Tag Archives: Harry Andersson

April 12 – Is there a Letter Man? By Coaching Detective

Centralabadet - the place of a murder

Harry was back on the job. Sunday had been OK and a quiet family day. His mind had been elsewhere though, circling like a helicopter closing in on a landing site or four vultures over a fresh carcass. Harry amazed himself being so predictable in his metaphors, so boring, so male. No chance of Harry imagining butterflies around a daffodil or a swallow diving to its nest. Alas, he was a cop, a man and born in the industrial town of Eskilstuna. Steel and machines. He had, of course, an EKA knife in his pocket at all times as a reminder of his father who worked for EKA most of his life. A bit of a paradox for him to carry a knife around as it was not even allowed to carry one in public since 1990. Amazingly enough every builder and carpenter wares his outfit, including a knife, everywhere. “Strange exception”, Harry thought. He could imagine criminals dressing up as carpenters just to carry knives around.


Harry metaphorically shook his head to lose that thought. He had more interesting matters at hand. The “Tenth of April Murder”,  the “Pond Murder” or perhaps the “Johanna Murder”. The press usually found some half-witted title to every crime and was always trying to do the investigations and the trials themselves instead of leaving that to the professionals. In fact, Harry thought, the press more often than not was both interfering and counter-productive in relation to solving crimes. He wished the press would leave crimes alone. The press always hid behind “the public need to know” argument when creating leaks from the police just to sell papers.

“The press trade cops for copies!” Harry would rather see every crime investigation done before even letting the press know it exists. Often the revealing of names involved in the investigation to the press disturbs the process to the extent of perhaps jeopardizing the whole investigation making it impossible to convict anyone.


And this murder was his murder. He didn’t want anything or anybody to interfere with him solving it. And definitely not any private investigator. This was his chance to prove himself. A matter of pride. He had discussed how to handle the press with Stig and they had agreed to call it an “accidental death” for now. No point in making journalists interested. “Let sleeping dogs lie” Stig said. Harry knew that Stig did not like neither the bark nor the bite of journalists. Stig had been a “cop victim of the press” before. The tabloid press of course did what they could to sell and didn’t care who or what was sacrificed in the process. Stig’s marriages was, and perhaps even his possible police career. Harry easily had an ally against press interference in Stig.


This morning’s running through what they had, had to do next and possible leads was at hand in Harry’s office. For now there were only Harry, Stig and the young assisting officer Sahra present. Sahra had been hand-picked to Harry directly from the Police School being the possibly smartest cadet that year. She was a second generation immigrant, born in Sundbyberg. Her parents had left Isfahan in 1978, before the revolution in Iran. Her father had been recommended to the dentist training in Stockholm by a friend who studied there already. In 1980 the parents married and Sahra saw daylight in October 1981. She was still an only child. Harry had learned from Sahra that immigrants from Iran were a complex matter. You could never know why a Persian person had decided to leave Iran or what relation he or she had to any present or former government in Iran, any present of former religion och any present or former political movement. In short – you are lost. Unless you take time to get to know the person really well, ask the right questions and be prepared to drink enormous amounts of tea.


But generally most Swedish police officers preferred coffee and did unfortunately not really like to ask too many questions. Harry was somewhat an exception to the rule. The right coffee and huge amounts of questions. That was Harry. This morning he was bursting with questions on the mysterious woman in the pond. Stig and Sahra tried to provide him with some new information. Sahra begun:”We went to the woman’s apartment, which was quite close to the spot where she was found – in Wallingatan.” “And…?” Harry was as impatient as ever. “ A pretty clean apartment, really.” “Meaning…?” “Nothing really telling that any crime had been commited there, but…..” “Yes?” “Well, have you tried to buy a new apartment? “ “Of course, once or twice as a Sunday part time entertainment.” Harry saw the boring scene of such a show. “It was like the place was staged in a way – too clean and every detail put there for a purpose.” “Couldn’t it be that this woman had a pedantic streak?” “You have to go and see for yourself!”

