The planet is gripped by the coronavirus. Norway is gripped by a second matter. The New York Times reports on the "national obsession" that's been in force for 18 months now: What happened to Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen? The 68-year-old, who is married to one of the country's richest men, vanished from her suburban Oslo home on Oct. 31, 2018. The evidence was scant: a shoe print, some blood stains, and on the couple's bed, a "poorly written, but highly detailed, ransom note asking for $9.5 million, to be paid in an obscure cryptocurrency called Monero." A major development came in late April, when husband Tom Hagen was arrested on suspicion of murder or complicity to murder.
Police said they didn't believe there was ever an abduction, and that the negotiations that sporadically occurred in the months since weren't "genuine." But on May 8, Hagen was released, with a panel of judges ruling there "were no reasonable grounds for suspicion of my client," per his lawyer. The full Times piece looks at the cast of characters involved in the case, who wouldn't seem out of place in a TV detective series. Among them: "a jazz-loving police detective" and "two hotshot investigative reporters," one a dad covered in tattoos, the other a 26-year-old who drives a 2000 Porsche 911. "We've never seen anything like this in Norway," a former Oslo police chief tells the Times. "I follow every twist and turn, every development." (Read the full story here, which talks about the lack of security at the couple's home despite a fortune said to near $200 million.)