Dan­ish Killing: sev­ered head of jour­nal­ist found by po­lice divers

SPE­CIAL RE­PORT

Sunday Herald - - CRIME - BY PETER SWIN­DON

THE sev­ered head of a young Swedish jour­nal­ist has been dis­cov­ered two months af­ter she was killed on board a sub­ma­rine built by Dan­ish in­ven­tor Peter Mad­sen.

Divers also found Kim Wall’s sev­ered legs, her cloth­ing and a knife in bags weighted with “heavy metal pieces”, ac­cord­ing to Dan­ish de­tec­tives. Her arms are yet to be found. The 30-yearold free­lance jour­nal­ist’s naked torso washed up 11 days af­ter Mad­sen’s sub­ma­rine sank in shal­low wa­ters off Copen­hagen on Au­gust 11.

Pros­e­cu­tors re­vealed mul­ti­ple knife and nee­dle-stick wounds found in the ribcage and groin were in­flicted at the time of her death or shortly af­ter.

Mad­sen ini­tially claimed he dropped Wall on an is­land hours before the self­built sub­ma­rine sank but the 46-yearold later changed his story and said Wall died af­ter be­ing ac­ci­den­tally hit by a heavy hatch in the sub­ma­rine.

Last night, Copen­hagen po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tor Jens Moeller Jensen said there were no frac­tures to Wall’s skull and he de­clined to com­ment on the dis­cov­ery of the knife. Moeller Jensen said: “We found a leg. An hour af­ter, an­other leg. And shortly af­ter a head also lay in a bag that was weighed down by sev­eral pieces of metal.”

He added that they also found a bag con­tain­ing Kim Wall’s clothes and shoes. “In the same bag laid a knife, and there were some car pipes to weigh the bag down,” he said.

Mad­sen is in cus­tody await­ing trial for man­slaugh­ter and in­de­cent han- dling of a corpse. At an ear­lier court hear­ing Copen­hagen prose­cu­tor Jakob Buch-Jepsen re­vealed im­ages of the tor­ture, de­cap­i­ta­tion and burn­ing of women were found on a com­puter at Mad­sen’s lab. The in­ven­tor claims other peo­ple had ac­cess to the com­puter.

Wall was a re­spected jour­nal­ist who had re­ported from Uganda, Kenya, Cuba, North Korea and New York. She boarded Mad­sen’s UC3 Nau­tilus sub­ma­rine to in­ter­view the in­ven­tor at 7pm on Au­gust 10.

Mad­sen in­sists she died af­ter she was hit by a 155lb hatch when it slipped from his fin­gers. It had been a “ter­ri­ble ac­ci­dent”, ac­cord­ing to Mad­sen, and he had “buried her at sea” af­ter at­tach­ing a metal weight around her waist.

Speak­ing to a court via a video link from prison, Mad­sen said he then felt sui­ci­dal and planned to take his own life by sink­ing his sub­ma­rine, but he swam to safety and was res­cued by the crew of a nearby boat. Po­lice dis­cov­ered traces of Kim Wall’s cloth­ing scat­tered around the sub­ma­rine, in­clud­ing un­der­wear, and he was de­tained. Mad­sen later claimed that this cloth­ing came off when he hauled the life­less corpse through the sub­ma­rine hatch.

Mad­sen found fame af­ter fi­nanc­ing the build­ing of the 40-tonne, 18-me­tre Nau­tilus through crowd­fund­ing, com­plet­ing it in 2008. Before his ar­rest, he ran an or­gan­i­sa­tion called Rocket-Mad­sens Space Lab­o­ra­tory, which is funded by do­na­tions.

Main pic, po­lice at Peter Mad­sen’s sub­ma­rine; right, the killer in 2008 and above, vic­tim Kim Wall

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