You may recall that really bizarre true crime story we covered here last year, where Danish billionaire inventor and private space travel enthusiast Peter Madsen was arrested in the murder of journalist Kim Wall. Ms. Wall disappeared after taking a trip (alone) with Madsen on one of the private submarines he built himself. Madsen’s story of what happened and how Wall’s dismembered body showed up on the ocean floor in a collection of garbage bags kept changing every time he spoke to authorities, but he’s continually maintained that he didn’t kill her.
The police have been investigating the crime for months and now appear satisfied that they’ve got their man. (Or “monster” might be more appropriate if the charges are substantiated.) They’ve charged him with murder and there may be more accusations to come. (Associated Press)
Inventor Peter Madsen was charged Tuesday with killing Swedish journalist Kim Wall during a trip on his private submarine, with prosecutors saying he either cut her throat or strangled her.
Prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen said the case is “very unusual and extremely disturbing.”
Madsen is charged with murder as well as indecent handling of a corpse for the way he disposed of Wall’s body.
Madsen claimed Wall died accidentally inside the submarine while he was on deck during the excursion in August. However, he later admitted throwing her body parts into the sea.
The trial doesn’t start until March 8th, but Madsen probably shouldn’t expect to be released on bail any time soon. The way that his explanations have shifted since the beginning of the investigation has probably tipped off the courts that he’s not exactly a straight shooter. After Wall originally disappeared he claimed he dropped her off on an island. Then, when the body parts started showing up, he claimed that she had slipped and fallen overboard. Later he said that a submarine hatch had slipped, bashing her in the head, and he gave her a “burial at sea.” He finally admitted to chopping up her body because he was afraid people would think he was guilty, but still claims he didn’t kill her.
The fact that the police found what appeared to be legitimate snuff films on his computer, showing women being tortured and killed, hasn’t scored him any honesty points either. Also, he clearly appears to have scuttled his own wildly expensive submarine in an effort to make the evidence disappear.
This gruesome story has led Danish officials to take a fresh look at other cases of missing women and unidentified body parts found sunk in the same general area of the ocean. If Madsen has had a fascination with torture and murder for many years and since he clearly had the money to go to extremes, the possibility exists that Wall may not have been his first (alleged) victim. Is it possible that we may have uncovered the first billionaire serial killer? This one is stranger than most of what you find in true crime novels or the movies and it’s far from over.