'Laser Man' Gets Life Sentence for Killing Holocaust Survivor

It's 2nd life sentence for Swedish white supremacist John Ausonius
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2018 4:30 PM CST
John Ausonius attends the trial in a courtroom in Frankfurt, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018.   (Arne Dedert/dpa via AP)

(Newser) – A man already serving a life sentence in Sweden for a shooting spree in which he targeted immigrants and foreign students was sentenced to a second life sentence Wednesday in Germany for killing a Holocaust survivor over 25 years ago, the Telegraph reports. According to Reuters, 68-year-old Blanka Zmigrod was shot in broad daylight outside her home in Frankfurt in 1992. Swedish white supremacist John Ausonius—known as "laser man" for the rifle scope he used in a string of shootings in 1991 and 1992—has now been found guilty of killing the Holocaust survivor. Witnesses say Ausonius argued with Zmigrod, accusing her of stealing an electronic notebook from his coat, at the restaurant where she worked as a cloakroom attendant the day before her death. She was killed with the same ammunition Ausonius used in his earlier shootings, Deutsche Welle reports.

At the time of Zmigrod's death, Ausonius was on the run after killing an Iranian man and seriously wounding 10 others in a string of racially motivated shootings in Sweden. The now-64-year-old was sentenced to life in prison in 1995 for those shootings. The case into Zmigrod's killing had been closed in 1996 but was reopened in 2014. Ausonius admits to the shootings—though he says they were meant to distract from his bank robberies and not racially motivated—but denies killing Zmigrod. It's possible Ausonius will be released before his death due to how life sentences work in Germany and Sweden, though that is unlikely. Ausonius is said to have inspired Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011, as well as neo-Nazi group the National Socialist Underground, which killed 10 people last decade. (Read more white supremacist stories.)

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