The Danish inventor Peter Madsen was officially charged with the murder and dismemberment of journalist Kim Wall, a death that occurred while Wall was interviewing Madsen for an article, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Madsen was charged with the premeditated murder of the Swedish journalist, along with “sexual relations other than intercourse of a particularly dangerous nature,” CNN reported.
Wall, 30, was last seen alive in August while boarding Madsen’s submarine in order to interview him. On August 11, authorities rescued Madsen from his sinking submarine, but Wall was nowhere to be found. Then, on August 21, her headless torso washed up near Copenhagen. Her head and legs were found later.
Madsen has claimed Wall’s death was an accident, though he originally told investigators that he had dropped Wall off on land on August 10. He testified last fall that Wall died when an exit hatch hit her on the head, causing her to fall down the submarine shaft — though investigators did not find any sign of trauma on Wall’s decapitated head, according to the Telegraph.
Madsen claimed he dismembered Wall in a state of “suicidal psychosis” before intentionally sinking his submarine.
“The world, which I existed in, which is my life and everything I am, that is in the same state as Kim,” he said in court. “It dies. I have nothing left and there’s nothing more I have to do. So everything that’s happening loses its meaning.”
Madsen’s trial is scheduled for March 8. Prosecutors have said they are seeking a punishment of life in prison.
As a freelance successful journalist, Wall’s work appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, and Time magazine. She was a graduate of the London School of Economics and Columbia University.
She “gave a voice to weak, vulnerable and marginalized people,” her mother, Ingrid Wall, said. “It's a voice this world needed for years to come, but that has now been silenced.”