Photo: Soli Sorouh (AP)
On Friday morning, King Harald V of Norway pardoned the convicted murderer, Kristian von Bengtson, who snatched a the neck of a narwhal — a protected endangered species in Norway — and used the tusk to attack a young man on a Christmas bike ride. In 2000, Von Bengtson, then 18, became one of Norway’s youngest murderers.
The crime caused such outrage that many threw flowers into the water around the narwhal carcass. After three years in prison, Von Bengtson was released on parole in 2005, but later arrested again and sentenced to prison.
After a short stay of a few days, Von Bengtson violated parole and was sentenced to six months in jail again.
In 2014, he was arrested once again and sentenced to five years in prison after making disturbing Facebook postings, planning an attack and plotting to escape. According to a report in The Independent, several documents recovered from his home contained details of an attack on an Oslo train station, aimed at the Valhalla, a Nazi memorial and tourist attraction. He was also suspected of planning an attack against a political center in Gjoevik, where he had been living.
Von Bengtson’s jail sentence was initially upheld in 2016, and now he has been released after serving two-thirds of the sentence.
Von Bengtson told a press conference that he will try to engage in a constructive life.
“Hopefully I’ll get a chance to become useful again,” he said.
Correction: This article previously misspelled Kristian von Bengtson’s name.