April 25 (UPI) — Danish inventor Peter Madsen was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for the grisly murder of a Swedish reporter aboard his personal submarine last year.
Madsen was found guilty on all three counts of premeditated murder, aggravated sexual assault and desecrating a corpse in the death of journalist Kim Wall.
“The court has been unanimous in coming to this result,” Judge Anette Burkø said. “There is clear evidence that the accused has shown an interest in killing and dismembering people.”
Wall disappeared in August after joining Madsen aboard his submarine for an interview.
Madsen himself was rescued by police after his sub began sinking the following day.
Eleven days after she disappeared, Wall’s dismembered remains were found in Copenhagen harbor.
The inventor admitted to dismembering Wall’s body and throwing her remains overboard, an offense punishable by six months in prison, but he denied responsibility in her death. The inventor initially told police he’d dropped Wall off after the interview, but later said she died when a heavy hatch on the submarine fell on her. He’d also told police Wall died of carbon monoxide poisoning on board.
Prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen, in his final arguments this week, said Madsen tortured and murdered Wall to fulfill a violent sexual fantasy.
Saying Madsen has “psychopathic tendencies,” investigators said they discovered films on the man’s computer depicting the torture and mutilation of women.
“The only thing I want to say is that I’m very, very sorry for what has happened,” Madsen said at the end of the trial.
An autopsy revealed Wall was stabbed more than 14 times and her limbs were severed with a chainsaw. Her head and legs were discovered a mile away from where police found her torso.
Defense attorney Betina Hald Engmark attacked prosecutors for what she said was a lack of conclusive physical evidence against Madsen, and called prosecuters’ claims a “horror story without facts.”
Madsen has 14 days to appeal the verdict to Denmark’s high court.
The trial was attended by many journalists from 15 countries, including the United States, China, France and Austria.