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Mythologist Ior Bock Dies in Mysterious Circumstances

One of Finland’s most colourful characters, the mythologist, author and historical guide Ior Bock, has died at the age of 68.

Ior Bock
Ior Bock Image: YLE

Police say he was stabbed to death with a bread knife in his apartment in Helsinki’s Munkkiniemi district on Saturday. Two foreign men who shared his home have been detained. Police say they served as his assistants and do not speak Finnish. The motive for the crime remains unclear.

The daily Helsingin Sanomat reports that murder followed some sort of dispute with the men, aged 19 and 28, who had lived with him for about two years. One of them called to report Bock's death. Police are to decide by noon on Tuesday whether to formally place either of them under arrest.

Bock was partly paralysed following a previous attack in 1999, when he was stabbed in his apartment by an acquaintance.

Bock, originally named Bror Svedlin, began his career as an actor. He became near-legendary as a story-telling tour guide on the fortress island of Suomenlinna for nearly a quarter century, beginning in 1968. He later gained a minor worldwide cult following for his eccentric philosophical and historical theories. He published them in book form in 1996.

In 1987 he convinced several companies to fund excavations in Sipoo at a site on his family's estate. He claimed it was the location of the temple of Lemminkäinen, a central character from the national epic, The Kalevala.

On November 9, Helsinki District Court freed one of the two suspects held in Bock's murder. The man still being held was born in India in 1982.

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