Danish inventor Peter Madsen was convicted in a Copenhagen court for the murder of Kim Wall, the 30-year-old Swedish journalist who boarded Madsen’s self-built submarine for an interview on August 10, 2017. Part of Wall’s body — her torso, severely mutilated — was found 11 days later, washed up on an island. Wall’s head and limbs were found by divers in the area weeks later. Madsen told police he accidentally dropped the submarine hatch on her head and then panicked, dumping Wall’s unresponsive body in the Baltic Sea. Madsen later said he dismembered Wall’s body first to get it through the hatch.
Madsen was convicted this week of premeditated murder, the indecent interference with a corpse, and sexual relations other than intercourse of a particularly dangerous nature. The second charge may sound unusual, but the law protects a dead body from maltreatment just like a living one. The charge of indecently interfering with a corpse “is dependent on the idea of what a ‘reasonable’ person would find offensive or indecent” explains NSW Courts, a site run by a prominent Sydney law firm. The law against indecent interference with a corpse is widely adopted throughout the world. Madsen received a life sentence.