the killers rage on the corpse of the 23-year-old: it is said that mutilation of the genital organs and extraction of the internal organs happened.
Then, after dissecting the body in the bathroom, Jarno begins to eat the victim. Subsequently, the various parts of the body, by now dismembered, are put inside plastic bags and thrown in the garbage. In fact, the investigations are started by finding human remains in a landfill.
The group led by Jarno Sebastian Elg celebrates, with the body parts of the young twenty-three year old, at first tortured and finally killed, improvised satanic rituals. Cannibalism and necrophilia.
It is not clear whether Jarno forced the other young people to participate in the ritual or whether they voluntarily decided to join the dark liturgy. As a background to the crime, the tracks of the album “The Cainian Chronicle” (1996), the second studio work of the Norwegian group Melodic Black Metal Ancient. “Ponderous Moonlighting”, “The Cainian Chronicle Part I: The Curse”, “The Cainian Chronicle Part II: Lilith’s Embrace”, “The Cainian Chronicle Part III & IV: Disciplines of Caine / Zillah and the Crone”, “At the Infernal Portal (Canto III)”, “Cry of Mariamne”, “Prophecy of Gehenna”, “Song of Kaiaphas”, “Exu”, “The Pagan Cycle”, “Homage to Pan” the song titles of this seductive, sumptuous album of the band formed in Bergen in 1992.
Everything in this story is wrapped in a thick, impenetrable blanket of mystery. A wall of reserve and extreme confidentiality that leads to shame, silence, reluctance. Even the investigations themselves, about the collection of clues and the consequent capture of the group, reveal profound omissions.
The fact is, the group is arrested and prosecuted. The sentences and subsequent decisions, in full Scandinavian and Northern European style, prove to be a farce. Jarno Sebastian Elg is sentenced to life imprisonment but, in December 2014, he is granted conditional release on probation.
Terhi Johanna Tervashonka is sentenced to eight years and six months in prison (other sources indicate only 2 years and 6 months). However, psychiatric reports will establish a partial mental infirmity of the girl: in 2003 she is released from prison. In 2007, however, she fell into the trap of justice. She is accused of murdering a man through the use of a billhook. 10 years in prison. In the early 2000s she gave an interview in which she stated that it was not a murder. The girl, in fact, claims that the victim died of suffocation, but involuntary, accidental: she, Jarno and the other boys were drunk and had silenced the boy (apparently belonging to their group) with adhesive tape, not imagining that he would die suffocated. In an attempt to hide the body, they dissected the body. Finally, it excludes the satanic-ritual component linked to the worship of Satan. A version of the facts which, indeed, is anything but convincing.
Mika Kristian Riska is sentenced to two years and eight months’ imprisonment for assault and desecration of a grave. The fourth accomplice, the unknown 16-year-old boy, is acquitted: justice has held that he was forced to attend the ritual against his will.
Censorship. This is the term that best describes the behaviour of the Finnish judicial authorities. A detestable move that kills – it is precisely the case to say – the right to information and correct information around a news page full of elements of debate and study. To cover up a fact of crime news for preventive purposes: an attempt has been made, therefore, to hold back the wings of possible acts of emulation, taking away visibility from a story imbued with acid Satanism and Black Metal, “bogeymen” – real or presumed – against which the Countries of Northern Europe have been clashing for decades. In short, to hide the dust under the carpet.
One thing is certain: it is not by secreting and covering up a case of crime news that the phenomenon of Acidism is curbed, that is, murders and macabre rituals in the name of a confused Satanism that rhymes with mere delinquency and criminal perversion.
The case of cannibalism linked to Jarno Sebastian Elg deserves, on the contrary, attention and a wealth of much greater details. The criminal and psychological story of Jarno Elg is still far from over, except for those who have been involved in this fact of blood. 40 years of forced silence before – hopefully – the Finnish authorities drop the veil of silence that surrounds this interesting chapter of black news. 40 years that will fuel questions and mysteries.