Danish Peter Madsen, sentenced to life in prison for the murder of journalist Kim Wall on board his homemade submarine in 2017, was arrested on Tuesday after a failed bid for a prison release led to a standoff with the police.
“Peter Madsen tried to escape,” a policeman in Copenhagen told AFP. Police confirmed on Twitter that Madsen had been “arrested and removed from the scene” after being surrounded by police officers with unconfirmed reports that he had threatened them with an explosive device.
The Danish tabloid BT reported that Madsen had taken a hostage and threatened prison staff with a pistol-like object in order to force themselves out of the facility.
It quoted witnesses who said he managed to drive away in a white van before police stopped him.
Tabloid Ekstra Bladet released footage showing a man resembling Peter Madsen sitting up against a fence surrounded by police forces at a distance. Other photos showed Madsen sitting next to a road a few hundred meters from the prison, with two police officers lying on the ground and pointing their weapons at him.
Police later said the operation, which took place less than a mile from the jail where Madsen is serving his sentence, was over and that the arrested man had been taken away.
Madsen, a 49-year-old submarine enthusiast, was convicted in April 2018 of having murdered, sexually maimed and cut 30-year-old journalist Kim Wall when she interviewed him on board her submarine in August 2017 in a port in Copenhagen.
In a documentary aired in September, he confessed to the killing for the first time after insisting during the trial that her death was an accident.
“There is only one who is guilty, and that is me,” Madsen said in the documentary.
In a case that made headlines around the world, however, Madsen had admitted to the court that he chopped up her body and threw her body parts into the sea.
Madsen changed his version of events several times after his arrest and throughout his trial, but eventually he testified that Wall died when the air pressure suddenly dropped and toxic fumes filled his vessel while he was on deck.
In the documentary, however, Madsen said he and Wall had a discussion that “shook things up,” and that was what made him kill her.
An autopsy report, presented at length during the trial, concluded that Wall probably died of suffocation or had her throat slit, but the broken state of her body meant investigators could not determine the exact cause of death.
However, fourteen stab wounds and piercings were found in and around her genital area.
Madsen had told the court that he stabbed her because he wanted to prevent gases from forming inside her torso, preventing it from sinking to the seabed.
Psychiatric experts who assessed Madsen in court found that he was “a pathological liar” who poses “a danger to others” and who would likely become a repeat offender.
( Jowharwith AFP & AP)