Along Drottninggatan

Harry decided to do just that. He got keys from Sahra and was out of the office before Stig’s second cup of coffee was about to be on its way down. Harry took a short walk up to Fleminggatan and took the number 1 bus there, got off by Hötorget and walked from there. He strolled up Drottninggatan and passed the crime scene on his way to Wallingatan. Harry noted the quotes put into the street from books by the famous and infamous author/painter and alchemist August Strindberg. The quotes were not so flattering towards women. Harry would never ever think about his mother-in-law as stinking like a killed snake or the there had been no Hell before women were invented.
Strindberg quote - There was no Hell...

Strindberg certainly had women issues. Perhaps the murderer had that too. He stopped at Centralbadet for a while to get another feel for the place. He could the smell of food in the air, reminding him that he had forgotten to have any lunch. It was not the first time. There were several restaurants here. A Pizza place which served pretty good pizza, a few others and there was Rydbergs. Rydbergs was a bit more expensive the the other restaurants around Centralbadet and somewhere you did not go for lunch every day. But this day Harry decided to grab a late lunch there as it was possible to sit outside for one of the first days this year looking straight at the crime scene. Harry ordered what you should order at Rydbergs – a “Beef Rydberg”. Diced meat and diced potatoes and a raw egg yolk. In spite the name there was no connection between the dish and the restaurant. The dish had apparently been created at a hotel Rydberg built in the nineteenth century and demolished in 1914 to make room for a bank. Harry started to enjoy his lunch pouring the egg yolk over the diced food. Amazingly there had been water in the Centralbadet pond Johanna was found in as early as in April. But the fountain was not running yet. Usually the town waited until May before letting water into fountains and such. But there it was. He had seen archive photos obviously taken in midsummer or even after that, with all the trees having foliage and flowers all around. Now it looked a bit barren and cold. Not a place you would like to die. But admittedly a nice place to have lunch in.

Rydbergs Restaurant by Centralbadet

Harry’s phone rang. It was Sahra with more information. “Harry, she died in the water, but it is more to it than that. Apparently she had been given something to make her sleep first. Then injected a paralyzing drug into her. The lab says it’s curare or something similar. Then she was strung up over the pond helpless and acid was poured on the rope.” “Acid – why?” “To make the rope break and drop her into the water after a while.” “After a while?” Harry felt stupid repeating everything Sahra said but he was confused.


“So you are telling me that the rope was set up to break, but not right away? How long did she have to wait to die then?” “The lab doesn’t know. Perhaps half an hour or so.” Harry tried to imagine how it would have felt hanging there waiting for to be drowned, but failed. He thought the murderer had taken a huge risk too. Someone could have walked by and rescued Johanna before the fatal drop. Or was that part of it all somehow? Helplessness, chance, risk and something very elaborate. This was no impulse driven crime.

A Place for a Murder - Pond outside Centralbadet

After finishing his “luxury lunch” Harry left the scene and moved on towards Wallingatan and Johanna’s home at number 40. Harry noted that no “Isaksson” was on the plaque just inside the front door of the building. Johanna lived in a second-hand flat. Sahra had told him to look for “Gustavsson” instead. He took the stairs. His wife had told him to get some exercise this was about it right now. The blue and white striped band gave the apartment away. He got in, took off his shoes and coat in the small hall and went to work. This was a typical apartment from about 1930. In Sweden houses were just about to embrace Modernism, but in a Swedish variety called “Functionalism”. This building was at the crossroads. There were still strong echoes from the style known as “Swedish Grace” in Sweden. Harry didn’t know if a similar style existed anywhere outside Sweden. On the other hand he was no architect.


Sahra had been right. There were not many objects on display in the apartment. Harry also got a feeling that something was not entirely authentic here. On the kitchen table was almost nothing, but the something that was on display there was quite something. First, there was a vinyl record – an EP by David Bowie where Bowie is doing Berthold Brecht. Second, there were two hand-carved black and white dice both with the number six on top.  Last, there were quite a number of lottery tickets.


