Clark fact vs fiction: How much of the Netflix show is true?

Clark on Netflix
Clark on Netflix /

Bill Skarsgård stars in Clark, a new Netflix miniseries that follows the true story of Clark Olofsson. The titular character is a Swedish criminal who makes a name for himself in the 1970s for charming the general public despite his various wrongdoings. Throughout the six episodes, Clark breaks out of prison a whopping 17 times, is involved in multiple robberies, and even gets into drug trafficking. Oh yeah, and he also attacks and stabs someone repeatedly.

How does Clark not spend more time in prison for all of his crimes? You’ll have to watch the new show to find out. If you want to learn what parts of Clark actually happened in real life, we’re here to break down the biggest moments. You might be surprised to learn that a lot of what happens in the show really went down, despite each episode opening up with the disclaimer that the show is “based on truth and lies.”

Did Clark Olofsson inspire the term “Stockholm Syndrome”?

Yes! The real-life Clark Olofsson’s biggest claim to fame would probably be the fact that he inspired the term “Stockholm Syndrome.” In 1973 while imprisoned, Olofsson’s peer Jan-Erik Olsson attempted to rob a bank and took multiple people as hostage inside. He requested to have Olofsson come to the bank, and as the police feared for the hostages’ lives, they listened.

Olofsson spent six days inside the bank with Olsson and the hostages, forming friendships with the captives with his charm. Just like in the show, the hostages didn’t trust the police and instead took a liking to Olofsson who made them feel at ease. This event is now known as the Norrmalmstorg robbery. Reportedly, Olofsson stayed in contact with one of the captives, Kristin Enmark.

The official definition of Stockholm syndrome, as told Brittanica, is the “psychological response wherein a captive begins to identify closely with his or her captors, as well as with their agenda and demands.”

Did Clark Olofsson escape prison?

Just like Clark does in the show, the real-life Olofsson did escape from prison multiple times. He started his string of escapes by sneaking out of a juvenile institution, and followed that up with several escapes from real prisons in Sweden. In the show, he escapes a whopping 17 times, though the exact number for the real-life Olofsson is not confirmed.

Did Clark Olofsson marry someone named Marijke?

Though we don’t know just how promiscuous the real-life Clark Olofsson is, we do know that he did marry a woman named Marijke from Belgium just like in the show. The pair wed in 1976 and called it quits by 1999. They share three children, and Olofsson has three other kids from previous relationships.

Clark on Netflix /

Did Clark Olofsson almost kill someone during Midsummer?

In Clark on Netflix, the titular character makes a shocking decision while intoxicated when he gets into an argument with someone at a Midsummer celebration. He stabs the man repeatedly, but fortunately the man survives. Did this actually happen? Well, according to the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, Olofsson “severely abused” a fisherman named Leif Sundin in Möja during a trip for Midsummer, and was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

That said, we don’t have specific details on what this abuse entailed exactly. The scene in the show is certainly chilling.

You can stream all six episodes of Clark now on Netflix.

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