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View Full Version : MA MA - Karina Holmer, 20-year-old Swedish Nanny murdered in Boston, 1996



bensmom98
01-28-2005, 05:25 PM
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2004/04/24/father_of_nanny_slain_in_1996_says_case_still_stal led/

Has anyone heard anything new about this case?

WasBlind
02-06-2005, 03:08 PM
Karina E. Holmer (http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=%22Karina+E.+Holmer%22&fr=FP-tab-web-t&toggle=1&ei=UTF-8)

Karina Holmer (http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=%22Karina+Holmer%22&sm=Yahoo%21+Search&fr=FP-tab-web-t&toggle=1&ei=UTF-8)

These are the matches on yahoo, bensmom98.

Hope this helps, Lanie

coco
08-24-2005, 06:30 AM
Has there been any book(s) written on this case anyone know?

mrlc
04-17-2007, 02:14 PM
Does anyone know if there are desciptions of the two men in the gray mitsubishi she was with? I can not find anything searching the web...only one article even mentions it.
Also, the Boston Police had a page with info on the case and now I can't find that anywhere. If anyone knows the link could you please post it for me.

hmg
12-03-2008, 12:16 AM
An article about Karina on The Phoenix: http://thephoenix.com/Boston/News/22595-Black-and-blond/?page=1#TOPCONTENT

The article notes another au pair from Boston, Sladjana Dobricic, went missing in September 2002 although the cases do not appear connected.

tapu
12-03-2008, 08:08 AM
I lived in Boston during this crime and the immediate investigation. I had heard and always accepted an explanation that doesn't show up at all in these articles.... Of course, one hears all sorts of things, but I'd not questioned this particular story. With no claims as to its veracity, I tell it here.

Karina had been captured on camera behind the bar she left that night, talking to a man who was walking a large white dog. Later, that man was identified and investigated by police.... He was a "family man" from north of the city, as I recall. (NOT her employer, though.) Some time after that, he committed suicide. The presumption at the time was that he did it and so, sort of, case closed, as far as authorities were concerned.

Again: I have no reference or proof. This is simply what I heard at the time.

Oh, one more thing: I went to the bar site and to the dump site. No way could anyone NOT be filmed on security cameras in those spots. Also, the Fenway dumpster is visible from the highly-traveled turnpike through the city, as I recall. Pretty hard not to be seen there at any time of day or night. Brazen....

On edit: I see that a person who "suicided" IS mentioned in the links above. Perhaps that person (described there as being from the neighborhood [back bay]) and details about the employer have been conflated in the story I heard. Nothing about a dog though.... Anyone else seen or heard this?

hmg
12-03-2008, 12:31 PM
On edit: I see that a person who "suicided" IS mentioned in the links above. Perhaps that person (described there as being from the neighborhood [back bay]) and details about the employer have been conflated in the story I heard. Nothing about a dog though.... Anyone else seen or heard this?

"She also had a conversation with Herb Whitten, a 49-year-old man from Andover who would drive to the city on weekends with his Great Pyrenees, man and dog both wearing Superman T-shirts as a device to pick up women."

There's the dog and the mention of him being from the North Shore. His speeding ticket seems to alibi him though.

BostonSu
12-03-2008, 03:00 PM
[QUOTE=tapu;3012002]I lived in Boston during this crime and the immediate investigation. I had heard and always accepted an explanation that doesn't show up at all in these articles.... Of course, one hears all sorts of things, but I'd not questioned this particular story. With no claims as to its veracity, I tell it here.

Karina had been captured on camera behind the bar she left that night, talking to a man who was walking a large white dog. Later, that man was identified and investigated by police.... He was a "family man" from north of the city, as I recall. (NOT her employer, though.) Some time after that, he committed suicide. The presumption at the time was that he did it and so, sort of, case closed, as far as authorities were concerned.
QUOTE]


I'm from the area, too, and remember it well. I had a different experience with theories though. My family was connected to the Dover police at the time, and I was always told the person the police felt strongest about was, in fact, the employer. I never heard why, but whenever it was mentioned, this was the story given.

gaia227
12-09-2008, 03:15 PM
What a mystery. Today seems to be the day I stumble across interesting cases I have not heard of before.

