Journalist ‘stabbed 15 times’ onboard Danish submarine

Court hears decapitation videos were found on computer of inventor Peter Madsen

Peter Madsen (R),  talks to police  following a major rescue operation after the submarine sank. Photograph: Bax Lindhardt/AFP/Getty Images

Peter Madsen (R), talks to police following a major rescue operation after the submarine sank. Photograph: Bax Lindhardt/AFP/Getty Images


The suspected killer of Swedish journalist Kim Wall will be detained for four more weeks after a Copenhagen court heard that 15 stab wounds had been found on her body.

Peter Madsen (46) faces a murder charge over the death of the 30-year-old journalist, whose headless, dismembered torso was found floating off Denmark’s capital city 10 days after she boarded the inventor’s self-built submarine for an interview.

Prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen told the court that cause of death had not yet been formally established, but that the multiple knife wounds had been inflicted “at the time of death or shortly afterwards”.

New post-mortem evidence showing Ms Wall was stabbed in her ribcage and genitals “around or shortly after her death,” was adding to the case against Mr Madsen, the Mr Buch-Jepsen said.

Traces of Mr Madsen’s DNA had also been also recovered from Ms Wall’s body, as well as traces of a saw blade consistent with the removal of her head and limbs after her death, Mr Buch-Jepsen said. An examination of Mr Madsen’s computer had also uncovered material featuring women being tortured and killed.

A police prosecutor said officers found images “which we presume to be real” of women being strangled and decapitated on the hard drive on Madsen’s computer in a laboratory he ran.

Jouranlist Kim Wall (30). Photograph: TT News Agency/Reuters
Jouranlist Kim Wall (30). Photograph: TT News Agency/Reuters

Mr Madsen, who denies killing Ms Wall, took part in the half-hour custody hearing with his lawyer via a video link from Copenhagen’s Vestre prison. He said he was “not the only person” with access to the computer in his workshop, and the extreme content did not belong to him.

His defence lawyer, Betina Hald Engmark, said the court had heard “nothing that supports Kim Wall being killed by my client”. No investigations had been carried out to substantiate Mr Madsen’s claim that the journalist died in an accident and that her body was still intact when he disposed of it at sea, she said.

Mr Madsen told a hearing last monththat the journalist died when a 70kg hatch cover fell on her head while she was climbing on to the deck of the surfaced submarine. “It was a terrible accident, a disaster,” he said.

Feeling “suicidal”, he attached a metal weight around her waist so her body would sink, and planned to sink his submarine, taking his own life, he said. “In my shock I thought it was the right thing to do,” he told the court.

Ms Wall, who had written for the Guardian and New York Times, was last seen alive on the Nautilus on August 10th. After her boyfriend reported her missing, the 18-metre submarine was located south of Copenhagen the following morning.

Mr Madsen, an entrepreneur, artist, submarine builder and self-taught aerospace engineer, was rescued just before the vessel sank, and arrested. He will appear in court again on October 31st.

Guardian and Reuters