Thursday August 24, 2017
Journalist describes meeting accused killer Peter Madsen on his submarine
Susanne Johansson, a journalist with the Danish newspaper BT, once stepped foot on the "raw and unpolished" submarine built and owned by the man police believe killed Swedish journalist Kim Wall.
Wall, 30, was last seen alive Aug.10 aboard the submarine of Danish aerospace and submarine enthusiast Peter Madsen. Her headless torso was found on a beach off Copenhagen on Monday.
Police have charged Madsen with manslaughter. Prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen said Thursday that police expect to raise the preliminary charges to murder and indecent handling of a corpse when Madsen appears at a hearing Sept. 5.
Madsen has denied killing Wall, saying she died in an accident and he buried her at sea.
Wall was working on a profile about Madsen when she disappeared. Johansson also interviewed the inventor about his submarine and rocket last year.
- AS IT HAPPENS: 'I admired her,' says friend of journalist Kim Wall
"I thought it was a really fascinating story so I wanted to do a piece on this crazy guy," Johansson said in an interview with As It Happens guest host Jim Brown. "There was no doubt about that he was a very, very dedicated person."
But during their interview, Johansson said she "could feel that he was short-tempered."
"Everything had to go exactly as he had planned it, and everyone had to be in line," she said.
Johansson was interviewing Madsen aboard his submarine with her photographer, and said that she never felt that her life was in danger.
While Wall went out to sea with Madsen, Johansson said she only boarded the submarine on land.
"I remember thinking, 'I would never, ever go into the water in that submarine,'" Johansson said. "Everything was just so raw and unpolished and unfinished somehow."
But Johansson said Madsen told her he "has actually slept in the submarine at the bottom of the sea many times himself."
The story of Wall's mysterious death has captivated the world, with some Danish media outlets noting the similarities between the gruesome details and the plot of the Danish TV crime series, The Bridge. This similarity has sparked outrage, even prompting the New York Times to release a response to its use of the comparison.
To Johansson, the use of the darker parts of Wall's death in the media is unavoidable as websites compete for traffic.
"I think a machine has been started that really can't be stopped," she said.
With files from Associated Press and Reuters.