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

June 28, 1996

BOSTON (AP) _ A man reportedly told police he brought a Swedish nanny to the nightclub where she was last seen alive, and was threatened by two men outside the club when he tried to take the woman home.

The unidentified witness told police he leaned into a car in which Karina Holmer and the men sat outside the club Zanzibar and told her, ``Let’s go, you came with us,″ referring to some friends.

The witness said one of the men replied, ``Get away from the car you little (expletive) or I’ll crush your (expletive) head,″ WCVB-TV in Boston reported.

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

Holmer, 20, of Sweden, had been working as a nanny in a Boston suburb since March, staying with the family in Dover during the week and in her employer’s studio loft in Boston on the weekends.

She had confided in letters to friends weeks before her death that ``something terrible″ had happened, and she was looking forward to an early return to her small village, the Swedish tabloid Expressen reported.

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

If she was unhappy, Karina did not confide in her older sister, Johanna Holmer, Johanna told The Associated Press Thursday.

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

``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.

``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.

Investigators, hampered by the absence of a crime scene and the rest of Holmer’s body, said they were focusing the trendy nightclub where she was last seen early 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.

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.

Boston Police, executing a search warrant, went to a trash transfer station in Dover, used cadaver-sniffing dogs to search for clues. The contents of several holding bins had been spread out on a paved area to allow the dogs to search.

Update hourly