A Danish court has heard freelance journalist Kim Wall was decapitated after accidentally being hit by a submarine hatch cover, according to the man accused of killing her.
Speaking for the first time since his arrest on August 11, Peter Madsen yesterday testified in court he was on board the homemade UC3 Nautilus submarine and sailing between Denmark and Sweden when the incident happened, Reuters reports.
Madsen – who denies killing the Swedish journalist – said a freak wave caused by a nearby boat saw him “lose his foothold”, and shut the hatch, knocking Wall to the ground with a fatal skull fracture.
"There was a pool of blood where she had landed,” he said in court.
Wall disappeared on August 10, with her naked torso identified by police on August 23 after being found on a Copenhagen shore.
In a Copenhagen court, Madsen denied amputating her limbs and said he dropped her “whole” body into the water, although admitting he wanted to “bury her at sea” by attaching metal to the body in order for it to sink.
“I had no contact with the body and didn’t want a dead body in my submarine,” Madsen told the court.
“I put a rope around her feet to drag her out of the hatch,” he said, adding that he was crying during this operation.
“I am suicidal at this stage (and) thought a fitting end for Peter Madsen would be on board the Nautilus. I was in a condition where I decided I couldn’t continue the life I had been living.”
In its preliminary investigation, the court ordered a psychiatric evaluation on Madsen, detaining him in custody for four weeks on the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.