Danish inventor Peter Madsen has today been found guilty of murdering 30-year-old Swedish journalist Kim Wall on his homemade submarine in August 2017.
You definitely remember the horrific story: Wall was last seen boarding Madsen’s 17-metre submarine to conduct an interview with the engineer. The following day, the submarine sank due to what Madsen alleges were ‘technical difficulties’ and he was rescued from a bay off Copenhagen – without Wall. Ten days after she was last seen, Wall’s headless torso was found floating off the coast. Her head and legs were discovered by divers in October.
Madsen repeatedly changed his story when interviewed by police, first saying he had dropped Wall off at a restaurant before the sub sank, then that she had died when a heavy submarine hatch accidentally fell on her head, and denying that he had dismembered her. Later, he said that Wall had actually died of carbon monoxide poisoning which leaked from the submarine due to a technical error, but admitted he had dismembered her and dumped her body parts at sea.
Judge Anette Burkoe and two jurors concluded that the death was in fact a murder, with Madsen failing to provide a “trustworthy” explanation.
The cause of Wall’s death has never been established.
During the trial, Madsen’s defense argued that he should only be charged for dismemberment, while the prosecutor, Jakob Buch-Jepsen, argued the murder was both sexually motivated and premeditated, as Madsen had brought along tools he wouldn’t normally take with him on his submarine. He said that Madsen had either strangled Wall or cut her throat, her body found with 15 stab wounds, including 11 around the genital area.
Madsen was charged today with murder, dismemberment, and indecent handling of a corpse. He has been sentenced to life in prison. His attorney said that he intends to appeal the sentence.