Advertisement

The bizarre disappearance and death of Swedish journalist, Kim Wall

Click to play video: 'DNA tests confirm Copenhagen torso is missing journalist' DNA tests confirm Copenhagen torso is missing journalist
ABOVE: Danish police confirmed that a decapitated torso found on Copenhagen's waterside is missing journalist Kim Wall. – Aug 23, 2017

At the beginning of August, Swedish journalist Kim Wall went on board a homemade submarine to write a story about the ship’s owner Peter Madsen, a well-known Danish inventor.

Nearly two weeks later, the 30-year-old’s headless torso was found on a beach in Denmark’s capital city, Copenhagen. The rest of her body still hasn’t been found and Madsen, 46, is in custody and charged with manslaughter.

READ MORE: Headless torso ID’d as missing Swedish journalist Kim Wall

There is still a lot of mystery surrounding her death, as Madsen maintains he is innocent. Here is a timeline of the events.

Aug. 10

Wall is last seen alive as she departs on a submarine trip with Madsen in Copenhagen Harbour.

Story continues below advertisement
12
This photo shows Swedish journalist Kim Wall standing in the tower of the private submarine "UC3 Nautilus" on August 10, 2017 in Copenhagen Harbour. ANDERS VALDSTED/AFP/Getty Images
22
Swedish journalist Kim Wall stands next to Peter Madsen in the tower of the private submarine "UC3 Nautilus" on August 10, 2017 in Copenhagen Harbour. PETER THOMPSON/AFP/Getty Images

Aug. 11

Wall’s boyfriend alerts authorities that the 40-tonne, nearly 18-metre-long sub, named the UC3 Nautilus, hadn’t returned from a test run. The Danish navy launches a rescue operation, including a search by two of its helicopters and three of its ships.

Madsen is found alive and is picked up by a private boat. The submarine sinks when he is rescued.

Story continues below advertisement

Madsen appears on Danish television after he’s rescued to discuss the submarine’s sinking, according to The Guardian. Footage aired on Denmark’s TV2 channel shows him getting off the private boat and making a thumbs-up sign as he walks away. “I am fine, but sad because Nautilus went down,” he tells Danish media, TV2.

Madsen also says “a minor problem with a ballast tank … turned into a major issue” ultimately caused the sinking of the vessel.

An April 30, 2008, file photo of submarine owner Peter Madsen.
An April 30, 2008, file photo of submarine owner Peter Madsen. Niels Hougaard /Ritzau. File via AP

When police question him, Madsen says he dropped Wall off on a Copenhagen island before the submarine sank. He then changes his story and tells authorities “an accident occurred on board that led to her death” and he buried her at sea at an unspecified location.

Hours later, police charge Madsen with manslaughter. Authorities say they believe he intentionally sank the submarine.

Story continues below advertisement

The submarine is found at a depth of seven metres south of Copenhagen. Divers are initially unable to safely enter it.

WATCH: Madsen is arrested for murder after being rescued from sea

Click to play video: 'Danish sub inventor arrested for murder after being rescued from sea, says he dropped off Swedish reporter' Danish sub inventor arrested for murder after being rescued from sea, says he dropped off Swedish reporter
Danish sub inventor arrested for murder after being rescued from sea, says he dropped off Swedish reporter – Aug 11, 2017

Aug. 12

Police secure Wall’s hair brush and toothbrush, and the DNA from the items matches blood they find on the submarine.

The same day, a judge orders that Madsen be held in pre-trial detention for 24 days while the investigation into Wall’s disappearance continues.

Aug. 13

Danish police are able to search the submarine but do not find a body.

14
Swedish Sea Rescue Society unit searches for Swedish journalist Kim Wall at Lundakra Bay between Barseback and Landskrona in Barseback, Sweden. EPA/JOHAN NILSSON / TT
24
The submarine is found and salvaged. IBL/REX/Shutterstock (9017121b)
34
Danish forensics investigate the submarine UC3 Nautilus built by inventor Peter Madsen. IBL/REX/Shutterstock (9017121b)
44
Danish forensics investigate submarine. IBL/REX/Shutterstock (9017121b)

Aug. 21

The torso of a woman is found on a beach by a member of the public who was cycling on Copenhagen’s southern Amager island, near where Wall was believed to have died.

Story continues below advertisement
Police forensic investigators prepare to move a headless body of a woman that was found near Amager Denmark in the Baltic Sea where Wall went missing.
Police forensic investigators prepare to move a headless body of a woman that was found near Amager Denmark in the Baltic Sea where Wall went missing. TV2 via AP

Aug. 22

Copenhagen police say the woman’s head, arms and legs had “deliberately been cut off” from her body.

12
Police search a waterway for body remains related to the ongoing Kim Wall murder investigation. Jens Dresling/Ritzau via AP
22
Police and other authorities search a waterway for body remains related to the ongoing Kim Wall murder investigation. Jens Dresling/Ritzau via AP

Aug. 23

DNA tests confirm it’s Wall’s torso. Police investigator Jens Moeller Jensen says Wall’s torso was attached to a piece of metal “likely with the purpose to make it sink.”

Story continues below advertisement

The body “washed ashore after having been at sea for a while,” he says. He adds that police found marks on the torso indicating someone tried to press air out of the body so that it wouldn’t float.

The cause of the journalist’s death is not yet known, police say, adding they are still looking for the rest of her body.

WATCH: Danish police confirm headless torso is missing journalist Kim Wall

Click to play video: 'Danish police confirm headless torso is missing journalist Kim Wall' Danish police confirm headless torso is missing journalist Kim Wall
Danish police confirm headless torso is missing journalist Kim Wall – Aug 23, 2017

Who is Wall?

Wall, a Sweden-born freelance journalist, studied at the Sorbonne University in Paris, the London School of Economics and at Columbia University in New York, where she graduated with a master’s degree in journalism in 2013.

According to her website, she writes about identity, gender, pop culture, social justice and foreign policy.

Story continues below advertisement

She lived in New York and Beijing, her family said, and had written for The New York Times, The Guardian, the South China Morning Post and Vice Magazine, among other publications.

File handout photo portrait of the Swedish journalist Kim Wall.
File handout photo portrait of the Swedish journalist Kim Wall. Tom Wall via AP, File

Her family told The Associated Press she was working on a piece on Madsen. They added she had worked in many dangerous places as a journalist, and it was unimaginable “something could happen … just a few miles from the childhood home.”

In an email to The Associated Press, the family said it received the confirmation of her death “with boundless sadness and dismay,” adding “the tragedy has hit not only us and other families, but friends and colleagues all over the world.”

Who is Madsen?

Madsen built the world’s largest homemade submarine in 2008 after crowdfunding the cost. The UC3 Nautilus was his third submarine project.

Story continues below advertisement
Danish submarine owner and inventor Peter Madsen after landing with the help of the Danish defense in Dragor Harbor south of Copenhagen, Denmark, 11 August 2017 .
Danish submarine owner and inventor Peter Madsen after landing with the help of the Danish defense in Dragor Harbor south of Copenhagen, Denmark, 11 August 2017 . EPA/BAX LINDHARDT DENMARK OUT

A self-taught aerospace engineer, Madsen was one of several entrepreneurs who founded an association known as Copenhagen Suborbitals to develop and construct a manned spacecraft and submarines.

The group split in 2014, and Nautilus, described as the world’s largest privately built submarine, is currently owned by Madsen’s company Rocket Madsen Space Lab.

— With files from the Associated Press

Sponsored content