Murder By Hypnosis

In Copenhagen, Denmark, on March 29, 1951, Palle Hardrup, 33, walked into a bank, pulled out a gun, and demanded money. When it wasn’t turned over, he shot bank manager Hans Wisbom and teller Kaj Moller, killing them both. When Hardrup was arrested, he claimed that the murders and attempted robbery weren’t his fault because he had been hypnotized earlier in prison by his 39-year-old cellmate, Bjorn Nielsen. Three times a week over a 3-month period, Nielsen had supposedly hypnotized Hardrup and run him through the steps of the robbery. According to Hardrup, Nielsen had instructed him to ask for the money, and if the teller didn’t comply, he was to shoot that teller and ask the next one. Hardrup even admitted to an earlier robbery where he had turned over the stolen money to Nielsen. Nielsen was arrested for planning the robberies and for pushing Hardrup to shoot the two bank employees. After both men were tried, Hardrup was committed to a mental institution and Nielsen was given life in prison. Both were released after 18 years.