Is it possible Karina did make it to the loft only to be met by the owner, her employer? Would she have walked the whole way or grabbed a cab? That may be why she doesn't show up on some security cameras. He, the employer, would have certainly had a lot of time and privacy. Surely LE investigated the apt. checked the bathtub with luminol for blodd, etc......right?

A few articles state the employers refused to talk to the media. Does anyone know if they were cooperative with the police or did they lawyer up quickly and shut down?

gaia227
12-09-2008, 03:19 PM
http://archive.southcoasttoday.com/daily/06-96/06-26-96/a03sr073.htm
Also yesterday, Dover police said they were investigating a fire that occurred Monday night in a trash bin about 200 feet from the condominium where Mr. Rapp and his family live and Ms. Holmer worked.
Dover Police Chief Joseph Griffin said the container was heavily damaged in the fire that was reported at about 9:20 p.m. He said police were examining some of the contents and would decide whether to contact Boston police.


Hmmmm - wonder what was in that container?

BostonSu
12-09-2008, 05:52 PM
http://archive.southcoasttoday.com/daily/06-96/06-26-96/a03sr073.htm
Also yesterday, Dover police said they were investigating a fire that occurred Monday night in a trash bin about 200 feet from the condominium where Mr. Rapp and his family live and Ms. Holmer worked.
Dover Police Chief Joseph Griffin said the container was heavily damaged in the fire that was reported at about 9:20 p.m. He said police were examining some of the contents and would decide whether to contact Boston police.

Hmmmm - wonder what was in that container?

Yes, that was one issue, and his alibi was considered hinky, too. There was a lot of suspicion, but no proof.

laurette
07-05-2009, 06:24 PM
Does anyone know what the status is of this case?

Mazama
07-06-2009, 04:51 PM
Does anyone know what the status is of this case?

I was curious about it too so I sent off an email to the BPD asking about it's official status. Will post their reply if and when I receive it.

Maz

laurette
07-06-2009, 11:24 PM
I live very close to Dover and have always wondered about the employer Frank Rapp and his wife Susan Nichter. Susan's an artist and I recently found her website http://www.susannichter.com/ you've got to check out her art - it has very obvious references to Karina's murder. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Laurel

Mazama
07-07-2009, 08:48 AM
I live very close to Dover and have always wondered about the employer Frank Rapp and his wife Susan Nichter. Susan's an artist and I recently found her website http://www.susannichter.com/ you've got to check out her art - it has very obvious references to Karina's murder. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Laurel

Wow! Some of her work is rather dark and disturbing. There were a few pieces that seemed to jump out at me.

Messenger
Carried Across
Whisper (I found this one quite scary)
Getting what you want

I agree that there are references to Karina's murder. I don't know much about this case but have read an article that suggests that Christian Gerhartstreider could have been involved in the murder?

Have you read that and what do you think?

Maz

laurette
07-07-2009, 08:18 PM
So many of Susan's paintings depict legs which are "severed from the body".


Swedish teen found slain in Boston trash
19-year-old au pair found severed at the waistline
By Carolyn Thompson, Associated Press writer
BOSTON – A 19-year-old Swedish girl working as an au pair for a family in a wealthy suburb was found slain in a Boston trash bin, her body severed at the waist.
Karina Holmer had apparently spent her weekends in the city and was last seen alive talking with friends at the trendy Zanzibar nightclub early Saturday, police said. Early Sunday, a man scavenging for cans discovered her remains in a black plastic trash bag behind a building not far from the club.

