back to article Danish submariner sent down for life for murder of journalist Kim Wall

The Danish submarine innovator who murdered journalist Kim Wall has been handed a life sentence by a Copenhagen court. Peter Madsen was pronounced guilty and sentenced today by judge Anette Burkoe at the end of his 12-day trial for murder. Madsen had given the Copenhagen City Court three separate explanations of how Wall died …

  1. wolfetone Silver badge

    Good. Let him rot.

  2. ma1010 Silver badge
    Megaphone

    This guy should stay in prison until he dies.

    The sort that commits this kind of crime is never rehabilitated. Lock him up and throw the key away.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Danish have a funny definition of life sentence .

    1. 0laf Silver badge

      Much the same as us in the UK. A life sentence doesn't mean a lifetime behind bars.

      1. WraithCadmus
        Holmes

        Indeed, 'Life' means you're never off the hook, you're always known to the authorities, only ever out under license, and can be detained if in breach of said license.

        Icon: A criminal investigator

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Megaphone

        jail is a deterrent (as well as a punishment)

        "rehabilitated" or not, a TRUE life sentence is a deterrent for ANYBODY ELSE to try this kind of thing...

        (and it keeps these kinds of psychopaths out of the general public)

        A criminal typically commits MANY crimes before finally being caught. Once caught and convicted, they should be locked up for as LONG as possible (with respect to the crime(s) committed of course)!

        [then again I would be happy to see life sentences for 419 and "your computer has a virus" scammers, and mandatory jail terms for violators of the 'do not cal' list]

        1. JLV Silver badge

          Re: jail is a deterrent (as well as a punishment)

          >I would be happy to see life sentences for 419 and "your computer has a virus" scammers

          As a taxpayer, would you also be happy to pay for the associated jail costs? I recall one of the big components of the California budget crisis a few years back was all those 100K+/year correctional officers. Whose union had probably heavily promoted 3 strike laws.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      It may end up as life - he is subject to a mandatory psychiatrist eval prior to release. If those guys deem him a danger to the public he will simply move from a prison to a secure hospital at the end of his sentence. And stay there.

      1. Oh Homer
        Childcatcher

        Re: "psychiatrist eval prior to release"

        Yeah well, a shrink evaluated Jon Venables too, yet they still released him despite the fact that in all these years he's never once shown any remorse, or even any emotional response whatsoever.

        It's long past time that the judicial system recognised that psychopaths are incurable and should be executed.

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: "psychiatrist eval prior to release"

          It's long past time that the judicial system recognised that psychopaths are incurable and should be executed.

          I guess we need more prisons than as there's a lot of psychopaths running amok. They do seem to be everywhere... government, law enforcement, sales, marketing, etc.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "psychiatrist eval prior to release"

            I guess we need more prisons than as there's a lot of psychopaths running amok. They do seem to be everywhere... government, law enforcement, sales, marketing, etc.

            Don't forget heart surgeons. A lot of the best heart surgeons are high functioning psychopaths. It's not a job many types of people can do.

    3. JohnFen Silver badge

      In comparison to the US, where a "life sentence" is often just as brief, it sounds like the Danes are just more honest about it.

      1. asdf Silver badge

        >In comparison to the US, where a "life sentence" is often just as brief

        Umm they largely fixed that in the 1980s and in fact for federal crimes there is no longer parole. Maybe true in some states but not the majority. If anything the US is far too much to the other extreme where there are people who committed non murder crimes as a juvenile that end up with 200 year sentences. Not to mention the 3 strikes laws where you get life for even one violent felony (if have priors) in some states. My guess is more people die in US prisons of old age than all of Western Europe combined and its probably not even close. Only European country even in our same league is Russia.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          non murder crimes as a juvenile that end up with 200 year sentences.

          that is impossible as they do not try you as an adult fur non violent crime. Even as adult only crime that you are going to get that much time for is murder, rape, treason,caught with a shit load of drugs. Even tried as an adult you can not sentence a minor to life with out parole

          1. asdf Silver badge

            Ok yes to be pedantic he was charged as an adult I believe but he was a juvenile at the time. Yes also technically it is not life as he is eligible for parole at age 112. My point is he doesn't get more than 30 years in any other developed country guaranteed. When even the Koch brothers are calling for prison reform maybe we are a little too extreme.

            https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/supreme-court-refuses-to-hear-appeal-of-teen-sentenced-to-241-years-in-prison/ar-AAweEuj?li=BBnb4R7

            1. bombastic bob Silver badge
              WTF?

