“The Unlikely Murderer” Review: The Fictional Story of the Real Assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme

After a disclaimer that says “Based on unsolved crimes” a schedule says “28 February 1986 – 11:21 PM.” Two shots were fired; a fat man holds a gun and looks at the injured man lying on the ground. While the victim’s wife screams.

The man ran and became confused as he tried to remove the gun.

Many people saw him walking through the alleys and streets, a man in a newspaper hat and glasses. As passersby tried to save gunfire, police and ambulances arrived.

The police officer who is in charge did not know that the man shot was Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme (Peter Vitanen), while his wife Lisbeth (Sila Torrel) did not tell them who they were. Palme died in hospital, though she barely had a chance.

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The man who fired at Palme, Stig Engström (Robert Gustafson), trips over the building where he works. He returns to his wife and behaves traumatized.

Meanwhile, eyewitnesses, including Palme’s son Morten (David Anderson). To report that a man matching Stig’s description was hanging near the Palms as they left the theatre that night. Arne Erwell (Peter Anderson), the head of the National Police Homicide Squad. He is upset by how carelessly his department handled it. And didn’t secure the crime scene properly.

Stig began telling the “torturous” story of witnessing the murder, first to his neighbour. Then to the newspaper editor, which included eyewitness descriptions in the story. The way he told it, he heard gunshots and then tried to save Palme. The more he tells us about the story, the more the story changes. He even called at work saying that he would be called in for questioning if he didn’t.

Hans Holmer (Mikael Persbrand), the district police chief, takes over the investigation. He believes the murder is a professional matter with thin lips and glasses, as and his “brain trust”. And even as the tips flow and he receives more eyewitness accounts that describe the same round man. Meanwhile, Stig continues to speak to the press, looking for stories that include his “eyewitness accounts”.

Ervel, who had been overthrown, had his men sketch the scene.

When Holmer publishes a sketch by a suspect young illustrator. That he sees does not resemble any other description. Irvel and his men try to recreate their modelling scene. They discover that they interviewed everyone on stage except Stig Engstrom.

In going into the story of Wilhelm Berman and Niklas Rockström. We need to know a little about this case to get the idea. That it did not simply describe the story of the Engström’s involvement in the Palme’s murder. As being for “dramatic licensing purposes” created. While this isn’t an entirely fictional story.

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There’s a reason Engstrom wasn’t named in the prime suspect in Palme’s murder until the 2020. Around 20 years after his death. And even then, the authorities acknowledged that the evidence was circumstantial and was not tried.

There isn’t much research into Engström’s possible motives, at least for now. With this bit of knowledge, The Unlikely Murderer becomes the butt of jokes. For a seemingly unpretentious graphic designer. Who works for an insurance company and is involved in one of the most notorious murder investigations in Swedish history. Still, Gustafson plays Engström with impressive mastery. That doesn’t give him much personality other than a strong desire to draw attention to what he’s supposed to see.

The flip side of the story involves how confused and disorganized the investigation is. The law enforcement racing team. The mistakes made in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. The destruction of evidence, conflicting eyewitness accounts. It’s not hard for the show’s writers to visualize how this pervert. And the attention-grabbing man from Peterson’s book has eluded the authorities for 14 years.

The first episode takes time to organize two ideas:

But with both aiming for the end of the episode, the direction the scriptwriters want to go is pretty straightforward. The result is a story that is not seen much on television, even in an age of prestige.

And given the disclaimers at the beginning and end of the episode. The writers and producers wanted to clarify. That this is a work of art and should be enjoyed as it is. Knowing this, The Unlikely Murderer becomes a less historical narrative and a more complex crime thriller.

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The Unlikely Murderer commits one of the world’s most famous unsolved murders. And tries to understand how it remains unsolved. When the killer hides from Olof Palme’s eyes. And the speculation creates an exciting story.