Palle Sørensen

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Palle Sørensen
Born Palle Mogens Fogde Sørensen
(1927-03-26)March 26, 1927
Copenhagen, Denmark
Died February 1, 2018(2018-02-01) (aged 90)
Residence Valby, Denmark
Nationality Danish
Occupation Burglar
Known for Murdering four policemen
Criminal status Deceased
Motive Escaping arrest
Conviction(s) Guilty
Criminal charge Murder
Penalty Life imprisonment (served 32 years, 8 months)
Partner(s) Norman Lee Bune
Time at large
Two days
Details
Victims

Four:

  • Elmer Gert Jeppesen, 24
  • Aksel Dybdahl Andersen, 28
  • Gert Søndergaard Harkjær, 24
  • Henning Skov Hansen, 24
Date September 17, 1965
Country Denmark
Weapon Browning P-35
Date apprehended
September 20, 1965

Palle Mogens Fogde Sørensen (March 26, 1927 – February 1, 2018[1]) was a Danish convicted murderer who shot and killed four police officers in 1965 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 with explosives stolen from a quarry and stole 130,000 kr., all of which he spent shortly after.[1][2]

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.[1]

Sørensen was early on known for his engineer-like prowess with technology and mechanics, and a 1958 article from the tabloid Ekstra Bladet described Sørensen as a man with a skill for cracking safes.[2] He had a gun collection in his mother's basement.[1]

Shootings[edit]

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 P-35 and shot four policemen, all of whom died from the sustained injuries.[1]

The incident resulted in a major search operation, which ended as he after 48 hours turned himself in, commenting "[I] made the mistake of [my] life.[3]"

Sentence[edit]

Sørensen was sentenced to life imprisonment on August 24, 1966.[4] Despite being a peaceful prisoner, he was considered the most dangerous convict in Denmark for many years,[4] and police unions pressured the authorities to grant him neither parole nor pardon.[1]

He was granted parole after 32 years and eight months in prison – at the time the longest period anyone had served in a Danish prison in modern history.[4]

Life after prison[edit]

Sørensen went live in Valby for the remainer of his live, confessing to a journalist he was still fascinated with safes.[1] He died on February 1, 2018.[1]

Legacy[edit]

Palle Sørensen's crime eventually led to the armament of Danish police officers.[5] The four murdered officers were given State funerals.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "The Copenhagen Post - Danish News in English". cphpost.dk (in DK). Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  2. ^ a b c Streader, Peter (February 2013). "Palle Sørensen – Half a lifetime in Prison". The Copenhagen Post – via Google+.
  3. ^ Anthony, Noel (December 8, 1965). "Continental Diary". The Milwaukee Journal. Retrieved September 26, 2015 – via Google.
  4. ^ a b c Pedersen, Niels (November 19, 2007). "Mordene der rystede Danmark" (in Danish). BT. Retrieved November 1, 2010.
  5. ^ "Politiet får tjenestepistol" (in Danish). TV 2. Retrieved November 1, 2010.