ONLY two years ago, police announced they had finally solved the unsolved murder of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme.
Swedes hold their breath for six months until the press conference, where detectives obediently announced they have not ruled out witnesses Stig Engstrom.
Engstrom was a graphic designer for the insurance company Skandia, who was initially fired by the police for being an attention seeker.
But even after they put him back in the frame, they had no clear evidence to tie him to the 1986 murders.
“We don’t have any clear information that would have put a gun in the hands of Stig Engstrom,” said Chief Prosecutor Krister Petersson.
“We hope that this will be accepted by the public.”
Prime Minister was shot dead
On February 28, 1986, Olof Palme cleared security and took his wife, Lizbeth, to the cinema in Stockholm.
As he left the theater, he was shot dead by a mysterious man on busy Sveavägen Street in central Stockholm.
Initially, the police botched the investigation by ignoring witnesses, not setting up barricades, and washing away forensic evidence.
Stig Engstrom has criticized police at the time of the murder – saying he saw the killer escape when he left his job at Skandia bank.
“They were completely uninterested the whole time,” he said.
Now dead, his relatives have complained to Swedish media that it cannot be Engstrom.
His ex-wife Margareta told prosecutors: “[Stig] would never be able to shoot someone because he didn’t kill a fly.
“He didn’t know anything about the shooting, and would miss if he tried.”
The initial investigation failed with mishandled evidence and police were unable to cordon off the crime scene.
After two years and many false positives, the police tracked down Christer Petersson, a homeless drug addict.
He had previously been sentenced to two years for manslaughter in 1970 for a murder near the Palme murder site.
Although there was no witness testimony or forensic evidence, Petersson was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of the Prime Minister.
But a year later, the high court acquitted him for lack of evidence.
Not surprisingly, after the 2020 announcement, the Swedish public accused the police of a failed investigation or cover-up.
None more than investigative writer Jan Stocklassa, 58, from Stockholm, who turned over his pile of evidence to Swedish authorities – only to have his theory disproved.
He has spent 13 years investigating the famously cold case since stumbling across research boxes on the murder of late author Stieg Larsson.
The 58-year-old told The Sun: “I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears. When I see this [about Engstrom]I am completely paralyzed.
“And then after a while the anger came.”
Now Sky Documentary real crime Four seasons of The Man Who Play With Fire explore Jan’s evidence and his desire to reopen his investigation.
He believes that the apartheid regime in South Africa colluded with Sweden’s far-right groups to murder Olof Palme, who was an anti-apartheid and staunch ANC supporter.
He said: “I believe he has dominated world politics too much and that he has provoked not only South Africa, but at least the Western superpowers.
“He was assassinated because he was a thorn in the side of not only South Africa, but also Great Britain and the United States, when it came to mainly liberating South Africa.”
Initially, Jan considered right-wing groups that had openly criticized Olof Palme about his leftist government.
At the time, these groups – including an American group called Stay Behind – were worried that Palme would let the Soviets take over Sweden.
But in particular, Jan focuses on three far-right figures mentioned in Stieg Larsson’s note: Alf Enerstrom, Bertil Wedin, and Victor Gunnerson.
Victor Gunnerson was mysteriously killed in 1994 in North Carolina. Police found a book in his apartment that suggested he was the prime suspect in Palme’s murder.
Jan traces Bertil Wedin, a former Congolese soldier and right-wing fanatic, to northern Cyprus, where he confronts him about his connections to South Africa and the murders. in Palme.
He admitted he worked with MI6, the CIA and racist super-spy Craig Williamson, who gave him a monthly stipend.
But when Jan asked him about Palme, he denied any involvement.
Wedin insisted: “I have no hands… I have never been asked for help.
“They say there is no smoke without fire, but there is no such thing.
“It’s just a fabrication.”
One witness even booked Williamson at an anti-racism conference in Stockholm a week before the murder – a claim he denies.
In 2014, Jan interviewed Enerstrom, who confessed that he had no alibi.
Now deceased, the man – dubbed “Sweden’s biggest hater of the Palme d’Or” – told police in 1986 that he was sleeping in his bed.
Recently, Jan contacted his assistant, David Fredin, who is mysteriously known as Ricard or “man in wig” due to his ridiculous disguises.
Fredin refused to speak, but Jan then contacted one of his Facebook friends – a very attractive woman named Lida Komarkova.
After chatting online, Jan met Czech Lida at a bar in Prague – but she didn’t look like the pictures online.
Lida admitted she created five fake Facebook profiles to give her “a push” in her life.
She befriended Fredin through a shared Facebook group and agreed to get to know him on January 1.
Months later, Lida sends Jan a USB drive full of emails between Fredin and Wedin talking nervously about being involved in Palme’s murder.
He said: “I also found out later that Wedin and Fredin, they were talking about me as a potential KGB agent. Fredin still thinks I’m working for the KGB.
“They wrote things that really threatened me. So when I look out for them, they’re watching over me too.”
It is also the first time anyone has linked Alf Enerstrom – a man with no alibi – and Bertil Wedin, who has been described as a “middleman” for South Africa in the murder.
Later, Jan contacted another person, former Swedish diplomat Goran Bjorkdahl, who spoke to a man in South African military intelligence known only as “Frank”.
Goran said that after the Apartheid regime was overthrown, he was given a military document describing Olof as an “enemy of the state”.
The general said to him, “I need help from people on the ground for a long time.”
Goran then suggested to his contacts that Sweden and South Africa offer amnesty to Palme’s killers so they could settle the case for good.
They met a South African general who considered the proposal after three meetings with the head of the army – but there was a big misunderstanding.
“They all seem to assume that I am on a business trip, that I am representing the Swedish Government, which I am not,” Goran said.
“This is just a hobby.”
Thinking quickly, Goran started recording on his phone.
Frank told him, “You’re getting too close to some very dangerous people. They haven’t stopped.
“They are still working for a lot of people.”
New technology, new evidence, new leads
They agreed South Africa would help Sweden with the case on the condition that no South Africans were prosecuted because “they obeyed the orders of their government”.
The general said: “The people involved, they will want to be protected by us as a government.”
After listening to the recording, Jan said: “This confirms what you and I have suspected for years – South African involvement in the murder.”
Since the police named Stig Engstrom as one of their own, “Frank” urged Jan and Goran to drop the investigation.
“Very simple,” he warned. The South African government together with the Swedish government have agreed to drop this and no investigation has been carried out.”
Neither the South African nor Swedish governments responded to requests for comment.
As of 2020, Jan has made further breakthroughs in the case and wants it to be reopened.
He was given a walkie-talkie found at the scene – possibly belonging to one of the killers – and sent it for DNA analysis. But he needs police involvement to compare findings.
He also discovered the prosecutor ordered the destruction of physical evidence in the case in 2009.
He believes the AI can decipher it by finding links in the now digitized document about the case.
“You’re going to need the whole investigation and the only people with that access are the police,” he said.
Man Playing with Fire is available to watch on Sky Documentaries and Now from 9pm on May 14.