20 years later: New Sweden poisonings

Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 5:40 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NEW SWEDEN, Maine (WABI) - Twenty years ago, the town of New Sweden made national headlines.

Sixteen parishioners at the Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church became sick after drinking coffee tainted with arsenic.

One of the victims was 78-year-old Walter Morrill. He ended up dying.

It was the largest arsenic poisoning in modern history.

State police finished their investigation three years later.

They ruled that church member Daniel Bondeson poisoned his fellow parishioners, and acted alone.

Bondeson committed suicide shortly after the poisonings.

He apparently told his attorney that he was retaliating against church members, because he thought somebody had put chemicals in his coffee.

This is the story Jon Small put together in 2004 on the one year anniversary of that event.