Sten Gabriel Bernhard Forshufvud (9 February 1903 – 25 June 1985)
was a Swedish dentist and physician, and amateur toxicologist (expert
on poisons) who formulated and supported the controversial theory that
Napoleon was assassinated by a member of his entourage while in
exile. He wrote a book, in Swedish, about this in 1961, which was
translated the following year as Who Killed Napoleon? He later
published his ideas in English, in the 1983 book
Assassination At St.
Helena: The Poisoning Of Napoleon Bonaparte, a book on whose
authorship Ben Weider, co-author (with David Hapgood) of the book The
Murder Of Napoleon, published the year earlier, which also advanced
Forshufvud's ideas, collaborated.
1 Early life
2 Forensic investigation of Napoleon's death
3 Personal life and death
Forshufvud was born in Ramsele,
Sweden and was the son of district
medical officer Oscar Bengtsson and Eva Melin. He passed his
Uddevalla in 1921 and passed his dental exam in 1924
and was active as a dental surgeon at the
University of Bordeaux in
1934. Once back to Sweden, he carried on his studies in Biology at
Lund University, where he conducted the research for his Ph.D. thesis
in Medicine; this he published in 1941. Forshufvud received his
doctor of odontology degree in 1949.
Forensic investigation of Napoleon's death
Forshufvud tested five of Napoleon's hairs with
Ben Weider for traces
of arsenic. They found fluctuations of arsenic levels ranging from
normal to 38 times greater than average. This would purportedly
suggest that Napoleon was given arsenic in different concentrations at
different times for almost five years prior to his death.
Forshufvud's findings have been disputed since the hairs that were
tested have never been decisively dated, or even proven to be
Napoleon's. However, all of the hair samples that Forshufvud had
tested by an independent laboratory were family heirlooms that were
handed down through generations. Plus all the samples were very
similar. These hair samples were supposedly given to members of
Napoleon's staff and others he favored. Several samples of these hairs
did not pass through Forshufvud's hands and were sent directly to the
testing laboratory in Scotland. All supported Forshufvud's theory.
Forshufvud and Weider suggested that their theory that Napoleon was
assassinated by a Frenchman who served on Napoleon's staff during his
exile (their most likely suspect being Montholon) was repugnant to the
French people, who now honor Napoleon as one of France's great heroes.
As a result, they understood that their "proof of poisoning" would
always be questioned or ridiculed by those serving France.
Personal life and death
In his first marriage, in 1925, he married Karin Thorsell. In his
second marriage, in 1950, he married Ulla-Britta Björkman (born
1925), the daughter of merchant Picco Björkman and Elsa Carlstedt. He
was the father of Gull (born 1926), Ragnar (born 1931), Lennart (born
1951), Roland (born 1954) and Rickard (born 1957). Forshufvud died
on 25 June 1985 in Gothenburg, Sweden. He is buried at Stampen
Cemetery in Gothenburg.
^ a b Riaud, Xavier. "DR STEN FORSHUFVUD. A DETECTIVE OF HISTORY".
Napoleonicsociety.com. Retrieved June 15, 2009.
^ Forshufvud, Sten (1961). Vem mördade Napoleon?: nya
forskningsresultat som kastar ljus över dramat på S:t Helena [Who
killed Napoleon?: new research that sheds light on the drama of St.
Helena] (in Swedish). Stockholm: Bonnier.
^ a b c Harnesk, Paul, ed. (1965). Vem är vem?. 3, Götaland, utom
Skåne, Halland, Blekinge [Who is Who?. 3, Götaland, except Scania,
Halland, Blekinge] (in Swedish) (2nd ed.). Stockholm: Vem är vem.
^ a b c Harnesk, Paul, ed. (1948). Vem är vem?. D. 3, Götalandsdelen
utom Skåne [Who is Who?. D. 3, Götaland part except Scania] (in
Swedish). Stockholm: Vem är vem bokförlag. p. 308.
^ Weider D, Forshufvud S.
Assassination At St.Helena. 1983. Berkley
^ Sveriges dödbok 1901-2009 [Swedish death index 1901-2009]
(DVD-ROM)format= requires url= (help) (in Swedish) (Version 5.0
ed.). Solna: Sveriges släktforskarförbund. 2010.
^ "Forshufvud, Sten Gabriel Bernhard" (in Swedish). Svenskagravar.se.
Retrieved 5 January 2016.
Weider. Ben, and Hapgood, David. 1982. The Murder Of Napoleon. New
York: Congdon & Lattes: Distributed by St. Martin’s Press.
Weider, Ben, and Forshufvud, Sten. 1983.
Assassination At St. Helena:
The Poisoning Of Napoleon Bonaparte. Berkley Books.
ISNI: 0000 0000 7363 3619