Anna Månsdotter, a 48 years old widow lived with her grown son Per in the south of Sweden. Per had been Anna’s lover ever since his early youth. Their sexual relationship even continued after Per had married, and Anna was jealous on Per’s bride. Together they killed Per’s young wife. Per received a life sentence while Anna was sent to the scaffold.
On August 6, 1890 at 8:00 am. Anna was led to the low block. She was dressed up like going to a party in a white dress, that fell beautifully over her slim figure. Her steps were unsecure and her big eyes looked around nervously.
Anna made no resistance as she walked to the scaffold. She knelt down at the block, looking a last time at her executioner who hide the axe behind his back. An assistant blindfolded her and Anna laid down with her head on the block sobbing like a child. Just before the blow she moaned and lifted her head. The assistant had to press it back in position, and this time the soft sound of the blow could be heard. Anna’s blindfolded head rolled forward while a jet of blood sprayed from her neck which yellow skin looked like the skin of a goose.
Two seconds after Anna’s head fell a medical student examined it. For one minute her eyes seemed blank and “alive” as if they could see.
The blade stroke her right under her ears, cleaved her tongue and went through her mouth, leaving her chin with the body.
Anna’s body was quickly removed and undressed or scientific experiments. Her heart was removed while it was still beating.
The head was assigned to an artist, who made a death mask for the Wax Museum “Panoptikum” in Stockholm.
The Yngsjö murder is the name of one of Sweden’s most notable murder cases, which occurred on March 28, 1889 in Yngsjö, Skåne. Hanna Johansdotter (born 1867) was murdered by her husband Per Nilsson and his mother Anna Månsdotter (born December 28, 1841), who became known as Yngsjömörderskan (in English: The Yngsjö Murderess). Both were sentenced to death for the murder, and Månsdotter became the last woman in Sweden to be executed.
The circumstances of the murder are not entirely clear, as both Månsdotter and her son gave several different explanations for it. In later years it has been suggested that she carried out the murder alone. During the trial it came to light that she had a sexual relationship with her son, and that this eventually led to the murder. It is believed, that she murdered her daughter-in-law because of jealousy, and that she did this with her son’s consent.
Anna Månsdotter had married Nils Nilsson, 13 years her elder, expecting a wealthy future, but they had become poor and afflicted with debts. She had three children, of which only one, her son Per, lived to adulthood. Anna’s spouse Nils died in 1883. She had arranged the marriage between Per and Hanna Johansdotter, possibly as a way of prevent the spread of rumours about incest. The marriage was not a happy one. Anna did not move in with her own mother, which had been the initial plan, and Hanna complained to her father that her mother-in-law was the cause of her unhappy marriage. One suggestion is that Hanna had discovered the sexual relationship between her husband and his mother, and that they together murdered her to prevent her from being able to tell anyone. One of many summaries given of the murder was that they beat her with a piece of wood, after which Anna strangled her. They then dressed her and placed her as if she had fallen down the stairs.
Månsdotter was executed on the district jail grounds in Kristianstad on August 7, 1890 by executioner Albert Gustaf Dahlman. Per Nilsson was pardoned from his death sentence and was instead sentenced to hard labour for the rest of his life. He was however released in 1913 and died of consumption in 1918. Månsdotter was, together with Sofia Maria Ekwall, the most infamous female murderer in 19th century Sweden.
The execution sequence from Yngsjömordet (1966)