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Danish inventor convicted of reporter's murder, gets life

26 April, 2018, 00:42 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • The trial of Peter Madsen shocked many in Denmark where only a handful of people are currently serving life sentences

Judge Burkoe said his crimes were "especially brutal" and Ms Wall's death was the result of a "cynical murder" of a journalist simply trying to do her job.

She met with the entrepreneur while researching a story and her headless torso was later found washed ashore in the Danish capital, while other parts of her body were found separately some months later.

Madsen will appeal against the sentence, his lawyer told the court.

Madsen's defense lawyer had argued for his acquittal on the charge of murder, saying he had only been guilty of has said he should only be sentenced the lesser charge of cutting Wall's body into pieces.

The case has captivated Denmark and drawn global headlines, with its shocking and gruesome details, and Madsen's wildly shifting explanations for what happened.

Despite the testimony of many experts, the lack of tangible evidence in the case and the decomposed state of Wall's remains made it impossible to determine an exact cause of death.

Instead Madsen laid next to Wall's body for a couple of hours before deciding to dismember it.

Earlier this week, Buch-Jepsen called the case "so heinous and repulsive that as a prosecutor, it renders you speechless".

Madsen claimed that after the Swedish journalist accompanied him on the UC3 Nautilus for a planned profile, she "died when a heavy hatch escaped his grip and fell shut on her head", as NPR's Colin Dwyer reported.

During the trial, the prosecution team painted Madsen as a sexual sadist, showing the court videos found on his hard drive of violent sex and women being beheaded and impaled.

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The case has gripped Denmark ever since Wall failed to return from a trip on Madsen's self-built Nautilus submarine on August 10 a year ago.

Madsen was taken into custody August 12 and has since repeatedly altered his account of the circumstances that led to Wall's death.

Her parents set up a fund for female journalists in her memory.

Her boyfriend raised the alarm the next day when she did not return from the trip.

Madsen also sent text messages to a friend in which he apparently joked about a plan to tie up a woman on his submarine and slit her throat-messages he later tried to delete, unsuccessfully.

The judge said Wednesday that she and the two jurors did not believe Madsen's claim that he changed his story multiple times in order to protect her family from the "truth".

"Prosecutors have said they do not know exactly how Wall did die, but that the murder seemed to be premeditated judging from the range of unusual instruments found on board".

Wall was a freelance journalist whose work had appeared in Harper's Magazine, Time, the New York Times, the Atlantic Magazine, the Guardian, Foreign Policy and the South China Morning Post.

By October, Danish divers discovered Wall's head and legs, weighed down by metal objects and sealed in plastic bags, around Copenhagen.

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