Harry knew that the other guys had done their bit, taking photos, getting prints and stuff so he was not worried. He noticed two glasses on the stone bench, newly washed. Not much chance of getting any prints from them he thought. He put the dice in his pocket and decided also to take the record with him to the office. Harry noticed a laptop in the bedroom/home office and a printer. There was a printed paper, looking as it had come out of the printer just now, but of course it hadn’t. As a matter of fact, when Harry took a look at it, it had been printed from a laser printer. The printer here was an ink-jet. Weird. And, come to think of it, another thing was a bit odd. Johanna had no record player either. Well, she had one for CDs, but nothing to play that EP on.

The printed paper read:


“It happened quite slowly that she gently slipped from gods thoughts
First with her face, then her hands, right at the last with her hair”


Harry immediately connected the note with death. Was this just a coincidence or was the note meant to be read? He took the note too. He wondered from where it was taken or if Johanna had written it herself? Or the murderer. He quickly left the apartment and headed back to the office only to be interrupted by a “beep” from his smartphone. Harry almost “Beeped” himself realizing that he would not only be late for his coaching session with Isabella, but also realizing that he had no idea what he was supposed to be preparing for the meeting. Up “beep” creek without a paddle.

Coaching Stairs

As Harry slowly mounted the stairs up to Isabella’s office a clear sense of shame came upon him as a 10 pound weight. Little did he knew that Isabella had huge experience from clients not doing their homework. At least four out of five client missed on at least one occasion. Many clients shamelessly never did their homework.

Harry, on the other hand, was a responsible guy normally and did not like to fail. He promised himself that this would be the first and last time he didn’t do what he was supposed to.


Isabella was read for him, coffee and a little cake followed by her usual smile. “Everything OK, Harry?” It seemed like Isabella had already seen right through him, or did he imagine things? “Well, a bit stressed at work, twin birthdays so I have unfortunately not done my homework for today. Sorry about that.” Isabella smiled again, knowing that a brilliant coach meets her client where he was at this point. No point in trying to force the client into a mold he would not fit anyway. “So Harry, where are you today?” “Hmm, here I guess, but also deep into a mystery.” Isabella, who was a keen mystery lover, took the bait – hook, line and sinker.


Harry decided to take a chance with Isabella. “Isabella, can you keep what I am going to tell you between us?” Isabella, knowing her coaching ethics, had no problem with that. “Of course Harry! It will not leave this room, but first I have to challenge you!” “OK…” Harry wondered what was coming, knowing that he had not done what he was supposed to do – making those notes they had agreed on. “Harry – are there a couple of minutes just before you go home each day and do you have a Smartphone?” Harry was stunned.”Yes, I suppose so, but what do you mean?” I want you to start an “electric diary”!” “A what?” Isabella had just with the help of her friend Rebecca entered into the Web 2.0 so she wanted to flash her newly found knowledge of the Internet. “I want you to get a Twitter account, a Facebook account or a Blog and each day I want you to write something there.” Harry started to fidget in his chair, really uncomfortable with the idea of writing. Writing had not been his strongpoint at school. He quickly went for a possible escape. “Well, Isabella – I don’t think my employer would appreciate me blogging.” “OK Harry, but you CAN get a Twitter account. I know at least two cops who tweets as we speak so there is no Cop Policy against that if you only tweet outside Police matters.” Harry knew that he would be a “Tweeter” or whatever they are called soon. Isabella was apparently not willing to let him off the hook. “Alright, I will.” “Good, Harry.” Isabella knew that some clients wanted; no NEEDED to be pushed a bit before they actually started to push themselves. “So now Harry – what did you want to expose to me?”


Harry smiled and took out the dice from his pocket and placed them on the coffee table between them. Then he opened his laptop case and took out the printed note and laid it next to the dice. “These items were found in the apartment of a woman who was found drowned somewhere else.”


“It looks like a suicide note.” Isabella had read quite a few detective stories at the family country cottage when she was younger. The talk of “the suicide note” was often there. “Perhaps, but the lady was murdered.” Harry had also read a few Agatha Christie books too and the murders often took place in upper class environment. Isabella took the hint. “OK, Harry. What can you tell me about the content of the note? What does it tell you?” Isabella almost bit her tongue for asking more than one question at a time, one of the deadly sins a coach could commit. But she was so caught up in this mystery moment she almost forgot being Harry’s coach.


