Danish submarine murder mystery just gets stranger and stranger

A few weeks ago we talked about the horrific murder of Swedish journalist Kim Wall aboard a private submarine owned by Danish inventor Peter Madsen. The grizzly descriptions of what remained of Wall’s body were enough to give anyone nightmares, but Madsen’s shifting accounts of what happened to her simply defied credulity.

Initially, when Wall was reported missing the day after going out on the submarine with the inventor, Madsen claimed that he had “dropped her off on an island” before experiencing technical problems leading to the sinking of his sub. When Wall’s torso (sans head and limbs) washed up on shore riddled with knife wounds, Madsen began shifting his tale, claiming that she had died as a result of a tragic accident. H further insisted that he had buried her at sea, but he had no idea how her body had been chopped up.

Now that Wall’s head and legs were found in the sea, stashed in weighted bags, with no signs of the supposed fatal accident Madsen described, he’s finally confessed that he dismembered the body. But, of course, he’s still completely innocent of killing her and she must have been asphyxiated or something. (Associated Press)

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.

“This explanation naturally will lead the police into gathering additional statements from the coroner and the armed forces’ submarine experts,” said Copenhagen police investigator Jens Moller Jensen.

Police on Monday expanded the charges against him to include sexual assault.

There are a couple of shocking twists to the story above and beyond Madsen’s constantly changing stories. First there’s the fact that authorities are adding sexual assault charges based on forensic examination of Wall’s remains. Remember that police discovered a large quantity of what they suspect are snuff films on Madsen’s computer. These weren’t just pornography with actors, but are believed to be actual films of real women being tortured and killed.

Could Madsen have been harboring these sick fantasies and decided to act them out with Wall as his victim? And could someone as brilliant as Peter Madsen is supposed to be really have been that stupid? If two people leave port on a submarine and one of them is never seen again, the cops are going to want to talk to the other guy.

The other twist here is the news that authorities are now opening up some older cold cases in this region. They date back as far as a 1986 case involving the death of a young Japanese woman. Her dismembered corpse was similarly discovered in multiple plastic bags in the same Copenhagen harbor where Wall’s corpse was disposed of. Could Madsen turn out to be a serial killer who has been engaged in these sickening crimes for decades without being detected?

They’ve got a mystery on their hands in Copenhagen which makes some modern murder mystery movies look tame by comparison. But the way things are going, we may be on the way to finding justice for the family of Kim Wall and possibly other missing women as well.