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The end of Thorstein

I had no wish to believe the ghost story they told me in Vík, therefore I asked Jonas to substitute me for a couple of days and I took the bus to Reykjavík. Even at the Maritime Office of southern Iceland they did not want to talk about this old story; only after I kept asking for a long time they told me to address myself to the Institute of Forensic Medicine of the University of Reykjavík.

The Faculty of Medicine is in a big building on Sudhurgata, but the Insitute of Forensic Medicine is composed only of the office of the unique professor of this subject in Iceland. Professor Jón Einarsson was not only available to talk, actually he was enthusiastic to discuss the 1935 Dyrhólaey affair.

--In the last 60 years --he said --in Iceland there have been three murders in all; thus there are few cases to study. However I well remember the lectures of my teacher, the late professor Halldor Sigurdursson, on the death of Thorstein. His body was found on the beach, right below the lighthouse, and there was a lot of work to do...

--Was there a post-mortem? --I asked.

--Are you joking? there are 120 meters of vertical fall, there could be no discussion on the cause of death.

--Then, was it a suicide?

--If you believe to the local legend, the ghost of mariner who had for his fault came up from the sea to take his revenge. The enquiry concluded that he had committed suicide, possibly because striken by remorse.

Therefore the investigation was officially closed, one way or another. I had nothing left to do but to get on the bus and go back to Vík. But I was not satisfied yet; while I was waiting at the bus station, out of curiosity I went to a phone booth, I took the phone book (a single volume for all Iceland), and begun to search. The Icelandic phone book is sorted by name, neither by patronimic nor by surname:

Kolfinna Sturludottir, 23 Öldugata, Reykjavík, (91)23871

This was the only one: Kolfinna is a name from a saga, but in Hallfred saga she is an ambigous character, and she is not popular. Thus I decided to go and see if she was the one.

next up previous
Next: Kolfinna Up: No Title Previous: The ghost of

Andrea Milani
Fri May 5 08:45:48 MET DST 1995