Harry took a deep breath. “Looks a bit poetic. Could be a quote. Or perhaps the murderer is a writer or a letter man. I don’t mean Letterman. Or it is just something he has found in the flat and decided to play with.” “How do you know that it has something to do with the death of that woman?” “I just know it. It was placed oddly to be seen in the apartment and it says something about dying I think. What do you think?” Suddenly the roles were inverted. Isabella read the note and nodded. “Definitely about death. Have you Googled it?” Harry was taken by the simplicity offered by the suggestion. “Actually no.” Isabella turned to her laptop she usually kept by her side at meetings just in case she needed to look up some recruiter or something else for her clients or rather showing her clients how to do that for themselves. She entered the sentences from the note into Google and pressed the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button. And there it was. It was a David Bowie quote from a song called “The Drowned Girl”. Harry was almost stunned. Death by water. “What does this tell you Harry?” Isabella chocked him back to reality again.


“Good question.” Harry paused and touched his chin as he often did when trying to think hard. “The water must be important here. He has gone very far to emphasize water.” Are you sure it is a male killer?” “Pretty sure. It would take someone strong at least to rig the woman over the pond to her death. Or someone with some technical know-how.” Isabella smiled but noted that Harry was very much a man, with all the concepts of what he thought was manly firmly built into his fabric. He assumed that a woman could not have technical skills or be strong for that matter. He should know better, but Isabella decided to let it go for now. “And how about the dice?” “They were placed on a table. Both sixes showing.” “Meaning?” Harry had wondered a bit about that too. In fact Johanna worked at Aftonbladet with the gambling pages. The dice could have a connection to that. In addition, the acid and rope construction actually made room for the chance of somebody rescuing her if she had been lucky. “The victim is connected to gambling so the murderer could be a frustrated gambler or some kind of nut obsessed with gambling ideas.” “Who do you think did it Harry – a nut or a normal person?”


The eternal discussion of murder and normality showed up again. Could a “normal” person really commit murder? Isn’t murder in itself an abnormity demanding that you are a nut to be able to commit one? The law had an opinion of course. Anyone can commit murder, but some murders are surely committed by crazy people.

Regular murderers were sent to prison and the mental cases should be sent to a mental institution. Of course reality seldom was as a crystal clear cut as that. Some completely normal criminals, if a normal criminal is possible, try to explain their deeds by insanity hoping to avoid prison. Harry decided to be a diplomat. “Hard to tell. I guess that we can rule out manslaughter anyway. This was extremely well planned.”


Isabella felt honored to be let in backstage of a police investigation. She guessed that this was extremely unusual. Harry – do you think that how that dice were placed has significance?” Another beginner’s error by a coach – asking questions that could be answered with a yes or a no. Those should be avoided as they sometimes lead to stopping the conversation and development. Sometime they could be used of course – especially if a clear standpoint is needed from your client. This was not such a moment.

“I get two possibilities right now: One is that sixes are considered lucky and that after rolling double sixes you are allowed to roll again. The other thing is that in Swedish the word for “six” and the word for “sex” is the same one. And yes, I found another thought now! If six is up – one is down!” Harry suddenly realized that all criminal investigators should have a coach opening up the imagination doors for them. Harry and Isabella both knew of course how dice were numbered.  If you add the opposite sides they should add up to seven making the total 21.


Isabella glanced at her watch seeing their time running out fast. One last question maximum left before Isabella’s next client would arrive. “Harry?” “Yes?” ”I have to tell you that I am glad that we made this an unusual coaching session and that you let me get a glimpse of your daily life. I would very much like to continue to see more of what makes Harry tick and explore it further if that is OK with you. How do you want to proceed from here?” Harry knew that this was completely non-police procedure but he felt that it somehow worked having Isabella to confide in. He decided to continue with her as a “secret criminal speaking partner”. He would of course never mention this to anyone. Not even his wife. Harry would have a “detective coach” and Isabella would have a “detective coachee”.  “I guess that this is interesting for me so I hope that we can continue speaking of this in our next session.” “OK, Harry. You know the rules and that I have made you promise something to do right?” Harry remembered that he should get a Twitter account and nodded. “Good. Then we will meet same time next week then.” Harry and Isabella went through the normal ritual of the small hug and a small wave before Harry went back to work.

