Nine years ago today 77 innocent people were brutally murdered at the hands of Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik.
The now 41-year-old lone wolf launched two sickening attacks – with the aim of killing as many teenagers as possible.
As well as the 77 murders, Breivik, a far-right terrorist, left more than 300 people injured, dozens of them seriously.
In the aftermath of the harrowing tragedy, the impact of Breivik’s twisted actions were so far reaching it is estimated one in four Norwegians knew someone who had been affected.
The harrowing attacks on July 22, 2011, were aimed at the government, the civilian population, and a Workers’ Youth League – and Breivik was merciless.
His first attack was in the capital, Oslo, just after 3:30pm when he detonated a car bomb in the government quarter.
The blast killed eight people, leaving 209 hurt, 12 seriously.
But Breivik was far from finished. Next, he dressed himself in a police uniform and got on a ferry to Utøykaia under a false identity.
The Norwegian Labour Party’s AUF Youth conference was being held on the island, as it was every year, and was made up of around 600 teenagers.
Breivik claimed he was a police officer, there to carry out a routine inspection – no one had any reason to doubt his story.
Monica Bøsei, the camp leader and island hostess, met Breivik and seems to have been suspicious about his explanation for being on the island.
She contacted Trond Berntsen, the security officer on the island, and Breivik killed them both.
He then told people to gather round him before pulling out his terrifying arsenal of weapons and opening fire at anyone standing in his way.
Trond’s 11-year-old son was one of the few who was spared when he told the sick terrorist he was too young to die, as was a 22-year-old who begged for his life.
The first shots were fired at just after 5:20pm and for more than an hour, Breivik stalked the island, firing at will.
Those who survived recall the 90 minutes with horror. Breivik was initially shooting those on the island but then he opened fire on those who had jumped into the water and were desperately trying to swim to safety.
Others lay down and pretended to be dead in the hope they would escape with their lives, including those who were already injured.
But Breivik was ruthless and returned to shoot what looked like corpses to make sure they were dead.
Terrified teenagers hid in bushes and undergrowth but were hunted by the killer.
The youngest victim was just 14 while 16-year-old Andrine Bakkene Espeland was Breivik’s final victim.
He killed 69 people, injured 110 – 55 of them seriously.
People living nearby desperately tried to help the teenagers – one man took his boat out and flung lifejackets to teenagers in the water and save around 30 lives.
Hege Dalen and Toril Hansen saved another 40 from both land and the sea, while Kasper Ilaug made several trips to the island to drag teenagers to safety.
At least 150 young people were dragged to safety by campers on the shoreline.
Breivik himself called police twice to hand himself in, hanging up each time and continuing with his killing spree.
The remote location of the island meant it took time for detectives to arrive but Breivik was finally arrested and in custody.
The terrorist’s horrific attack had been months in the planning – and Breivik had recorded his preparations in his diaries.
Forensic clinical psychologist Ian Stephen told the BBC: “It’s one of the scariest documents I’ve ever read.
“It’s written by a man who is absolutely meticulous in his development of his philosophy and he has researched everything, obviously shut away for a long period of time reading, researching, digging into the internet, reading books,” said the psychologist.
“[He] formulated this absolute policy of hatred of anything that is non-Nordic in a sense, and looking at planning how to take over the world [in a]rather insane, over-complicated deluded manner.”
According to court officials, Breivik said he had been trying to “save Norway and western Europe from cultural Marxism and a Muslim takeover”.
His sinister plan started in early May when Breivik moved into a farm with his “equipment”, which he kept stored in a barn.
Surprisingly, the mass murderer was a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest.
His entry on May 14, 2011, reads: “I just love Eurovision … ! 🙂 It’s a lot of crap music but I think it’s a great show all in all. I’ve seen all the semi finals and will take the time of to watch it later today, online.
“My country has a crap, politically correct contribution as always. An asylum seeker from Kenya, performing a bongo song, very representative of Europe and my country … In any case; I hope Germany wins.”
As May wore on, Breivik became more and more paranoid whenever he saw what he thought was a police car.
He wrote: “Went to the capital to pick up a few parcels. On my way home to the farm I noticed what I believed to be a civilian police vehicle south of the southern town.
“As I came closer to the farm I noticed what I believed to be another civilian police car.What should I do if I was about to be Swat raped by a 6 or 12 man team?
“I didn’t have any weapons available as they were all inside the main house. Should I make a run for it, if so, where would I go?
“The barn door had probably been opened by the wind. I decided then and there that I would not allow paranoia to get the best of me again.
“If they were to come for me one day, there was really nothing I could do about it, so it would not be constructive to worry.”
However, he made sure he was the perfect neighbour to keep those living close to him on side in case he fell under suspicion.
On May 19 Breivik wrote: “It’s essential to create as much goodwill you can from the neighbours. Use any opportunity to generate goodwill from them.
“This goodwill will be returned indirectly by them not probing and investigating. If you get a visit from neighbours, be polite and friendly, offer sandwiches and coffee, unless it will jeopardise the operation.”
His horrifying plans were almost uncovered when he missed a message from the farm owner’s girlfriend telling him she needed to collect something from the barn where he was hiding his weapons.
Some how Breivik managed to hide all his arsenal before she arrived.
The killer details how he banned friends from visiting because “it would not be suitable to receive visitors here as anyone stopping by would eventually understand that things are not what they seemed”.
From the start of July Breivik start to meticulously plan his journey in between the two locations where he would carry out his attacks.
But in his final days before the attacks, Breivik’s mood switched and he organised treats for himself.
On July 11, he wrote: “Considering the fact that I am currently working on the most dreadful task, I bought a lot of exquisite food and candy today. I really need to recharge my batteries and increase my morale.”
Eight days later, after “packing down gear” he “went to a higher quality restaurant in the southern town and feasted. Yummy! I’ve been working extremely hard the last few days and I’m completely exhausted.”
The final entry on July 22 seemed to be when everything was in place for his atrocity.
Breivik wrote: “nitiate blasting sequences at pre-determined sites. If all fails, I will initiate my career with a private security firm in conflict zones to acquire maximum funds in the shortest period of time to repay the debts.
“First coming costume party this autumn, dress up as a police officer. Arrive with insignias 🙂 Will b awesome as people will be very astonished 🙂
“Side note; imagine if law enforcement would visit me the next days. They would probably get the wrong idea and think I was a terrorist, lol :o).”
His signed off his chilling journal ‘Sincere regards, Andrew Berwick/Justiciar Knight Commander/Knights Templar Europe/Knights Templar Norway’.
In August, 2011, Breivik was jailed for 21 years, the longest sentence that can be imposed in Norway.
The sentence can be extended indefinitely as long as the prisoner is deemed a threat to society.