Submarine Inventor Admits to Dismembering Swedish Journalist’s Body, Police Say

Peter Madsen denies murdering journalist Kim Wall, saying she died of carbon monoxide on his sub

Last Updated: January 16, 2018 @ 2:21 PM

Submarine inventor Peter Madsen confessed to police on Monday that he dismembered the body of Swedish journalist Kim Wall, though he denies murdering her.

Danish police said Madsen confessed during an interview arranged two weeks ago by Madsen’s defense attorney, Betina Hald Engmark, admitting to dismembering her body and throwing the pieces into the ocean. Engmark told Reuters Madsen will voluntarily stay in custody until Nov. 15, thereby canceling a hearing scheduled for Tuesday.

Madsen previously told police that Wall had died when a submarine hatch fell on her head and denied dismembering her, but has changed his story and now claims Wall died of carbon monoxide poisoning on his submarine. Madsen intentionally sank his submarine after Wall was reported missing, with police taking him into custody on preliminary manslaughter charges shortly afterwards.

“He’s claiming that there wasn’t enough oxygen in the submarine and that she suffocated, and that he was upstairs and didn’t notice and found her when he came back,” Copenhagen police spokesman Steen Hansen told The Telegraph.

Wall was first reported missing by her boyfriend on Aug. 11, and her headless torso was found in Koge Bay off the east coast of Denmark 10 days later. Her head, legs and clothes were found in bags weighed with metal on Oct. 7, with the autopsy finding no signs of head trauma and disproving Madsen’s submarine hatch claim. Police also say they found dried blood in the sunken submarine that matched Wall’s DNA taken from her personal items.

Wall has worked as a reporter for several outlets, including The New York Times and Vice. Madsen is a Danish inventor who crowdfunded the construction of the submarine, Nautilus, in 2008. When the submarine sank, Madsen blamed the incident on “a minor problem with a ballast tank” that “turned into a major issue.”