Outside Isabella’s place a blackbird was singing, threatening his rivals with violence and flirting for possible sex with the ladies using the same song. Perhaps this murder also has several sides to it. Just like blackbird songs or dice. Harry decided to think some more about that.


Isabella also had some thinking to do. “Was this really coaching?” “Could she really coach on police work?” “Was this kind of session really in line with their coaching agreement?” And those questions were only for starters. The agreement was to deal with Harry’s personal and professional development. Isabella decided to use a wide interpretation of that to include helping Harry to do his job better which must include solving this crime too. And to solve a crime you need knowledge on human behavior, life experience, imagination and curiosity. Isabella had plenty of that. In addition, she usually described coaching as “detective work into human experience”. Isabella had already in fact used the word “detective in her Twitter account @coachdetective so in a sense, and a bit prophetically, she was already there. She was not only a coach coaching a detective – she was from now on also a Coaching Detective!

April 10 – Twin Lives and a Single Death by Coaching Detective

Isabella’s cop client Harry had a busy morning. His twins had their birthday and there really should be lots of presents, ice cream and singing. Their tenth birthday on the tenth of April. But they were no fools – they wanted real presents thought out exclusively for them. Daniel wanted a skateboard with a special pattern and red wheels. Alexander on the other hand was more of an intellectual wanting all of the Star Wars films I-VI. Being a cop made it easy to perform an investigation on these matters. He found a Skater’s shop in Södermalm, locate in the mall called “Skrapan (The Skyscraper)”. He knew that Daniel would want to choose for himself both the board and the wheels so Harry chose to buy a skater sweater and a gift voucher for “Any board and any set of wheels”. When he had his latest session with Isabella he had passed an SF shop in the Old Town and they had a complete Star Wars set. Harry felt relieved and happy as the boys opened their gifts. Ellinor, Harry’s wife looked happy too even though she had been up since four to prepare everything from coffee, ice cream, un-hiding the gifts and so on. She had left Harry sleep until six. Even though Easter was last week the kids had Easter Holidays this week too, making them both actually do something this week had been somewhat a challenge. Ellinor and Harry had taken turns on looking after the “DeeAys” as Harry called the twins. AS both Harry and Ellinor were working they had to make it possible to do some work from home. Their terrace-house in the northern suburbs of Stockholm had four bedrooms on the second floor and they had made that into a study. Harry had on more than one occasion asked himself why they had decided to get a house in Suburbia when both he and Ellinor worked in the city. There were of course several reasons. Buying a flat in the city would cost about a million crowns per room and the family needed at least three bedrooms, a study and a living room. So a house for two or three million or a flat for five? And there was the thought of having small children in the city or closer to nature. They had also found a very nice private kindergarten close to their house too on the way to the local commuter train station.  But there were downsides too. Both Harry and Ellinor had to spend hours commuting to work and back so the idea of spending time with their children in the countryside was limited to weekends and during weekends they both needed to work to compensate for the huge amount to travelling and still being able to pay for the house. Two rats in a pretty cage hoping that their boys were OK anyway. Right now mama and papa rat were giving them quite a treat. Everything seemed to run smoothly. Harry remembered Isabella and her way of making him realize how much his family really meant to him. He might, if he had chosen the “glamorous” super cop job, not even been here this morning to celebrate. Probably out at some crime scene in Scania or wherever securing footprints or tire tracks already taken by others. The super cops were only to be called on after thirty days. Not really “Cold Cases” but at least lukewarm. Much better to stay in Stockholm to enjoy happy faces. Harry thought that coaching had been a surprising experience for him. He went there with the sport vision of what a coach was and had expected to be told what to do. Instead Isabella had given him the lead, making him realize that he was in charge of his own process. Harry had found that a refreshing contrast to all the people telling him things all the time. He longed back to Isabella’s office and their next session. Nothing sexual of course. This was something completely different. Just trust. Ellinor had also noticed that Harry was happier than before.

