Submarine Inventor Claims Journo Kim Wall Died When Hatch Fell On Her

The Danish inventor accused of killing a journalist aboard his self-built submarine has faced court, claiming that she died after being hit by a falling hatch cover and that no murder took place.

Peter Madsen has been charged over the death of Swedish freelance journalist Kim Wall, who boarded the UC3 Nautilus vessel for a story last month.

He claims that he exited the 70kg hatch while the vessel was surfaced, and was holding it open for Wall when a wave from another vessel caused him to stumble. Madsen says he accidentally dropped the hatch onto Wall, who then fell to the floor.

“It was a terrible accident, a disaster, no doctor could have done anything,” Madsen told the pre-trial hearing.

“Kim was severely injured. There was a pool of blood where she landed. I touched her neck, but she had no pulse.”

However, judge Anette Burkø ruled there was reasonable doubt over his claims, ordering him to remain in custody for another four weeks on suspicion of murder.

Madsen was already facing charges of negligent manslaughter and of mutilating Wall’s body. After the incident, a headless and limbless torso found near the Copenhagen shoreline was identified as that of Wall.

The self-taught engineer denies tampering with her corpse, instead saying he intended to bury Wall at sea by attaching a metal weight to her body and throwing her overboard.

“In my shock I thought it was the right thing to do,” Madsen claimed. “I didn’t want a dead body in my submarine.”

He added that Wall’s corpse was in “one piece” the last time he saw it.

After Wall was first reported missing, Madsen claimed that he’d taken her back to dry land following their interview. A day later, he said she had died in an on-board accident.

Madsen says he deliberately sunk the vessel after the incident, at which point he was rescued by a private vessel. Authorities were able to surface the submarine, subsequently finding traces of Wall’s blood in the cabin.

We’ll keep you posted on this one.