              "feel" the consequences of your actions

              "Yes also technically it is not life as he is eligible for parole at age 112"

              Commit the crime, do the time. This should deter others from doing the same. As for me, I hope he enjoys his permanent stay in the iron bar hotel.

              If he truly reforms, he could hope for a pardon. But I doubt he'd get it.

              so what crimes did this alleged scumbag commit again???

              "committing 18 crimes — including robbery — on a single day when he was 16"

              I wonder if he was thinking "I'm going to get away with this because I'm 'underage' "

              "robbed a group of volunteers who were delivering Christmas presents in December 1995"

              "Bostic and 18-year-old Donald Hutson fired two shots, one of which grazed a person"

              "carjacked a woman who Hutson robbed and fondled before releasing her"

              (from http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/missouri-defends-teen-241-year-sentence-article-1.3879037 minus the touchy-feely-liberal-lefty-poor-widdle-snowflakes-babble)

              So we can say: armed robbery, attempted murder II (not premeditated), carjacking [apparently armed], accessory to sexual battery, accessory to armed robbery, and 13 or so other crimes.

              Yes. Add up those sentences. The guy he was committing the crimes with apparently plead guilty and only got 30 years in a plea bargain. ONLY got 30 years. It was _THAT_ bad. Don't let the whiny-socialist-leftist-bleaters and their oh-my-heart-it-bleeds-for-you rendition of 'Hearts and Flowers' on the world's smallest violin manipulate you into thinking otherwise. Those to DEFINITELY deserve their sentences.

              And the younger one DARED to claim he was INNOCENT! And that explains the 240 or so years' worth of jail time he got. Isn't that the point of plea bargain, to AVOID that? And without actually HANDING OUT that kind of sentence to those ARROGANT enough to claim "innocence" like that, and being made an EXAMPLE out of, then NOBODY will EVAR go for the plea bargain AGAIN!

              And his lawyer should be ashamed of himself for NOT convincing his client to plead GUILTY...

              Future potential victims can rejoice at his incarceration, too. I doubt that the lady who's car was jacked while she gets robbed and sexually assaulted would want EITHER of them out of prison!

              1. asdf Silver badge

                Re: "feel" the consequences of your actions

                Not saying he is a saint or even the sentence is too harsh (though maybe some). Just pointing out to Euros when we mean life in the US in most states the person is going to die behind bars and not released to Libya on humanitarian grounds (ask Manson's bottom ho who we didn't let out even with terminal brain cancer). That vigilante 1980s era caused by people getting off with light sentences and Twinkies insanity defense is long gone.

              2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                Re: "feel" the consequences of your actions

                Commit the crime, do the time. This should deter others

                Except it's been conclusively proved over many many years that deterrence really, really doesn't work except in a very small minority of cases. Especially among those who are too young/stupid/ignorant and mistakenly think that they'll never get caught.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: "feel" the consequences of your actions

                  I think that is irony.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              asdf he is eligible for parole after 20 years.

              "My point is he doesn't get more than 30 years in any other developed country guaranteed"

              Really Canada the max sentence is life with parole edibility after 25 years.

              Germany has life with parole eligible after 15

              Ireland natural Life with out parole

              Netherlands A life sentence means no possibility of parole.

              Spain has Life.

              Oh look the UK does have Life.

              he judge who sentenced American fugitive David Bieber for the murder of a police officer said that he should never be released from prison,[8] whereas statutory guidelines recommended a 30-year minimum for this type of murder - this was a decade before the act was amended to include the murder of a police officer in the course of duty as one of the offenders whose life sentences should mean life.

