Among the scores of still unresearched newspaper reports of the past describing child care providers (formerly called “baby farmers”) who were also child-murdering serial killers, is this brief article on the Swedish couple who were suspected of murdering 1,000 children in their Stockholm child care facility. The man’s name is given as Gustav Holmen but his partner in crime’s real name was unknown.
The following text is the sole English language report that has been discovered to date. If any researcher located in Stockholm would care to search the local archives of newspapers and court records the full story of the crimes would certainly come to light. Then one of the worst – perhaps the single worst – serial killer cases in history might be made available to the public.
FULL TEXT: A. despatch from Stockholm says: Revelations concerning the National Children's Sanitorium have just been announced after, an investigation by the authorities. It appears that the alleged Sanitorium was simply a baby farm on an. immense scale, and that wholesale murders of babies were committed. The authorities are trying to trace Gustav Holmen and the woman who passed as his wife. He posed as a minister and she as a trained nurse and specialist in children and their bringing up. They secured numerous contributions, and especially handsome amounts were subscribed to the building fund. It is calculated, that in the three years the institution had been running over a thousand babies have been received. Yet only thirteen babies are alive and well. These are the healthiest, fattest and prettiest of those received, and they were used as decoy, or show babies. They were shown to mothers and to all visitors and their pictures were sent out on the literature used.
[“A Thousand Babies Murdered - On Huge Baby Farm in Stockholm. Decoy Infants.” Syndicated, New Zealand Truth (Wellington, N.Z.), Dec. 22, 1906, p. 8]
(NOTE: The silhouette illustration does not represent “Mrs. Holmen”; it is chosen merely to suggest the presently anonymous character of the subject.)