I remember waking up on the morning of March 1st, 1986! That’s twenty nine years ago, and that morning is still a quite vivid memory. Sometimes, when watching crime shows on TV, you hear the interrogator asking the suspect; ‘Where were you on xx date xxxx year??’ In the fictional ones, they always seem to remember what they did some ten years ago. That’s not normal, unless something exceptional happened.
Well, in my case it had …and not only my case, every Swede! I lived in Eskilstuna, I’d been out in some bar the night before and slowly dragged myself out of bed, turned on the TV before getting coffee ready. Instead of the breakfast-TV that was normally on, on a Saturday morning, there was some strange text scrolling all over the screen. I caught one headline that said “Ingvar Carlsson new head of state”. As I wasn’t fully awake yet, I didn’t really react – just thought, sort of ‘in passing’ …’Oh, well where’s Palme then??’ [Palme being the prime minister of Sweden at the time].
Once I’d got a mug of coffee in my hand, I sat down on the couch to read … and it was chilling! It took a long while for it to sink in:
Statsminister Olof Palme är död. Han avled sedan han skjutits ner i korsningen Tunnelgatan-Sveavägen i centrala Stockholm. Palme fördes till Sabbatsbergs sjukhus där han senare avled.
Prime Minister Olof Palme is dead. He was shot, it took place in the intersection Tunnelgatan – Sveavägen in central Stockholm. He was taken to Sabbatsberg Hospital where he later died from his injuries.
I’m not a very political person and even less back then, but this was HUGE. It was like waking up from some rosy dream, only to realise that reality is brutal. I think me, and most of my fellow country men and women [Palme included, he had NO security staff with him] were like “It doesn’t happen here!” Now the endless hunt for his killer ensued, but the murder has never been solved.