Danish inventor charged with ‘submarine murder’ of Swedish journalist

A Danish inventor has been formally charged in the death of Swedish journalist Kim Wall — who was found dismembered off the coast of Denmark last summer after taking a ride in a homemade submarine.

Danish submarine owner and inventor Peter Madsen (R) speaks to a Danish policeman in Dragor Harbor south of Copenhagen, Denmark, in August. Tuesday, Madsen was formally charged with the murder of journalist Kim Wall. Photo by Bax Lindhardt/EPA
Danish submarine owner and inventor Peter Madsen (R) speaks to a Danish policeman in Dragor Harbor south of Copenhagen, Denmark, in August. Tuesday, Madsen was formally charged with the murder of journalist Kim Wall. Photo by Bax Lindhardt/EPA

Peter Madsen, a Danish engineer, is charged with murder and indecent handling of a corpse.

Wall, 30, was researching a story on Madsen and accompanied him aboard his homemade submarine on Aug. 10. Her torso was found floating off the coast of Copenhagen on Aug. 21.

Madsen, 46, first said he dropped her off on shore after the ride, but his story changed several times afterward.

Madsen later said Wall died when a heavy hatch on the vessel struck her head, and that he pushed her body into the water. He’d also told police Wall died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Authorities said ultimately he admitted he dismembered her body while in a state of “suicidal paralysis,” but said he did not kill her.

In October, the journalist’s head, arms and legs were found in the harbor in weighted bags. An investigation of Wall’s remains showed no blunt trauma to her head, but 14 stab wounds to her ribs and genitals.

Madsen’s trial will begin March 8. If convicted, he faces five years to life in prison.

By Susan McFarland