Swedish authorities on Wednesday named their main suspect in the 1986 murder of then-Prime Minister Olof Palme but said they closed the case since the suspect is now dead.
The authorities identified Stig Engstrom, a graphic designer, as Palme’s probable killer.
The announcement ended a decades-long investigation. More than 10,000 people have been questioned since 1986, chief investigator Hans Melander said during an online news conference, adding that 134 individuals have claimed responsibility for the murder.
“We can’t get around one person as the perpetrator: he is Stig Engstrom,” said Chief Prosecutor Krister Petersson, who took over the case in 2017.
Palme, 59, was shot in the back at close range as he walked home from a cinema in central Stockholm with his wife, having already dismissed his security team for the day. The murder took place on Feb. 28, 1986.
Engstrom was known in the Swedish media as the “Skandia man” because he worked at the Skandia insurance company’s headquarters near the crime scene. He was known to have been present at the scene of the murder and was questioned by the police several times.
Engstrom, who was known among friends and relatives to be an open critic of Palme’s policies, is understood to have committed suicide in 2000.
Sweden’s current Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven, said Wednesday that Palme’s murder “turned into a crisis, a wound, a riddle without an answer.”
“It had been a day full of emotions,” Lofven said, adding that the conclusions presented on Wednesday were “as close to the truth as one can get.”