Juan Ignacio Blanco  


  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.









Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Suspect in the assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme
Number of victims: 1 - 2
Date of murders: 1970 / February 28, 1986
Date of birth: April 23, 1947
Victims profile: A man / Olof Palme, 59 (Swedish Prime Minister)
Method of murder: Stabbing with a bayonet / Shooting
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Status: Sentenced to prison for manslaughter. Sentenced to life imprisonment in 1988. The next year the conviction was overturned and Pettersson was acquitted. Died on September 29, 2004

The assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme

The investigation committee report (1999) (in Swedish)

Christer Pettersson. Accused Assassin. Pettersson was a suspect in the assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme.

On February 28, 1986, Olof Palme was shot and killed on a street in Stockholm, Sweden, as he left a movie theatre with his wife. Pettersson who had a history of substance abuse, was tried and convicted for the murder of Palme. The accused killer was convicted in 1988 and had only been identified as the killer by Palme's wife, Lisbet, but the conviction was later overturned and Pettersson was acquitted.

The police who investigated the killing failed to find the murder weapon and later had to pay Pettersson a seven figure compensation award for defamation and for wrongful imprisonment. Pettersson used his money from the suit to sel his stories to newspapers. Pettersson died in September 2004 at the age of 57, after being in a coma for 2 weeks.


Christer Pettersson (April 23, 1947 - September 29, 2004) was a Swedish criminal who was a suspect in the 1986 assassination of Olof Palme, the Prime Minister of Sweden. In 1988 he was convicted of the murder in district court but acquitted on appeal the following year.

Childhood and early life

Pettersson grew up in a middle class family in Solna outside of Stockholm and later moved to the suburb Sollentuna. In his youth he attended a theatrical school (Calle Flygares teaterskola) where he was considered very promising by at least one of his teachers. However, Pettersson suffered a head injury that he would never fully recover from. Subsequent to his injury, Petterson began a period of substance abuse which would eventually force him to drop out of school.

In 1970, he killed a man in a street of Stockholm, seemingly without any provocation, in what the Swedish press dubbed the "bayonet murder". Pettersson was sentenced to prison for manslaughter for the killing. After his release he continued a life of petty crime, which financed his alcohol and drug abuse.

Tried for the murder of Olof Palme

On the night of February 28, 1986, the Swedish Social Democratic Prime Minister Olof Palme was shot and killed in Stockholm as he walked home from a cinema with his wife, Lisbet Palme. Pettersson was accused of Palme's murder after an extensive investigation by the Swedish police. He was picked out from a police lineup by Mrs Palme. The original tip-off leading to the incrimination of Pettersson has been described by some as very dubious. Although the .357-caliber Magnum pistol used to kill Palme was never found, Pettersson was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1988.

However, in 1989 he was freed after an appeal court cited lack of evidence, including the missing murder weapon. It also questioned the reliability of Mrs Palme's identification. Pettersson was awarded about $50,000 in compensation for defamation by the police and for wrongful imprisonment. He quickly spent the money on alcohol and drugs, but was able to augment his income through selling TV and newspaper interviews. In some of those interviews – particularly on TV3 – Pettersson admitted to killing Olof Palme, but his confession was not treated seriously. On several occasions Pettersson pointed out that he himself was a "Social Democrat", and liked Olof Palme.

In 1998, the Supreme Court rejected a prosecutor's appeal to retry Pettersson citing that evidence was not strong enough to place him at the scene of the shooting.

Coma and death

On September 29, 2004 Pettersson died at the Karolinska University Hospital after he supposedly fell and suffered a cerebral haemorrhage. He had been in a coma since September 16, 2004 when he underwent emergency surgery for unspecified head injuries. Pettersson had reported being harassed by the police on September 15, the day before he was found with head injuries, with unsubstantiated rumors circulating that he was a victim of police violence. Pettersson was buried in his hometown Sollentuna in January 2005.

