A look back into Lund University’s own gruesome history – the brutal murder at the sinner’s house.
On September 7th, 1829, a cold night preceding Sweden’s coldest winter in over 40 years, Anders Landén, a studious theology student and well-liked member of Gothenburg nation, visited his fellow nation mate Jacob Wilhelm Blomdahl at his student accommodation. This would be the last time Landén would be seen alive.
While the exact details of what happened that fateful night will remain a mystery, Blomdahl, who had a history of psychological issues, provided a romantic account of the gruesome murder. He claimed that a fight broke out between him and Landén following a disagreement over some debt that Landén owed Blomdahl. Both allegedly equipped themselves with iron grilles from the window before engaging in a battle to the death. Blomdahl, according to himself, gained the upper hand owing to his physical prowess and landed the killing blow.
However, the autopsy report suggests a different narrative. Based on the injuries Landén sustained, it is far more plausible that Blomdahl waited until Landén fell asleep. Blomdahl then bludgeoned the defenseless man to death with the same iron grille he mentioned in his account. Here, a different motivation is proposed; Jealousy, as Blomdahl and Landén were apparently entertaining the attentions of the same woman.
Regardless of whether they battled to the death or Landén was murdered in his sleep, Blomdahl’s next course of action was to stuff the corpse in his closet. When he realized that this wasn’t the best hiding place, he moved the body, dropping it into a waste collection pit. He then went out for dinner.
At 2 am Blomdahl returned, intending to move the body out of town. However, he soon tired and left the corpse right in front of the university principal’s house.
The late Landén was discovered there the following morning by the night watch. The body was so battered and bruised that it was unrecognizable. However, unluckily for Blomdahl, a bloody trail led from Landén to Blomdahl’s front door. The police found him asleep and still soaked in his victim’s blood. Landén’s personal items were found in Blomdahl’s room, and the latter was immediately taken into custody. Blomdahl pled guilty to the murder charges.
On September 29th, 1829, Lund University issued its verdict under academic jurisdiction. Despite Blomdahl’s mental disorders, the principal decided on execution instead of a life sentence as the final vote. Their verdict was approved by Sweden’s highest court. He tried to make an appeal to the king but it went unheard.
Finally, on April 16th, 1830, Blomdahl was beheaded and buried in Norra Kyrkogården, the same graveyard as his victim. Gothenburg nation erased Blomdahl’s name from their register. In a macabre twist, the students nicknamed the student accommodation where the murder transpired ”Locus Peccatorum” – the sinner’s house.