Suddenly Harry’s mobile made a familiar weird noise. One of those signals that came with the phone but nobody wanted to have activated. Harry had chosen that one because nobody else had it at work. He could tell the call was for him just by the signal. Who would call him at seven in the morning on an Easter Holiday Saturday?

Stig Lindberg link from Wikipedia by Coaching Detective

It was Stig Lindberg. One of his colleagues at work. Not the famous Swedish designer who had the same name. And was dead. “Hi Harry. Sorry about this, but you really have to come in today.” Harry was amazed. He was the boss, right? ”What do you mean Stig? What can be so urgent that you want to drag me from my family on a Saturday? And when my twins have their birthday? Has someone killed our Prime Minister – again?” Back in 1986 the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme had been shot, leaving Sweden shocked. Sweden was still shocked by this, really. “No Harry, not that exactly. But it is  a murder for sure. A journalist at Aftonbladet. It is the weirdest thing I’ve seen in a long time.” “But, why do I need to come right away? Isn’t the man dead? Will he suddenly take off?” “It’s a woman  and dead for sure, but placed in a position you just have to take a look at and in a place that is a bit special too.” Harry began to realize that he would not be able to stay at home this time. “OK.where are we talking about?” “Outside Centralbadet in a pond. Drowned.” And she couldn’t have drowned all by herself?” Harry really tried to get off the hook. “Nope. You’ll see.” OK Stig. I’ll call you back in ten.” Harry turned to Ellinor and the twins. ”Sorry guys, but I have to pop into town for a little while.” Ellinor’s face changed from harmony to something Harry knew he would not appreciate very much. Disappointment. “So my dear Harry will prioritize the dead over the living again, is that so? Another corpse fiesta, I suppose?” Harry knew that he was in deep trouble and quickly needed a quick idea to compensate for him leaving his family now. “How about us celebrating by going to a restaurant this evening – you choose where and then we can meet there?” Ellinor was not satisfied but decided to play along for the twins. “OK, Daniel and Alex will decide.”

Harry left the house, got to the family car and hastily drove south for Stockholm city. This time on a Saturday the roads were pretty empty. The ordinary queues on that way to work were not to be seen now. “Always something.” Harry found himself talking to himself again. He decided to turn the radio on. He had it adjusted to one of the channels playing old songs, some even older than he was. He heard the familiar sound of “China Girl” and thought that he was also “stumbling into town” and perhaps even stumbling through life knowing very little about himself. The meetings with Isabella had opened him up a bit though. Formerly he would just follow the advice of the Chinese girl in the video. Keeping his mouth shut. Harry smiled. The next song was ”Light in Your Heart” with Hanne Boel, the Danish singer with enough soul in her voice to get to his heart too. And of course a vivid memory. Songs have strong powers for many people and for Harry too.

