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Inventor Sentenced to Life for Murder of Journalist Kim Wall on Submarine

A Danish court found Peter Madsen guilty of "premeditated killing" on Wednesday.
Photo of Peter Madsen (L) by Niels Hougaard /Ritzau via AP. Photo of Kim Wall (R) by ANDERS VALDSTED/AFP/Getty Images.

Peter Madsen, the inventor accused of murdering and dismembering journalist Kim Wall aboard his homemade submarine last summer, has been sentenced to life in prison, the New York Times reports.

On Wednesday, a Danish court found Madsen, 47, guilty of the "premeditated killing" of Wall in August 2017, while the Swedish freelance reporter rode with him on what was supposed to be a two-hour submarine trip off the coast of Copenhagen. Once Wall was reported missing, Madsen originally told police that he had safely returned her after their trip. But when Wall's dismembered body parts began washing ashore, he changed his story, claiming she had died in an accident onboard from a head wound, then later from carbon monoxide poisoning. Madsen ultimately admitted to dismembering her body, though he maintained he did not kill her.


Prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen painted a different picture of the incident during the trial, presenting evidence that suggests Madsen "tied up" and sexually assaulted Wall before stabbing and killing her. It was, Buch-Jepsen claimed, all part of a plan that Madsen had meticulously researched and discussed ahead of time. According to Wired, a friend of Madsen's received texts from the inventor before Wall went missing saying he had "a murder plan ready in the submarine." According to Reuters, investigators also found videos of women being decapitated, strangled, and tortured on Madsen's lab computer.

"This case has crept under my skin more than other cases," Buch-Jepsen said after hearing the court's guilty verdict, calling Madsen "not normal" and "a danger to society" in his closing argument earlier this week, the Times reports.

Madsen's lawyer, Betina Hald Engmark, told reporters that she is "not satisfied" with the court's decision and plans to appeal the verdict. According to the Times, Madsen could be considered for release in 12 years.

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