The prosecutor has pointed out a prime suspect, someone was even convicted earlier, but still the murder of Olof Palme is a cold case. After all, we don’t know who committed the murder, and the investigation has been officially shut down.
Stig Engström, the investigation leader’s official prime suspect, took his secret with him to the grave. If there was a secret at all: even prosecutor Krister Petersson expressed doubt in 2020 that the suspicions were strong enough for a conviction. And Christer Pettersson (yes, the names are confusing), who did get convicted in 1989, was acquitted a few months later because the evidence was very thin.
Now more than a decade ago, Marc Pennartz read the report of the commission of inquiry that had assessed the quality of the Palme investigation in the 1990s. A chapter about a man codenamed GH caught his attention. After nearly 950 pages of hypotheses that had been consigned to oblivion by police investigations, this was the first chapter that contained nothing that argued in favor of the suspect in question.
Marc started researching and in 2021 published the book De vermoedelijke moordenaar van Olof Palme (The Suspected Murderer of Olof Palme), which chronicled GH’s life and placed the suspicion in a broader context, showing there were many more indications than the commissioners already reported. Although the book appeared only in Dutch, it got noticed by experienced Swedish documentary-researcher Peter Isaksson. Two years later, they collaborate on The Palme Assassination: The Lost Trail, a documentary by Moonstep Documentaries.
The book about GH also received attention in the Netherlands and in Belgium, where Pennartz lives. Reviews called it a textbook example of investigative journalism that leaves no doubt about who Palme’s killer is. Pennartz was also recently invited to give a presentation on the murder of Olof Palme at the Cold Case Campus in Belgium (see photos). This is an event with lectures and workshops for people with a deep interest in investigating unsolved murders and disappearances.
The Cold Case Campus is organized by Bureau Van Meerbeeck, a non-profit foundation that investigates cold cases at the request of victims’ relatives. On Oct. 22, 2023, the event will be held again. Pennartz will then have just returned from filming in Sweden. This cold case is starting to get very hot.
Photography: AenF Foto Atelier