Po­lice say in­ven­tor ad­mits he dis­mem­bered jour­nal­ist

The Daily Courier - - WORLD - By The As­so­ci­ated Press

TALLINN, Es­to­nia — She was a promis­ing young jour­nal­ist, tested in trou­ble spots through­out the world, re­port­ing on a Dan­ish in­ven­tor famed for build­ing what was thought to be the world’s largest pri­vate sub­ma­rine. The story seemed to present lit­tle dan­ger, but it cost Kim Wall her life.

The Swedish jour­nal­ist’s dis­mem­bered, naked torso was found on a south­ern Copen­hagen coast in late Au­gust, and her head, legs and clothes were later dis­cov­ered in plas­tic bags at sea. The bags also con­tained a knife and heavy metal ob­jects de­signed to take them to the ocean floor. Wall’s arms are still miss­ing.

In­ven­tor Peter Mad­sen — who is in cus­tody — has of­fered a shift­ing va­ri­ety of ex­pla­na­tions for Wall’s death.

Po­lice re­vealed Mon­day that Mad­sen now ad­mits dis­mem­ber­ing Wall’s body and throw­ing the body parts into a bay south­west of Copen­hagen, but stead­fastly de­nies killing her. He pre­vi­ously claimed she had an ac­ci­dent but now says she died from car­bon monox­ide poi­son­ing suf­fered in­side Mad­sen’s sub­ma­rine while he was out of harm’s way on the ves­sel’s deck.

Mad­sen, 46, is a self-taught aero­space en­gi­neer who was one of the founders of Copen­hagen Subor­bitals, which is ded­i­cated to build­ing sub­marines and manned space­craft. He gen­er­ated at­ten­tion in 2008 with the launch of Nau­tilus, which was billed as the world’s largest pri­vately built sub­ma­rine.

He de­nies killing the 30-year-old Wall, who had carved out a name for her­self in the com­pet­i­tive world of free­lance jour­nal­ism by pro­duc­ing a string of sto­ries from Sri Lanka, Uganda, Cuba, the Mar­shall Is­lands and many other coun­tries.

The glo­be­trot­ting jour­nal­ist was last seen alive on the evening of Aug. 10 on the sub­ma­rine, known as the UC3 Nau­tilus. Po­lice be­lieve Mad­sen and Wall did not know each other be­fore their trip.

Con­cerns about Wall’s safety sur­faced the next day when her boyfriend re­ported her miss­ing. Hours later, Mad­sen — a cel­e­brated en­tre­pre­neur who dreamed of launch­ing a manned space mis­sion — was res­cued from his sink­ing sub­ma­rine.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieve he had sab­o­taged the ves­sel de­spite his as­ser­tion that it had suf­fered a tech­ni­cal fault. He told au­thor­i­ties he had dropped Wall off on an is­land sev­eral hours af­ter their voy­age be­gan.

Later, he dropped that ver­sion and said she had died in an ac­ci­dent on board. He said he had buried her at sea.

Mad­sen claimed she had slipped and suf­fered a blow to the head from a heavy metal hatch on the sub — but po­lice found no in­di­ca­tion of a skull in­jury when her head was fi­nally lo­cated. Her torso was found with mul­ti­ple stab wounds.

Mad­sen is cur­rently charged with mur­der and mu­ti­lat­ing Wall’s body. Po­lice said Mon­day that the charges have now been ex­tended to in­clude sex­ual as­sault with­out in­ter­course.

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