Out of Thin Air
In December 1976 six suspects confessed to the murders of Gudmundur Einarsson and Geirfinnur Einarsson. The incarceration of the suspects ended what had become a national crisis in a small country accustomed to a lack of criminal activity. The six suspects served prison terms, with one of them receiving the longest sentence in Icelandic history – life plus one year.
But in the next few months, Iceland’s state prosecutor will exonerate the six suspects of the crimes they confessed to over four decades ago. This unprecedented act is due to a formal acknowledgement that the suspects were suffering from “Memory Distrust Syndrome”
– an established psychological condition in which an individual doubts the accuracy of their memory concerning the content and context of events which they have experienced – often as a result of coercive interrogation techniques.
Due to a combination of lengthy interrogations, long periods of solitary confinement and the intense pressure of the case, the suspects fabricated their own involvement in a crime that none of them committed. Some of the suspects were so badly afflicted that, to this day, they are unsure of whether or not they committed a murder.
This is a taut psychological thriller where nothing is as it seems.
Director: Dylan Howitt
Executive Producer: Andy Glynne
Mosaic Films & Sagafilms Production for BBC Storyville