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Episode Twenty One | Karina Holmer: The Case That Haunts Boston with Emily Sweeney of the Globe

On the evening of June 21, 1996, 20-year-old Karina Holmer went with friends to her favorite Boston club to celebrate summer solstice - a big holiday in her homeland of Sweden. She was reported missing by friends and it was discovered that she was the woman found mutilated in the trash. Her gruesome murder remains unsolved. What happened from the last time she was seen in the early morning of June 22 until she was discovered by a man collecting bottles and cans from a dumpster behind an apartment building remains a mystery. I’ve been planning on doing this case for a long time. It has been at the top of my list of those that have most impacted me, one that troubles me. Her story is particularly sensitive because it remains unsolved.

June 22 marked 25 years since Karina was seen alive. She has been gone longer than she lived. I always remember her because June 22 is my birthday, and it was the summer before I started college in Boston. Karina's identity was pushed in the press as "The Swedish Nanny," she was the girl in the dumpster. It is a terrifying story.

Today, we are no closer to learning who did this and why. I’d settle for who. The why. Who knows. Motive is far less important now. We would like to know. Of course. But 25 years in, the likelihood that her case is cracked is slim.

June 22, 1996. The last time Karina Holmer was seen alive. I want to see her case solved. And I have a plan to try.

Photo Gallery for more about this case Crime of the Truest Kind Hosted by Anngelle Wood Online: @crimeofthetruestkind Thank you, Emily Sweeney of the Boston Globe Music in this episode by Joe "onlyone" Kowalski and Andrew King Promo for Murderific Podcast Thank you for listening.

The Boston Police Department Unsolved Homicide Unit continues to review the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident and is asking anyone with information relative to this investigation to contact (617) 343-4470. Community members wishing to assist this investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of all those who wish to assist this investigation in an anonymous manner.

Photos: Photos of Karina Holmer (this is really Karina, some sites post someone entirely different)

The entry of what was known as "the alley" on Boylston Place - Likely the last place she was seen alive

The dumpster behind the apartment building on the corner of Ipswich and Boylston Streets The area she was found recently

View of the Estate in the Alley that was Zanibar

Source Links

Boston Globe - Who Killed Karina Holmer? Twenty-five Years Later, Swedish Nanny’s Grisly Murder Remains Unsolved

by Emily Sweeney, June 22, 2021

Front Page Detectives - 25 Years Later, The Gruesome 'swedish Nanny's' Murder In Boston Remains A Mystery

by Nate Homan, JUne 15, 2021

Boston Herald Editorial: Time to solve ’96 murder of Karina Holmer

June 16, 2021

Caught In Dot - Community Alert in Karina Holmer Murder

WBUR Boston - Remembering Karina Holmer By Name by Philip Martin, June 24, 2019

Billy Jensen - Karina Holmer and Elizabeth Short by Billy Jensen (who I had NO Idea worked for the Boston Phoenix!), October 17th, 2013

True Crime Daily - The Brutal Unsolved Murder of Karina Holmer

Murder In New England - Karina Holmer, The Swedish Au Pair Case -unsolved

AP - Swedish Nanny Killed In Boston, Body Cut In Half, By Carolyn Thompson, June 26, 1996

South Coast Today - Swedish Teen Found Slain In Boston Trash, by Carolyn Thompson, Associated Press, Jun 26, 1996


Boston Globe - Victim Regarded As Upbeat, Good With Children, by Ellen O'brien And Matt Bai, June 26, 1996

Boston Globe - Police are focusing on man outside club in au pair's murder, Ric Kahn and Matt Bai, June 27 1996

Boston Globe - Psychologists say killing doesn't fit sadist pattern, by Brian MacQuarrie, June 27 1996

Au pairs find nightlife alluring But many unprepared for dangers, realities of living in a foreign city, Kevin Cullen and Ellen O'Brien, June 30, 1996

The panhandler questioned in murder of nanny, Ric Kahn and Brian MacQuarrie, July 3, 1996

Au pair probers find a print Victim may have been held captive, Ric Kahn and Matt Bai, July 2, 1996

Figure in case of nanny seems to be suicide, by Ric Kahn Jan 11 1997

Nanny slay case cited in suicide Troubled man thought he was seen as suspect, by Ric Kahn, Jan 201997

FBI involved in Karina Holmer Murder

Police officer who dated Karina Holmer is questioned

Boston Herald - New Crime Stats in Boston

Boston Globe - Homicides and shootings are on the rise nationwide. Boston is no different.

New York Times - Ban On Sunday Sales Ends

Chowdaheadz - Blue Laws that still exist - Sunday Sales Ban Ends

Dry towns

Suffolk Journal - Banning double shots and happy hour does not make drinking at bars safer

Boston Herald - Boston crime rates, by Joe Dwinell

Area Vibes

ID - Jassy Correia Kidnapped In Boston

WCVB Channel 5 - Amy Lord's murder

MassLive - The Killing Of Jassy Correia, How a 23 Year Old's Birthday Celebration turned Deadly

WPRI - Trial Date Set for Jassy Correia's Killer

New England Crime Stories | A True Crime Podcast


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