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My family... my children... who lives, who dies? I decide.
~ Harderberg, in the British version, admitting that he is the killer.

Alfred Hardeberg, in the British adaptation named Alfred Harderberg, is the main antagonist of the novel The Man Who Smiled and its two live-action adaptations. One of the wealthiest people in Sweden, Alfred is a well-liked businessman who, as a front, pretends to be helping African children, when in reality, he is trying to kill them for money.

In the Swedish version, he was portrayed by Claes Månsson. In the British version, he was portrayed by Rupert Graves.

Biography

Past

Alfred came from a wealthy family, but has shown excellence his entire life, furthering the pride of the family. In the Branagh adaptation, his past is elaborated on even more. He had always had everything in front of him, whereas the African children who he saw while doing a business dealing in Africa, are doomed to have a terrible life. To the public he looks like someone who helps these children, but in reality, he kills them and harvests their organs, selling it on the market for thousands of dollars.

An associate of his talks during an interrogation with Wallander about how Alfred targeted a young woman named Sasha by cutting off her fingers with a machette and then brutally harvested her organs. Alfred has been doing this for ages and gotten away with it, not even being found once.

The Man Who Smiled

Alfred's attorney, Gustav Torstensson, is getting close to discovering Alfred's secret, so Alfred kills him and poses it as a car accident. When Gustav's son, Sten, starts suspecting that Gustav's murder wasn't a car accident, but a murder posed as a car accident, Sten talks with Wallander about it. However, Wallander doesn't have time, due to still being traumatized due to shooting a person in the episode prior, but understands Sten's theory. The day after, Alfred kills Sten, due to thinking that Gustav's death may be a homicide, and poses it as a suicide. Wallander comes to interrogate Alfred, and he has a façade of a man with a heart of gold; it is obvious that Wallander sees him as a shine of brightness in an otherwise too grim world.

Alfred writes a fake letter with a death threat that says "YOU WILL ALL DIE, AND YOU'LL SEE WHO PROFITS THEN", this is writted by Alfred, copying the handwriting of a fellow philanthrope named Jörgen, in order to frame him. Later in the episode, Elin, Jörgen's daughter, reveals information about Alfred's organ trafficking to Wallander during an interrogation. She runs away from Wallander due to not wanting to reveal more information, but once she steps into her car, Alfred blows it up and kills her. Alfred then kills her father, Jörgen, due to Jörgen wanting to arrest Alfred for a long time, but Wallander manages to save Jörgen last second. When Wallander confronts Alfred and accusses him of the organ trafficking, Alfred initially says that he didn't do it, before admitting that he is the killer, but slowly and smugly stating so, taking pride in his sadism and greed. At the end, Alfred gets his henchman Sjölander to kill Anders Ekman, a police officer kicked out when accidentally killing an innocent girl, who became Alfred's assistant after that. Anders decided to attempt to kill Alfred after learning about his cruel acts. Alfred tries escaping the country by using his private helicopter, but Wallander comes to arrest him. Sjölander prepares to kill Wallander, but before he can do so, Anders wakes up and shoots Sjölander. Wallander manages to shoot Alfred in the leg, and his terror is ended.

Quotes

People view justice and ethics as something positive, and that it is if you’re going to catch a thief or an abuser. But in my case, on higher fields, such capacities are only limited. Therefore, Commissioner Wallander, you will never be able to catch me.
~ Alfred Hardeberg to Kurt Wallander (in the swedish film adaptation).
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