Østerbro serial killer convicted of third murder by Østre Landsret high court

James Schmidt, 28, killed three people in their 80s in early 2019 in order to take their cash cards

James Schmidt, a 28-year-old man from Hellerup, has today been sentenced to life in prison for murdering three pensioners in Østerbro between February and March in 2019.

Copenhagen City Court had previously handed him a life sentence, but acquitted him of killing one of the pensioners, a 82-year-old woman, but the Østre Landsret high court has today found the serial killer guilty of all three murders.

Before he committed the murders, Schmidt had already served a lengthy sentence after a rape and murder charge.

Investigation rooted in doubts of victim’s daughter
Malene Hasselblad, the daughter of Inez Hasselblad, 81, who Schmidt murdered in March 2019, told TV2 that the verdict can enable her to move on from what has been “two horrible years”. 

“I was so disappointed when the defendant was acquitted of one of the three murders in the City Court, so it is hugely redemptive for me he is now also convicted of it,” she said. 

“Now it’s over. He can not get out. He has taken my mother’s life, but he should not be allowed to steal the rest of mine.”

It was thanks to Malene Hasselblad’s scepticism that the police started their investigation, which quickly took them to Schmidt. 

Hallmark characteristics of a psychopath
Schmidt, who changed his name from Lual Lual after migrating here from Sudan as a seven-year-old, murdered his victims in order to steal their cash cards.

At the high court, his lawyer argued for a reduction of the sentence to just 16 years. With an indefinite term, he contended, Schmidt would have no incentive to repent and reform. 

However, a psychological assessment of Schmidt suggests he would have a long way to go. “Deviancy”, “immaturity”, “superficiality” and “huge over-estimation of self-worth” are hallmark characteristics of a psychopath. 

Schmidt’s Facebook profile, where he still has 383 friends, describes him as a music manager.