Shortly before Pettersson was taken to hospital, he had contacted the son of Olof Palme, Mårten Palme, explaining he had something to tell the family. Palme said he was willing to meet Pettersson if he was ready to confess to the murder. But the meeting did not take place, and what Pettersson had to tell was never revealed.

According to a documentary aired on the Swedish television channel SVT in February 2006, associates of Pettersson claimed that he had confessed to them his role in Olof Palme's murder, but with the explanation that it was a case of mistaken identity. Apparently, Pettersson had intended to kill a drug dealer, dressed in similar clothing, who often walked along the same street at night. The show also suggested that there was greater police awareness than previously acknowledged due to surveillance of drug activity in the area. The police had several officers in apartments and cars along those few blocks of Sveavägen but, 45 minutes before the murder, the police monitoring ceased.

In the light of these revelations, Swedish police undertook reviewing the Palme case and Pettersson's role. However, in an op-ed in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter on February 28, 2006, two senior SVT reporters criticised the TV documentary severely, claiming that the filmmaker had fabricated a number of statements while omitting other contradictory evidence.

Cult figure

Both before and after his death, Christer Pettersson had achieved a certain notoriety as a cult figure, being portrayed as a victim of society and as a scapegoat in the media. At the same time he was seen as an outlaw and a rebel, and appeared as an icon in some subcultures, including music and art.


Christer Petterson

By Matt Moore - Associated Press

October 18, 2004

Cleared of killing Sweden's prime minister

A petty criminal who was convicted and later released in the 1986 assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme died Sept. 29, leaving unsolved the slaying that has haunted Sweden for nearly two decades.

Christer Pettersson, who had a history of substance abuse, died of brain hemorrhaging and organ failure at 57, said Inger Rosell, a spokeswoman for Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm.

Mr. Pettersson had been in a coma since Sept. 16, when he underwent emergency surgery for head injuries, and never regained consciousness. The cause of the injuries was unclear.

He was the only person ever brought to trial for the Feb. 28, 1986, slaying of Palme, the charismatic leader who was gunned down as he walked home from a movie theater with his wife. The killer fled down a dark alley.

The murder of Palme, who protested the Vietnam War, battled apartheid in South Africa and tried to mediate an end to the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, shocked Sweden and cast doubts on its cherished image as an oasis of tranquility and nonviolence, where even the prime minister could stroll through the capital without bodyguards.

Mr. Pettersson was picked out from a police lineup by Palme's wife, Lisbet. Although police never found the .357-caliber Magnum pistol used to kill the 59-year-old politician, Mr. Pettersson was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1988.

The next year, he was freed after an appeals court cited a lack of evidence, including the murder weapon. The court also questioned Lisbet's accuracy in picking him out.

Mr. Pettersson was awarded about $50,000 in compensation for his time spent in prison, and his lawyer said he was "marked for life."

In 1998, the Supreme Court rejected a prosecutor's appeal to retry Mr. Pettersson, ruling that despite claims that he could be placed at the scene of the shooting, on a busy downtown Stockholm street, the evidence was not strong enough.

Despite being cleared, Mr. Pettersson once confessed to shooting Palme.

"Sure as hell it was me who shot (him), but they can never nail me for it. The weapon is gone," he said in an interview with Swedish writer Gert Fylking in 2001. He later retracted the statement and said he was not involved in the killing.

Despite an extensive manhunt, an $8.6 million reward and more than 14,000 tips, the murder remains unsolved, generating frustration among Swedes – some of whom compared it to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Failure to identify a killer has spawned a cottage industry in conspiracy theories blaming everybody from Kurdish militants to right-wing Swedish police officers.

Mr. Pettersson was no longer under suspicion, said chief prosecutor Agneta Blidberg, who leads the still-open Palme investigation.

Blidberg said she wasn't sure how long the investigation would stay active.

