Kim Wall Was Stabbed After Boarding Submarine, Danish Prosecutor Says

Kim Wall Was Stabbed After Boarding Submarine, Danish Prosecutor Says

He was initially charged with involuntary manslaughter, and it was upgraded to manslaughter, which in Danish law implies intentional homicide and is the legal equivalent of murder. After Mr. Madsen was arrested, the judge ordered that he be held for four more weeks and scheduled a court hearing for Oct. 3.


Kim Wall’s torso was found on a beach near Copenhagen 11 days after she went to interview Mr. Madsen on his self-built submarine in August.

Jens Dresling/Ritzau Foto, via Associated Press

In a court review of Mr. Madsen’s pretrial detention this week, the prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen presented an autopsy report that said that Ms. Wall’s limbs had been removed with a saw. It said she had sustained several stab wounds, including 14 to her genitals alone. Her DNA was found on Mr. Madsen’s hand, nostrils and neck, the report said.

In court, Mr. Madsen denied killing or mutilating Ms. Wall. He said he had panicked and used a rope to pull her from the floor of the submarine before he dumped her body at sea.

The autopsy has not been able to establish the cause of Ms. Wall’s death.To back up Mr. Madsen’s explanation, his lawyer, Betina Hald Engmark, pointed to a mark found on the journalist that could have resulted from a fall, according to the forensic report.

The prosecutor said the police had also found a hard drive belonging to Mr. Madsen with videos showing the torture and killing of women. The videos did not appear to have been made by the inventor, Mr. Buch-Jepsen said.

“The videos indicate that one may have an interest in fetish, torture and murder,” he said in court. “These are some very grave videos with women recorded abroad.”

Mr. Madsen, appearing by video link from the prison where he is being held, told the court that the hard drive had been found in his workshop but its contents did not belong to him.

“Those items confiscated from the space laboratory are not my belongings,” he said, according to TV 2. “An intern used to live in the office. More people have had access. Those files are not necessarily mine.”


Kim Wall

Tom Wall, via Associated Press

Ms. Wall, 30, an acclaimed journalist, initially set out to interview Mr. Madsen about his plans to build an amateur space rocket. But she became intrigued by his submarine and asked to be taken for a ride in it on Aug. 10, he told the court.

Later that night, the 55-foot submarine disappeared, and when Ms. Wall did not return home, her boyfriend contacted the authorities. A search-and-rescue operation found the disabled submarine floating in Koge Bay, south of Copenhagen, the next morning.

As a boat approached the vessel, it suddenly sank, and Mr. Madsen jumped overboard and swam to rescuers. He told the police the submarine had sunk because of a vault malfunction, but the authorities later determined the sinking had been deliberate.

The case has drawn international headlines, and Politiken’s editor in chief called it “the most spectacular murder case in Danish history.”

Ms. Wall, a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and the London School of Economics, had several articles published internationally, including in The New York Times.

She grew up in the Swedish port town of Trelleborg, miles from the waters where she was killed. After her death, friends and family started raising money to establish a grant in her name for “a young female reporter to cover subculture, broadly defined, and what Kim liked to call ‘the undercurrents of rebellion.’”

The court is scheduled to again re-examine Mr. Madsen’s pretrial detention on Oct. 31. A date for his trial has not been set, as the police investigation and the search for her missing body parts continue.

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