The bound and gagged body of Mr Olson, the director of Southampton airport, was found last February in the bath of his room in Paris, where he had been attending a seminar. Mr Olson, 34, who was single and lived at Mercury Gardens, Hamble, Hampshire, had been strangled. There was also evidence of blows from a blunt object, according to a report by a French pathologist.
The Mid-Hampshire coroner, Graham Short, said, as he recorded a verdict of unlawful killing, that it was a 'brutal, calculated killing of a respected member of this community'.
He told the inquest at Eastleigh, Hampshire, that the only conclusion was that Mr Olson had been deliberately killed by a person or persons unknown. 'The French police inquiries have been unable to explain why he was killed or by whom, but because of the nature of the killing I am sure that he was murdered.'
The dead man's father, Godfrey Olson, a former mayor of Eastleigh, said afterwards that he had not been told any details by French police as it was not their practice to issue statements until they had finished their inquiries.