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Man Confesses to Manslaughter in Book

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Man Confesses to Manslaughter in Book

Hyldýpið

The cover of Ómar Ragnarsson's new book, Hyldýpið. Photo: Ómar Ragnarsson.

A new book by comedian and journalist Ómar Ragnarsson, Hyldýpið, meaning The Abbyss, includes an account by a man who confesses to accidentally killing Geirfinnur Einarsson, a man who disappeared in 1974 and whose body was never found.

The case is the most notorious murder cases in Icelandic history. Two men disappeared in 1974, but their bodies were never found. Six people were convicted for their deaths, but the convictions were highly controversial, becoming the subject of a BBC program in 2014. You can view their coverage here.

Ómar told RÚV that 14 years ago, he interviewed a man and a woman linked to the case.

The man confessed to Ómar that he accidentally ran his car over Geirfinnur near Straumsvík, on the Reykjanes peninsula, likely causing his death. Geirfinnur stood by a van at the shoulder of the road. The man claimed that two men who were in Geirfinnur’s company at the time, witnessed the accident, but he trusted they had no intention of reporting it to the police.

To escape punishment, the man decided to hide the body in a hole in the lava by Helgafell mountain. He claimed the body fell into the river Kaldá, which flows under the lava and into the ocean by Straumsvík. Never did the man suspect this would become the largest criminal case in Icelandic history.

Ómar believes the man who confessed to Geirfinnur’s death to be still alive, but the woman has passed away. Ómar stated to RÚV that he promised the two anonymity at the time, but he last spoke with them 12 years ago.

When asked how believable he judged the story to be, Ómar replied, “It’s up to the reader to judge.”

He continued, “The problem is that there is no body, no murder weapon, and, thus, you can’t prove or disprove that this man told me the truth.”

Björn L. Bergsson, who heads the committee in charge of reopening the case, told RÚV he couldn’t predict the committee’s reaction, since none of its members had seen Ómar’s book. He does, however, expect them to familiarize themselves with its content.

Davíð Þór Björgvinsson, acting state prosecutor in the case, states he will investigate this part of the case if the committee requests it. He has not yet seen the book.

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