The Lorenskog Disappearance, a true-crime drama on Netflix, centres on the search for a billionaire’s wife who vanished. We learn how different perspectives approach a case and what it implies for the victim as well as the accused because the story is told from the perspectives of many people who are trying to solve the crime, each seeking to uncover the truth in their own manner. The show emphasises the human element of the narrative by giving the investigators more detailed backstories while guiding the audience through all the elements that make this case so intriguing. This method of storytelling holds the audience’s attention and provides the conclusion additional significance. Here, we dissect the series’ climax and consider what it implies for the Hagen case. Spoilers follow.
When Tom Hagen gets home on October 31, 2018, he learns that his wife has been taken. Millions of dollars have been demanded in a ransom note in exchange for the safe return of his wife. The note further cautions him from using the police or the media since doing so would put pressure on the kidnappers and force them to take harsh measures against Hagen’s wife. Despite the cautions, Hagen sneakily visits the police and begs them to keep their probe quiet. The police choose to conceal the case, but only for a short time.
The police find that their efforts are hampered on various levels when trying to solve a case while running from the culprits. Additionally, the kidnappers don’t appear overly keen to negotiate for the money, and as time goes on, the police become more and more convinced that Hagen’s wife may not be alive due to the lack of any evidence to the contrary. Weeks later, they make the decision to make the case public in the hopes that the leads generated by the publicity will help them make a breakthrough. However, it merely draws a large number of con artists looking to capitalise on the situation and amateur investigators using the Internet to develop their own ideas.
Eventually, the police decide that they need to look into other possibilities regarding the disappearance, which requires them to begin investigating the husband—the most likely suspect in these situations. As Tom Hagen is under investigation, a media trial gets underway, dividing the reporters and internet sleuths into for and against camps as the police scramble to make an arrest.
Since a person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty, and since the police have not presented any convincing evidence of Tom Hagen’s guilt, Hagen is still presumed innocent of the crime that was committed against his wife. In the second half of the programme, we see the police going over every detail of the case, particularly what Hagen had told them in light of his guilt. What at first appeared to be a cooperative move on his part is beginning to appear to be a well-planned deception to divert the police’s attention from him. More information begins to surface as the police delve more into the case and Hagen’s personal life, but none of it is specific enough to support a formal charge against Hagen.
The investigation finally finds a fresh direction after an informant comes forward with some information. The police believed Hagen must have had assistance from someone because he had always had a solid alibi, but they were unable to identify that person. The names of a few criminals eventually surface. There are claims that Hagen once used the services of an escort by the name of Astoria. He was unaware that she had been a part of a scheme to extort money from wealthy individuals like him. The police are then directed to Edon Imani and the Kirap gang by the mention of a man by the name of Peter Wam.
Even if it appears that their source is telling the truth, the police need to be able to link at least one of the criminals to Hagen in order to prove their case. They attempt to detain Peter Wam, but since he is in Spain, it is simpler for him to escape their grip. He eventually manages to fly to Dubai. Without him, the police are unable to continue their investigation into Imani and Kirap, therefore their case has reached a standstill. Additionally, their informant commits suicide while incarcerated, which not only is a terrible moral disappointment but also deprives the police of any justification for carrying out any investigations into the offenders.
Jorunn Lakke eventually loses interest in the case. It appears that despite their prolonged efforts, they were unable to reach any firm conclusions. Hagen, in the meantime, conducts an interview to present his perspective on the incidents and his sentiments towards the police’s attempt to place the responsibility on him. Hagen is recognised by Lakke’s father as a former classmate who was quiet but kind. Hagen hasn’t done anything wrong, Lakke says when he asks if she has. This implies that even if she thought Hagen had actually killed his wife, she would be unable to substantiate her claim in court since she lacks the necessary evidence.
The absence of a crucial piece of evidence, the dead corpse, is what makes disappearance cases so challenging to solve. Because Anne-Elisabeth was never located, the question of what happened to her remains just that—a mystery. The method of death can reveal a lot about a crime. The police have little doubt that Anne-Elisabeth is dead by this point given the minimal contact with the abductors. Even if they had managed to keep her alive at first, given how much time has elapsed since then and the fact that they were never paid the ransom they first requested, it seems unlikely that they would have managed to keep her in captivity for this long. Despite the fact that every evidence suggests she is dead, the police are forced to admit that neither life nor death has been proven.
The search for Anne-Elisabeth, who vanished in October 2018, has not produced any conclusive results over the years. On the Internet, there are numerous hypotheses and conjectures about what happened to her. Some claim that her husband killed her, while others surmise that she fled because she didn’t want to get married. The police also looked into the possibility that Tom Hagen was associated with some criminals whom he supposedly paid to do the job, but they were unable to uncover any evidence to support this theory. Therefore, all they now have is circumstantial evidence, which is sufficient for speculating but not for legal purposes. There hasn’t been any concrete evidence to date that can definitively address the question of what actually occurred to Anne-Elisabeth Hagen, whose case is still active.
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