Swedish sect murder case set to feature in HBO documentary

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Swedish sect murder case set to feature in HBO documentary
Buildings belonging to the parish in Knutby, which was formally closed down in 2018. Photo: Pontus Lundahl / TT

HBO Nordic is reportedly working on a documentary about the Knutby sect murder case, a killing in a small town which gripped the country at the time.


The streaming service is planning a series revolving around the Knutby murder case, according to Expressen's TV blog which was first to report the news.

The small town near Uppsala was rocked by the murder of a young woman and the non-fatal shooting of a man in 2004. The murdered woman's husband was a pastor in the local pentecostal church, described by many as "cult-like", and the day after the murder, his former nanny confessed to the killing.

It later emerged that the pastor had manipulated the nanny through anonymous text messages she interpreted as messages from God. 

In May 2019, new charges were brought against three former members of the congregation, unrelated to the 2004 case.

READ ALSO: How a small Swedish town ended up at the centre of a sect murder

HBO Nordic confirmed to Expressen that the company was in "advanced stages of development of a documentary series about Knutby", but could not comment further.

Journalists Anton Berg and Martin Johnson are reportedly working on the documentary series. 

The duo are best known in Sweden for true crime podcast Spår (meaning 'track' or 'trace'), which has looked into some of the best known criminal cases in Swedish history, and whose first series helped acquit one man from murder charges after 13 years behind bars.

The series would be the latest of HBO Nordic's efforts to invest in Swedish original series. 

Its first Nordic series Gösta, which follows a child psychologist who moves from Stockholm to a small rural town, had its premiere earlier this year, and a TV series based on bestselling Swedish author Fredrik Backman's novel Björnstad (Beartown in Swedish translation) is also in the works.

Rival streaming giant Netflix has also invested in Scandinavian original series, including Swedish-language crime drama Quicksand which was launched in April.

READ MORE: Swede acquitted of murder after 13 years in jail – thanks, in part, to a podcast


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