We’ve been following the story of Peter Madsen here for some time now. The billionaire inventor and private space program entrepreneur was accused of murdering journalist Kim Wall aboard his privately designed and constructed submarine. This grisly tale started out awful and just become more and more horrifying as all of the details emerged. Through it all, Madsen continued to insist that he was innocent of murder, though he eventually admitted that he had chopped up Wall’s body and disposed of the pieces at sea.
Still, nothing was certain until today. The jury came back with their decision and Madsen was found guilty of murder along with other charges related to sexual abuse, either before or after his victim expired (or possibly both). CNN has the details.
Danish inventor Peter Madsen has been found guilty of the mutilation and murder of Swedish journalist Kim Wall, and sentenced to life in prison.
He was also found guilty of the indecent handling of a corpse and “sexual relations other than intercourse of a particularly dangerous nature,” evidenced by stab wounds inside and outside Wall’s genital area.
Wall, a promising 30-year-old journalist, was last seen boarding Madsen’s submarine in Copenhagen on August 10 last year when she had planned to interview him for an upcoming article.
I’ve checked out a number of reports from the European press as well as podcasts where legal experts were debating the outcome of this trial. On the one hand, the average layman may have assumed that a conviction would be a slam dunk. Madsen had told so many lies and changed his story so often that a jury couldn’t take him seriously, could they? And it was beyond dispute that he and Wall were the only two people on the submarine when she died. The grisly nature of the remains made it even more obvious, or so I had thought.
But others argued that the jury’s decision couldn’t be predicted for sure. Madsen had excellent attorneys and nearly unlimited money. Psychologists had delivered a report saying that he was a psychopath, so there was the possibility of some sort of insanity defense. And his claim that she had died accidentally couldn’t be 100% disproven, allowing the possibility that he might have only been found guilty of abuse of a corpse.
But in the end, the jury rejected all of that and went with what seemed obvious from the beginning. Madsen had clearly tortured, sexually assaulted and murdered Kim Wall before dismembering her. The fact that some “snuff films” were found on his computer likely also swayed the jury to reject his claims. I’m sure he’s entitled to some sort of appeal, but for now he’s facing life in prison. The real question is if the authorities will be able to tie him to the deaths of some other young women whose remains were found disposed of in the same stretch of ocean. For all we know, Madsen has been abducting and killing women for years.