Danish sub killer gets 19 months for brief prison escape

A Danish man convicted of torturing and murdering a Swedish journalist on his homemade submarine has been given a 19-month sentenced for his attempt to escape from a suburban Copenhagen prison last year during which he threatened prison staff and police with a fake gun and fake explosives

Denmark Submarine Killer
Denmark Submarine Killer

A Danish man convicted of torturing and murdering a Swedish journalist on his homemade submarine was given a 19-month sentence Tuesday for his attempt to escape from a suburban Copenhagen prison last year during which he threatened prison staff and police with a fake gun and fake explosives.

Peter Madsen was quickly apprehended on Oct. 20 near the Herstedvester prison in suburban Copenhagen where he is serving a life sentence for the killing of Kim Wall.

The conviction doesn’t matter in reality as it will not be added to the life sentence. However, it may play a role if Madsen at some point makes a probation request. Madsen, 50, accepted the ruling.

Before the verdict was announced, Madsen told the Glostrup City Court in suburban Copenhagen that he wanted to flee because he considered the prison conditions poor, according to the Ekstra Bladet tabloid.

Madsen, one of Denmark’s most notorious criminals, was captured about five minutes after the escape and around 500 meters (less than a half-mile) from the facility. Prison personnel who followed him saw that he had jumped into a passing white van and informed police.

He used a fake hand gun and mock explosives he had made in jail as he threatened his way out of prison. Madsen told the court that his plan was to hijack cars, take the owners' cell phones and move south and eventually reach Germany.

In 2018, Madsen was sentenced in the Copenhagen City Court to life in prison for killing Wall, a 30-year-old reporter from Sweden whom he lured aboard his homemade submarine the previous year with the promise of an interview. He dismembered her body and dumped it at sea.

Madsen later lost his appeal, shortly after apologizing to the victim’s family who were present in the appeals court. The sensational case has gripped Scandinavia.

Madsen denies murdering Wall. He claims she died accidentally inside the submarine, but he has confessed to throwing her body parts into the Baltic Sea.

Life sentences in Denmark usually mean 16 years in prison, but convicts are reassessed to determine whether they would pose a danger to society if released and can be kept longer.

Wall had planned to interview Madsen — a self-taught engineer — for a story on a rocket program he founded in 2014, with the goal of building a crowdfunded rocket to launch himself into space. But by the time he finally responded to her, his cash flow had dried up and he had canceled the planned test launch.

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