Murderer Peter Madsen - the engineer who murdered, dismembered, and sexually assaulted 30-year-old journalist Kim Wall in August 2017 - made an escape from prison this week. Hours after he fled, the killer was arrested and re-detained by police.
Madsen was sentenced to life in prison in Denmark in 2018, following his murder trial. Since then, he has been serving out his time at Herstedvester jail, but on Tuesday this week he took a prison psychologist hostage and made a bid for freedom. The Guardian reports the killer "threatened a prison employee with what appeared to be a homemade explosive device before fleeing from Herstedvester jail, pursued by guards, who alerted a nearby police patrol."
He was later caught by police while attempting to hide out in a white van. Video footage from the arrest clearly shows Peter Madsen at the centre of the furore, handcuffed to a fence with a belt around his waist. Bomb disposal specialists were brought to the scene before Madsen was taken back into custody. It's reported he has now been moved to a different prison.
Kim Wall was a Swedish freelance journalist who was covering the story of Madsen, a self-taught submarine and rocket maker from Denmark who crowdfunded the money for his projects, when she was murdered. As part of her investigation, the reporter took a trip on the engineer's submarine in Copenhagen on August 10, 2017, but she never returned.
A rescue operation ensued, and the following day the submarine was discovered having sunk. Police believed this to have been a "deliberate" act by Madsen, and immediately zoned in on him as a suspect. The killer's initial story was that Kim had safely disembarked the submarine prior to its sinking; he claimed he'd dropped Kim off "after dark" at the Halvandet restaurant, which was owned and run by her boyfriend Bo Peterson. Peterson, however, doubted that his girlfriend had ever reached the restaurant, and told Sweden’s Express newspaper that he had handed over all CCTV footage from the cameras that surrounded the restaurant to police.
The submarine maker was held on charges of negligent manslaughter, at which point he changed his story, telling authorities Kim had died as a result of an "accident" on board the submarine. He insisted a hatch had unexpectedly collapsed and hit her on the head while she was climbing up the stairs in the submarine’s tower. Madsen revealed he'd buried her body at sea, with CNN reporting he said he'd left it in an "unspecified place" in Koge Bay.
The discovery of the young woman's dismembered body on the shore days later indicated Peter Madsen was still lying about what really happened; metal had purposefully been attached in order for it to sink.
During the trial, which concluded in April 2018, Madsen was found guilty of premeditated murder and sexual assault. Copenhagen City Court Judge Anette Burkoe, who heard the case, labelled the crime "a cynical and planned sexual assault and brutal murder of a random woman".
Since then, Peter Madsen has gone on to confess to murdering Kim Wall in a TV documentary. The programme maker, Kristian Linnemann – who spent more than 20 hours on the phone in recorded conversations with Madsen while he was inside Herstedvester prison – said he was not in the least bit surprised the murderer had made an attempt to escape.
“Peter Madsen sees himself at the centre of events. He loves to create stories. He has a huge ego and thinks himself to be very unique,” Linnemann said.
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