Who is the kidnapper in Dear Child?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: September 8, 2023 (Last updated: September 12, 2023)
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Who is the kidnapper in Dear Child?

This article discusses who the kidnapper is in Dear Child and naturally contains spoilers for the entire season.

Based on Romy Hausman’s novel of the same title, and directed by Julian Pörksen and Isabel Kleefeld, Dear Child is a German Netflix original series.

The plot revolves around a woman ostensibly named Lena who has been held in captivity for 13 years, forced to raise two children, Hannah and Jonathan, under the sadistic, watchful eyes of their “Papa”. When Lena is able to escape, she becomes the victim of a hit-and-run and ends up in hospital with Hannah, reopening a seemingly cold missing persons case.

While the show isn’t based on a true story it is definitely inspired by harrowing real-life accounts of kidnapping, captivity, and sexual violence. Naturally, a vital figure within this story is the kidnapper himself, whose identity is kept secretive throughout. In this article, we’ll explain the who’s who and what’s what regarding the man sometimes referred to as “Papa”.

What is Dear Child about?

The woman at the center of Dear Child is Jasmin, who was kidnapped 13 years previously and forced to impersonate a woman named Lena Beck, raising Lena’s children, Hannah and Jonathan, in complete isolation.

READ: TV Shows like Dear Child

Jasmin was kidnapped because she had an uncanny resemblance to Lena. She was able to escape by cracking her captor across the head with a snow globe, but she still had some work to do before she was free of his clutches.

The show also explores the efforts of the police to identify the kidnapper before his planned reunion with his “family”.

Who is the kidnapper in Dear Child?

The kidnapper in Dear Child is Lars Rogner, the head of security company Rogner and Son, which he had inherited from his grandfather. 

Lars’s biological mother had abandoned him when she was still young, and Lars had made repeated attempts to try and replace her through his various kidnappings and long-term abuses.

He had kidnapped Lena because she resembled his mother. He was trying to recreate the family unit he had been deprived of. However, Lena had died due to a postpartum infection after giving birth to the third of her children, the second to be sired through rape by her kidnapper. At that point, Lars had to replace her with Jasmin.

Does Lars die?

At the end of Season 1, Jasmin is able to trick Lars into lowering his defenses by continuing to impersonate Lena, and brandishing an obvious weapon that she knew he would confiscate from her.

However, unknowingly to Lars, she retained a piece of broken glass from Jonathan’s snowglobe hidden in a sanitary pad, and used that to kill Lars, finally freeing herself from his torment.

As he died, Lars revealed to the police the location of Lena’s body so her family could find closure.

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