What Happened To Missing Billionaire Carl Erik Bjorkegren?

There are billionaires who lost their entire fortunes, then there are billionaires like Carl Erik Björkegren, who got lost himself. It may initially seem like a case of a super-rich and shady businessman skipping town to avoid paying a hefty debt, but on further inspection, the case of the missing Swedish billionaire is quite the mystery. According to John Knows Nothing, the industry magnate disappeared on June 2, 1994, from his beach house in Viken, Sweden. Björkegren was riding high in the 1980s, getting rich on investments in manufacturing and real estate, but a conviction for insider trading — the first in Sweden's history — and a housing market collapse toward the end of the decade tanked his fortune, and by the time of his disappearance, he was $350 million in debt. 

While bailing on his debt may seem the most logical explanation, it's just one of several theories about the disappearance of billionaire Carl Erik Björkegren that don't seem to add up. For example, on the day he disappeared, Björkegren had packed a bag to go to Stockholm to finalize his divorce. When his butler discovered he'd vanished, the only thing missing was Björkegren's passport. He could have skipped town and bought new clothes, but he never touched his Swiss bank account nor contacted anyone from his family after his disappearance, leading to the formulation of other theories about what happened to him.

Several theories try to explain Bjorkegren's disappearance, but none quite cut it

Other theories explore the possibility that Björkegren was murdered, the first suspect being the butler who reported him missing. He was the last person to see the billionaire alive, and there are unsubstantiated rumors that he used things stolen from Björkegren — a Rolex watch and an expensive painting — to pay off his own personal debts. He was said to have enjoyed a life of luxury after Björkegren's disappearance, but in an interesting twist to this theory, the butler himself is now missing. Another theory pins Björkegren's disappearance on organized crime. A cartel informant said Björkegren owed tens of millions of dollars to a criminal gang. 

The last theory was published in August 2020, when Swedish journalist Elisabet Höglund stated publicly that a source of hers had told her what had happened to Björkegren. The anonymous witness told her years ago that business partners of Björkegren's had kidnapped him, killed him, then balanced his dead body on the pontoon of a helicopter to take it out over a fjord, then perform a sideways maneuver that caused the body to fall into the water. This one is particularly full of holes, considering its anonymous source and the needlessly risky behavior of the alleged kidnappers. Björkegren was officially declared dead on November 11, 2005, and his case has since gone cold. We may never know what happened to missing billionaire Carl Erik Björkegren.