Annika Östberg bigraphy, stories - criminal

Annika Östberg : biography

January 6, 1954 -

Annika Maria Östberg Deasy (born January 6, 1954, Stockholm, Sweden) is a Swedish citizen formerly incarcerated in California for an undetermined period (25 years to life sentence). She was convicted of first-degree murder of a restaurant owner and a police officer in 1981.California Department of Justice: Court No 7643, Prob File No 17517: The People of the state of California vs. Annika Maria Deasy, defendant.Rättegångshandlingar: Utsagor och utskrift från förhandlingen inför fastställandet av Östbergs livstidsdom 1983. Sid 2 rad 17 In April 2009, after 27 years in a California prison, Östberg was handed over to Swedish authorities and transferred to Sweden, and incarcerated in the Hinseberg women's prison north of Örebro. (in Swedish), Expressen, April 6, 2009

Transfer to Sweden and release

The question of being transferred to a Swedish prison is outside the scope of a parole hearing. California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger refused in an interview in August 2005 with Swedish television to let her be transferred to Sweden to serve the remaining period in her native country. In April 2009 she was finally transferred after years of silent diplomatic activity. It is believed that the financial crisis in the United States and the fact that prisoners are a burden on the economy was one reason for the transfer. (in Swedish), Aftonbladet, April 8, 2009 Östberg became one of the first prisoners to be transferred under the new rules.

On November 16, 2009, a Swedish court decided that her life sentence should be time-limited so that she can be released in May 2011, more than 30 years after her arrest. On August 8, 2010, Östberg hosted the program "Sommar" on Sveriges Radio. She was released on May 2, 2011, after having been locked up for 30 years, since May 1, 1981, a longer prison time than almost any Swedish citizen.

The murders

On April 30, 1981, Östberg and her boyfriend Bob Cox robbed and killed ex-restaurant owner Joe Torre. Östberg sold stolen meat to restaurants and had made an appointment in a warehouse with Torre. While she pretended to bring the meat out of the truck, Bob Cox shot him. They robbed Torre and drove away. When their vehicle broke down on the highway the next day, Sgt Helbush stopped to render aid. According to Lake County district attorney Lester Fleming, evidence exists that Östberg may have shot Sgt Helbush as he walked back to his patrol car. Östberg stated that while she pretended to search for her driver's licence, Cox shot Helbush in the back of the head. Östberg told Cox to get rid of the body. They stole the policeman's wallet and the police car.

A patrol soon found Helbush's body when he failed to report back. Policeman Don Anderson discovered his colleague's stolen police car on a road in the Cobb Mountain area. After a short pursuit, Cox crashed the stolen car on a sharp curve near intersection 175 at Dry Creek Road . During a shootout during which Östberg helped Cox to reload, Cox was wounded by several shots from the police and surrendered. Östberg tried to reach a gun before a police officer arrested her. Östberg explained the crimes in detail at her hearings and blamed her drug abuse. However, drug tests showed that she was not using narcotics at the time.Rättegångshandlingar: Utsagor och utskrift från förhandlingen inför fastställandet av Östbergs livstidsdom 1983.


  • Biography Sorgfågel by Swedish journalist Lena Katarina Swanberg


In 1983, Annika Östberg received a sentence of 25 years to life for the 1981 murders. At that time it was customary for well-behaved prisoners to be set free after serving approximately half of their sentence. Documents from that period indicate that Östberg's lawyers believed she could be out after 12 ½ years. Previously, life prisoners served their sentences according to the law and their behavior in prison. However, this was not the case after 2000. Politics changed throughout the years, and as the sentencing laws changed, so did the mindset of the Board of Prison Terms and the Governor's office in Sacramento.

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