Danish submarine killer caught after prison escape

A Danish man convicted of torturing and murdering a Swedish journalist on his homemade submarine escaped the suburban Copenhagen jail where he is serving a life sentence but was recaptured nearby on Tuesday.

The Ekstra Bladet tabloid posted a video of Peter Madsen sitting in the grass with his hands behind his back and police at distance.

According to the daily, Madsen “had a belt-like object around the abdomen.”

On Twitter, police said, “A man has been arrested after attempted escape.”

Police spokesman Claus Buhr told The Associated Press news agency it was Madsen.

Details were sketchy.

A witness, Frank Jensen, told the Ekstra Bladet that police suddenly surrounded a white van, opened the door and pulled Madsen out of it. The scene occurred outside the Herstedvester prison in Albertslund, a Copenhagen suburb where Madsen is serving his sentence.

In 2018, Madsen was sentenced by the Copenhagen City Court to life in prison for killing Kim Wall, a 30-year-old reporter from Sweden whom he lured to his homemade submarine in 2017 with the promise of an interview. He dismembered her body and dumped it at sea.

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

Kim Wall, an award-winning journalist, was killed on assignment interviewing Danish inventor Peter Madsen [Angela Weiss/AFP]Madsen has denied 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.

A self-taught engineer, Madsen built rockets in his spare time but never went to university. In 2008, he launched his homemade UC3 Nautilus submarine.

Wall had planned to interview Madsen for a story on a rocket programme he founded in 2014, with the goal of building a crowdfunded rocket to launch himself into space. But by the time he finally texted her, his cash flow had dried up and he had cancelled the planned test launch.

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