Danish Inventor Accused of Murdering Kim Wall Takes Stand at Murder Trial

On the first day of his murder trial in Copenhagen, Danish inventor Peter Madsen denied killing Swedish journalist Kim Wall while she was aboard his submarine, insisting that he had shifting explanations for her disappearance because he “wanted to spare Wall’s relatives details of her death.” Madsen originally stated that Wall went missing after he dropped her off on an island near Copenhagen, then changed his story, saying she died in an accident onboard. At trial Thursday, he said Wall, 30, was killed by toxic fumes that filled the submarine. “I was only thinking about Kim Wall’s relatives,” he said. “It’s a very, very horrible story. I knew she was dead and she would not come back. I had only one purpose and it was to spare the relatives as much as possible.” Madsen admitted to dismembering Wall’s body after her torso was found on the southern Copenhagen shoreline. Her arms, legs, and head were discovered in plastic bags on the ocean floor, weighed down by heavy metal objects. The trial opened with the prosecution asserting that Madsen committed the crime to “fulfill his violent sexual fantasies.” Prosecutors noted that Wall’s blood was found on Madsen’s nostrils, and he had “fresh scratches” on his underarms. Traces of semen were found in a pair of his underpants after his arrest, prosecutors added. In the days and months leading up to Wall’s death, Madsen looked up videos of women being beheaded and searched  “throats,” “haircut,” “girl,” and “pain” on his cellphone. Forensic psychiatrists claimed that Madsen had “narcissistic and psychopathic traits,” despite having a “superficial charm.”