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Slain Nanny’s Say ‘Something Terrible’ Had Happened in U.S.

June 27, 1996 GMT

BOSTON (AP) _ A young Swedish nanny whose upper body was found in a trash bin had confided in letters to friends weeks before her death that ``something terrible″ had happened, and that she was looking forward to an early return to her small village.

Karina Holmer, 20, did not say what had happened, but told her friend, Ulrika Svensson, that she would reveal more once she was back home, the Swedish tabloid Expressen reported.

If she was unhappy, Karina did not confide in her older sister, Johanna Holmer, Johanna said Thursday.

In a telephone interview with The Associated Press from her home in Skillingaryd, Sweden, Johanna Holmer said Karina had not mentioned anything terrible, but did say she wanted to cut her stay in the United States short.

``She had decided to come home earlier ... because she wanted to go somewhere else to travel and to work,″ Johanna said.

In letters to Svensson and other friends, Karina Holmer said she was tired of the housework involved in her job as nanny for a Dover couple’s two young children.

``There is always so much cleaning and I think I am stressed all the time. So this is not exactly what I thought it would be,″ she wrote to Charlotte Sandberg.

More ominously, she wrote to Svensson: ``Something terrible has happened. I’ll reveal more when I get home.″

But Holmer showed no obvious discontent to the couple who hired her, Frank Rapp and Susan Nichter, according to their attorney, Martin Weinberg. Holmer stayed in the couple’s condominium, about 15 miles southwest of Boston, during the week and spent weekends in Rapp’s photography studio in Boston.

The upper half of Holmer’s body was found in a trash bin Sunday afternoon. The lower half had not been located as of Thursday.

Investigators, hampered by the absence of a crime scene and the rest of the body, said they were focusing on Zanzibar, the trendy nightclub where friends who had spent a night out with Holmer last saw her in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Sources told Boston newspapers that police had seized videotape from the club’s security cameras that may have shown Holmer’s departure. The sources said a man, described as in his 40s and muscular, who had a small dog with him, may have offered Holmer a ride home. Witnesses were unclear if Holmer actually left with him.


Lt. Robert O’Toole refused to confirm the accounts Thursday.

``Even if this person exists, even if she left with this person, he’s not necessarily the killer,″ he said.

It is possible Holmer’s killer severed the body to cover a sexual assault, said James Alan Fox, dean of criminal justice at Northeastern University.

Meantime, investigators have determined that clothing recovered from a burned Dumpster at Rapp’s condominium complex did not belong to Holmer. Police questioned Rapp after Holmer’s body was found, but his lawyer stressed that he is not a suspect.