Kim Wall case: Danish inventor to face murder charge over journalist's death

Kim Wall case: Danish inventor to face murder charge over journalist's death

Kerry Wise
August 25, 2017

Danish cops have identified the headless torso found in Copenhagen bay as that of Kim Wall - the journalist who went missing after taking a ride in a homemade submarine.

Copenhagen police confirmed on Wednesday that Wall is believed to have died on an amateur-built submarine that sank by eccentric inventor, Peter Madsen.

Wall, 30, was last seen alive on the evening of August 10 in Copenhagen, Denmark, on the UC3 Nautilus, a submarine built by Danish inventor Peter Madsen.

Kim Wall has been missing for almost two weeks.

A rescue operation was mounted over fears the submarine, which wasn't fitted with tracking devices, may have got into difficulty in the short channel between Copenhagen and Sweden.

Police say they believe Madsen deliberately scuttled the submarine. An investigation into Wall's death in ongoing, police said.

Divers are continuing to search for the other body parts.

The original charge of negligent manslaughter has been deemed insufficient.

Kim Wall's headless torso was spotted on Monday floating in water off Copenhagen by a cyclist.

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Peter Madsen's lawyer, Betina Hald Engmark, said her client has not admitted any wrongdoing.

"She should be remembered for her insatiable curiosity, and her drive to find stories which no other journalist had touched", Jessica Reed, the Guardian's USA features editor who commissioned Wall to write articles on a range of subjects, told AFP. Initially, he had said that he dropped her off alive in Copenhagen. Madsen, who was charged with involuntary manslaughter and pleaded not guilty, maintained that her death was an accident.

Details have emerged that her arms, legs and head had been removed from her body, and that there were cuts on her torso to force air out and help the body sink. He later changed his statement and said he buried her at sea after she accidentally died aboard the submarine.

Wall's former classmates at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in NY held a candlelight vigil Wednesday in her memory.

Madsen himself was already known in Denmark as an eccentric figure, earning the nickname "Rocket Madsen" for his work on rocket motors and his space-faring ambitions.

From Haiti to North Korea, Wall gave a "voice to the weak, vulnerable and marginalized", her mother, Ingrid Wall, said in a tribute posted on Facebook.

They told Associated Press they had received confirmation of her death "with boundless sadness and dismay", adding: 'The tragedy has hit not only us and other families, but friends and colleagues all over the world'.

Ms. Franzén remembered her friend - who was a graduate of the London School of Economics and had two master's degrees from Columbia University - as not only courageous, but also modest.

"She was just doing her job and unfortunately [she died] so close to home, whereas she has travered the globe and travelled to the most remote places that most people in their lives would have never arrived in", Jose said.

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