One thing has become pretty clear today: Peter Madsen doesn’t have much of a defence.
Of his eight witnesses, five took to the stand today in Courtroom 60, and none of them did his case any good.
Two were sea-farers who waved at him, another changed his mind to deliver a damning testimony, and the ‘star witness’ saw his opinion, in which he maintained Madsen had a good excuse for keeping an onboard saw, shredded by the prosecution.
Given there were just as many witnesses for the defence as the prosecution (which has 29 in total), this should have been the submariner’s day. It wasn’t.
Madsen had previously maintained a saw was needed aboard the submariner to make plywood shelves, but no other witness had backed up these claims.
This witness did his best. He said he promised Madsen to help make the shelves, but agreed with the prosecution that were no reasonable explanation for a saw being on board on August 10 – the day Madsen is accused of carrying out the premeditated murder of Swedish journalist Kim Wall.
Two of the witnesses saw Madsen and Wall aboard the submarine from their own vessels, both testifying that the mood was good. Wall even took a picture of one of them, and he reciprocated.
Defence witness number 4, a friend since 2002, told the court that Madsen was not violent, but had been a bit manic in early August. He also confirmed his friend was a frequenter of sex clubs
And the helicopter captain who took part in the mission to rescue Madsen, who had previously said Madsen looked “shaken” when he picked him up from the water, changed his testimony. He now believes Madsen looked “thoughtful”.
Premeditation case continues to grow
For the prosecution, meanwhile, it was pretty damning, but there were no bombshells.
Yet another regular submarine passenger testified that she had not seen the saw (tool of dismemberment), the 50 cm screwdriver (suspected tool of torture/killing), green hose (tool of easy cleaning) or metal pipes (tools to weigh down the body) aboard the sub.
The woman, who said her relationship with Madsen was of a “technical nature”, recalled that the submariner had invited her out on a private voyage for two, but that there had never been “inappropriate conduct”.
Another woman recalled how Madsen had invited her out on August 8 after she had met him in May on the dock and received a tour of the sub along with her friend. She said no.
Two witnesses testified to Madsen saying that Øresund and Køge Bay would be good places to hide a body because they were congested shipping areas in which vessels were required to follow specified routes, where it was hard to use sonar.
“Buried at sea”
The most intriguing testimony of the day came from Madsen’s navigator, Steen Lorck. He told the court how Madsen how fantasised about committing the ultimate crime, which would challenge the authorities on “water, land and air”. Lorck guessed it might have been a jewellery heist.
Lorck also recalled how the pair jokingly discussed ditching the submarine so they could be buried at sea once they became too old to sail it – but then Lorck realised that he was much, much older than Madsen.
Lorck had previously told police he could imagine Madsen killing himself on the sub, but not with anyone else on board.
Madsen nodded at Lorck, imploring him for a reaction, but the witness did not return his gaze.
Moments later nobody in court could look Madsen in the eye. They had just either viewed or listened to some of the contents of his restored iPhone, which included several decapitation animations and footage of a woman being burned alive.
Among the folder names on his phone were “Burn”, “Hang” and “Private Sex”.