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John Wolfgang Alexander Ausonius (born Wolfgang Alexander Zaugg), a.k.a. "The Laser Man", is a Swedish budding serial killer and bank robber, sniper, and vigilante.

History[]

Ausonius was born as Wolfgang Alexander Zaugg in Lidingö, Sweden and grew up in a working-class suburb named Vällingby. His parents were both immigrants; his father was Swiss, while his mother was German. Because of his foreign parentage, he was often bullied by pure-Swedish children, who teased him for having very black hair and brown eyes. Years later, as an adult, he bleached his hair blonde, began using blue contact lenses, and changed his name to John Wolfgang Alexander Stannerman. He then later changed it again to John Wolfgang Alexander Ausonius. Ausonius went to a private school in Stockholm, called the German School, but dropped out before graduating. He eventually completed his secondary school education in an adult education program. He was later accepted into the Royal Institute of Technology but dropped out after a couple of years due to flunking.

Years later, Ausonius became one of the original suspects in the assassination of Olof Palme, but he could not be linked to the murder as he was incarcerated at the time for multiple counts of assault. While in prison, Ausonius became an acquaintance of Miro Barešić, a Croatian assassin, terrorist, and member of the Croatian National Resistance, who was imprisoned for the murder of the Yugoslav ambassador to Sweden, Vladimir Rolović. Ausonius eventually developed an intense hatred for Communists, social democrats, and immigrants. He quit his job as a taxi driver and started trading in stocks and bonds. His talent in the market earned him a fairly large fortune, resulting in him becoming a yuppie. By the late-1980s, Ausonius owned a luxurious apartment, a Toyota Supra, and a mobile phone, which at the time was a luxury item associated with a wealthy lifestyle. As his fortune was running out due to poor investments and addiction to gambling, he became a bank robber to maintain his lifestyle.

Due to his hatred for immigrants and foreigners, Ausonius started looking for immigrant criminals to kill but later decided to kill any immigrant he encountered, hoping that the killings would scare all immigrants out of Sweden. Despite having knowledge on how to use guns, his personal weapons were of poor quality, due to his modifications, such as sawing off the barrel and the stock of his rifle to make it shorter and fitting a revolver with a silencer, which severely damaged the weapon's performance. Between 1991 and 1992, Ausonius shot several foreigners, only managing to kill one of them. The police started a massive manhunt to capture the killer, which was second in size only to the hunt for Palme's killer, the investigation of which Ausonius had previously been considered a suspect. On June 12, 1992, Ausonius was caught during a bank robbery and later assaulted his lawyer in court, resulting in him spending the rest of his trial handcuffed. He was convicted of murder and robbery but was not linked to all of the shootings, though he confessed to all of them in 2000. Ausonius was sentenced to life in prison and incarcerated at the Kumla Prison. He was later transferred to the Österåker Prison, which, ironically, had held Christer Pettersson, another suspect in Palme's assassination. Ausonius would later be engaged to a young, unidentified women while incarcerated, making plans for a honeymoon on Ausonius' release. For other reasons unspecified, the engagement was broken off.

In 2016, German authorities requested that Ausonius be extradited to Germany for the investigation into the murder of Blanka Zmigrod, a 68-year-old Jewish woman who was shot to death in Frankfurt during an apparent robbery in February 1992. Ausonius was known to have accused Zmigrod of stealing a PDA from him when he ate at the restaurant where she worked the day before she died, and he flew from Frankfurt to South Africa the day after. The PDA apparently was used to get information on people's bank accounts for more white-collar crimes. However, he has denied killing her. He has, however, admitted to owning the kind of gun and ammunition that was used in the murder, but claimed to have sold the gun a week before the crime occurred. In 2018, the German courts found Ausonius guilty and sentenced him to life in the country.

Modus Operandi[]

Ausonius targeted immigrants of various nationalities living in Sweden. Initially, he used a sawed-off rifle equipped with a laser sight, hence his nickname, to commit the shootings, but later moved to using a Smith & Wesson revolver fitted with a silencer. Ausonius aimed for his victims' faces and heads, but due to the poor quality of his weapons and amateur modifications, the bullet's trajectory was deviated, causing him to miss them or mostly shoot them in non-fatal areas. When Ausonius killed Blank Zmirgod in Frankfurt, he shot her with a hollow-point bullet and stole her purse out of assuming she stole his PDA he used in his white-collar crimes.

Known Victims[]

  • Unspecified dates: Committed at least eighteen victimless bank robberies
  • 1991:
    • August 3: David Gebremariam, 21 (an Eritrean; shot in the back; survived)
    • October 21: Shahram Khosravi, 25 (an Iranian; shot in the face; survived)
    • October 27: Dimitrios Karamalegos (a Greek; shot twice in the stomach; survived)
    • November 1: Heberson Vieira Da Costa (a Brazilian; shot once in the head and several times in the stomach; survived)
    • November 8: Jimmy Ranjbar (an Iranian; shot and critically wounded; died the following day)
  • 1992:
    • January 22: Erik Bongcam-Rudloff (a Chilean; shot in the head; survived)
    • January 23:
      • Charles Dhlakama (a Zimbabwean; shot in the chest; survived)
      • Two unnamed men (both Somalians; shot; survived)
    • January 28: Isa Aybar (a Turk; shot four times in the head and arm; survived)
    • January 30: Hasan Zatara (a Palestinian; shot in the head; survived, but was paralyzed by the bullet)
    • February 23, Frankfurt, Germany: Blanka Zmigrod, 68 (a German Jew; shot in the head with a 6.35 mm hollowpoint bullet; her handbag was also stolen)

On Criminal Minds[]

  • Season One
    • "L.D.S.K." - While Ausonius was never directly mentioned or referenced on the show, he appears to have been an inspiration for the episode's unsub, Phillip Dowd - Both were narcissistic snipers and killers who joined their nation's armies, shot their victims with rifles (although Ausonius later shot his victims with a revolver), non-fatally shot most of them (though in Dowd's case, it was intentional), escalated as they grew bolder (Ausonious shot victims up close and at point-blank range, Dowd killed a cop execution-style), and killed two victims, at least one who was intentionally killed and one who died en route to the hospital.

On Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders[]

  • Season Two
    • "Pankration" - While Ausonius was never directly mentioned or referenced on Beyond Borders, he appears to have been an inspiration for the episode's unsub, Giannis Petrou - Both were narcissistic killers (Petrou by proxy) who had an intense hatred towards foreign citizens and targeted them, personally shot (or attempted in Petrou's case) at least one victim, targeted victims of Greek, Turkish, and Middle Eastern descent, left their bodies in public locations as a warning to other immigrants and foreigners, and were given nicknames for their crimes.

Notes[]

  • Ausonius is impressively similar to American serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin - Both were right-wing extremists and assassin personalities who changed their names and appearances to cope with their inadequacy, did poorly at school, associated themselves to extremist groups, committed shootings with rifles targeting people they deemed inferior (in Franklin's case Jews and African-Americans, in Ausonius' immigrants (though he was also suspected of killing a Jewish woman), escaped at least one time a crime scene on a bicycle, and were involved in at least one assassination of a political personality (Ausonius was briefly suspected of the assassination of Olof Palme, while Franklin committed three separate attempts on the lives of Jewish lobbyist Morris J. Amitay, magazine publisher Larry Flynt, and civil rights activist Vernon Jordan, Jr.). Both also committed bank robberies as a means to sustain themselves.

Sources[]

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