How Was Kim Wall Murdered? Tragic New Details About The Death Of The Journalist Whose Headless Torso Was Found After Disappearance

Kim Wall

On Aug. 10, Kim Wall boarded Peter Madsen's homemade submarine to write a story. The sub sank the next day, and Wall never came back. 

For the following weeks, police searched for the 30-year-old Swedish freelance journalist who Madsen said he had dropped her off alive in Copenhagen at a restaurant. Twelve days after she got onto that submarine, police identified a headless female torso that washed ashore as Wall's

Police said that the arms, legs and head had been deliberately cut off from the body, leading everyone to ask how exactly Kim Wall was murdered? With many speculating that she was raped. 

Test results of the torso revealed that it had suffered damage in an attempt to make sure air and gas left the body so it wouldn't rise from the water. Metal was also found attached to the body, which police presume was put there to ensure that it would sink. 

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Though Madsen, who gained some attention for building the world's largest home-built submarine when it was first launched in 2008, originally denied knowing anything about Wall, after his sub was found he changed his story. 

The heartbreaking last photo of Wall shows her on the vessel's tower with Masden, looking out to sea. 


Masden was rescued when his sub sank, but authorities now believe he sank it on purpose. No bodies were found on board, but police matched Wall's DNA from the body to DNA gathered from a toothbrush, a hairbrush, and blood found in the vessel. 

Though police are not sure of Wall's cause of death — and are looking for the rest of her body parts — 46-year-old Masden has been charged with negligent manslaughter and could face anywhere from five years to life in prison if convicted. 

The inventor has since changed his story about his time with Wall. He denies killing the journalist and told police that she died in an accident on board. 

After the accident, Masden said he buried Wall at sea. 


Known as "Rocket Madsen," friends of the well-known Denmark entrepreneur and aerospace engineer don't believe he's capable of murder — but acknowledge he has some anger issues. 

"He is not violent, he does not drink, does not do drugs," said Thomas Djursing, who wrote a book about him. "On the other hand, he quarrels with everyone and I have argued with him too. But that is how it often is with people who are deeply driven by a passion."

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Masden is currently being held in pre-trial detention for 24 days while the crime is investigated. Prosecutors are charging him “for having killed in an unknown way and in an unknown place Kim Isabell Frerika Wall of Sweden sometime after Thursday 5 p.m.” 

He's told reporters he's not guilty and was seen smiling and chatting with his lawyer. In court, he said, "I would very much like to express myself."

Police are still investigating the torso and the coagulated blood found inside the sub that was recovered from a depth of 22 feet. Despite her body and blood being found on his sub, Masden is in good spirits. In fact, Madsen’s lawyer, Betina Hald Engmark, said that she and her client "only find it positive that there is a final clarification."

Emily Blackwood is an Editor at YourTango who covers pop culture, dating, relationships and everything in between. You can follow her on Instagram (@blackw00d) and Twitter (@emztweetz).