World | Crime | news

After A Homemade Submarine Ride Her Torso Ended Up On A Beach, But No One Knows Why

It's a story that is sweeping headlines across the world. Kim Wall, a journalist from Sweden, was researching a story on Peter Madsen, who built the world's largest private submarine. On August 10th, she set out to sea in Copenhagen. On August 22, her torso was found at the bottom of the ocean.

So what happened in between?

Kim Wall

Kim Wall was a Swedish-born freelance journalist. The 30-year-old woman was a graduate of Sorbonne University, the London School of Economics, and Columbia University where she graduated with a master's degree in journalism.

Wall's website cites her as someone who focused on identity, gender, pop culture, social justice, and foreign policy. She had lived all over the world and written for many heralded publications.

According to Wall's family, she was working on a story on Madsen, adding she had worked in many dangerous places as a journalist. They were so heartbroken that "something could happen … just a few miles from the childhood home.”

Peter Madsen

46-year-old Peter Madsen is a self-taught aerospace engineer who, after crowd sourcing the funds, built the world's largest homemade submarine called Nautilus. The UC3 submarine was his third submarine project.

Madsen was one of several entrepreneurs who founded the Copenhagen Suborbitals association, which developed and constructed spacecrafts and submarines. The organization split in 2014.

Wall and Madsen set out on UCS Nautilus, but only one of them returned alice.

So what exactly happened on that trip?

This is a day-by-day timeline of Wall's disappearance, as laid out by Global News.

August 10th

Wall is seen alive, departing on the submarine with Madsen. They leave from Copenhagen Harbor.

August 11th

UC3 Nautilus has not returned from its test run, and people are starting to worry. Wall's boyfriend contacted authorities to report the sub missing, and the Danish navy launches a rescue operation. Three ships and two helicopters are sent to try and find the two explorers. Madsen is found alive, but Wall is nowhere to be seen. The submarine sinks immediately after Madsen is rescued.

Once back on shore, Madsen appears on Danish television to discuss his submarine sinking.

"I am fine, but sad because Nautilus went down,” he says, blaming a "a minor problem with a ballast tank … turned into a major issue.”

Madsen is questioned by police, trying to find the whereabouts of Kim Wall. The engineer initially says he dropped the journalist off on a Copenhagen island before the submarine sank. Later in the day, he tells authorities “an accident occurred on board that led to her death." Madsen claims he buried her at sea, though he won't say where.

Hours after his story changed, Madsen was arrested for manslaughter. Authorities believe he sank the vessel on purpose to cover up her murder. This suspicion is heightened when divers find the submarine and are unable to enter it.

August 12th

Divers are able to safely enter the submarine and recover Wall's toothbrush and hairbrush. Inside the submarine they also uncover blood spatter, which matches the DNA found on the toothbrush. It is Wall's blood.

A judge ordered Madsen to be detained while the investigation continues.

Madsen's submarine is found and salvaged.Shutterstock/Global News
Swedish Sea Rescue Society continues to look for Kim Wall's body. EPA/JOHAN NILSSON

8 days after they find the submarine, something even worse is discovered.

August 21st

A civilian was cycling in the area and came across the torso of a woman lying on the beach near where authorities believe Wall died.

August 22nd

Authorities report that the torso was not dismembered by sea life, but rather the limbs and head had "deliberately been cut off" from the rest of the body.

A search was underway in the area to try and recover the rest of the woman's body, but there was no luck.

Authorities are continuing to search for the remainder of the woman's body.Associated Press/Global News

August 23rd

After DNA tests are completed, authorities confirm that the torso found on the beach belongs to Kim Wall. Police investigator Jens Moeller Jensen says Wall’s torso was attached to a piece of metal “likely with the purpose to make it sink.”

Police also indicated that whoever killed Wall had deliberately tried to press air out of the body so it would not float to the surface.

As of right now, there has been no identified cause of death. Police are also struggling to gather evidence, as a lot of it was washed away when Wall's body was left in the sea.

Madsen will remain in custody, awaiting trial. It's unseen if his charges will be upgraded from manslaughter to murder.