‘The Unlikely Murderer’ is a Swedish language crime drama that is a character study of one Stig Engström. Based on Thomas Pettersson’s novel ‘Den Osannolika Mördaren,’ the series examines the role of Engström in the murder of the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986. Engström presents himself as an eyewitness to the police and garners media attention.
However, his statements begin to appear cluttered, and people start to view Engström, an ordinary man, as a potential suspect in the high-profile murder case. If you have watched the series, you must be curious to learn more about the real-life of Stig Engström and his current whereabouts. We can certainly help quench your curiosity by sharing everything we know about Stig Engström, aka the “Skandia Man.”
Is Stig Engström a Real Person?
Yes, Stig Engström in ‘The Unlikely Murderer’ is based on a real person of the same name. Engström was born on February 26, 1934, in Bombay, India, to Swedish parents. At the age of twelve, he returned to Sweden and lived with his relatives before reuniting with his parents a few years later. Later in life, he became a graphic designer and worked for the Stockholm-based insurance company Skandia. Engström was married twice, but both his marriages ended in a divorce. He resided in Täby (now a part of the Stockholm urban area) for the majority of his adult years. Engström was also a member of the Moderate Party, albeit his association was very brief.
On the night of Palme’s assassination, Engström was working at the Skandia office on the same street as which Palme was shot. He is believed to have left the office just a few minutes before the gunshot. Engström presented himself as a witness in the case and appeared in various media outlets to explain his account of the night’s events. However, he was ruled out early on as a suspect by the police. His media appearances earned him the name Skandia Man.
Where is Stig Engström Now?
According to separate private investigations led by writers Lars Larsson and Thomas Pettersson, Engström is at least a suspect in the Palme murder case. Larsson’s findings were published in the book ‘Nationens Fiende’ (‘Enemy of the Nation’) in 2016. Thomas Pettersson’s theory first appeared in the Filter magazine and was published as a book ‘Den Osannolika Mördaren’ (‘The Unlikely Murderer’) in 2018.
Subsequently, on June 10, 2020, Swedish Prosecuting Authority’s investigator, Krister Petersson, announced Engström as the prime suspect in the Palme murder case. No motives or evidence were provided, and the case was closed on the account that Engström had passed away.
Stig Engström passed away on June 26, 2000, at the age of 66. Although the exact cause of death remains unknown, it has been stated that he died by suicide. It was reported that Engström had been dead for several days when his body was found alongside an empty whiskey bottle and some painkillers.
Petersson has said that since Engström is dead, he cannot be prosecuted, and therefore the case was being closed. The case goes down as one of the most prolonged investigations of a murder case and is ultimately unsolved. The public reaction to the naming of Engström as a prime suspect has been divisive, and he has never been proven guilty.
Read More: Where Was The Unlikely Murderer Filmed?