Danish inventor Peter Madsen was handed a life sentence without parole on Wednesday for the gruesome murder of Swedish journalist Kim Wall last year on his submarine, where he mutilated her and tossed her body parts into the ocean.
Madsen plotted to kill Wall either by suffocation or by slitting her throat, prosecutors said, and his vessel was equipped with tools to torture her. Additionally, he had threatened to torture and kill another woman aboard the submarine, according to text messages that the legal team uncovered.
Prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen described the killing as “so heinous and repulsive that as a prosecutor, it renders you speechless.” He called Madsen “not normal” and a “danger to society.” A court-ordered psychiatric report determined the inventor possessed psychopathic tendencies.
Wall went missing after boarding Madsen’s submarine on Aug. 10. She had planned a two-hour voyage to interview Madsen for an article. The submarine sank the next day and Madsen was rescued, but Wall was missing. Her mutilated torso was found almost two weeks later in the waters near Copenhagen after a passerby spotted it. Other body parts weren’t discovered until October.
Madsen gave a variety of accounts to authorities, first telling police that he had placed her ashore and then alleging that she accidentally died aboard the vessel, leading him to cut her to pieces and scatter them into the sea.
CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this story indicated Wall was Danish.