Origin: Stockholm Syndrome

First of all, what is the history of the Stockholm syndrome and why this choice? A hostage-taking took place on 23 August 1973, after the robbery of the Credit Bank of Stockholm. Jan-Erik Olsson escaped from prison and broke into the bank. In one hand he has a machine gun and in the other hand he has a suitcase full of explosives. Opulent, he wears a big wig, big glasses, made up with blush and eyebrow pencil. A whimsical character, it is true. All the more so as he is the protagonist of a less known anecdote against him, but not the least important one. He once went to rob an elderly couple. When he broke in, he came face to face with the owners of the house. Luckily, the man is tetanized and suffers from heart problems. Seeing him dying, his wife asks the thief to bring her a medicine to combat this symptom. Jan-Erik accepts and goes quietly to fetch the box of medicine. He then continues his burglary, leaving the couple on his side: Epic.

The best known case of this syndrome: Natascha Kampusch.

Kidnapped since the age of 10 in 1998 by Wolfgang Přiklopil, this Austrian girl spent 8 years in a converted cellar. Where the Stockholm syndrome can be explained is that she herself admits that this abduction gives her a security and attention that she did not have before with her parents. There is, undeniably, more than just a sign of affection between the two characters. An affection such that they both went to restaurants and went skiing. Outings that will have pushed Wolfgang to interpret this overture by Natascha as a proof of love. He will want to marry her but will realise that their common history would be doomed to failure. This is why he will let her escape without holding her back in the middle of August. She has written an autobiography – later made into a film called 3,096 Days – and currently lives in Vienna. Yet the most intriguing unanswered question concerns the mysterious “suicide” of Franz Kröll, the allegedly incorruptible Vienna police colonel who headed the investigation into the Kampusch case until 2010.

Jan-Erik Olsson.

Natascha Kampusch.