If anyone could empathise with how the vilified Danish socialite Claus von Bülow felt when the whole world convicted him ahead of his 1982 trial for attempting to murder his wife, it is probably Peter Madsen.
But that is to presume he is capable of empathy. Following the August 21 discovery of a headless, limbless torso – which police have confirmed is Kim Wall, the Swedish journalist who was last seen alive boarding his submarine on August 11 – it seems increasingly unlikely.
The identification of the torso on August 23 marked a turning point. Before, the case had held the mystery of an Agatha Christie novel. Afterwards, it descended into the world of Jeffrey Dahmer.
The nasty handle
Nevertheless, there are some who support the claim of Madsen, who stands accused of negligent manslaughter, that it was an accident, like Jens Falkenberg, who helped Madsen build the submarine.
“When I heard she was dead, my first thought was that she could have slipped on the ladder leading up to the first hatch,” he told Metroxpress.
“Behind that there is a door that is always open, which has a really nasty handle on it, which you can bang the back of your head into.”
A lot of care to conceal
For an accident, a lot of care was taken to remove the evidence. Lead investigator Jens Møller has confirmed that metal parts were tied to her torso to weigh it down.
Additionally Møller revealed the torso had sustained post-mortem damage as if someone was trying to release all the air and gases from the body to ensure it remained submerged.
Another theory is that Wall was killed because she was working on a story that implicated Madsen and a worldwide drug smuggling ring.
An unnamed source wrote to CPH POST on August 18 to present evidence that Wall had written a story on the cocaine trade in the Americas and that submarines are used to transport cocaine.
Furthermore, dismembered torsos are the hallmark of South American drug lords.