Unsure memories of murder

The BBC News site has a special multimedia feature on a case of false confession to murder that has been been troubling Iceland from the 1970s and has recently erupted again.

The Beeb have clearly gone a bit ‘Scandinavian detective drama’ on the whole thing but it is a gripping story, not least because it involves forensic psychology legend Gisli Gudjonsson who worked on the case when he was a young police officer and later when he became a leading expert in false confessions.

In many ways, it’s a classic case of memory distrust syndrome where accused people begin to distrust what they remember and begin to believe what’s been suggested to them. In this case, through pressure of interrogation, use of memory affecting drugs and already being motivated to comply.

It’s a fascinating case and not fully resolved – a final investigation into the miscarriage of justice is about to be published by the Icelandic government.

Link to ‘The Reykjavik Confessions’


  1. Posted May 15, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    We are both doing a psychology exam tomorrow that includes false confessions, so what pleasant coincidence that we should stumble upon your post! We found Gudjonsson’s research into false confessions very interesting and makes you wonder why people didn’t realise sooner that interrogation techniques lead to false confessions. Looking forward to hearing more on this case :)

  2. JD
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    See also: Beth Loftus


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