If you're a fan of both Scandinavian dramas and true crime series, then The Unlikely Murderer – Netflix's upcoming offering – is for you.


The true crime drama is a partly fictionalised look at how Stig Engström, a graphic designer who became the prime suspect in the murder of former Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, could have committed the crime and evaded justice.

Sex Education's Mikael Persbrandt and Swedish comedian Robert Gustafsson star in the five-part series, which is based on Thomas Pettersson's book of the same name.
Read on for everything you need to know about the upcoming series, from when it arrives on Netflix to the true story behind it.

The Unlikely Murderer release date

The Unlikely Murderer arrives on Netflix on Friday 5th November at 7am.

What is The Unlikely Murderer about?

The Unlikely Murderer

The Unlikely Murderer is a true crime series which dramatises the murder of Sweden's prime minister Olof Palme and how graphic designer Stig Engstrom was named as the probable murderer.

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This fictional interpretation of how Engstrom, who was treated as an eye witness to the murder by police at the time and became a prime suspect in the case 34 years later, eluded justice up to his death "through a combination of audacity, luck and a perplexed police force".

"What do we know about Stig Engström? How could the police let him get away, despite being on his track?" Netflix teases. "The murder was not planned well, Engström did everything wrong from the beginning and almost no one believed his lies about what he actually did during that fateful night 1986 in Stockholm, Sweden."

The drama is based on a novel of the same name by Thomas Pettersson, who also served as a writer on the show and is a part fictionalised story based on Pettersson's findings.

Is The Unlikely Murderer a true story?

Olaf Palme, former Prime Minister of Sweden.
Olaf Palme, former Prime Minister of Sweden. Getty

The Unlikely Murderer is a five-part series and fictional interpretation on how Stig Engstrom – who became the main suspect in the murder of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme – got away with the crime.

On 28th February 1985, Sweden's Prime Minister Olof Palme was shot and killed whilst walking home from a cinema in central Stockholm.

Christer Pettersson – a man previously convicted of manslaughter – was convicted of the murder in 1988, but was later acquitted following an appeal.

Then in June 2020, a chief prosecutor in charge of the investigation, Krister Petersson, announced that that Stig Engström, a graphic designer who gave a witness testimony of the murder, was the prime suspect in the trial – although evidence against him would have been too weak for a trial.

The Unlikely Murderer cast

The series stars Robert Gustafsson as Stig Engström, while Sex Education star Mikael Persbrandt and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's Peter Andersson also feature.

The cast is rounded out by Swedish actors Eva Melander, Joel Spira, Emil Almén, Shanti Roney, Torkel Petterson, Henrik Norlén and Lia Boysen.

The Unlikely Murderer trailer

Netflix released a trailer for the true crime drama in October, giving fans a sneak-peek at Robert Gustafsson as suspected Olof Palme killer Stig Engström.

The Unlikely Murderer arrives on Netflix on Friday 5th November. Visit our Documentaries hub for more news and features.


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