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How to Earn a Cool Half Million


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Here's Claes Borgström in action, earning half a million USD. A bit of an explanation first.

These shots are from Hannes Råstam's excellent documentary on the Thomas Quick case. The first shot arrives at 29:17 into part one, the other shortly after at 30:35. Not a lot happening in between.

They're in the woods on a rainy day and it's Thomas Quick who's led them there. Around and around in circles for hours. Quick's the tall dude in the light blue jacket. Standing to his left in the long green coat is his shrink from the hospital where they're keeping him.

And standing to her left is the redoubtable Claes Borgström. And as always, he has his hands in his pockets. In almost all the shots of Borgström on the Quick case, he has his hands in his pockets. Until now. When Borgy really stretches it and finally starts to earn his keep.

What's Claes Borgström doing there? Aside from picking up a paycheck? What are any of them doing there?

Thomas Quick is an institutionalised mess. He's in a prison hospital because he got pissed off at the people in his own bank office and robbed them. The authorities reckoned Quick was a bit round the bend and so sent him to an official funny farm instead of up the river. That's where he got 'institutionalised'.

The woman in the long green coat tried to make a career out of Thomas Quick. She was going to be the new Sigmund Freud. Or something like that. So she gets Quick to talk to her several hours every day. What a thrill for Quick.

She keeps asking him leading questions. Out of her own world of fantasy. And Quick, stuck on a couch, starts complying and making shit up. He just makes shit up.

The next thing you know, he's telling them he's a serial killer. It was all bullshit. He confessed to over thirty (30) killings, many of which involved supposed victims that were found to be alive. Nobody cared. As long as he got it right some of the times.

So here he is in a forest and he's told them he'll show them where a body is. Another of his victims. And Claes Borgström is his new public defender. The old one quit after two years because it was so much bullshit. The old one naturally wondered WTF was going on. But when he asked the others, he was told to shut the F up.

This of course went against his code of ethics and so he resigned. And they called in Claes Borgström. Claes Borgström was smarter than to utter a word of protest. The pay was great! Just keep your hands in your pockets.

So anyway Thomas Quick gets them into the forest on a rainy day. He's going to show them where he buried the body. Except there is no body. And poor Thomas Quick can't figure out how to get out of the mess he's in. He's said afterwards he was hoping the others would call his bluff, would say 'oh cut the bullshit'. But none of them ever did.

'So show us where the body is, Thomas!' they say. And Thomas takes off. 'It's over here! I remember now!' So they follow him for a while. And poor Thomas doesn't have a clue where he's going. So he just walks around in circles.

And after a while he tells them 'oh no it's not here after all I think it's over there!' And so they start going off in another direction.

This goes on for hours.

Finally Thomas Quick can't take it anymore. He can't admit he's bullshitting - he's institutionalised. And he sure can't show them a body that doesn't exist. So what does he do?

You gotta figure out how to change the subject in a situation like that!

That lady in the long green's got Thomas pretty heavily drugged - far more drugs than are allowed today. But now the drugs are wearing off. So Thomas uses this to start 'shaking'.

He had it down pat. And they swallowed it hook line and sinker. He'd start shaking his head and letting out low ominous moans. This was easy because he already felt like shit.

So the lady in green puts her arm around him to comfort him. Thomas Quick doesn't need any comfort - he's a bullshit artist in a corner and he needs to get out of that forest! So things get worse and worse until one of the idiots others comes upon the idea to take Thomas back to his institution.

Here's the picture again in case you forgot it. And so you don't have to scroll up to see it.

Notice how Claes Borgström does his best to 'participate'. He's there because he's the public defender. But he's also been told to shut the F up and not interfere. So he's sort of 'leaning in' to listen to Thomas Quick moan.

So this moaning goes on for some time. For at least another seventy eight seconds. Then Claes Borgström finally decides to help out. Here he is helping out.

Notice Borgström gets his arm around the lady in green, not Thomas Quick. That's as close as he gets.

Such a sympathetic guy, that Claes Borgström. He just earned $500,000.

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