Children of Bodom is a Finnish heavy metal band and the group has an interesting story behind their name. Lake Bodom in Finland was the site of the grisly murder of three teenagers.
It all began in the Summer of 1960 at Lake Bodom, a freshwater lake near the city of Helsinki in Finland. Four teenagers decided to go camping together. The boys, Nils and Seppo were both 18 years old, while the girls Irmeli and Anja were 15. Seppo and Anja had been dating for a year and Nils and Irmeli had been going out for three weeks.
Despite the gruesome reputation Lake Bodom has today, it is a genuinely beautiful place and, during the Summer, it was a popular destination for youngsters. All four youths were from the town of Vantaa and they set off for the trip on two motorcycles. They had a tent with them and some alcohol.
They pitched their tent on the shores of Lake Bodom in the early evening and spent their time having fun before going to bed around midnight. When they drifted off to sleep that night, little did they know that, come morning, only one of them would still be alive.
During the night, the were awoken by a strange sound. Someone had cut the ropes on their tent and it collapsed on top of them, trapping the teenagers under the canvas. Suddenly, they were attacked by a mysterious person who began savagely stabbing them through the canvas and bashing in their heads with a rock. The collapsed tent was like a death trap and they were unable to escape.
The next morning, their bodies were discovered by some swimmers who arrived at the camp site. Three of the teenagers lay dead in a pool of their own blood. Nils was the only one who was still alive, but he was only semi-conscious. He was rushed to hospital and had serious injuries to the back of the head, a deep knife wound to the forehead, and a smashed jaw.
The police rushed to the scene of the crime and began their investigation. The first thing they noticed was that some of the kids’ possessions were missing, including their wallets and swimsuits.
They conducted a search of the area and, half a mile away, they found some of the teenagers’ clothes and a pair of shoes belonging to Nils. Even though they searched through the muddy lake bottom with metal detectors, they were never able to find the murder weapon.
The Bodom Lake Murders were the most brutal killings Finland had ever seen, and news of the incident left the entire country in a state of shock. Within an hour, the familiar lakeshore was filled with curious onlookers.
They determined that the murders had to have taken place some time between 4 and 6 in the morning. A woman who was washing some clothes on the opposite side of the lake saw someone fishing during the night. Two young boys who were out birdwatching in the area claimed they saw the collapsed tent and one of them even said he saw a fair-haired man walking away from it. Another boy who was fishing nearby also told police he saw a blond man hanging around the location.
When Nils recovered and was well enough to be questioned by police, he told them he had no memory of anything that happened between the time they went to sleep that night and when he woke up later in hospital. In order to try and gain more information, the police put him under hypnosis.
He said that he had managed to get out of the tent during the attack, at which point the killer had kicked him in the jaw. The strangest thing was what he told police about the killer. Nils said that the man’s eyes were glowing red.
The police had a lot of suspects and a number of people were arrested in connection with the killings, but there was never enough evidence to warrant a prosecution. Several individuals were prime suspects in the Lake Bodom murders. Some people even made false confessions and a few who had been under suspicion of the crime later took their own lives.
There was a man named Valdemar Gyllström who owned a kiosk near the lake and sold lemonade. He was known to be very hot-tempered and angry and used to walk around the area at night. Locals say he hated young people and would throw stones at kids when they cycled by his house. He even supposedly confessed to the crime, before drowning himself in Bodom Lake in 1969. However, police discovered that he had an alibi. His wife said he was at home in bed with her all night.
Doctors who worked at a nearby hospital said that, on the night of the murders, a man named Hans Assman turned up in their emergency room. His clothes were dishevelled and he was in a very confused state. One doctor noticed blood stains on him, but it was not his own blood. The man couldn’t speak Finnish so they couldn’t communicate with him and he eventually left.
The heavy metal band ‘Children of Bodom’ took their name from the infamous crime and they dedicate at least one song of every album to the murders. The name of the group was very controversial from the beginning, as well as their lyrics. They also produce t-shirts with slogans like ‘I survived Lake Bodom’. These lyrics are from the song ‘Bodom Beach Terror’:
Late night you party until it´s light
While pointing at the sky
Wash your hands in the lake of your blood
Just before you die.
In 2004, more than 40 years after the murders, the police arrested Nils and charged him with the crime. After a long trial, he was found not guilty due to lack of evidence and his name was cleared.
Today, the mystery remains unsolved. Who killed the three teenagers at Lake Bodom in 1960? Was it one of the suspects? Was it a complete stranger who never came to light? Or was it their friend Nils?
What do you think?