Murder Mystery Solved: Moose Did It

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 30th, 2009

Moose (North America) or common elk (Europe), (Alces alces), are the largest existing species in the deer family.

Swedish police said on November 29th that they’ve cleared a man who was arrested for allegedly murdering his wife after deciding the culprit was most likely a moose, according to the Associated Press reporting from Stockholm.

Police spokesman Ulf Karlsson says “the improbable has become probable” in the puzzling death last year of Agneta Westlund.

Ingemar Westlund, aged 68, found the dead body of his wife Agneta, 63, by a lake close to the village of Loftahammer in September 2008. She had gone out to stroll with her dog. The victim’s husband, Ingemar Westlund, was jailed for 10 days. The case against him was dropped in January 2009.

Karlsson declined to give details of the case over the weekend, saying a news conference would be held Tuesday, December 1, 2009.

The tabloid Expressen says hairs and saliva from a moose, which in Europe are actually called elk, were found on the victim’s clothes. Police would not immediately confirm this report.

A few blogs, based on the images they are using, are incorrectly pinning this murder on an American elk or wapiti (Cervus canadensis), shown above. But the moose, Alces alces, would be the species that is the primary suspect.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

3 Responses to “Murder Mystery Solved: Moose Did It”

  1. cryptidsrus responds:

    Sheesh. What did that woman ever do to that Moose to deserve such a fate??? Thankfully Westlund has been cleared in the matter. My condolences on his loss.

  2. Doug responds:

    Actually, I am not surprised. While in New England about five years ago a Native American gentleman at Plimouth Colony told me they were extremely dangerous to hunt. He refused to hunt one unless he had two other armed folks to go along. I have read more than once that if one is disturbed and looks the intruder in the eye it WOULD charge. A magnifcent creature to see in real life…..from a safe distance.


  3. skeptik responds:

    Actually, we pronounce it “elg”, elk is the English spelling. But that’s besides the point.

    People (especially children) are regularly chased down and sometimes kicked by elk in Scandinavia. I’ve been hunted down by these rather big animals twice in my life, but they are usually very peaceful. (They don’t care much about people who settle in their old paths. So they just ignored my entire family when they stayed in our garden.)
    But mothers with calves are always a bit paranoid and aggressive. A friend of my brother was kicked by an elk as a child, in the head, but was back at school the next day. A friend of the family was attacked while in her car after a near car accident involving a mother and calf. If this woman was killed by an elk, she must have been extremely unlucky, that’s for sure.

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