Directed by Henrik Georgsson, HBO’s ‘Pray, Obey, Kill‘ is a five-part series that chronicles a Swedish murder case that gained international attention due to its bizarre and complex nature. In January 2004, in a small village by the name of Knutby, home to a tight-knit Pentecostal congregation, a young woman named Alexandra Fossmo was found shot to death in her bed. As investigations began, though, a confession from a 26-year-old nanny, Sara Svensson, led to Alexandra’s husband’s (sect pastor Helge Fossmo) apprehension. He was the one who had masterminded the crime. So, let’s find out where he is today, shall we?
Who is Helge Fossmo?
Born on July 27, 1971, Helge Arnold Fossmo originates from the village of Björneborg in Värmland County. Although his family was not particularly religious, he found faith when he was 10-years-old and soon became a “born again” Christian. From there, Helge worked in religious institutions before moving to Karlstad for university. However, he dropped out and subsequently started serving as a teacher in his old school. During this time, he joined the Pentecostal Church, where he was employed as a youth pastor around 1993. Helge, his first wife, Heléne, and their children moved to Knutby in 1997.
Two years after the Fossmo family moved to the small village, though, on December 18, 1999, Helge found Heléne dead in their bathtub. There was a puncture wound to her skull, and a toxicology report showed high levels of dextropropoxyphene in her blood. But her death was ruled to an accident. Foul play or Helge’s involvement in the matter wasn’t considered until 2004, when Alexandra, whom he’d espoused within months, was murdered. That’s when investigators learned that the pastor had sold Heléne’s belongings days after her passing and had also falsified some documents pertaining to the death.
However, the law enforcement ultimately acquitted Helge for Heléne’s murder. Yet, that was not the case when it came to his second wife. With the help of Sara Svensson’s testimonies, the nanny of his children with whom he was having a long-term affair, it came to light that Helge solicited Alexandra’s shooting death. With evidence backing her up in court, Sara claimed that she was manipulated and brainwashed through affection to do Helge’s bidding. Thus, despite his claims of being under the influence of the sect’s leader and Alexandra’s sister, Åsa Waldau, Helge was sentenced to life in prison.
Where is Helge Fossmo Now?
Helge Arnold Fossmo, who had maintained his innocence throughout his trial, confessed to soliciting his second wife’s murder in an interview with TV4 in August 2006, explaining that it was time to do so as “I feel that I have recovered. I lived a lie and I don’t want to do that any longer.” He claimed that several other people were involved in the crime, but after a few consequent interrogations, the police decided not to reopen the matter. Over the years, the former minister has appealed his case several times, but even the European Court of Human Rights has declined to take it up.
As per reports, Helge married for the third time while behind bars in 2007, but his wife’s name has not been publicly stated. In October 2014, after serving ten years of his life sentence, it was determined that he could be paroled in 2020. However, when the prosecutors contested this decision, the Göta Court of Appeal stated that Helge was required to serve at least 24 years of his conviction before he could even be eligible to request for an early release. Thus, at the age of 49, Helge Fossmo remains incarcerated at the Tidaholm Maximum Security Prison in Sweden, according to reports.
Read More: How Did Alexandra Fossmo Die?