‘No empathy’

Inventor accused of killing journalist Kim Wall testifies at murder trial

Swedish journalist Kim Wall (TT NEWS AGENCY/ Tom Wall Handout via REUTERS)

Danish inventor Peter Madsen testified in court on Thursday in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he is on trial for the murder of journalist Kim Wall during a private trip on his submarine last year. Madsen, who has been accused of torturing the 30-year-old journalist before killing her and dismembering her body, told the court that Wall died because of a sudden pressure problem in the submarine.

Madsen’s testimony contradicted his previous accounts of Wall’s death. Initially, he had told authorities that his submarine had sunk due to technical problems, and that he didn’t know where Wall was because he had dropped her off on a Copenhagen island. After the discovery of Wall’s dismembered corpse, he amended his account, claiming that Wall had actually died on the submarine after he accidentally let the hatch fall and hit her on the head.

A court sketch shows Peter Madsen (L) and the prosecutor, Jakob Buch-Jepsen, (standing) on the first day of the trial in Copenhagen, Denmark March 8, 2018. (Anne Gyrite Schütt/Ritzau Scanpix/via REUTERS)

In court, Madsen strongly denied any sexual attraction to Wall, but acknowledged that he was “a promiscuous person.” He also admitted to dismembering Wall’s body, claiming that it had been necessary to get her body off the submarine. Prosecutors showed the court a drawing of the multiple stab wounds inflicted to Wall’s torso, and pointed out that they had found videos of women being tortured and killed on his computer. A court-order psychiatric evaluation found that Madsen, 47, had “no empathy or feelings of guilt” over what had happened to Wall.

Wall had studied at Paris Sorbonne University, the London School of Economics and Columbia University in New York City, before embarking on a career in journalism that saw her published in papers such as The New York Times and The Guardian. According to her friend, Caterina Clerici, Wall had “a soft spot for misfits, for places and people that did not conform.”

Read the full story at The Associated Press.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is independent of and separate from any views of The New York Times.