The Danish inventor charged with killing Swedish journalist Kim Wall has “psychopathic tendencies” and “no empathy or feelings of guilt,” prosecutors charged Thursday as his trial began in Copenhagen court.
Prosecutor Jakok Buch-Jepsen said Peter Madsen tied up Wall, 30, and tortured her before either slitting her throat or strangling her last August.
Wall’s grisly death came as she took a trip on Madsen’s UC3 Nautilus submarine. She was onboard to work on a story about the 47-year-old sub builder.
Madsen has admitted to dismembering Wall’s body and throwing her body parts into the sea – but denied killing her, insisting that Wall died accidentally while he was on deck.
But his story has flip-flopped since Wall’s death – he initially told authorities that he dropped her off on a Copenhagen island several hours into their trip but then claimed she died accidentally.
“I didn’t wish to share with the whole world how Kim Wall died,” Madsen testified Thursday as he tried to explain the inconsistencies.
He insisted the two “had a wonderful evening until it ended in an accident” and denied that they were sexual that night.
Buch-Jepsen argued that Wall’s murder was premeditated because Madsen brought along tools — such as a saw, knife and sharpened screwdriver — he didn’t normally take while sailing.
Wall’s cause of death is unknown. But the prosecutor detailed her gruesome injuries, including multiple stab wounds inside and outside her genital area, and showed pictures of them to the court.
As Wall’s parents listened in the courtroom, Buch-Jepsen described how her body parts were slowly discovered in the ocean.
Wall’s torso washed up along the shore in southern Copenhagen in late August, while her legs, head, and clothes were discovered in bags at sea in October and November – along with heavy metal objects to weigh the bags down.
After he was arrested, dried blood was discovered on Madsen’s nose, “blood that eventually was proven to belong to Kim Wall,” Buch-Jepsen said. Wall’s blood was also on the military-style bodysuit Madsen was wearing.
The prosecutor said detectives uncovered videos and texts about killing women on Madsen’s laptop and an external hard drive.
The night of the alleged murder, Madsen kept his sub submerged for several hours, making it invisible to radar. He didn’t immediately respond to attempts to make radio contact, the prosecutor said.
The court heard audio of Madsen saying over the radio that he dropped Wall off on Refshale island and that there were no injured persons on board. He indicated that there were only technical problems.
But shortly after, he reported “man overboard” over the radio and was picked up alone.
Madsen, 47, formally pleaded not guilty to murder charges Thursday.
The trial is expected to run until April 25.