Kim Wall's Friend Spent Months Researching Her Awful Death

Fellow journalist learns that Wall skipped her own party to go on submarine trip
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2018 1:07 PM CST
Updated Feb 25, 2018 11:47 AM CST
Kim Wall Skipped Own Party to Take Fatal Submarine Ride
In this 2008 file photo, submarine owner Peter Madsen stands inside the vessel.   (Niels Hougaard /Ritzau via AP, File)

May Jeong wasn't just similar to Kim Wall, the journalist allegedly murdered by Peter Madsen in his submarine in August, she was her friend: A fellow young freelance writer who knew Wall in New York in 2016 and spoke with her weekly after assignments took them abroad. "When I learned that Kim had disappeared, my instinct was to find out everything I could about what happened to her," she writes for Wired, an undertaking that took four months and involved steps like reaching out to every single friend Madsen has on Facebook. The result is a piece packed with wrenching details, like the fact that Wall and her partner, Ole Stobbe, were preparing for their own goodbye party—they were about to move to Beijing—when Madsen texted Wall an invite for tea.

That produced an invite to go for a ride on his sub, and she decided to skip the party to secure the interview. Stobbe was "insanely close" to going with her but decided to stay behind to entertain their guests. At one point as the sun set, he looked out on the water and managed to see her wave to him. What prosecutors say happened next is gruesome, and Jeong reports on a potentially telling exchange Madsen had via text with a woman she describes as a "friend and recent sexual partner of Madsen's." The woman, an artist, was struggling to finish a project and prodded Madsen to threaten her as "a joke." The exchange ended with him talking of a murder and dismemberment plot in his sub. She gave the iMessages to police. Read Jeong's full story, which includes details from letters she received from Madsen, here. (More Kim Wall stories.)

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