Doubts mark Cascais ‘murder-suicide’ drama

Three days after the shock double-death of millionaire couple Anders and Maria Larsson – both well-known among the Cascais elite – doubts have surfaced over the theory that their deaths could be the case of murder-suicide described by newspapers.

A friend of the couple who asked to remain anonymous claimed to be “almost certain” 58-year-old Anders Christer Larsson – found dead at the foot of Cabo da Roca on Sunday afternoon – would not have killed himself.

The friend was even more adamant that Larsson would not have killed his wife, a 60-year-old Brazilian whose body was found by police at the couple’s luxury home a few miles away in Quinta Patiño on Sunday night.

“Did people really see him jump?” the friend asked us.

According to information in Correio da Manhã, “reports from people who go to Cabo da Roca at weekends to enjoy the view point to a scenario of suicide” – but intriguingly, CM did not carry any eyewitness accounts, which are usually plentiful in exclusive reports on dramas of any kind.

Another potential wrinkle in the story came yesterday, when CM featured a second exclusive, suggesting Maria Estela Larsson had only just won a long-running court battle against seven siblings over control of her mother’s estate in Brazil.

“We’re talking a lot of money,” the friend who approached us explained. “And they did not have children. With both of them now out of the picture, the money will go to the rest of the family.”

CM suggested Maria Estela won her court battle “three days before she was murdered by Anders Larsson, the man with whom she lived in Quinta Patiño, Cascais”.

But the paper added that the “murder followed by suicide had been committed with no apparent motive”.

There was no history of domestic violence between the couple, CM affirmed.

Even more perplexing is the fact that the couple’s house was “tidy”, claims the paper, when police burst in late on Sunday night after a security guard, looking through the windows, noticed the body of the dead woman lying on the floor inside.

Brazilian website CenárioMT wrote two days ago that “a female cousin of the Brazilian, who did not want to give an interview, said only that the family is arriving in Portugal to get information on the case” – but CM claimed on Wednesday that Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was “keeping in touch with the family” and that Maria Estela’s body was “being taken to São Paulo”.

All newspapers have confirmed that Maria Estela was strangled to death. An autopsy has confirmed this, says CM.

Where this leaves the doubts expressed by the friend – a friend who had accompanied the couple from Portugal to Brazil and was well-aware of the legal battle – is uncertain.

The Resident advised the friend to talk to the PJ and we will be endeavouring to report what, if anything, develops.

The friend told us that when the group were together in Brazil, they were accompanied at all times by bodyguards.

[email protected]