The Lorenskog Disappearances is the latest Netflix crime drama, a dramatic semi-fictional retelling of a high-profile case that shocked Norway back in 2019. So what actually happened?
Well, the story goes like this. Norwegian billionaire Tom Hagen left his mansion in Lorenskog one morning to visit his office at Futurum business park. In his absence, his wife, Anne-Elisabeth Hagen, is kidnapped and held to ransom.
With clear signs of a struggle inside the house, and a letter left behind threatening to harm or kill Anne if Tom and his family contact the police and media, things don’t look good. Not only that but the kidnappers also ask for 9 million euros to be paid through Monero cryptocurrency. Only then will she be returned safely. They also unnervingly claim to have been keeping an eye on the family for a while so will know if he goes to the police.
Tom does get the cops involved though, who discreetly start a covert operation to find out exactly who has taken Anne – and why. They do their best to keep it out of the media, but it’s only a matter of time before they get involved.
When traces of blood inside the house are found to have been seemingly wiped clean, not to mention other suspicious elements to this case, the clues don’t quite add up.
18 months into the case, Tom Hagen is arrested by police and the case is inevitably made public. The police do brief the media beforehand, while Tom Hagen denies all charges.
Tom claims that he and Anne were in a happy marriage, and further exploration into Tom’s life seems to point toward a distinct lack of technological knowledge. This makes it doubtful that he’d be the crypto-kidnapper, so the police regrettably release him from custody, ten days after his arrest.
Erlend – the journalist we meet in episode 2 onward – believes that Tom is guilty, pointing out how one-sided the will is for Anne-Elisabeth to his colleague Aleks. Not only that, but Erlend’s own history of physical assault (namely that of his dad beating his mum, which we see in flashbacks) is another contributing factor toward his strong feelings.
In the end, Erlend is seen preparing an article to question Tom’s role in all this, along with scrutinizing the mainstream media for clearing him of suspicions.
A criminal named Mattis gets in touch with the police to cut a deal. He asks to be transferred to a prison with fewer restrictions in exchange for revealing important information on the Lorenskog case, which is where we are in episode 5.
When Jorunn sits down to talk, Mattis tells them about how he’s actually known Tom for a few years. Mattis was in collusion with a man named Peter Vam, and they both started a honeytrap scam for rich men. Together, they’d use attractive women to lure these guys into compromising positions, snapping photos and using that as blackmail.
Mattis learned that Vam was closely linked with two men called Edon and Allan Kirap. Apparently the Kirap gang had been told to help Edon with a plan, and they drove to Lorenskog in a van one night. The next morning they returned with a kidnapped woman. Could this have been Anne-Elisabeth?
The police certainly seem to think it’s a credible lead and attempt to arrest Peter. Unfortunately, as he’s in Spain, he manages to slip away and flies out to Dubai. With him gone, the police are at another dead-end. Not only that, but Mattis mysteriously dying by suicide in prison is another nail in the proverbial coffin for this case. This essentially destroys any chance they may have had in pursuing this lead further.
After many years of pursuing the case, Jorun Lakke becomes disillusioned and starts to lose faith that they’ll ever be able to wrap this up at all. In the end, during the final scene of the show, she perfectly sums this case up, sighing and exasperatingly uttering an “I don’t know.”
Meanwhile, Tom Hagen is still a successful businessman in Norway, and he goes on TV in a live interview to give his thoughts on what happened, including his thoughts on the police trying to pin the blame on him. As one may expect, he’s not happy. However, we’ll never know whether Anne-Elisabeth was kidnapped, if Tom Hagen killed his wife or if there’s another piece to the puzzle yet to be uncovered, as there’s just not enough evidence either way.
Read More: The Lorenskog Disappearances Season 1 Review