Peter Madsen was back on the stand on Wednesday March 28, and he occupied it for over half of the day, answering questions related to a number of subjects, including the key pieces of evidence currently underpinning his charge of premeditated murder.
An inventive inventory?
The prosecutor is seeking to prove he took a saw, a 50 cm screwdriver, a hose and metal pipes on board his submarine for the first time on August 10 because he intended to murder Swedish journalist Kim Wall and dispose of her body.
Madsen, however, maintains he took the hose for cleaning purposes, the screwdriver and the metal pieces to make it possible for him to fish things out of the water, and the saw to make wooden shelves out of plywood.
In the case of the saw, Madsen explained that he intended to carry plywood “the next time” he made the journey from his workshop to the sub as it takes “several minutes” to complete.
Fathoming the truth
Madsen was emotional as he faced a courtroom struggling to fathom the truth of what happened on August 10, and he broke down in tears on one occasion.
He was asked to explain the submarine exhaust system that he claims caused Wall’s death, a suicide text he sent to his now ex-wife (who recently divorced him for “financial reasons”), the use of the straps (if they weren’t on the sub to restrain Wall), and near-collisions with other vessels.
It was also revealed that Madsen as a child imagined being abducted and made to appear in pornography, and that he had a text conversation with a woman on August 4 in which he referred to having a “murder plan ready” after he was asked by her to be “threatening”.
Madsen explained that his collection of snuff and torture films are mainly due to his fondness for horror movies, and that occasionally the titles have misled him. He also hinted that others had access to hard drives on which some of the material was found.
Wall’s parents on stand
Only four others took the stand on Wednesday – the last day until the case resumes again next Tuesday.
A former colleague and then rival of Peter Madsen’s testified that the submariner was under pressure in 2017, but no more so than on other occasions. He believed it unlikely that Madsen was going to give up. However, he confirmed the submarine’s owners have agreed the vessel should be destroyed to save it from becoming a showpiece museum exhibit.
Another witness was a member of ‘Det Sorte Selskab’ – a private members-only sex club for those interested in BDSM sex and other forms of experimental sex. He told the court that Madsen passed the vetting to be accepted into the club in 2000, but was shortly afterwards thrown out – not because he was too extreme, but because he was too passive. He seemed fascinated but not turned on.
And finally, both of Kim Wall’s parents took to the stand in relation to the compensation that is expected to be paid out to the victim’s family. The court heard from the Wall family’s legal representative that it was likely to amount to 150,000 kroner, but that the final ruling would be unprecedented.