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Archaeology students plan dig at Lake Bodom murder site

However, the students won't be looking for murder clues at the infamous site where three teens were killed in 1960.

Kaivauspaikka Bodominjärvellä.
Two 15-year-old girls and two 18-year-old men went camping on the shores of Lake Bodom in Espoo in the summer of 1960. During the night, someone cut the strings of their tent and the three victims were hacked to death with a knife and bludgeoned with a blunt instrument. Image: Emmi Karvinen / Helsingin yliopisto

Students from the University of Helsinki are planning an archaeological dig at a campground area at Lake Bodom in the suburbs of the southern city of Espoo, the site of a gruesome triple murder nearly 60 years ago.

On June 5, 1960 three teenage campers were bludgeoned and stabbed to death as they were camping by the lake.

The mysterious murders were never solved and the incident has become part of the nation's - and perhaps some of the world's - dark folklore. The site appears to continue to attract visitors, particularly on the anniversary of the killings.

In the nearly 60 years since the gory incident, the Bodom murders have sparked books, became the topic of a feature film and also inspired the name of the popular extreme metal band that got its start in Espoo, Children of Bodom.

People camp at site on anniversary of killings

However, the archaeology students do not plan to look for clues about the murders, but rather for remnants of what visitors to the area have left behind over the years.

“We thought this would be an interesting site to explore as it holds such significance in popular culture,” Emma Karvinen, one of the students leading the excavation, told Yle. “We’re fascinated to learn what draws people here.”

Karvinen said she suspects people have been camping at Bodom on the anniversary of the murders.

”Trash left behind is a sign of human activity in the area,” she added.

The digs, which have received the go-ahead from the city, begin next week.

Notorious unsolved murders

Some 45 years after the event police charged the fourth camper — and only survivor of the fatal attack — Nils Gustafsson in the killings in 2005. However, Gustafsson was eventually acquitted by Espoo District Court.

At the time the case reemerged, Gustafsson said the group was attacked by an unknown assailant while sleeping in the tent.

In its decision, the court said the long period of time since the crimes occurred had made it difficult to make an accurate assessment of who actually carried out the murders.

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