Harry parked the car in Drottninggatan, just outside the gates to Centralbadet, knowing that it was not a great spot to park in. He saw the blue and white plastic police ribbons placed to prevent people from entering there and destroying possible evidence on the ground. And he spotted Stig talking to one of the police women in uniform at the scene. Harry noticed that Stig needed a new coat more than he did and sent a thought of gratitude towards Ellinor who always tried to make Harry look his best. Stig apparently had no wife. “OK Stig, tell me all.” ”Right. Apparently this woman was drowned or so we think right now sometime during the night. But the weird thing is that she seems to have been positioned just over the water surface in the pond at first with ropes. The ropes were then to slowly break dropping her bound body into the water.” “What?” Harry didn’t understand a word. ”Someone had poured some acid or something on the rope for it to eventually break.” “Are you telling me that some weird person first bound and gagged her, then left her hanging there alive to drop to her death in the water later?” “I guess so. And on her birthday too.” Harry thought about the twins back home. ”Why didn’t she managed to get out of the water then – this pond is extremely small and the water can’t be more than 60 centimeters deep?” “I don’t know yet, Harry. Seems weird to me too. And why was she not killed immediately? Why let her hang there a while first?” “How long do you guess?” “Hard to say. Depends on the acid involved of course.” Stig had been right. A very strange death by water indeed. But in a beautiful spot just outside the building where the bath an spa known as Centralbadet was located. The building was in Art Noveau style. A style that most Swedes would call Jugend. Harry had mixed emotions towards Jugend. On one hand it was very elegant, but on the other hand it seemed a bit overloaded with ornament. A bit too much. This murder was a little too much too. Ropes, acid, a peculiar public space and Harry felt there would be even more oddities about this one later. Harry turned to Stig. “Who was she?” “A Johanna Sofia Isaksson, born in 1951. Worked at Aftonbladet. They have a special part of it that is about gambling. There.” “So she is fifty-nine?” ”Depends on the time of death. Today is her birthday as I told you – remember?” Harry didn’t bother to reply. He was thinking that what a weird coincidence to drown by a placed designed for swimming. Perhaps the killer had some weird sense of humor? Or was there something more to this? The murder had been planned to say the least. This was no spur of the moment thing. “Did she have any family?” “As far as we know yet no. We have not spoken to anyone yet though. A bit early for that yet.”  Harry saw in the reflection of restaurant Rydberg close by that some people had stopped to see what was going on already. Harry begun to consider the complications involved with murdering somebody in  place like this. First you have to make your victim appear here, then binding her, then hanging her up above the water, then pouring the right amount of acid on the rope and then get away. Harry guessed that it would be too complicated. So how? “Stig, have you thought about the crime scene?” What do you mean?” “Do you think that she was captured here, bound here and then drowned here?” “No, maybe and don’t know…we will probably know more by Monday when forensics have done some work on it.” “It’s not an “it” Stig it’s a “her”. Never forget that.” Yes, a probably single woman dead in the middle of Stockholm and lively twins waiting to have a feast in suburbia. Harry knew what to do. Coaching had taught him to make the right priorities. With a few exceptions of course…

March 4 – You Only Live Twice? by Coaching Detective

Yesterday was yesterday. Isabella felt that it had been a great day, but some of the coaching had not been so easy. She still had Camilla vividly appearing as soon as she closed her eyes for a moment. Amazing how easy it was to arrive the wrong conclusion. Better to let the client tell you more before starting to put things together. But Isabella loved putting things together! She had a flair for making sense of only fragments, a feeling for connecting them into something bigger. Her family had laid puzzles every Christmas when she was young and she had always tried to figure out “who did it” in the numerous detective stories she had read. If she had not become a journalist and now also a coach she might have wanted to become a detective or a policewoman. But both journalism and coaching was about finding out too. She had therefore chosen to have a “one-liner” in relation to her company and her e-message signature. “Detect Yourself!” And today she would have the pleasure of meeting her first cop! During her coach training there was a discussion on if you had to have field knowledge in order to coach someone and the class had been divided into two groups. One group believing that the process knowledge you had as a coach was quite enough, and the other maintaining that field knowledge was an asset and even crucial if you should coach a person higher or deeper into a special field. Isabella was inclined to agree that on one hand you could find more relevant filed questions if you knew stuff but on the other hand there was also a risk of the coach steering or colouring the conversation leading it to unwanted places. And now she was waiting for Harry the cop. She had no prior experience from police work other than her interest for detective stories. She hoped that he was nothing like “Dirty Harry” from the Clint Eastwood films. And nothing like Inspector Clouseau either. Isabella had been very lucky a few weeks ago and had by chance landed a deal with the Stockholm Police force. They had created a Personal Development Program for their leaders and one part of it was cash that the individual leader could spend freely. Three of the policemen had chosen coaching by ISIS. One of them was Harry Andersson.
She had already received information on the three cops that she had been “given”. On Harry she read: “Inspector, The Criminal Investigation Unit, social security number 660526-1715, married, 2 children, Stockholm”.  Isabella deducted that Harry was born not so far from where she was born. “I wonder where.”

