Swedish sect murder case set to feature in HBO documentary

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.

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

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

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Sweden Democrat politician charged for dismembering colleague

The former politician has been charged on suspicion of murdering his colleague in an apartment south of Stockholm, after police found body parts in three different locations in the capital.

Sweden Democrat politician charged for dismembering colleague

According to the prosecution, the body parts found in plastic bags in central Stockholm came from a man in his 60s murdered in an apartment in Nyköping, south of Stockholm.

The man is said to have been killed by a pistol shot to the head, after which the 60-year-old charged with the murder dismembered the body.

The suspected murderer, who newspaper Expressen reports is a former Sweden Democrat politician, is said to have moved the body parts multiple times, eventually dumping them across the city.

In total, three body parts were found in two different locations – the Karlsberg canal and in the Djurgården park. Not all parts of the body have yet been found.

“We’ve carried out a comprehensive investigation into the victim and the suspect. We can, to some extent, show how and when the suspect moved the body parts,” prosecutor Marina Chirakova told TT.

The victim, who according to Expressen was also a former Sweden Democrat politician, had been friends with the suspected murderer for a number of years. Prosecutors did not comment on the motive behind the murder.

“That will be discussed in the main hearings,” she told TT.

The suspect was taken into custody in November last year after being arrested in Nyköping. He denies the charges, but accepts certain circumstances related to the case.

Upon his arrest, he resigned from his political obligations and his membership was frozen by the Sweden Democrats.

“I don’t want to comment on his stance on the charges or anything he has said,” she further told TT.

The murder is suspected to have taken place between August 30th and September 16th last year.