In 1895 my Swedish 2nd great-grandmother was convicted of inciting the murder of her husband. She was sentenced to life imprisonment. At 62 she died in prison after serving six-and-a-half years of her sentence.
I mentioned Maja Stina Karlsdotter Molin’s story here. It was disturbing to learn this information and prompted one particularly nagging question – why? I will never know the complete answer, but learning some of the facts surrounding her case gives perspective about this chapter in my family history. Many thanks to Bo Johansson for his invaluable help in the transcription and translation of the information contained in Swedish parish records.
Stina was born in Börstil, Uppsala, Sweden on 02 Jul 1839. She gave birth to four children; Maria (1867-1944), Carl (1871-1945), Johanna (1876-1956) and Johan (1878-?) who may have been fathered by Karl Johan Andersson Molin. Stina married Karl Johan 28 May 1880 and had two more children; Agnes (1880-1952) and Henning Bernhard (1883-?).
In 1878, when Johan was eight months old, Karl Johan Molin was sentenced for first offence theft with burglary to hard labor for six months and loss of civic trust (the same as being declared a minor) for two years. In 1886 he was arrested again, this time for battery with a life-threatening arm. He was sentenced to hard labor for a year and nine months, with an additional six months added for a crime written illegibly in the parish records. In 1891 Karl Johan was sentenced yet again for yet another battery and the use of a lethal weapon.
The three oldest children immigrated to the US, settling in Chicago; Maria in 1887, Carl in 1890 and Johanna in 1891.
Karl Johan Andersson Molin was killed 12 Mar 1895. Maja Stina was sentenced to life in prison on 24 Apr 1895 for incitement to murder him. Her son Johan was sentenced the same day to seven years in prison for his involvement in the murder of his mother’s husband.
I can’t help comparing the dates of Karl Johan’s convictions and the dates of immigration for Stina’s children. Stina and her children were destitute, yet somehow they found enough money for three tickets from Sweden to America. Perhaps the parish paid for the tickets; perhaps as a way to ensure the safety of Maria, Carl and Johanna?
Stina’s son Johan did not serve his entire seven year sentence. He was given special permission to immigrate to America and did so in June of 1901. I hope he found a better life.