Enter Harry! Mr Andersson was a mid-tall, mid-thin and mid-grey man. At first glance no one would detect him in a crowd, but when he started to speak he gained the room back by his empathic, open attitude. A more perfect police officer than could be expected really. And he had chosen coaching to develop himself too! Isabella felt happy to meet him at once. This session might be even more interesting than usual. Harry Andersson curiously checked out the practice, the availability of coffee and Isabella and finally he relaxed and became coachable. First they talked a while on the long term goals Harry was expecting from his coaching relationship with Isabella and Harry had a vague feeling that he wanted to become clearer in his relations at work and to get more focus into his daily life in order to be more efficient at what he does. He had recently been put into a new role as an inspector investigating fairly complicated cases and even murder and he had not yet passed the rookie state in the unit according to himself. “The others don’t see this of course, but I know.” Isabella replied that this was a process well worth investigating and a process known in other professions too. “What areas are we talking about here?” she said. Harry hesitated a second, reflecting on the question. “I think there are three…hm…first the balance thing between work and home, then the work relations that I need to define and finally there is finding a method, a focus,  a way to really get results in my investigations as it seems committing crimes are getting into fashion 2010.” Isabella stopped breathing for a second. As the deal with the Police only covered six coaching sessions they really had much work ahead with three areas any of which would take six. As a journalist she knew to take the most important stuff first. “What area do you think is the most urgent one?” “Well all of them are, really. And I feel that they cannot easily be divided either. That is perhaps also a problem.” “OK Harry, do you think we could start by you just telling me about yourself right now and then we take it from there – can that be the plan for today?” “Yes, we can do that.” “So what can we agree on to achieve today? What would you be OK with after this first session?” “A bit hard to say….perhaps that I feel that we have started to pin down my situation and that I know where I am.” “So if we have defined a number of issues to resolve today that would be OK?” “Yes that would be fine.” “How many issues are we talking about then – three?” “I think there should be more, perhaps five.” Isabella and Harry agreed on pinning down five issues today they should try to resolve during their coaching relationship. “Alright Harry, tell me about the life of Harry!” Harry smiled and started to tell Isabella about work, his present family and his former family, his twin boys who were 9 now “and blonde as wheat”, his trouble getting the hang of the unit and how his family was getting a bit tired of him staying late at work and still arriving home with more.”Amazing how thing can get complicated and it seemed like I became someone else in only a few weeks after starting on this job. Just like my two twin boys look almost exactly the same but they are two completely different people. And still they both exist in the same family and have the same genes! I may have become my own evil twin!” “And your “former family” – how come that didn’t last?” “The same old story. One of us began to study and found new interests and a new angle to life. The other stayed the same and wondered what happened. Hundred years ago the “until death do you part” was true. You actually did not live long enough to get tired of each other. Today we have room for at least two lives! I am not at all sure that this is a good thing.” Harry went quiet for a while and Isabella saw a little sorrow spreading in his face. She quickly got them back on track again “So how does the evil twin work for you?” “Actually he doesn’t. Neither at work nor at home. I want to get rid of him.” “How do you feel about him?” “I hate him!” “Good. Hate is a splendid motivator.“ Harry laughed. “Hate, money, love – all the classic murder motives eh?” “I suppose so.” Isabella worked hard to meet the goal for today’s session but towards the end it was clear that five issues was not to be pinned down today. Isabella said “Where do you feel we are right now Harry?” Harry of course realized too that the original objective still eluded them. “We haven’t pinned down the five issues yet!” “So what do you think about them right now?” “Perhaps I need to first figure out who I am right now before going on to think about where I am…” “Is that something you will take with you from this session and something we can start with at our next?” “Yes, I think so.” After finishing the session by agreeing on a new session and letting Harry off the hook this time Isabella reflected on the session. The “several lives during one life” was interesting, but she also thought that you actually also lived several lives every day in your different roles. Isabella was a coach, a journalist, a mother, a daughter, a woman, sometimes a little girl, a human being and a part of the fabric of the earth. She smiled to herself seeing how “Next Age” that thought was. She har heard about “Next Age” the other day as the successor of “New Age”. It was funny in a way.  The latest flu was officially named “The New Flu” in Sweden. Perhaps the next one will be “The Next Flu”? And then what? Naming is hard….but Isabella clearly saw one thing from the session with Harry – You don’t only live once or even twice! There is more….for good or bad….

You Only Live Twice