Last week, Swedish media reported that Mr. Pettersson, before he was injured, tried to contact Maarten Palme , Olof and Lisbet Palme's son, to discuss the killing. Palme said he was willing to meet with Mr. Pettersson if he was ready to confess to the murder, but the meeting never took place.

Last year, Swedes were forced to revisit Palme's killing after Foreign Minister Anna Lindh was stabbed to death as she shopped unguarded in a downtown department store.

Unlike the Palme case, Lindh's killer, Mijailo Mijailovic, was quickly captured and convicted. He was sentenced to life in prison, but that was later reduced to psychiatric care.


The assassination of Olof Palme (Swedish: Palmemordet, the Palme murder), the Prime Minister of Sweden, took place on 28 February 1986 in Stockholm, Sweden, at 23:21 hours Central European Time (22:21 UTC). Palme was fatally wounded by gunshots while walking home from a cinema with his wife Lisbet Palme on the central Stockholm street Sveavägen. The couple did not have bodyguards at the time.

The murder is still unsolved and a number of theories as to who carried out the murder have been proposed. Christer Pettersson, a substance abuser who previously had been convicted of manslaughter, was convicted of the murder in 1988 after having been identified as the killer by Palme's wife. However, on appeal to Svea Court of Appeal he was acquitted. Pettersson died in 2004, legally declared not guilty of the Palme assassination.

Night of the assassination

Despite Olof Palme's position as prime minister, he sought to live as ordinary a life as possible. He would often go out without any bodyguard protection and the night of his murder was one such occasion. Walking home from the Grand Cinema with his wife Lisbet Palme on the central Stockholm street Sveavägen, close to midnight on February 28, 1986, the couple were attacked by a lone gunperson. Palme was fatally shot in the back at close range at 23:21 CET. A second shot wounded Mrs Palme.

Police said that a taxi-driver used his mobile radio to raise the alarm. Two girls sitting in a car close to the scene of the shooting tried to help the prime minister. He was rushed to a hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival at 00:06 CET on March 1, 1986.

The attacker escaped eastwards on the Tunnelgatan and disappeared.

Deputy prime minister Ingvar Carlsson immediately assumed the duties of prime minister and as new leader of the Social Democratic Party.

Sequence of events

Cinema decision

Palme's decision to visit the Grand Cinema was made at very short notice. Lisbet Palme had discussed seeing a film when she was at work during the afternoon, and called her son, Mårten Palme, at 17:00 to talk about the film at the Grand Cinema. Olof Palme did not hear about the plans until at home, at 18:30, when he met with his wife, by which time Palme had already declined any further personal bodyguard protection from the security service. He talked to his son about the plans on the phone, and they eventually decided to join Mårten and his spouse, who had already purchased tickets for themselves. This decision was made about 20:00. The police later searched Palme's apartment, as well as Lisbet's and Mårten's work places, for wire-bugging devices or traces of such equipment, but did not find any.

Grand Cinema

At 20:30 the Palmes left their apartment, unescorted, heading for the Gamla stan subway station. Several people witnessed their short walk to the station and, according to the later police investigation, commented on the lack of bodyguards. The couple took the subway train to the Rådmansgatan station, from where they walked to the Grand Cinema. They met their son and his spouse just outside the cinema around 21:00. Olof Palme had not yet purchased tickets which were by then almost sold out. Recognizing the prime minister, the ticket clerk wanted him to have the best seats, and therefore sold Palme the theatre director's seats.

The murder

After the screening, the Palme family stayed outside the theatre for a while but separated about 23:15. Olof and Lisbet Palme headed south on the west side of Sveavägen street, towards the Hötorget subway station. When they reached the Adolf Fredrik's Church, they crossed Sveavägen and continued on the street's east side. They stopped a moment to look at something in a shop window, continued past the Dekorima shop (now renamed Kreatima) and headed for the subway station entrance. At 23:21, half the distance across the Tunnelgatan street and only a short distance from the station entrance, a man appeared from behind, shot Palme at point-blank range and fired a second shot at Mrs Palme. The perpetrator then jogged down Tunnelgatan street, up the steps to Malmskillnadsgatan and continued down David Bagares gata [street], where he was last seen.


