John Ausonius: The Infamous 'Laser Man' of Stockholm

John Wolfgang Alexander Ausonius, born Wolfgang Alexander Zaugg on July 12, 1953, is a convicted Swedish murderer and attempted serial killer. He gained notoriety for a series of racially motivated shootings and bombings in Stockholm during the early 1990s. Often referred to as the "Laser Man" or "The Phantom Sniper," Ausonius struck fear into the hearts of many in Sweden during his reign of terror.

John Ausonius

Ausonius was born in Lidingö, Stockholm, Sweden, to a Swedish mother and a German father. He changed his name from Zaugg to Ausonius in 1987, which was speculated to distance himself from his German heritage. Before his criminal activities, Ausonius had served in the Swedish Army, where he learned how to handle firearms.

The first known attack attributed to Ausonius occurred on 1st August 1991 when he shot and severely injured a man of immigrant background in Stockholm. Over the next year, Ausonius continued his spree, targeting individuals he perceived as immigrants or foreigners. He often used a rifle equipped with a laser sight, hence earning the nickname "Laser Man." His attacks were often meticulously planned, and he would disappear without leaving much evidence.

Ausonius was apprehended in June 1992 after a high-profile manhunt. In his possession were weapons, including the rifle used in the attacks, and a notebook where he meticulously documented his crimes and plans. The evidence against him was overwhelming, and he was convicted for one murder and ten attempted murders. The murder victim was 68-year-old Jewish Holocaust survivor, Blanka Zmigrod, who was shot dead in Stockholm in February 1992.

During his trial, Ausonius maintained his innocence, claiming he was being framed. However, the evidence presented against him, including eyewitness testimonies and forensic evidence, led to his conviction. In 1994, he was sentenced to life in prison.

Beyond his immediate crimes, Ausonius' case prompted discussions about racism and xenophobia in Swedish society. His actions highlighted deep-seated prejudices that existed within the country, leading to introspection and calls for greater inclusivity and tolerance.

In 2018, John Ausonius confessed to an additional murder, the 1986 shooting of Iranian student Ali Reza Jafarpour. This confession led to his conviction for this crime, adding to his already lengthy sentence.

John Ausonius remains incarcerated, serving his life sentence in Sweden. His case continues to serve as a grim reminder of the consequences of racial hatred and extremism.

John Ausonius, also known as the "Laser Man," stands as a chilling example of the dangers posed by racial hatred and extremist ideologies. His reign of terror in Stockholm during the early 1990s, marked by racially motivated shootings and bombings, left a scar on Swedish society. Ausonius' meticulous planning and execution of his crimes, fueled by bigotry and xenophobia, resulted in multiple casualties and widespread fear.

His eventual apprehension and subsequent conviction shed light on the prevalence of racism and intolerance within Swedish society at the time. Ausonius' case prompted soul-searching and discussions about societal attitudes towards immigrants and minorities, leading to calls for greater inclusivity and social cohesion.

While Ausonius serves his life sentence in prison, his legacy serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of unchecked hatred and prejudice. It underscores the ongoing need for vigilance against extremism and the promotion of tolerance and understanding in multicultural societies.

John Ausonius has been the subject of various documentaries, articles, and books that explore his crimes and the impact they had on Swedish society. Some notable mentions include:


      • "The Laser Man" (2005) — A documentary focusing on Ausonius' crimes and the social context in which they occurred.

      • "The Making of a Serial Killer" (2015) — Another documentary delving into Ausonius' background and his transformation into a notorious serial killer.


        • "The Laser Man: The Hunt for the World's Most Dangerous Serial Killer" by Thomas Nilsson and Tommie Lindh (2006) — A book detailing Ausonius' crimes and the police investigation that led to his capture.

        • "The Phantom Sniper: The Making of the Laser Man" by Robert D. Hare (1998) — Explores the psychological profile of Ausonius and analyzes the factors that drove him to commit his crimes.


          • Numerous articles have been published in newspapers and magazines, both in Sweden and internationally, covering Ausonius' case and its aftermath.

These resources provide insights into Ausonius' character, motivations, and the societal implications of his actions.