Danish inventor sentenced to life in prison for killing journalist

Virginia Carson
April 25, 2018

A court in Denmark will deliver the verdict today in a horrific murder case which has gripped and shocked a nation.

A Danish court sentenced Danish inventor Peter Madsen to life in prison on Wednesday for murdering and dismembering a Swedish journalist aboard his homemade submarine in Copenhagen's harbour in August 2017. Madsen also dismembered her body during a private submarine trip, according to the Associated Press.

Police detained him on August 11 past year when he emerged from his submarine without Wall, 30, who had boarded the vessel the previous day to do research on a story about Madsen.

"He committed a cynical, planned murder, of a particularly brutal nature", the judge said as she read out the verdict, adding that Madsen "dismembered the body in order to hide the evidence of murder".

In his final arguments on Monday, prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen argued that Madsen had tortured and then murdered Wall to fulfil his violent sexual fantasies, in a case "so bad and disgusting that you as a prosecutor have no words to describe it".

The online snuff videos depicted the murder, torture, beheading and impalement of women.

Madsen's explanation that the journalist died accidentally from Carbon dioxide asphyxiation on board his submarine was corroborated as plausible by one expert witness, and dismissed by another, making it hard to prove either way. The prosecution, she said, had presented "a horror story without facts".

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Madsen's defense lawyer argued that he should only have been sentenced for cutting Wall into pieces.

A post-mortem examination of Ms Wall's remains revealed that she had been stabbed multiple times in the genitals.

The journalist was strapped to pipes inside Madsen's vessel, likely with straps Madsen had brought on board or with her own stockings.

Three other honors have been set up in her name, including a scholarship at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism and the Kim Wall Best Digital Reporting Award, sponsored by Google, which rewards the best stories on global affairs using creative and dynamic digital storytelling techniques. Her work had already been published in The Guardian, The New York Times, Vice and Time Magazine.

An autopsy report concluded she probably died as a result of suffocation or having her throat slit.

Peter Madsen has been sentenced to life in jail for the killing of journalist Kim Wall. Madsen was rescued from Koge Bay, according to police, after purposely sinking his vessel, a 60-foot UC3 Nautilus.

However his explanation changed again when parts of her body were discovered weighed down on the Baltic Sea bed.

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But the forensic pathologist found no indication of such poisoning.

Early in March, he told the court he had found Wall lifeless after a sudden pressure problem in the submarine. You divide it into something smaller. Clearly, she says Madsen did one thing "horrible" by reducing Wall into items, and that he ought to have exclusively be sentenced for that. But it was also noted that he had fresh scratches on both arms. Her boyfriend told the court that she was "incredibly ambitious" and "amazingly curious". It's the same as films you've seen, Jakob. he said to the prosecutor.

Madsen's lawyer, Betina Hald Engmark, has described the incident as "a horror story" however that the prosecution case was based mostly "on undocumented claims".

It is not my client's duty to prove that he is innocent. They called for a life sentence, which in Denmark averages around 16 years and is very rarely handed down for the murder of a single person.

In all, Madsen was found guilty on all three charges: which were the indecent handling of a corpse, premeditated murder, and "sexual relations other than intercourse of a particularly unsafe nature".

He admitted dismembering Wall's body and throwing her remains overboard, an offence punishable by six months in prison but denied killing her.

After her death, Ms Wall's family and friends set up a fund in her memory raising money to help fund young female freelance reporters.

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