Submarine builder admits dismembering journalist's body

Danish seafarer denies murdering Kim Wall

The man charged with the murder of a Swedish journalist in his private submarine has admitted dismembering her body and dumping the parts into the sea – but insists he did not kill her.

Danish police said in a statement that Peter Madsen admitted dumping journalist Kim Wall's severed head and limbs overboard from his submarine, the privately built UC3 Nautilus, in August. Previously he denied dismembering her corpse.

He also now says she died from carbon monoxide poisoning inside the boat, when he had been up on deck. Before he said she died when a hatch cover unexpectedly hit her head, and that the boat foundered as a result of problems with a ballast tank springing a leak.

Madsen was found aboard the sinking Nautilus on August 11. He said at the time that Wall, his only passenger, had been dropped off at another port before the boat sank.

Wall's boyfriend had reported her as missing after the boat failed to make a pre-arranged rendezvous, which prompted the initial search that discovered Wall and the Nautilus at sea. Wall had joined Madsen in order to write a magazine feature about him and his boat, which is the world's largest privately owned submarine.

After the boat itself foundered and Madsen was later arrested, authorities raised the sunken submarine from the seabed. Blood found inside the Nautilus was also a match for Wall.

Since 30-year-old Wall's torso was found in Copenhagen harbour in August, and identified through DNA testing, Madsen has changed his story to say that she died as a result of an accident aboard the boat.

Bags containing her head, legs and clothing were found by police divers in October, the BBC reported. The bags also contained pieces of metal to weigh them down.

Madsen – well known in Denmark for his work on the Nautilus – has been charged with murder, mutilation of a corpse and sexual assault without intercourse. He denies all charges. In September a court ordered him to undergo a psychological evaluation. ®

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