Only the top half of her body was found. The killer may have been trying to cover up a sex crime, police sources speaking on condition of anonymity said. Police would not say if the body was clothed.
Ms. Holmer had landed a job as a nanny in March with the family of Frank Rapp in Dover, a community of about 4,000. The family refused to speak with reporters.
Government and private agencies dealing with au pairs said they had no record of her.
Neighbors said they often saw Ms. Holmer playing with the two little children she had been hired to watch.
"She was friendly," said Atabak Roushanaei. She would wave and say hello but "she was very quiet. I never saw her socializing with the neighbors." He said she looked as if she were 16 or 17 years old.
Ms. Holmer's father, in telephone interviews from the small town of Skillingaryd, about 150 miles southwest of Stockholm, described his daughter simply as a nice and beautiful girl, said The Boston Globe and the Boston Herald. They did not identify him.
"Of course we know that such things can happen over there, but it's nothing that you expect," Ms. Holmer's sister, Johanna, told WHDH-TV.
Ms. Holmer had a telephone number in Boston, but it was answered by a recording for an artists' studio. There was no immediate response to messages left on the machine yesterday.
Police yesterday searched the building where the studio is located, police spokesman Jim Browning said. He said Ms. Holmer sometimes stayed in the building, where Mr. Rapp, a commercial photographer, also had an office.
Also yesterday, Dover police said they were investigating a fire that occurred Monday night in a trash bin about 200 feet from the condominium where Mr. Rapp and his family live and Ms. Holmer worked.
Dover Police Chief Joseph Griffin said the container was heavily damaged in the fire that was reported at about 9:20 p.m. He said police were examining some of the contents and would decide whether to contact Boston police.
Boston police refused to comment on the investigation.
"I wouldn't comment on anything," said Boston police spokesman Jerry Browning.
Generally, young foreigners seeking work as nannies are brought over on special visas and trained in child care and safety by a licensed agency.
"A lot come from small towns in Europe where it's safe to walk around," said David Fougere, vice president of one of the largest firms, Educational Foundation of Cambridge. "We show them they need to be very safe."
However, Ms. Holmer was not associated with his firm or the six other licensed au pair services in this country.
And the U.S. Information Agency, which oversees the U.S. au pair program, had no record of her receiving the special 13-month visa given to such young women, said agency spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin.
The Swedish consulate in Boston said it had never been contacted by Ms. Holmer.
Mr. Fougere said his agency made counselors available for its clients because of Ms. Holmer's slaying. "There is a lot of concern out there among our au pairs," he said.

laurette
07-09-2009, 12:04 AM
Just found another interesting article; Wanted man
John Zewizz makes waves with Sleep Chamber
BY TED DROZDOWSKI http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/music/cellars/documents/02257161.htm
Looks like Zewizz's giving the cops good reason to question him again about Karina's murder; in this article he brags "I have human thighbones that we use in ritual magic". How does one go about procuring a human thighbone?

mayfairlight
07-09-2009, 07:47 AM
I live very close to Dover and have always wondered about the employer Frank Rapp and his wife Susan Nichter. Susan's an artist and I recently found her website http://www.susannichter.com/ you've got to check out her art - it has very obvious references to Karina's murder. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Laurel

Some of those are very disturbing, if that is indeed the wife. I donīt like the one called Popstar, just freaked me out. Carried Across also.

insatiable
02-05-2010, 12:35 PM
I was curious about it too so I sent off an email to the BPD asking about it's official status. Will post their reply if and when I receive it.

Maz

Did you ever hear back from BPD?

p7byrd
02-05-2010, 02:54 PM
Wow! Some of her work is rather dark and disturbing. There were a few pieces that seemed to jump out at me.

Messenger
Carried Across
Whisper (I found this one quite scary)
Getting what you want





Did you check out "Proteus"? Extremely disturbing.

tapu
02-06-2010, 09:38 AM
Christian Gerhartstreider??

And now this Zweiss guy??

Wow, it is weird how many different ways the suggested theories have gone in this case.

milopedes
07-23-2010, 02:33 PM
Observations:

Herb Whitten, a 49-year-old man from Andover who would drive to the city on weekends, did have the speeding ticket alibi. But what time was the ticket? How far was he from the crime scene? Of course, he was seen in the alley with the victim so I doubt it was him . . . just doesn't make sense. I would like to know more about him, and why he committed suicide, or if he had a history of depression, etc., or if he simply was unable to deal with something (maybe what he did?).

