True Crime Sweden is a fascinating podcast that tells stories from the darker side of Sweden in English. Check out the official website here.
Tack så mycket för intervju, Pernilla!
Who are you? Tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Pernilla, I live in Stockholm, Sweden with my family. I love to travel, and learn about other countries and their culture. I’m also very interested in psychology and how the human mind works.
When and how did you become interested in true crime?
I think my interest for True Crime started when I was very young. The first case I can remember following happened when I was 14. It was a girl named Helen Nilsson who was only 10-years-old when she went missing in 1989. She was found dead 6 days later and had been kept alive for 3-4 days. A man was convicted of her murder in 2004.
I started thinking about what she had been through and how someone could do that to another human being, and a child at that. That’s where my fascination started.
When did the idea of creating a podcast occur to you?
I’ve been listening to podcast for a long time, mostly to true crime podcasts. And I kept hearing the same cases over and over again on different podcast, and saw the potential for a podcast about Swedish True Crime cases. I started to think about starting True Crime Sweden in the end of 2016, and I purchased the domain in the beginning of 2017. And then it took a while to get everything in order, lots of things to learn.
How do you create an episode?
I do a lot of research. I make sure I have the transcripts from the police investigation and also the court transcripts, and of course I also look at news articles from the case. I write a complete story, and then record and edit. I would say I spend somewhere between 30-50 hours on each episode.
Sweden is generally known as a friendly, peaceful country. What is the Swedish “crime landscape” like? What kinds of crimes are typical in Sweden?
I think the crime climate is changing in Sweden. We have very restrictive gun laws, but there are a lot of illegal weapons now days, and there are almost daily shootings in some neighborhoods. We also see a large increase in break-ins, probably due to our open borders.
What are the “classic” unsolved crimes in Sweden?
Of course, the assassination of Prime minister Olof Palme comes to mind first. But there are several; The disappearance of Helena Andersson, 22, in 1992 is one that I always come back to. She disappeared on her way home from a night out, they found her shoes on a walking path close to her home with blood stains on them. But the case has never been solved.
Do you have a theory about the Olof Palme assassination?
I don’t know if I want to go down that rabbit hole. My strongest guess is that it was someone close to, or inside, the police headquarters. There has been such an amazing cover up so anything else would be strange. There were a lot of people inside the police who talked openly about their hatred for Olof Palme before the shooting.
How about other mystery genres: UFOs, ghosts etc. – what are the classic cases in Sweden?
The most well-known mystery is probably the one about “Storsjöodjuret”, or “Big Lake Beast” if you translate it. The Beast was first mentioned in writing in 1635 and some people still thinks that the Beast exist and lives in the lake named Storsjön next to Östersund in Northern Sweden.
In 1986 there was a law passed that says that people are not allowed to kill, harm or catch animals of the species “Storsjöodjur” (if that even is a species?).
In June 2008, four web cameras and one heat camera were place on a islet close by the lake. And they captured “something” on tape, personally I’m not convinced it’s a beast.
Sweden produces a lot of detective novels and crime-themed TV shows, such as Wallander, Beck etc. I would imagine the country’s interest in such stories is a kind of compensation for the relatively peaceful circumstances of life in Sweden. Do you agree?
I’ve never thought of it like that, but that might be true. But we do have a lot of wonderful crime authors in Sweden, Camilla Läckberg, Stieg Larsson and a new favorite of mine – Sofie Sarenbrant.
There was a devastating terrorist attack in Stockholm last Spring. Has that changed things in Sweden in any way, or are people just going on with their lives normally like before the attack?
I think the Swedish people are trying hard not to let the terrorists win. People were standing on Drottninggatan (where the attack took place) giving out hugs for weeks after the attack, to show everyone that love concurs all.
Personally, I always take out one of my earpieces (I always listen to something) when I walk in a public place, to be able to hear if something happens behind me.
Coming back to your podcast, what can we expect from True Crime Sweden in the future?
I’m going to continue to deliver interesting cases from Sweden, either weekly or biweekly depending on how much time I have on my hands. I really love podcasting, and I’m learning as I go along, so I think it’s going to get better with each episode.
Where can people keep up with True Crime Sweden?
My podcast is available on iTunes, Google Play and a lot of other Podcast providers. Just search for True Crime Sweden. You can also stream episodes from my homepage truecrimesweden.com
Anything else you’d like to add that I didn’t ask about?
Nothing comes to mind. Just wanted to say thanks for having me!
And finally, my regular questions.
Your top 3 films?
The Silence of the Lambs
The boy in the striped pyjamas
Your top 3 books?
The hidden child by Camilla Läckberg
The die is cast by Jenny Rogneby
Killer Deal by Sofie Sarenbrant
What model phone do you use?
Iphone 7 (need to upgrade)