Palle Sørensen

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Palle Sørensen
Born Palle Mogens Fogde Sørensen
(1927-03-26) March 26, 1927 (age 89)
Residence Valby, Denmark
Nationality Denmark
Occupation Burglar
Known for Murdering four policemen
Criminal charge Murder
Criminal penalty Life
Criminal status On parole
Motive Escaping arrest
Conviction(s) Guilty
Partner(s) Norman Lee Bune
Time at large
Two days

Elmer Gert Jeppesen, 24
Aksel Dybdahl Andersen, 28
Gert Søndergaard Harkjær, 24

Henning Skov Hansen, 24
Date September 17, 1965
Country Denmark
Weapons Browning P35
Date apprehended
September 20, 1965

Palle Mogens Fogde Sørensen (born March 26, 1927) is a former small-time criminal who shot and killed four police officers on his way home after a break-in.

Early life[edit]

In 1949, shortly after his release from juvenile detention, Sørensen broke into the headquarters of Danish labor union Dansk Arbejdsmands Forbund (Today, 3F), where he blew open a safe and stole 130,000 kr. (equivalent to 17 years of average Danish salary), all of which he spent shortly after.[1] He later committed several burglaries and instances of insurance fraud, but was eventually caught and received a 5-year prison sentence.

After his release from prison, Sørensen was hired to produce aerials for the army, and for a while managed to bring his criminal lifestyle to a halt. However, in 1964, Sørensen encountered his former cellmate Norman Lee Bune, and resumed his former criminal activities of mainly burglaries.

Sørensen was early on known for his engineer-like prowess with technology and mechanics, and a 1958 article described Sørensen as a man with a skill for cracking safes.[1]


On September 17, 1965, Sørensen and Bune were caught breaking and entering by the house's owner, who subsequently called the police. The men fled the scene and police officers pursued. During the chase, Sørensen reached for his Browning P35 and shot four policemen, all of whom died from the sustained injuries.

The incident resulted in a major search operation, which ended as he after 48 hours turned himself in, commenting "[he] made the mistake of [his] life.[2]"


Sørensen was sentenced to life imprisonment on August 24, 1966.[3] Despite being a peaceful prisoner, he was considered the most dangerous convict in Denmark for many years,[3] and police unions pressured the authorities to grant him neither parole nor pardon.

He was granted parole after 32 years and eight months in prison – the longest time anyone has served in a Danish prison in modern history.[3]


Palle Sørensen's crime eventually led to the armament of Danish police officers.[4] The four officers murdered were given State funerals.[1]

The slogan of "4–0" has become a provocative outcry of anti-police demonstrators.


  1. ^ a b c Streader, Peter (February 2013). "Palle Sørensen – Half a lifetime in Prison". The Copenhagen Post – via Google+. 
  2. ^ Anthony, Noel (December 8, 1965). "Continental Diary". The Milwaukee Journal. Retrieved September 26, 2015 – via Google. 
  3. ^ a b c Pedersen, Niels (November 19, 2007). "Mordene der rystede Danmark" (in Danish). BT. Retrieved November 1, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Politiet får tjenestepistol" (in Danish). TV 2. Retrieved November 1, 2010.