Decapitated Head Of Journalist Kim Wall Is Found After Submarine Disappearance

Police have found the missing head and limbs of Swedish journalist Kim Wall, who disappeared on August 10th. The body parts, found off the coast of Copenhagen, are just the latest grim discoveries in an ongoing case.

Wall went missing after an interview with self-taught inventor/engineer Peter Madsen, conducted aboard his homemade submarine. She met Madsen at approximately 7:00 PM and was last seen on top of the ship at 8:30 PM. Her boyfriend reported her missing at 2:00 AM the next day.

On August 21st, a cyclist found her body on the shore south of Copenhagen, missing arms, legs, and a head.  It had been attached to a piece of metal and cut up in an apparent attempt to make it sink. The body was also missing clothes and had 15 stab wounds to the ribs and genitals.  However, investigators could not determine the cause of death from the torso alone.

The missing arms and head were found on October 6th, in bags with metal piping to make them sink. Her missing clothing was found in another bag, along with a knife that is believed to have been the one used on her. The head showed no signs of blunt force trauma, contradicting Madsen’s story that he had thrown her body overboard in a fit of panic after a hatch had fallen on her head. Madsen has been charged with murder and mutilating a body, although he claims that her body was whole when he tossed it overboard.

Madsen’s story has changed several times since he was taken into custody on August 11th. Initially, he claimed that he had dropped her off safely on land, near a popular restaurant. But after the restaurateur turned in his CCTV footage of the night to the police, he told authorities that she had died when a hatch fell on her head. After the torso and legs were found, he stopped cooperating with the police investigation.

When investigators initially searched Madsen’s workshop, they found a hard drive with sexual content about women being tortured and decapitated, along with Wall’s underwear. Madsen claims that the workshop was used by many and the hard drive was not his. And one of his friends told the news source Aftonbladet that they had once discussed the spot police found her body in as “the perfect place to hide a body.”

Wall was an internationally-respected freelance journalist who had reported for sources like the Guardian, The New York Times Vice and the South China Morning Post. Wall, who “had a soft spot for misfits” and “an incredible faith in humanity and people’s goodwill,” is deeply mourned by her family, her boyfriend, and her friends in the industry. But they believe it’s important to remember the good work that she did. As friend Caterina Clerici said in a recent piece for the Guardian, those who love her want to remember Wall’s legacy as one of “lightness and light, and not of darkness.”

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