Netflix’s 2023 miniseries, A Nearly Normal Family, introduces us to the Sandell family, a small and gracious family anyone would kill to be born into. The family includes lawyer Ulrika (Lo Kauppi), priest Adam (Björn Bengtsson), and their star daughter, Stella (Alexandra Karlsson Tyrefors). Their perfect life shatters when, one day, Stella is raped on a school trip by Robin. Stella tried to shove Robin (Christoffer Willén) away, but she froze up in fright, and Robin carried on. Adam wanted to take it to the cops and then the court, but Ulrika said they would lose, and it would tarnish Stella’s reputation. It would be a classic, my word against your case, suggested Ulrika. Thus, Adam had no choice but to accept his wife’s advice and not press charges.
A Nearly Normal Family takes a four-year leap, and we see Stella, who has now recovered from what happened to her on the school trip. Stella, for some reason, had dropped out of school and started working in a cafe. She also wished to take a long holiday and travel. Thus, she now and then put whatever she could save in her travel fund. However, when Adam and Ulrika gifted Stella a new scooter on her birthday, it angered her. Stella wanted them to give her the money so that she could travel. This made her feel that her parents never listened to her, just like they didn’t listen to her four years ago. Unfortunately, six weeks later, something happened that once again threatened to shatter the tranquility of the Sandell family. One day, the couple was informed that Stella had been arrested for the murder of one Christoffer ‘Chris’ Olsen (Christian Fandango Sundgren). The prosecution even had a witness who could link Stella to the crime scene.
Who was Christoffer ‘Chris’ Olsen?
The dead body that was found on the sidewalk belonged to the murder victim, Chris. He was the same guy Stella spent the night of her birthday with. Chris was a shining new entrepreneur who got rich by dabbling in cryptocurrency and NFTs, while Stella was a steward at a local cafe. After Stella’s birthday, the duo started hanging out together often. Chris was a wealthy man who often picked her up in his expensive Porsche. Chris was much older than his new fling. He was 35 years old, while Stella had just turned 18. Stella desperately wanted to impress him. She wanted to become his girlfriend. Maybe that’s why she was starting to buy the clothes and sneakers that Chris’ ex-girlfriend sported when they were together. For many, Chris was a saint, while for others, he was a rich douche who never cared for anyone. Chris’ ex-girlfriend, Linda Lavender, had filed multiple charges against him for abuse and sexual assault, but the charges were dropped, and the case never went to trial. She also maintained the idea that Chris was involved in tons of shady deals. Thus, many could have wanted him dead. Adam, Stella’s father, met her to find out if she had murdered Chris. But neither could he find any clues or a motive. Adam was trying his best, as he believed he had already failed to protect Stella once. He had no intention to fail twice.
Why was Stella Denied Bail?
The prosecution had tons of evidence against Stella. First, they had CCTV footage that put Stella in the locale on the night of the murder. They pulled out a search warrant for Stella’s house and found a shoe. The footprints of the shoe were really identical to the prints that the police found at the crime scene. The autopsy report also said that Chris’ eyes had pepper spray in them. Stella had a can of the same pepper spray when she was placed in handcuffs. Fortunately, Mikael Blomberg’s tip gave Ulrika time to search Stella’s room. Mikael Blomberg (Håkan Bengtsson) was Stella’s lawyer and one of Ulrika’s oldest friends. He was the same man Ulrika was cheating on Adam with. In the room, Ulrika found a blood-stained hoodie, and she immediately hid it. If it were found, it could’ve proved Stella guilty. Mikael believed that the evidence the prosecutor had was circumstantial and that she would be granted bail. The court believed otherwise and denied Stella bail. She was to remain in custody until the investigation was concluded, the court ordered. The court also instructed the police not to let Adam and Ulrika visit Stella, as they could hamper the investigation.
What does Linda Lavender Tell Stella?
As we told you earlier, Linda Lavender (Emilia Roosmann) was the woman Chris was dating before he met Stella. Chris had always said that the reason he was taking it slow with Stella was because his last breakup left him heartbroken. Chris had always said that he loved Linda, but she left him anyway. However, Linda had a different story to tell. Linda met Stella at the place where she worked. She advised Stella to break up with Chris as soon as possible. He isn’t what you think, said Linda. However, she saw that her advice was falling on deaf ears. She told Linda to look inside Chris’ drawer. Chris’ drawer was full of pills, which he used to drug girls with. Chris was a controlling and paranoid man who would go berserk if you didn’t answer his call. Linda also recounted her own experiences. One day, when she failed to call Chris back, he drugged her and raped her on his sofa. This was the main reason for their breakup. Later, Linda filed many complaints against him, but they were ineffective. Linda wasn’t lying, and Chris was everything she had said. Stella was just too head-over-heels for Chris to see it. Finally, her bubble broke, and Chris started distancing himself from her. He grew impolite and disrespectful and only called Stella when he needed sex.
Why did Adam Beat Up Robin?
Ulrika was cheating on Adam with Mikael, and he always had suspicions about it. Adam had noticed her sneaking out at night and coming home drunk. Ulrika even attended university on Sundays but often forgot her card at home. Adam’s suspicions were confirmed when he caught his wife and Mikael kissing. This left him betrayed, and when Ulrika shifted the blame onto him, Adam lost control. This made Adam feel like he had failed to protect both his marriage and his daughter. This drove Adam to follow Robin and beat him up. Fortunately, he wasn’t arrested, as the prosecution chose not to press charges. Robin also changed his story, saying he hurt himself when he tripped and fell. Even though Adam couldn’t stand Ulrika now, he decided to put up with her for Stella’s sake.
Was Stella Free on All Charges?
As A Nearly Normal Family neared its conclusion, everything became clear. The prosecution had enough evidence and asked for a long sentence for Stella. They said Stella killed Chris because she found out he was in love with her best friend, Amina. They even presented the chat messages between Stella and Amina (Melisa Ferhatovic), which suggested that Stella was suspicious of them. The prosecution was painting Chris as a saint, but Amina’s statement changed the game. She revealed to the court that Chris had drugged and sexually assaulted her. The reason Amina never told anyone this was because no one would believe her.
So, did Stella kill Chris? Stella did kill Chris, but not because she was jealous. In reality, Chris had been eying Amina ever since he saw her with Stella. Chris one day drugged Amina, took her into his home, and raped her. Stella saw this when she entered Chris’ house using the fire escape. She pepper-sprayed Chris and escaped his house with Amina. Chris chased after her with a knife but tripped and fell. Stella picked up the knife and stabbed Chris multiple times. Stella was already traumatized by what happened to her four years ago, and seeing Amina go through the same thing gave her the push. This explained Stella’s footprints and blood-stained hoodie. What happened to the murder weapon and the bloody hoodie? Remember how Ulrika was poking at every single angle to save Stella? She found a picture of Stella, Chris, and Amina together. This was a shock because Amina had told her that she had never met Chris. Finally, Amina came through and told her everything. Chris wasn’t supposed to die, said Amina. Amina also told Ulrika where she hid the murder weapon, and she disposed of both the knife and the bloody hoodie. Ulrika also told Amina not to tell anyone this before the trial. The aim here was to surprise the prosecution. The plan worked, and the court had to release Stella because the submitted evidence wasn’t enough. There was no murder weapon, no incriminating fingerprints, just a shoe print, which could’ve belonged to anyone.