Peter Madsen Gets Rare Life Sentence for Reporter's Murder

Judge says Madsen didn't give 'a trustworthy' explanation for Kim Wall's death
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2018 6:19 AM CDT
Peter Madsen Gets Life for Reporter Kim Wall's Murder
In this April 30, 2008 file photo, submarine owner Peter Madsen stands inside the vessel.   (Niels Hougaard /Ritzau via AP, File)

Life sentences are unusual in Denmark, even when the crime is murder, but that's what Danish inventor Peter Madsen was handed on Wednesday. Judge Anette Burkoe at the Copenhagen City Court said she and the two jurors—whose opinions all held equal weight in the case—found Swedish journalist Kim Wall was murdered, telling Madsen he hadn't given "a trustworthy" explanation for her death and that "there is clear evidence that the accused has shown an interest in killing and dismembering people." The 47-year-old stood quietly listening as the verdict was read, reports the AP, with the Guardian describing him as "visibly nervous." The paper notes life sentences in Denmark typically average 16 years; Madsen has two weeks to decide whether he will appeal.

Madsen had maintained that he did not murder Wall, but did admit to cutting up her body and disposing of it in the sea after what he said was an accidental death. The New York Times reports prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen had argued Madsen was fixated on murdering a woman after a rocket launch was scrapped on Aug. 8, two days before Wall died. Buch-Jepsen said Madsen texted three women an invitation to meet him on the sub but was turned down. Wall boarded the sub on Aug. 10 for an interview that she had tried to secure for months; Madsen had texted her that day with the invite. "It was random chance that it turned out to be Kim Wall," Buch-Jepsen said. Wall skipped her own going away party to head to the interview. More on that here. (More Kim Wall stories.)

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