On November 8, NRK premieres the new documentary “Therese – the girl who disappeared” In the five-episode long series, there are interviews with, among others, Therese’s mother, Inger-Lise Johannessen, as well as previous and current investigators of the case.
Producer in the production company Monster, Vanja Strømstad tells Dagbladet that the goal of the series is to get relevant tips that can lead to a solution.
– The goal when making such series is always to at least get the case moved, if you can not solve it. We would not have done it if we did not think there could still be someone out there who knows something. We will also get the information that if someone has a bad conscience and wants to confess, then it is without criminal liability, says Strømstad.
Disappeared without a trace
In 1988, nine-year-old Therese Johannessen disappeared without a trace from her home on Fjell in Drammen. More than 30 years later, the case is still unresolved. In 1998, Swedish Thomas Quick was convicted in the case after confessing to the abduction and murder of Therese. He later withdrew the confession, and the sentence has now been overturned.
In 2013, the case became criminally obsolete, which means that a possible perpetrator or perpetrators can no longer be prosecuted.
When asked if there will be new information in the series, Strømstad answers.
– Yes, it will.
– Can you say something about what kind of information it is?
– No, I can not say that at the moment.
Strømstad says that it has been a long process. The series began as an excavation project and throughout the project the production has worked closely with Therese’s family, and former investigators.
– It has gradually become a series about them. It has been a long process to figure out how to tell this. For us, it’s a lot about ethics. It is an obsolete case and it means that if you point in different directions at different people, then they are not entitled to an official acquittal either, since the case is obsolete. It has stood out very clearly to us, as something we must relate to. It became a unique portrait of the people in such a case, says Strømstad.
A prerequisite for the series to be made was that Therese’s mother, Inger-Lise Johannessen, should be involved.
– She hoped that someone could look at the case once again. She does not give up hope of getting an answer one day, and getting new tips in. That was the main motivation for us. In addition to the fact that there were both loose ends in the case, and it is a very comprehensive case that has gone over 32 years. It has affected the lives of quite a few people, and the whole frame story is the story of the people who have been closest to the case, the family and some investigators, says Strømstad.
Despite the fact that the case is outdated, and over 30 years old, Strømstad believes that the case is still relevant today.
– When we have worked with it, we see that it does not calm down. Of course not for the family, but also not for the investigators and the local community Fjell og Drammen. It’s a case you can not finish. It is very strong, there is a child who is gone. The fact that it has not been resolved is another pain in the ass, both for the police chamber, local communities and, of course, family and friends.