The Process of Arrest

“I was really tired. I was trying to accommodate them, but I didn’t know anything,” Bolladottir says. She told the police about a nightmare she had had on the night of Einarsson’s disappearance. She dreamt that she lay in bed listening to voices outside the window. “They were whispering, ‘Is she awake? Is she asleep?’”

From those fragments, Bolladottir says, the police began to construct an alternate reality: “They tried to convince me that this had not been a nightmare.” She was sent back to her cell, where over the next nine days, the questioning continued. “They really went into details. ‘Why was a bedsheet in the bin? Had it been used to wrap the body?’ I was trying to picture everything they told me.” At a certain point, the effort to visualise the details described by the police produced in her mind a picture that was vivid enough to seem real. Now the bedsheet, which hadn’t previously figured in Bolladottir’s dream, was not only imaginable but memorable too.

When the police asked, “Could it have been like this?” suddenly all things seemed possible. “I couldn’t deny that it could have been,” she says. “Somehow, between me and them, this story formed. And I never knew, did it come from me, or did it come from them?”

Out of Thin Air, Documentary, Netflix from September

The Gardian, 4 Aug. 2017: Deep Down I Knew It Didn’t Happen: The Woman Who Imagined A Murder

Operation Solstice  1985




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