On August 21, the dismembered and headless body of internationally acclaimed journalist Kim Wall was found floating off the coast of Copenhagen, Denmark, ending a mystery that began 11 days earlier when the 30-year-old Swedish freelance reporter departed with eccentric inventor Peter Madsen on a submarine journey — in a sub that Madsen built himself. Wall intended to interview Madsen aboard his submarine and turn the experience into an article, possibly for Wired Magazine, her friends have said.
Madsen, now being held in custody by authorities in Demark, has denied killing Wall. The 46-year-old, who designed and constructed the UC3 Nautilus submarine (pictured at top of this article), initially claimed that he had simply dropped Wall off after the underwater interview and had no idea of her whereabouts after that. He soon changed his story, admitting that Wall died aboard the submarine — but, he said, in an accident, when he dropped a 150-pound metal hatch cover on her head as she was climbing through and he was holding the hatch open, according to a BBC News report.
However, new and chilling facts emerged from the investigation into Wall’s death this week, facts that paint Madsen in a far darker and more frightening light.
— The Straits Times (@STcom) October 3, 2017
Prosecutors announced Tuesday that an autopsy on Wall’s remains revealed that the journalist, who had written for numerous prominent publications including Harper’s Magazine, the New York Times, and Time Magazine, was stabbed repeatedly — at least 15 times, including 14 stab wounds to her genital area, according to a report in the New York Times.
She was stabbed while on board the submarine, according to the findings.
But that wasn’t all. Prosecutors in Denmark also revealed that a forensic digital search of a computer in Madsen’s Copenhagen laboratory turned up the worst type of pornographic videos imaginable — “snuff” films that depicted the actual murders of women, who are apparently killed on camera for the entertainment of a sick and twisted audience.
The videos discovered on the personal computer’s hard drive, according to Prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen, depicted living women being strangled to death, burned alive, and even beheaded on camera. The prosecutors say that they now believe Madsen murdered and mutilated Wall to fulfill some sort of depraved sexual fantasy.
“The videos indicate that one may have an interest in fetish, torture and murder,” the Danish prosecutor said. “These are some very grave videos with women recorded abroad.”
Buch-Jepsen added that investigators believe that the horrifying snuff videos are real, showing actual living women being violently killed. Madsen is not believed to have produced the videos himself.
Madsen claims that when Wall was killed by the falling hatch cover, he panicked and threw her body into the sea.
He then intended to sink his submarine with himself aboard, committing suicide, claiming, “In the shock I was in, it was the right thing to do.”
Madsen acknowledged that the computer containing snuff videos was found in his laboratory, but he denied that it was his alone and said that anyone who worked in his lab could have used the computer, including an intern, and could have been responsible for putting the murder videos on the hard drive, according to a report in London’s Independent newspaper.
The autopsy results released Tuesday showed that Wall was dismembered before her body entered the ocean waters. DNA matching Wall’s was found all over Madsen — on his hands, his neck, and even in his nostrils, the prosecutors said.
Fellow journalists have now established a Kim Wall Memorial Fund, intended to provide financial support to at least one other woman in journalism to “continue Kim’s legacy of brave and original storytelling by funding her to pursue the same kind of stories Kim adored,” her friend, investigative reporter Sonia Paul, wrote on BuzzFeed last week.
[Featured Image by Jens Dresling/AP Images]