The trial of journalist Kim Wall’s alleged killer, Peter Madsen, began and he is once again claiming that Wall’s death was an accident.
When Kim Wall’s dismembered body parts were found, all signs pointed to Madsen murdering the young woman. But while his story has repeatedly changed, the one thing that has not is his claim that Wall died by accident.
The Engineer and His Submarine
Freelance journalist Kim Wall thought that she stumbled onto an interesting story for Wired magazine; Danish inventor and engineer, Peter Madsen, who built three small submarines, his latest being the UC3 Nautilus.
Wall and her boyfriend were in the midst of preparing a farewell party for a planned move to China when she received an invitation to interview Madsen aboard the Nautilus. She accepted, but only planned to spend two hours on the submarine. She was last seen alive while boarding on August 10, 2017.
The Sinking and the Death of Kim Wall
The next day, the Nautilus reappeared and was in trouble. It was first spotted in the bay of Køge, just south-east of Amager by Drogden lighthouse. A private boat headed out and rescued Madsen, but Wall was nowhere to be seen as the sub sank.
At first, it was believed that Wall went down with the Nautilus and thus, Madsen was charged with negligent manslaughter. Police believe that Madsen purposefully scuttled the Nautilus, and Wall was left inside. At first, he denied this and told officials that Wall was dropped off in Refshaleøen the previous evening.
Soon, Madsen’s story changed. The second version of what occurred had Wall dying on the Nautilus by accident. Madsen claimed that Wall was struck in the head by a heavy hatch door and killed. Not thinking straight, he buried her at sea.
On August 22, 2017, a grisly piece of evidence washed ashore. A human torso that was stabbed at least 15 times, many of which to the genital area. The torso was identified two days later as Wall’s.
The Prosecutor’s Theory and Madsen’s Ever-Changing Story
Not too long after Wall’s torso was discovered, police divers began to find other body parts, as well as a knife and a saw. The parts were bagged with heavy pieces of metal in order to weigh them down.
When Wall’s torso was discovered, a third version of Madsen’s story appeared, Now, Wall accidentally died due to toxic fumes that were created as a result of a mechanical malfunction. Again, Madsen said he panicked, dismembered her corpse and tossed the parts overboard.
Madsen’s charges were upgraded on January 16, 2018, to murder and indecent handling of a corpse, with the trial to begin on March 8, 2018.
The Trial So Far
On the first day of the trial, the prosecution once again alleged that Madsen always intended to torture and murder Wall. Beyond her body, they claim that Wall’s blood was found throughout the salvaged Nautilus. They also alleged that Madsen’s hard drive had a number of videos featuring the torture of women.
According to the prosecution, Madsen bound Wall by her head, arms, and legs and then proceeded to beat and stab her. After she died, he dismembered and disposed of the body, sinking the Nautilus in the hopes of concealing evidence of the murder.
Madsen and his defense team still deny this. In his fourth version of Kim Wall’s death, he claimed that it was caused by a drop in pressure in the sub, which then caused a mechanical malfunction and the release of toxic fumes.
Madsen contends that he was so distraught about the accident that he even contemplated suicide. He slept for two hours and decided to dispose of the body. The work went quickly as he already learned how to amputate limbs in order to “save lives.”
As to why, if it was just an accident, Madsen continued to lie about what happened, he suggested he did it to spare Wall’s friends and family from the pain of her accidental death.
The trial is expected to last until April 16, 2018, with prosecution seeking a life sentence for Madsen.