Thanks to time stamps on records for radio and telecommunication, many events have been determined with a very high precision.

23:21:30 — The Palme couple are shot.

23:22:20 — The 90000 SOS emergency line receives a phone call. An eye witness says there is 'murder on Sveavägen', and is immediately redirected to the police. However the phone call is not redirected properly and the caller is not put through to the police.

23:23:40 — A Järfälla Taxi switchboard operator calls directly to the police dispatch center on behalf of one of its drivers on the scene. He can not, however, give any more details than that someone has been shot at the corner Sveavägen/Tunnelgatan.

23:24:00 (ca) — The first police patrol arrives at the scene. Stationed on Kungsgatan, a few hundred feet from the scene, the patrol is alerted by a second taxi driver who heard the emergency call via the taxi radio.

23:24:40 — The police dispatch center is contacted by the SOS alarm central concerning the shooting on Sveavägen. The dispatch center operator denies knowledge about any such events.

23:24:00–23:25:30 (ca) — A second police patrol, a patrol wagon, arrives at the crime scene. The patrol was stationed at Malmskillnadsgatan at the time of murder, not far from the perpetrator's escape route. They are ordered by the commanding officer at the scene, Superintendent Gösta Söderström, to immediately take up the hunt for the perpetrator.

23:25:00 (ca) — A patrolling ambulance is stopped at the scene and gives immediate assistance to the victims.

23:26:00 — The police dispatch center calls the SOS emergency center to assure them they are informed about the events on the Sveavägen/Tunnelgatan intersection.

A third police patrol wagon arrives at the scene; the patrol was refueling at a gas station when they were called out to the scene.

A second ambulance arrives at the scene to assist their colleagues from the first ambulance.

23:28:00 — The first ambulance leaves the scene, rushing for the Sabbatsberg hospital with prime minister Olof Palme and his wife. Mrs Palme, not being severely wounded, refuses to leave her husband.

23:30:00 — Superintendent Söderström contacts the police dispatch center to inform them that it is the prime minister who has been shot.

23:31:40 — The SOS central is informed that the ambulance has arrived at the hospital.

00:06:00 — Prime Minister Olof Palme is pronounced dead at the Sabbatsberg hospital.

00:45:00 — Deputy Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson arrives at Rosenbad.

01:10:00 — First radio broadcast about the murder.

04:00:00 — First TV broadcast about the events.

05:15:00 — The government holds a press conference.

Leads from the crime scene

The only leads left by the assassin are two bullets of the type Winchester-Western .357 Magnum. Both bullets correspond to the lead fragments found in the clothing of Olof and Lisbet Palme. The singularly most used weapon for this type of ammunition is the Smith & Wesson .357, which is why great efforts have been made to try to locate the murder weapon.

The search for the murder weapon

Throughout the investigation, Swedish police have test-fired approximately 500 Magnum revolvers. The investigation has placed particular emphasis on tracking down the ten Magnum revolvers reported stolen at the time of the murder. Out of these all have been located except the Sucksdorff revolver, a weapon stolen from the Stockholm home of Swedish filmmaker Arne Sucksdorff in 1977. The person who stole the weapon was a friend of drug dealer Sigge Cedergren, who claimed on his deathbed that he had lent a gun of the same type to Christer Pettersson two months prior to the assassination.

Another weapon that have figured prominently in the investigation is the so called Mockfjärd gun. This weapon, a revolver of the type Smith & Wesson Model 28 ("Highway Patrolman") with .357 Magnum caliber, was first purchased legally by a civilian in the northern Swedish city of Luleå. The gun along with 91 metal piercing bullets was stolen in a burglary in Haparanda in 1983 and is believed to have been used in the robbery of a post office in Mockfjärd, Dalarna that same year. A lead isotope analysis of a bullet fired during the robbery confirmed it to have the same isotopic composition as the bullets retrieved from the assassination crime scene, verifying that the bullets were manufactured at the same time.

