John Ausonius Gets Another Life Sentence for Murder of Holocaust Survivor

A would-be serial killer from Sweden received a second life sentence from a court in Frankfurt, Germany on February 21, 2018. John Ausonius, dubbed “the Laser man,” murdered a holocaust survivor in 1992. Ausonius was already serving a life sentence imposed in 1995 for the murder of an Iranian immigrant. He also attempted to kill nine other people and robbed 18 banks.

According to Deutsche Welle, Swedish killer John Ausonius has been found guilty by a Frankfurt, Germany court in the murder of Blanka Zmigrod in February 1992. Ausonius, dubbed “the Laser man,” was given a second life sentence on February 21, 2018 for the seemingly hate-motivated killing.

Sixty-four-year-old Ausonius is already serving a life sentence imposed in 1995 for the 1991 murder of Jimmy Ranjbar and attempted murder of nine other people. Ranjbar was an Iranian national who was a student in Sweden at the time of his death.

The Laser Man Shootings

Because Ausonius had used a rifle equipped with a laser sight in many of his crimes, he earned the name “Laser man” from the media.

Between 1991 and 1992, Ausonius committed a string of shootings throughout Sweden. Ausonius specifically targeted immigrants based on his fierce hatred towards both immigrants and foreigners, whom he wanted to intimidate into leaving the country.

The Laser man started out by using a rifle, but then switched to a revolver that was fitted with a silencer. Poorly performed modifications to his weapons made them inaccurate, which is one explanation for why his victims frequently survived.

Ausonius amassed a large fortune during the 80s through a talent for trading stocks and bonds. Bad investment choices and a gambling addiction depleted his finances, which left him homeless. His unfortunate life circumstances, along with diagnosed antisocial personality disorder, led him to rob 18 banks.

Why John Ausonius Murdered a Jewish Holocaust Survivor

Ausonius became Sweden’s most wanted fugitive.

During his shooting spree, he went to Germany, where he ran into Blanka Zmigrod. Zmigrod, a cloakroom attendant, was a holocaust survivor of four concentration camps, including Auschitz and Bergen-Belsen. An argument in which Ausonius accused Zmigrod of stealing his electronic notebook precipitated her murder the next day, on February 23, 1992.

Although the police launched a massive manhunt, it was during bank robbery on June 12, 1992 that Ausonius was finally apprehended. He was convicted of murder and robbery, although he would later confess to most of the shootings in 2000. However, he did maintain his innocence in Zmigrod’s murder when at trial.

Although Zmigrod’s murder case had been closed in 1996, in 2014, German authorities reopened cases that they thought had the possibility of connection with murders committed by the National Socialist Underground, a neo-Nazi group. German prosecutor Naja Böttinger opted to question Ausonius, whose suspicious behavior made him a suspect.

John Ausonius’ Conviction & Sentence

Although the lone eyewitness to the murder of Zmigrod could not identify the killer’s face, there was strong evidence that pointed to Ausonius. Key evidence in the conviction was the type of ammunition that had been used to kill Zmigrod. It was a match for the ammunition used by “the Laserman” in the Swedish shootings.

Ausonius’s first life sentence is open-ended. He unsuccessfully attempted to appeal it three times, in order to have changed to a fixed-term sentence. The advantage of a fixed-term sentence means he would only have to serve two-thirds of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

The fact he is now serving two life sentences in two countries combined with the high likelihood of re-offending makes it is unlikely that Ausonius will ever be paroled.