He was once Sweden's most infamous serial killer, a self-confessed cannibal who claimed to have murdered 30 people.
But Sture Bergwall could soon be freed from a high-security psychiatric unit after prosecutors dropped the last charge against a man they now accept was a fantasist.
The case gripped Sweden in the 1990s, when Bergwall - known by his alter-ago Thomas Quick - told police tales of the dozens of people he had raped, killed and even eaten. He was eventually convicted of murdering eight people, including three children.
More than a decade later, Bergwall had a different story to tell: encouraged by therapists and befuddled by medication, he had invented Thomas Quick as a cry for help. Without his confessions, there was little other evidence to back up the convictions, and one by one courts struck them down.
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Yesterday, prosecutors withdrew the final outstanding case: the murder of a 15-year-old who disappeared in Sweden in 1976. Although the remains of Charles Zelmanovits were not discovered until 1993 and it was impossible to determine the cause of death, Bergwall had been convicted on the strength of his testimony alone.
"That a person has been convicted of eight murders and later been declared innocent, that is unique in Swedish legal history," said the attorney general, Anders Perklev. "It has to be considered as a big failure for the justice system."
Psychiatric evaluators have to decide whether to release 63-year-old Bergwall, who told AP he would now push for his freedom.