In the autumn of 2006, Swedish police acting on a tip communicated to the Expressen newspaper retrieved a Smith & Wesson .357 revolver from a lake in Dalarna. The gun was determined to be the same one used in the post office robbery in Mockfjärd, confirmed by the gun's serial number. The gun was transferred to the National Laboratory of Forensic Science in Linköping for further analysis. However, the laboratory concluded in May 2007 that tests on the gun could not confirm that it was used in the Palme assassination, as it was too rusty.

Murder theories

Palme's assassination remains unsolved, with a number of alternative theories surrounding the murder.

Yugoslavian connection

In January 2011 the German magazine Focus cited
official German interrogation records in connection with another investigation
from 2008 as showing that the assassination had been carried out by an operative
of the Yugoslavian security service.

"The 33-year-old"

A Swedish extremist, Victor Gunnarsson (labeled in the media 33-åringen, "the 33-year-old"), was soon arrested for the murder but quickly released, after a dispute between the police and prosecuting attorneys. Gunnarsson had connections to various extremist groups, among these the European Workers Party, the Swedish branch of the LaRouche Movement. Pamphlets hostile to Palme from the party were found in his home outside Stockholm.

Gunnarsson later moved to the United States of America, where he was murdered. Acquaintances stated he had admitted murdering Palme.


Hans Holmér, the Stockholm police commissioner, followed up an intelligence lead passed to him (supposedly by Bertil Wedin) and arrested a number of Kurds living in Sweden, after allegations that one of their organisations, the PKK, was responsible for the murder. The lead proved inconclusive however and ultimately led to Holmér's removal from the Palme murder investigation. Fifteen years later, in April 2001, a team of Swedish police officers went to interview PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan in a Turkish prison about Öcalan's allegations that a dissident Kurdish group, led by his ex-wife, murdered Palme. The police team's visit proved futile.

In 2007, renewed allegations of PKK complicity in Palme's assassination surfaced during the Ergenekon investigation, which is ongoing as of October 2008.

Christer Pettersson

In December 1988, almost three years after Palme's death, Christer Pettersson, a petty criminal, drug user and alcoholic, who had previously been imprisoned for manslaughter, was arrested for the murder of Palme. Picked out by Mrs Palme at a lineup as the killer, Pettersson was tried and convicted of the murder, but was later acquitted on appeal to the High Court. Pettersson's appeal succeeded for three main reasons:

  • The murder weapon had not been found;

  • He had no clear motive for the killing;

  • Doubts about the reliability of Mrs Palme's testimony.

Additional evidence against Pettersson surfaced in the late 1990s, mostly coming from various petty criminals who altered their stories but also from a confession made by Pettersson. The chief prosecutor, Agneta Blidberg, considered re-opening the case. But she acknowledged that a confession alone would not be sufficient, saying:

He must say something about the weapon because the appeals court set that condition in its ruling. That is the only technical evidence that could be cited as a reason to re-open the case.

While the legal case against Pettersson therefore remains closed, the police file on the investigation cannot be closed until both murder weapon and murderer are found. Christer Pettersson died on September 29, 2004, after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage caused by a falling accident onset by an epileptic seizure.

According to a documentary programme broadcast on the Swedish television channel SVT in February 2006,[citation needed] associates of Pettersson claimed that he had confessed to them his role in the murder, but with the explanation that it was a case of mistaken identity. Apparently, Pettersson had intended to kill a drug dealer who customarily walked, in similar clothing, along the same street at night. The programme also suggested there was greater police awareness than previously acknowledged because of surveillance of drug activity in the area. The police had several officers in apartments and cars along those few blocks of Sveavägen but, 45 minutes before the murder, the police monitoring ceased.

