The appointment was not on any plan.

Because on February 28, 1986, a Friday, Olof Palme made the spontaneous decision to go to the cinema with his wife, their son and his girlfriend.

The Swedish comedy “The Mozart Brothers” was on the program in Stockholm's Grand Cinema.

As usual at private meetings, Sweden’s Prime Minister, a left-wing social democrat, waived personal protection.

A fatal mistake.

It was just after 11 p.m. when the Palmes came out of the cinema.

The Prime Minister set out on foot with his wife Lisbet to the nearest subway station, but he only got 350 meters.

Around 11:21 p.m., when the Palmes had just reached the intersection of Sveavägen and Tunnelgatan, there was a sudden bang.

59-year-old Olof collapsed and Lisbet was also hit.

The shooter ran into Tunnelgatan and up a flight of stairs at the end.

This was the last time he was seen.

The crime scene right in the center of Stockholm on the night of March 1, 1986

Source: picture alliance / dpa

Police were on site at 11:24 p.m., and an ambulance one minute later.

at 11:28 p.m. Olof Palme were transported to the hospital.

But the doctors in the emergency room could no longer save him.


Any murder of a current head of government is inevitably a political act.

But what was the background?

How did the shooter, who had never been convicted, know when he would meet the most prominent Swede of his time (along with Astrid Lindgren, Abba and some tennis players)?

Every attack has the same basic prerequisites: It takes a perpetrator who is determined to kill, who has the necessary means (i.e. a suitable weapon) and, above all, the opportunity.

In other words, the knowledge of where exactly the chosen destination would be at an exactly known point in time.

Olof Palme around 1985

Source: picture-alliance / United Archive

Olof Palme, born in 1927, came from the Swedish upper middle class and became the leading politician of the petty-bourgeois social democrats.

He was a political natural and has been active in various functions in Swedish politics since 1953, twice as Prime Minister, from 1969 to 1976 and again from 1982 until his violent death.

Palme was a "do-gooder" long before the term was established: always highly moral in appearance, striving for maximum tolerance - but also rather unworldly towards real dangers.


Like endangering your own life.

The convicted manslaughter, petty criminal and drug addict Christer Pettersson was indicted, mainly based on the testimony of Palme's widow Lisbeth.

But in the second instance he had to be acquitted - apart from Lisbeth's testimony, there was simply no evidence at all against him.

The murder weapon, believed to be a .357 Magnum revolver, was never found.

Today this bronze plaque at the crime scene commemorates the murder

Source: picture alliance / Patrik C Öst

In 2020 the public prosecutor presented another man as the alleged perpetrator, who had committed suicide two decades earlier.

Since the dead cannot be negotiated, the investigation was closed.

The murder remains unsolved.

The question remains unanswered: How is the assassin supposed to have known when and where he could come near Olof Palme?

Had someone in the immediate vicinity of the Prime Minister called him and said that the target person would spontaneously go to the cinema that evening after work?

Should the perpetrator have waited in front of the cinema until Palme came out?


Or was everything completely different?

Was the never investigated assassin just by chance in Stockholm city center that evening, armed in a thoroughly pacifist city?

Did he just happen to notice the naturally familiar face of Palme?

Was the murder as spontaneous as the movie?

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