Fire in a dumpster near the Rapp home in Dover? Odd, but c'mon, if he or his wife were involved do you think they'd be that reckless or careless. Why not simply dispose of whatever incriminating evidence in other ways. As for her art, while odd / disturbing, if they weren't involved it still had an impact upon them and their family since she was their nanny. I'd imagine that would leave an impression, that would show up in her creative-side, , either consciously or subconsciously.

Were her employers helpful? Was the loft searched? I read they were not talking about the crime while it was an ongoing realtionship, but I did not read that they - like Whitten - had "lawyered up".

In the original article posted in this thread it noted that video evidence simply did not exist. But another poster, who is apparently very familiar with the area, insists there was no way she couldn't have been on video. I wonder if the BPD have something they are not revealing. As we all know, sometimes video evidence can be helpful but not solve the crime. I think of that girl in FL who disappeared, where the video only took "snapshots" periodically. And the quality of some video, compared to others, may be low and poor.

I still need to read about this band member. Maybe more thoughts to come.

BostonSu
07-23-2010, 02:40 PM
[QUOTE=milopedes;5438360]Observations:

Were her employers helpful? Was the loft searched? I read they were not talking about the crime while it was an ongoing realtionship, but I did not read that they - like Whitten - had "lawyered up".


They were, in fact very uncooperative, and hostile to the police at the time of the murder investigation. LAWYER was, in fact, one of the first words out of their mouths.

milopedes
07-23-2010, 02:55 PM
I'm also curious about the timeline. We know she left the club and entered the alley shortly after 3 a.m. I'm sure police have witnesses to that fact.

Do we know what time her remains were discovered? From what I've read, it was less than 12 hours later. And not far from where she was last seen.

Apparently, her body was cleaned . . . all make-up removed. Also, the cut was precise. Of course, I would have no idea how long it takes to carefully cut someone in half. But the point I'm making is the killer had some time, and took some time, to clean, carefully cut, and dispose of the remains.

I'd guess the suspect had some access to a local, secluded area. This clearly wasn't done on the streets or in a car.

Being highly intoxicated, and maybe even familar with the killer, I'd guess she put up little resistance when her hands were bound.

insatiable
02-15-2011, 11:55 AM
I know someone who dated her in the weeks/months prior to her murder. He was never talked to by police. He lived minutes from where they found her. I'm not saying that I think he did it but shouldn't he of been at least questioned?

insatiable
02-16-2011, 02:40 PM
It will be 15 years this June. I can't find any updates from BPD on the status of the case. They removed a page they had for her on their website years ago and have not posted any new info. I just want to post some info-timeline from articles etc. about it here in the hopes of bringing new attention to it.

Karina E. Holmer
-Started working in Dover, Ma. for the Rapp family in March 1996.
-Between March and June Karina would spend some weekends at her employers photography studio/loft on A St. in South Boston.
-Sometime between March and June Karina dated a Boston police officer.
-Sometime between March and June Karina dated a man from South Boston.
- In a letter home Karina wrote in May she said "Something terrible has happened. I can not tell you right now what it is."
-Friday, June 21, 1996 Karina went to club Zanzibar off Boylston Street in Boston with some friends. She was wearing a black or gray tshirt with tight silver shiny pants.
-While in the club she became highly intoxicated and a male bartender says he started serving her water instead of alcohol.
-A female bartender in the club also noticed she was intoxicated and requested that the male bartender stop serving her, which he had already done. The female bartender says Karina was wearing a necklace that said "B*tch" .
-She was last seen alive early Saturday morning, leaving the trendy Zanzibar nightclub with "an older man," her friends said. Another Swedish nanny who had been at the club said Holmer and the man were "going to an after-hours party."
-In the early moring hours of Saturday, June 22, Karina exited the club alone into the alley outside.
-She tried to re-enter the club to look for her friends but it was past closing time so she was no allowed to go back in.
-She was seen talking/singing with a homeless man in the alley. His name is J. Polo. He was interviewed by the police and is said to not be a person of interest in the case.
-She was seen in the alley talking with a man who had a large white great pyraness dog, both wore superman shirts. This man is Mr. Whitten.....the one who later commited suicide. He was interviewed by police and it was said that he was no longer a person of interest.
-Witness said she was seen on Boylston St. talking to 4 men in a silver car (possibly a Mitsubishi) trying to convince her to go to an after hours party.
-Witness said she was seen in a car on Boylston St. (I can not find a description of this car or of anyone in it. I am also not sure if it is the same car as the silver one with 4 men inside.)
-Witness said she was seen walking up Tremont St. (the section between Boylston & Park St., this is north/east of the alley.)
-Witness said she was seen around 3am walking away from the alley with a man and small light colored dog. The man is descibed to be a "construction worker type" in his 40's. (possibly grayish wavy/curly hair)
-Witnesses after her body was found reported to police that Karina was seen in front of a Store-24 located at Massachusetts Ave. & Haviland St. between 3:30-4:00am on Saturday, June 22. This is only a block or so from where her body was found. I think this is about a mile or so from the club.