In the light of these revelations, Swedish police undertook to review Palme's case and Pettersson's role. However, the newspaper Dagens Nyheter of February 28, 2006 carried articles ridiculing the TV documentary, and alleging that the filmmaker had fabricated a number of statements while omitting other contradictory evidence.

Apartheid South Africa

On 21 February 1986 — a week before he was murdered — Palme made the keynote address to the Swedish People's Parliament Against Apartheid held in Stockholm, attended by hundreds of anti-apartheid sympathizers as well as leaders and officials from the ANC and the Anti-Apartheid Movement such as Oliver Tambo. In the address, Palme said, "Apartheid cannot be reformed, it has to be eliminated."

Ten years later, towards the end of September 1996, Colonel Eugene de Kock, a former South African police officer, gave evidence to the Supreme Court in Pretoria, alleging that Palme had been shot and killed in 1986 because he "strongly opposed the apartheid regime and Sweden made substantial contributions to the ANC".

De Kock went on to claim he knew the person responsible for Palme's murder. He alleged it was Craig Williamson, a former police colleague and a South African superspy. A few days later, Brigadier Johannes Coetzee, who used to be Williamson's boss, identified Anthony White, a former Rhodesian Selous Scout with links to the South African security services, as Palme's actual murderer. Then a third person, Swedish mercenary Bertil Wedin, living in Northern Cyprus since 1985, was named as the killer by Peter Caselton, a member of Coetzee's assassination squad known as Operation Longreach. The following month, in October 1996, Swedish police investigators visited South Africa, but were unable to uncover evidence to substantiate de Kock's claims.

A book that was published in 2007 suggested that a high-ranking Civil Cooperation Bureau operative, Athol Visser (or 'Ivan the Terrible'), was responsible for planning and carrying out Olof Palme's assassination.

The 8 September 2010 edition of Efterlyst, Sweden's equivalent of BBC TV's Crimewatch programme, was co-hosted by Tommy Lindström, who was the head of Swedish CID at the time of Olof Palme's assassination. After being asked by Efterlyst's host Hasse Aro who he believed was behind the assassination of the Prime Minister, Lindström without hesitating pointed to apartheid South Africa as the number one suspect. And the motive for this, he said, was to stop the payments (financed by Soviet Union) that the Swedish government secretly paid, through Switzerland, to the African National Congress.

Bofors and Indian connection

In his 2005 book Blood on the Snow: The Killing of Olof Palme historian Jan Bondeson advanced a theory that Palme's murder was linked with arms trades to India. Bondeson's book meticulously recreated the assassination and its aftermath, and suggested that Palme had used his friendship with Rajiv Gandhi to secure a SEK 8.4 billion deal for the Swedish armaments company Bofors to supply the Indian Army with howitzers. However, Palme did not know that behind his back Bofors had used a shady company called AE Services — nominally based in Guildford, Surrey, England — to bribe Indian government officials to conclude the deal.

Bondeson alleged that on the morning he was assassinated, Palme had met with the Iraqi ambassador to Sweden, Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf (the man who would later go on to become notorious as Saddam Hussein's Information Minister during the 2003 Iraq War). The two discussed Bofors, which al-Sahhaf knew well because of its arms sales during the Iran–Iraq War. Bondeson suggested that the ambassador told Palme about Bofors' activities, infuriating Palme. Bondeson theorised that Palme's murder might have been inadvertently triggered by his conversation with the ambassador, if either the Bofors arms dealers or the middlemen working through AE Services had a prearranged plan to silence the Prime Minister should he discover the truth and the deal with India become threatened. According to Bondeson, Swedish police suppressed vital MI6 intelligence about a Bofors/AE Services deal with India.

