23 Aug: The ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ Robbery

Stockholm Syndrome – the condition in which hostages develop a psychological bond with their captors during captivity – was named after a bank robbery that began on 23rd August, 1973. It lasted for five days, with 73% of the Swedish public tuning in to watch it.  

The robber was Jan-Erik Olsson, who pulled a loaded submachine gun, fired at the ceiling and, disguising his voice to sound like an American, cried out in English, “The party has just begun!”.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly unpick how Olsson endeared himself to his hostages; consider what criminologists detected that inspired them to create a new ‘syndrome’; and explain how the story ended in a Thai supermarket…

Further Reading: