Stockholm Syndrome Is Rare, According To The FBI, And The Name Can Be Tracked Back To A 1973 Bank Robbery

sergign - - illustrative purposes only

Fifty-one years ago, a failed bank robbery and accompanying hostage situation led to the development of the name “Stockholm syndrome,” a psychological condition in which victims form a bond with their captors. Ever since then, the term has been used in connection with hostage-takings all over the world.

Initially, Stockholm syndrome was called “Norrmalmstorg syndrome,” after the square where the bank heist happened.

Stockholm syndrome describes the emotional bond that can occur between hostages and their captors.

The people being held captive may feel sympathy toward their captors and their cause. They may also turn against police and other authority figures.

Experts consider it as a psychological defense or coping mechanism that some people experience to endure the extreme trauma of being held captive or abused.

According to one FBI study, Stockholm syndrome is rare, occurring in approximately 8 percent of hostage victims.

The name can be traced back to a bank robbery in the Swedish capital on August 23, 1973. That morning, a convicted thief known as Jan-Erik Olsson tried to rob a bank in downtown Sweden.

He was armed with a submachine gun and took four bank employees hostage. He demanded 3 million kronor, a bulletproof vest, and a getaway car.

He also requested that Clark Olofsson, his former jail mate, be released from prison and transported to the bank.

sergign – – illustrative purposes only

Sign up for Chip Chick’s newsletter and get stories like this delivered to your inbox.

1 of 2