The Red Army Faction

The Red Army Faction (RAF) better known as the Baader-Meinhof Group of Germany claimed responsibility for the assassination of Palme via an anonymous phone call to a London news agency.[citation needed] They supposedly assassinated him because he was the Prime Minister of Sweden during the West German embassy siege in Stockholm in 1975 which ended in failure for the RAF. They claimed the assassination was carried out by the 'Holger Meins Commando.'

Roberto Thieme

The Swedish journalist Anders Leopold, in his 2008 book Det svenska trädet skall fällas ("The Swedish Tree Shall Be Brought Down"), makes the case that the Chilean fascist Roberto Thieme killed Olof Palme. Thieme was head of the most militant wing of Patria y Libertad, a far-right political organization, financed by the U.S. CIA. According to Leopold, Palme was killed because he had freely given asylum to so many leftist Chileans following the coup that overthrew Salvador Allende in 1973.

Police conspiracy

In an article in the German weekly Die Zeit from March 1995, Klaus-Dieter Knapp presented his view of the assassination as a result of a conspiracy among Swedish right-wing extremist police officers. According to this report, the murderer was identified by two witnesses who happened to be at the scene and who knew the murderer from previous encounters.

Other theories

John Ausonius, "the Laser Man", also known as John Stannerman, was initially one of the suspects but it turned out that Ausonius had a solid alibi, as he was imprisoned on the night Palme was shot.

Trowbridge H Ford, a former US army intelligence agent now living in Stockholm, among other bloggers, theorizes that Palme, as the UN mediator seeking an end to the Iran-Iraq war, was assassinated because he fell afoul of Iran-Contra.


  • The cost of the investigation stands at SEK 350 million, €38 million or US$45 million as of 25 February 2006.

  • The total number of pages accumulated during the investigation is around 700,000. According to criminologist Leif GW Persson, the investigation is "the largest in global police history".

  • The reward for solving the murder is SEK 50 million (approximately €5 million or US$7 million.)

Film portrayals

In the 1998 Swedish fictional thriller film The Last Contract (Sista kontraktet), Palme's assassination was portrayed as having been planned by a hired assassin. A Special Branch detective, Roger Nyman (Mikael Persbrandt), is on the trail of the international hitman (Ray Lambert, played by Michael Kitchen) but finds his line of inquiry is blocked by senior police officers and the Swedish establishment. The reason suggested for the murder is the firm stance taken by Palme in rejecting deployment of nuclear weapons in Sweden and in rejecting war in general as a solution.

The Last Contract has been favourably compared to two other thriller films featuring political assassinations: The Day of the Jackal and Oliver Stone's JFK.


Bondeson, Jan (2005). Blood on the snow: The killing of Olof Palme. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0801442117.

Poutiainen, Kari; Poutiainen, Pertti (1994) (in Swedish). Inuti labyrinten [Within the labyrinth]. Grimur. ISBN 9789163081286.

Holmér, Hans (1988). Olof Palme är skjuten! [Olof Palme has been shot!]. Stockholm: Wahlström & Widstrand. ISBN 9146161538.

Springer, Elzo; van Soest, Dolf (2006). Ah, was it him? The predicted murder of Olof Palme and the Dutch connection. Netherlands. ISBN 9081027719.

Persson, Leif GW (2003) (in Swedish). Mellan sommarens längtan och vinterns köld: en roman om ett brott [Between Summer's Longing and Winter's Cold]. [Stockholm]: Piratförlaget. ISBN 9164200728. ; Leif GW Persson is a Swedish criminologist and, 9 years prior to the assassination, a member of the Swedish National Police Board. The book is the thinly disguised story of events leading to the assassination of Olof Palme. The book has Palme as having been a CIA agent in his days of student politics but who later turned to work for the Soviets. Persson cleverly weaves the known facts and theories into his story and introduces another credible suggestion; that the assassination was carried out by a hit man hired by a renegade member of the Swedish Security Service.

Douglas-Gray, John. The Novak Legacy. ISBN 9780755213214


Christer Pettersson


Christer Pettersson



home last updates contact