Biographical information
Physical information
Family information
Alexander Zalachenko was Lisbeth Salander's father and a violent criminal. He's an ex-Russian spy who defected to Sweden in the 1970s. In Sweden, he fathered Salander and her twin-sister Camilla Salander. He never married Salander's mother, Agneta Salander, but he returned periodically to have sex with her and beat her.


Early Life

Born in Stalingrad in 1940, Zalachenko was orphaned when he was a year old when his parents died in the Second World War. He grew up in the Russian military. When he defected to Sweden he changed his name to Karl Axel Bodin. It is said that Sweden was his country of choice because there are few Jews in Sweden.

The Girl Who Played With Fire

Back Story

Zalachenko got involved with Agneta Sjolander, who changed her own name to match his, but he refused to marry her, calling her a whore. Regardless he fathered two children with her, Lisbeth and her twin sister, Camilla. Zalachenko brutally beat and abused Agneta, who tried to shelter her daughters from the brutality, and the two girls reacted differently. Camilla didn't care at all for her mother, and Lisbeth did. At age twelve, Lisbeth Salander, set Zalanchenko, her father, on fire to stop his brutal beatings of her mother. We find out in The Girl Who Played with Fire, that because of the damage to his body, he had to have his leg amputated. This act is used as evidence to support claims that Salander is mentally ill, and remains a topic of debate for readers and characters.

Present Day

Mikael Blomkvist is on the trail of a new story about the Swedish Sex Trade. Lisbeth, who has been monitoring his computer, becomes obsessed when she reads of the brutal crimes and begins her own hunt for the culprits. The trail leads to Zala, a mysterious underground crime boss who has a penchant for torturing women.

Meanwhile, Salander's sadistic guardian, Nils Bjurman, hires Zalachenko to kill Lisbeth. Bjurman himself is soon killed by Ronald Niedermann, who with Zala, is lying in wait at a farm in Gosseberga to ambush Salander. During a brief confrontation Lisbeth is shot in the head and buried alive. She later climbs out and deals serious blows to Zala's head and leg with an axe. Their injuries are so serious they are taken by air ambulance to a hospital where the next book picks up. 

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Zalachenko is shot in the head in the same hospital as Lisbeth being treated for the grievous injuries he's suffered for having intentions to betray The Section.



Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.