-On Sunday, June 23, over 30 hours after she was last seen, the top half of Karinas body was found by a homeless man in a dumpster behind 1091 Boylston Street. She was in black garbage bags. Police said she was sawed at the waist and was strangled with a rope.
Her body was cleaned and her make-up removed. They did not say if she was clothed or not. They found a partial finger print on the bag. I think this dumpster is about a mile or so from Zanzibar.

-Police later report that she may have been alive 24 hours after she was last seen.

-Police said that the BPD officer that Karina dated was not a suspect.

-John Zewizz lived nearby where they found her body. He was questioned by police. I believe he is no longer a person of interest.

-Eugene McCollum was investigated. He plead guilty to 2nd degree manslaughter in 2 other seperate cases where the victim was decapitated.

-I read that someone named R. Kodikian who lived in the building where she was found may of been of interest at one time



Please add or correct any details you can think of.

insatiable
02-16-2011, 03:49 PM
I forgot to add :
-A friend said she left the nightclub with "an older man," Another Swedish nanny who had been at the club said Holmer and the man were "going to an after-hours party."

-A male friend who went to the club with Karina said she was in a gray mitsubishi with two men. He asked her to come with him but the 2 men told him to go away.

insatiable
02-16-2011, 04:40 PM
I don't know where else in the forum to ask this but can anyone tell me if there is a way to look up the history of vehicles a person previously owned with just their name?

insatiable
02-17-2011, 09:40 AM
This is not related to this case but I thought it was interesting.
They found Karina on June 23, 1996 at 1091 Boylston St., 10 years earlier on June 24, 1986 they found a man, David McCarthy, strangled at 1091 Boylston St. Apt. 28.
It's probably pretty rare for two stangulation victims to be found at the same address 10 years apart but only 1 day shy of the same date.

Sleuthie_lu
07-18-2014, 01:58 PM
This is an very old thread but for some reason I was thinking about this case today. When this happened I immediately thought of a man I knew who frequented these areas. He lived not too far from Landsdown Street and I used to see him almost every time I went clubbing. He always ended the night very very drunk and the bar owners let it slide because he was stinking rich and dropped a bundle every night. Truth be told, I had dated him for a VERY short period of time and he was violent, a pathological liar and stalker. The short time I dated him I was convinced her was from a different country. He spoke with an accent and had fake business cards to show he worked in show business. When the murder happened, I gave the BPD my information and thoughts. BUT this guys father was an incredibly wealthy famous lawyer and this guy got away with murder. My girlfriend and I were assaulted by him on night at a club and took him to court. The lawyer "dismissed" the case. Several years ago, I googled him only to find he had passed away. To let you know how rich and influencial his family was, there is a section of the Museum of Fine Arts named in his memory. Any way, that's my thought for the day!

LR1
07-18-2014, 09:11 PM
Its curious how her lower half was never found. I'm wondering if it was put in a different dumpster and hauled off. Why not just dump all at the same time and place? It's also a little ironic that two months before this a pair of legs in a garbage bag washed up a couple hundred miles south on fire island NY. AFAIK her torso was never found, her skull was later found and she is still unidentified.