Toivo Koljonen

Last updated

Toivo Koljonen
Mugshot of Koljonen in 1932.webp
Koljonen in 1932
Born
Toivo Harald Koljonen

(1910-12-12)12 December 1910
Died21 October 1943(1943-10-21) (aged 32)
Cause of death Execution by firing squad
Criminal status Executed
Conviction(s) Murder (6 counts)
Criminal penalty Death
Details
Date17 March 1943
Country Finland
Location(s) Huittinen
Killed6
Weapons Axe
Funeral for the victims of Toivo Koljonen Huittinen axe murder victims.jpg
Funeral for the victims of Toivo Koljonen

Toivo Harald "Kirves" Koljonen (12 December 1910 [1] – 21 October 1943) was a Finnish mass murderer and the last Finn executed for a civilian crime. He was executed by firing squad for a sextuple murder.

Contents

Koljonen was born 1910 in Lahti , Finland. He had been sentenced to prison and incarcerated at Riihimäki Prison, from which he was moved to Huittinen auxiliary prison. He escaped from prison in 1943 and attempted to hide from the authorities.

On 17 March 1943, he found a nearby farmhouse where five family members lived – a mother, two grandparents, and two children. Two additional family members, the father and the eldest son, had been conscripted into the army and, consequently, were not present at the time. Koljonen first hid in the stable, where he killed the daughter of the family with an axe (kirves in Finnish, which became his nickname). He then broke into the living quarters and killed the other four family members, as well as a woman from the neighbourhood who had been visiting. Koljonen escaped, but was caught at Valkeakoski .

According to the martial law in force during the war, Koljonen was sentenced to death for the six murders. He was shot together with convicted Soviet infiltrators at Kärsämäki quarry in Maaria , near Turku on 21 October 1943.

Koljonen was the last Finn to be executed for a civilian crime in Finland. All subsequent executions were for military crimes. After Koljonen, a handful of Finns were sentenced to death for murder. Their sentences were commuted to life imprisonment in 1945. Capital punishment was abolished for civilian crimes in Finnish law in 1949.

Koljonen remains one of the worst axe murderers in Finnish history, along with Karl Malmelin.

See also

General references

Notes


Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Execution by firing squad</span> Execution by multiple shooters on command

Execution by firing squad, in the past sometimes called fusillading, is a method of capital punishment, particularly common in the military and in times of war. Some reasons for its use are that firearms are usually readily available and a gunshot to a vital organ, such as the brain or heart, most often will kill relatively quickly.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lepke Buchalter</span> American mob boss

Louis Buchalter, known as Louis Lepke or Lepke Buchalter, was an American mobster and head of the Mafia hit squad Murder, Inc., during the 1930s. Buchalter was one of the premier labor racketeers in New York City during that era.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Capital punishment by the United States federal government</span> Legal penalty in the United States

Capital punishment is a legal punishment under the criminal justice system of the United States federal government. It is the most serious punishment that could be imposed under federal law. The serious crimes that warrant this punishment include treason, espionage, murder, large-scale drug trafficking, or attempted murder of a witness, juror, or court officer in certain cases.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Matricide</span> Act of killing one’s own mother

Matricide is the act of killing one's own mother.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Italian war crimes</span> War crimes committed by Italy

Italian war crimes have mainly been associated with Fascist Italy in the Pacification of Libya, the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, the Spanish Civil War, and World War II.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Matti Haapoja</span> Finnish serial killer

Matti Haapoja was a Finnish serial killer who was covered extensively by the press at the time of the murders. The exact number of his victims is unknown. He was convicted of two murders and was scheduled for a trial for his third murder when he killed himself in his cell. He can be linked to seven other identified murder cases, but most of those happened during his exile in Siberia and are poorly documented, so his involvement is not certain. It is claimed that he confessed to 18 murders, but there are no details about this supposed confession, and the figure should be regarded as unreliable. Some sources estimate his total number of murders as 22–25. He also non-fatally wounded at least six men in knife fights.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Capital punishment in the Czech Republic</span>

Capital punishment is forbidden by the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the Czech Republic and is simultaneously prohibited by international legal obligations arising from the Czech Republic's membership in both the Council of Europe and the European Union.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Capital punishment in Finland</span>

Capital punishment in Finland has been abolished de jure.

Operation Heads was the code name for a series of assassinations of Nazi officials by the World War II Polish Resistance. Those targeted for assassination had been sentenced to death by Polish Underground Special Courts for crimes against Polish citizens during the World War II German occupation of Poland. The operation's code name, literally "Operation Little Heads", was a sardonic reference to the Totenkopf insignia on Nazi German SS uniforms and headgear.

Mauno Olavi Laiho was the last Finn to be executed in Finland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Soviet prisoners of war in Finland</span> Prisoners of war during World War II

Soviet prisoners of war in Finland during World War II were captured in two Soviet-Finnish conflicts of that period: the Winter War and the Continuation War. The Finns took about 5,700 POWs during the Winter War, and due to the short length of the war they survived relatively well. However, during the Continuation War the Finns took 64,000 POWs, of whom almost 30 percent died.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Axe murder</span> Murder in which the victim was struck and killed by an axe or hatchet

An axe murder is a murder in which the victim was struck and killed by an axe or hatchet.

Toivo is a masculine given name most commonly found in Estonia and Finland meaning hope. Alternately, it is a short form of the name Tobias.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2017 Turku attack</span> Terrorist attack in Turku, Finland

The 2017 Turku attack took place on 18 August 2017 at around 16:02–16:05 (UTC+3) when 10 people were stabbed in central Turku, Southwest Finland. Two women were killed in the attack and eight people sustained injuries.

<i>Minsk Trial</i>

The Minsk Trial was a war crimes trial held in front of a Soviet military tribunal in 1946 in Minsk, the capital of Soviet Belarus. Defendants included German military, police, and SS officials who were responsible for implementing the occupational policies in Belarus during the German–Soviet War of 1941–45.

Erich Isselhorst was a member of the Schutzstaffel (SS) member before and during World War II.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Karl Emil Malmelin</span> Finnish murderer

Karl Emil Malmelin was a Finnish farmworker and mass murderer.

1986 <i>Viking Sally</i> murder Murder aboard a ferry in 1986

The 1986 Viking Sally murder took place in July 1986, aboard the cruiseferry MS Viking Sally en route from Turku, Finland, to Stockholm, Sweden, when Reijo Hammar killed businessman Antti Eljaala. The case is particularly notable for two reasons: Hammar was later described as the most dangerous known criminal in Finland, and a year later, another murder took place aboard the same ship.