The victims' stories: young lives cut short by a merciless killer
Tuesday 26 July 2011
The enormity of the Norwegian tragedy became all the more evident yesterday as pictures of the dead and missing began to emerge; images of bright, ambitious youngsters.
As the country's minute-long silence stretched into five outside Oslo cathedral, the traffic motionless, the authorities revised the death toll to 76. The victims span society, from the stepbrother of royalty to the daughter of immigrants. The grief, one relative said, was "bottomless".
* Trond Berntsen, 51, stepbrother of Norway's Crown Princess Mette Marit, died fighting to save youngsters on Utøya Island.
A father of two and policeman who worked at Utøya as voluntary security guard, he pushed his 10-year-old son to safety before trying to stop Breivik from massacring everyone.
In his last call home to his girlfriend, he said he was trying to help worried youths leave the island but would soon become the gunman's second victim.
Berntsen's late father Rolf married Crown Princess Mette Marit's mother, Marit Tjessem in 1994.
The leader of Oslo Police Union Sigve Bolstad told news agency NTB: "It is incredibly sad to get the message about that one of our members dies in this way. Our thoughts go out to his closest family."
* Gunnar Linaker, 23, was called a "big bear" by his family. His father Roald Linaker, said he had been on the phone to his son when the attack started. His sister survived by hiding behind a bush. Mr Linaker added: "We had a lot of contact and the last thing I heard was: 'Dad, dad there is shooting, I have to go.' It was incredibly hard, my boy is gone. I never could have imagined that. Gunnar was as big as a bear and had as much love to give as his size."
* Emil Okkenhaug was 15. Listed as missing, his uncle Knut Okkenhaug feared the worst: "The family is experiencing bottomless grief."
One of three children from a family from Nesset, Emil was a keen skier in winter while taking up tennis, cycling and running in the summer. This was his first political summer camp. The popular high school pupil had hoped to study media and communication.
* Monica Bøsei, 45, was hoping to start a job as director of the Norwegian Maritime Museum in a few days, having worked at Utøya for more than 20 years.
The mother-of-two was one of the first victims. Her husband was close by while her two daughters were also on the island but survived the attack.
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said she was someone he had known personally: "For a lot of us she was Utøya. Now she's dead. Shot and killed while she was caring and creating safety for youths from across the country."
* Tore Eikeland, 21, was the leader for AUF Hordaland, described as one of the most talented youth politicians.
Kari Foseid Aakre, Mayor of Osterøy, where Eikeland was from, said of his close friend: "Tore was a respectable man. He was very talented, one of the most solid youths I have ever met. Tore would always finish his speeches with a rhyme. After the rhyme, he would always finish by saying 'and it was the writer himself who read that'."
* Ismail Haji Ahmed's close friend Mohamed Abdi Farah wrote on Facebook: "My twin Isma my true best friend who means everything to me I will always love you. You are in my heart and you are a part of me until it's my turn to die. Will fight for you and everyone. Will try to be as strong as I can. You are in paradise and are protecting all of us from heaven."
* Among the missing were many others feared to be dead including Jamil Rafal Yasin, 20, the child of Iraqis who fled the war and sought refuge in Egersund. She was at Utøya with her brother who was injured during the shooting. Friends described her as "a proud Norwegian, a gorgeous person and kind-hearted".
* Hanne Kristine Fridtun, 20, from Stryn was leader of AUF in Sogn og Fjordane. She was described as a young woman of great compassion who worked to help the vulnerable in the community. The mayor of Stryn Nils P. Støyva told NRK that "this is beyond comprehension. I know Hanne Kristine very well. We have had a close political working relationship on many cases, so for me it's completely unbelieveable that she is missing."
* Also missing was Tarald Mjelde, 18, from Osterøya, deputy leader of Hordaland AUF. Erik Dale, a friend and colleague in Norwegian youth politics wrote online: "We still need you, Tarald... The little big boy with an enthusiasm that infects everyone around you. All the people who wish they had your energy. Your eagerness. If you hadn't been such a great little politician, I am sure you could have been an athlete."
* Simon Sæbø, 18, from Troms, president at his school had been nicknamed JF Kennedy by his friends.
* The seventeen-year-old Torjus Blattmann's father Trond wrote on Facebook on behalf of his mother Mette and sister Maren: "Torjus was an incredibly fine and good and loving boy and what we are experiencing is completely unreal and so incredibly painful."
* Syvert Knudsen, 17, a young chef and leader of Lyngdal AUF, has not answered the phone since the shooting. His stepfather Håvard Melsnes explained: "There isn't much hope, but it's important for us that he is found." "[It] is sad to think that you always said you were so lonely and that you always were so sad," wrote one friend, Tonje Fredriksen, in tribute. "Wish you were home and could see how many people think of you, miss you and care. Love you... and I'm not alone."
* Marianne Sandvik, 16, was planning to start studying health and social science at school from this autumn and became a member of Stavanger AUF. Her family too was going through the agonising wait for any news of her last night.
* Johannes Buø, a 14-year-old AUP activist from southern Norway, was feared to be the youngest amongst the dead after his father confirmed he was missing. A message on Facebook read: "Dear, dear John! It is unreal what has happened. You are an incredibly strong person... We all hope desperately to get you home safe and sound. We hope, light candles and pray for you."
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