Prison fake: Madsen sentencing reveals worrying movie-like nature of his escape attempt

Murderer gets 21 months for bid for freedom in which he subjected his psychologist to an ordeal that left her collapsed on the floor shaking

The murderer Peter Madsen has been sentenced to an additional 21 months in prison in relation to his failed escape attempt last October.

Glostrup Court has heard how Madsen spent around 18 months planning the escape from Herstedvester Prison, which is located close to the court in the southern suburbs of Greater Copenhagen. 

In total, he was a free man for approximately six minutes.

How to hurt a narcissist
Madsen would have been upset to note that he barely featured in the 2020 TV2 drama series ‘Efterforskningen’ about his macabre murder of journalist Kim Wall on his submarine in August 2017.

His narcissism was frequently referred to during his trial a year later, which eventually saw him handed a life sentence.

Instead ‘Efterforskningen’ (‘The Investigation’), starring ‘Borgen’ sparring partners Søren Malling and Pilou Asbæk in the lead roles, focuses entirely on the investigation of the murder, with no actors taking on the roles of Madsen and Wall.  

Plays just like a movie
But following his escape from Herstedvester Prison, it will be hard for Hollywood to resist his story.

Because the details are reminiscent of a movie – in fact, so much, that it is a head-scratcher why the authorities allowed him to bluff his way to freedom, however temporary it was.

After all, they knew he was an inventor and pretty much a rocket scientist. The media has always held the view that he’s sick … but never thick. 

Fake bomb and gun
In the spring of 2019, Madsen started planning the escape for reasons too pathetic to share in this article. Well, if you insist: he thought the conditions in the prison had declined and that they were impacting his visits. 

“I told the staff they should be very, very worried,” he told the court.

He started making fake guns and bombs, presumably from scrap metal sourced in the prison. And he kept on perfecting them because he’s a genius … although he did completely botch up murdering someone on a sub.

Countdown to escape (his pun not ours)
After many months, he worked out that a meeting with a female psychologist would give him the perfect opportunity to hold her hostage and negotiate his way out of the prison.

Leading up to the meeting was “a kind of ‘countdown’, as you know it from rocket launches”, he explained to the court.

After speaking for an hour, he revealed his ‘gun’ and ‘bomb’, which he then threatened to detonate should she not call up the prison guards via the intercom.

Slow walk to freedom
“The psychologist had a hard time explaining herself. She was very affected by the situation, so I picked up the phone and explained what was happening,” he continued.

The guards obliged, and the court viewed video surveillance that showed how the psychologist and Madsen slowly walked towards the prison gate.

The video showed the clear distress of the psychologist, and after the gate closed, she squatted down with her face buried in her hands, got up to walk, and then collapsed.

“Yes, she’s terribly scared. I’m really sorry,” said Madsen

No escape hatch waiting
Madsen didn’t have much of a plan, and this is where the movie would falter a bit, as he didn’t even manage to get more than a kilometre away from the prison.

In his mind, he was Clint Eastwood breaking out of Alcatraz, but in reality he was in an Olsen Gang film with a final third so bad it got shelved.

He didn’t manage to hijack a car, as planned, and flee south towards the Great Belt Bridge. He didn’t manage to get a boat and sail out of the country.

And no, his submarine wasn’t miraculously waiting for him in Køge. 

Unusually gross
Instead he ended up in a stand-off in a ditch barely 800 metres from the prison.

Uncertainty remains whether he threatened the two prison guards who caught up with him and kept him in sight until the armed police showed up.

“It is unusually gross what you have exposed other people to, and it is an unusually serious offence you have committed in this prison escape,” ruled the judge in sentencing him to 21 months – somewhere in the middle of the 18 and 30 the defence and prosecutor had recommended.

Some 19,000 kroner was awarded to the psychologist in compensation – an amount Madsen said was too low.