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The Lorenskog Disappearance review: A humdrum fictionalized true-crime drama about an unsolved case

The five-part mini-series, told from the perspective of the police, journalists and lawyers who worked on the case of Anne Elizabeth Hagen’s disappearance, doesn’t evoke much interest

The Lorenskog Disappearance review: A humdrum fictionalized true-crime drama about an unsolved case
A still from the mini series
  • Prathibha Joy

Last Updated: 03.00 AM, Sep 15, 2022


Story: When billionaire Tom Hagen’s wife Anne Elizabeth Hagen goes missing, presumably abducted from their home given that a ransom note, with payment instructions in a particular form of untraceable cryptocurrency, was left behind, police spring into action to find her. But as the days drag on and information comes to light that Anna was contemplating divorce and that the couple had a pre-nuptial agreement that would barely give her anything of his fortune, which could be challenged in a court of law, the line of investigation changes course and makes Tom the prime suspect.

Review: The five-part mini-series, The Lorenskog Disappearance, streaming currently on Netflix, is a dramatized retelling of a true-crime that took place in Norway in 2018, one that remains unsolved to date. As a viewer, the fact that the Norwegian police remains as clueless today as it was back in 2018 was the biggest downer while watching this series, the episodes of which vary between 45 – 50 minutes in run time. The appeal of whodunits is in finding out the who and why, which, is not the case here.

Anne Elizabeth Hagen has not been found in four years and the case remains unsolved. The Norwegian Police, though, has theories that her billionaire husband could have masterminded the abduction. Although she’d signed a pre-nup that would give her only a morsel of her husband’s fortune, Anna was apparently contemplating divorce prior to her abduction. Legal experts say that the pre-nup would not hold up in a court of law today and that Anna could have got a lot more if she’d gone ahead with her plans, but that was not to be. In most such cases, it’s the spouse who is the first suspect and Tom Hagen does too.

A still from the mini series
A still from the mini series

In his case, though, his reluctance to communicate with the kidnappers through a bitcoin server, and the fact that he’d had discussions about cryptocurrency and how untraceable it can be, lend credence to the theory that he could have orchestrated the abduction. The series takes its sweet time in establishing the investigation into the kidnapping, from the perspective of the cops and journalists. The trouble with that, though, is that none of it leads anywhere.

If you have seen Nordic series like The Killing or The Bridge, you’d know that the sense of urgency that kicks in with each passing day in an investigation makes for a more gripping viewing experience. That’s the Lorenskog Disappearance’s biggest failing – there’s no resolution to look forward to.

Verdict: When you have the lead investigator in the case finally admit that she has no idea if Tom Hagen did something wrong or not, it makes you wonder just why you just spent close to five hours watching this series. Almost four years since she went missing, there’s been no news of Anne, with the kidnappers never providing proof of life. It can be presumed that she is no more. But in the absence of a body, it remains a presumption. The fact that Norway does not have a statute of limitations in murder cases, and that Tom could be prosecuted anytime during his lifetime in the case of his wife’s abduction is also not intriguing enough.