Victor Gunnarsson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Victor Gunnarsson (1953, Jämjö – between 3 and 4 December 1993) was a Swedish right-wing extremist, who was a suspect in the 1986 Olof Palme assassination.[1] He was later in turn murdered in 1993 in North Carolina by former police officer Lamont C. Underwood.[2]

Assassination of Olof Palme[edit]

Gunnarsson (labeled in the media 33-åringen, "the 33-year-old") was an early suspect for the assassination of Olof Palme on February 28, 1986, in Stockholm, Sweden. He was taken in for questioning a first time on March 8, but released the same evening, but taken in again on March 12. On March 17, he was taken into custody and the prosecutor made a request to the court to have him detained. After evidence against him had weakened, primarily due to less weight being placed on identification near the scene by one eyewitness, he was released on April 11. However, he continued to be the subject of continued telephone surveillance for some period of time.[3]

Gunnarsson had connections to various extremist groups and was a member of the European Workers Party, the Swedish branch of the LaRouche movement, for a year before being kicked out in 1985.[4] Also, anti-Palme pamphlets from this party, which had Palme as a target of much of their propaganda, were found in his home outside Stockholm.

Death[edit]

Gunnarsson's nearly naked body was found in a wooded area called Deep Gap about 86 miles from his apartment in Salisbury, North Carolina. He was shot twice in the head with a .22 caliber firearm. The time of death is placed between December 3 and December 4, 1993. Former policeman Lamont C. Underwood, the obsessive ex-fiance of a woman with whom Gunnarson was romantically involved, was convicted of Gunnarsson's murder in 1997 and sentenced to life imprisonment plus 40 years.[5] In January 2010, a judge sitting in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina ruled that Underwood had suffered from ineffective counsel and ordered that he be granted a new trial or be released from prison in 180 days. That decision was overturned and the new trial denied by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in January 2011. The appeals court ruled that even if Underwood's lawyers had been ineffective as he claimed, the evidence against him was so overwhelming that his counsels' alleged lack of competence would have been immaterial. Underwood continues to be incarcerated in Marion Correctional Institution [6] in North Carolina.[7]

In the media[edit]

Gunnarsson's murder was featured on the Court TV series Forensic Files and the Discovery Channel series The New Detectives.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Dagens Nyheter, September 2, 1993
  2. ^ Dagens Nyheter, February 2, 1994
  3. ^ De olika spåren i Palmeutredningen: 33-åringen var misstänkt, Sveriges Television 2006-02-23 (Swedish)
  4. ^ "Bombs hit LaRouche Paris office". Houston Chronicle. Apr 7, 1986. p. 6. 
  5. ^ http://www.leopoldreport.com/LRsajt27.html
  6. ^ http://webapps6.doc.state.nc.us/opi/viewoffender.do?method=view&offenderID=525542
  7. ^ "No new trial for L.C. Underwood". Salisbury Post. 13 January 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2012.