Olof Palme was a Prime Minister of Sweden who was assassinated in 1986 and whose killer has never been positively identified.
Olof Palme was born in Sweden and studied law in Ohio, USA, then returned to Sweden to finish his education. Making a stellar political career, he joined the Swedish Social Democratic Party and was elected Prime Minister in 1969.
Palme was shot in the back by a lone gunman after exiting a cinema with his wife, whom the assassin shot and missed before fleeing the scene on foot. The eyewitnesses called the ambulance and the police. The ambulance could only confirm his death, while the police did a remarkably sloppy job, failing to secure and investigate the crime scene for hours. Furthermore, no real attempts to catch the perpetrator were made immediately after the murder.
In the years following the murder, the investigation came up with a number of explanations for the murder and identity of the killer:
- PKK. One popular theory was that Palme was murdered by a terrorist of the Kurdistan Workers' Party. However, this was proved to be false, since PKK never admitted carrying out the hit and the murderer was also described as Swedish-looking rather than Turkish.
- Christer Pettersson. In 1988, a junkie named Christer Pettersson admitted killing Palme and was positively identified by Palme's wife. However, he later took his confession back, saying he was coerced to do so by the police, and Mrs. Palme's evidence was considered insufficient, and Pettersson went free. He died in 2004.
- DINA. The killing of Olof Palme is claimed to be done by a member of the DINA, Pinochet security forces who was also a CIA agent. He, speaking spanish with the very distinctive Chilean accent admitted on TV that he had killed Olof Palme and that he then was living in the USA under a false identity provided by the CIA.
Olof Palme's anti-American and nationalistic policies caused much discontent with him among the right wing parties. According to the theorists, these discontent parties conspired with the Swedish police to remove the unpopular (among them) Prime Minister and cover up for the murder. This explains the inadequate and sloppy investigation of the murder.
Furthermore, the police allegedly tried to exploit the murder to discredit PKK and refugees from Turkey and the rest of the Arab world, who were at the time immigrating to Sweden en masse. Hans Holmér, then Stockholm police commissioner, was a particular proponent of this accusation. However, after it was proved wrong, Holmér had to resign and left for Austria.
Christer Pettersson is considered to be a red herring, set up to finally close the case, but his rehabilitation prevented this from happening. He died by supposedly falling from the stairs and suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. The theorists expressed doubts in the accidental nature of his injury.
- In 2003, the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Anna Lindh was assassinated in much the same fashion as Palme was.
- In terms of psychological impact, Palme's assassination had the same effects on Sweden as Kennedy Assassination had on the US.
- ↑ Olof Palme - Controversy. "On a scholarship, he studied at Kenyon College, Ohio 1947-1948, graduating with a B.A. in less than a year. Inspired by the radical debate in the student community, he wrote a critical essay on Friedrich Hayek's The Road to Serfdom. After hitchhiking through the U.S., he returned to Sweden to study law at Stockholm University.