              On 23 July 2008, Bieber won a High Court appeal against the whole life tariff recommended by the trial judge, and was instead issued with a minimum term of 37 years,

              he Criminal Justice Act 2003 sets out guidelines for how long murderers should spend in prison before being considered for parole. Judges are not obliged to follow the guidelines, but must give reasons in court if they depart from them - whether recommending a lesser or higher minimum term than in accordance with the guidelines.[7]

              The guidelines recommended that multiple murderers (who murder two or more people) whose crimes involved sexual abuse, pre-planning, abduction or terrorism should never be released from prison. Such a sentence is known as a "whole life order". The murder of a single child following abduction, sexual or sadistic conduct also qualifies, as does the murder of a police or prison officer during the course of their duty (since 2015) and murder committed to advance a political, religious or ideological cause - along with any murder which was committed by someone who had previously been convicted of murder. Other multiple murders (two or more) should carry a recommended minimum of 30 years as a starting point sentence prior to consideration of additional aggravating factors and of any mitigating factors. A 30-year minimum should also apply to the worst single murders, including those with sexual or racial motives and the use of a firearm - until 2015, the murder of a police officer in the course of duty also came within this category.

              1. asdf Silver badge

                >Really Canada the max sentence is life with parole edibility after 25 years.

                >Germany has life with parole eligible after 15

                >Ireland natural Life with out parole

                >Netherlands A life sentence means no possibility of parole.

                >Spain has Life.

                >Oh look the UK does have Life.

                I think you missed the part where I was talking about the juvenile (not this sick fsck inventor) who didn't commit any murders and got basically life in prison in the US. I was saying generally no other developed country will put a 16 year old offender in jail for 100 years without at least one murder not that Euro countries don't have life sentences.

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

          3. asdf Silver badge

            >that is impossible as they do not try you as an adult fur non violent crime.

            Never said non violent.

            > Even as adult only crime that you are going to get that much time for is murder, rape, treason,caught with a shit load of drugs

            You would assume that but its simply not true in some areas of the US. First nobody in the US goes to jail for treason in modern times. And the only one of those charges he got was for drug possession (for pot which is actually decriminalized in a lot of states laws these days) but didn't sound like he had a shit load. He wasn't innocent for sure but at least 96 years is a pretty long sentence for aggravated robbery (and non fatal kidnapping). Fairly indifferent to this case but just pointing out to our European readers the US may have some problems but going easy on sick violent fscks is not really one of them any more.

            >Even tried as an adult you can not sentence a minor to life with out parole

            Only technically true for a very short time in our nearly 250 year history (pretty recent SCOTUS decision) and as this case shows not even true in practice.

        2. JLV Silver badge

          I'll raise you this little tidbit of stupidity:

          http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43673331

          1. asdf Silver badge

            >I'll raise you this little tidbit of stupidity:

            >http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43673331

            Yep much easier to find these stories in the US than some sadistic murderer getting a light sentence. We are the other side of the coin.

          2. asdf Silver badge

            >http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43673331

            Also remember hearing about a get away driver being executed because the bag man who actually shot and killed the clerk in a botched robbery pled, turned evidence and got life. If you are a part of a felony in the US you get blamed for everything including heart attacks. Just how it is.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We have a candidate for the complete psycho nut job, the fact he is going to appeal further cements his position. On what grounds could he possibly appeal? He got his story wrong the third time?

    1. Jon 37

      > On what grounds could he possibly appeal?

      The grounds are "appealing can't possibly make things worse, and there's a tiny chance his lawyer might persuade the court that there was a procedural flaw somewhere".

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        I have no problem with this guy appealing

        Right up to his last dying breath.

      2. The Nazz Silver badge

        re Appeal

        It's about time that there should be a deterrent in bringing ridiculous appeals.

        How about for starters, the lawyers get one third the original sentence if, and when, they lose?

        May require crowdfunding for new prisons (plural). Kerching.

        1. Jon 37

          Re: Appeal

          Appeals are important. Judges & juries get things wrong. We know this from history - e.g. when DNA testing was first invented, and provided new evidence to be used in appeals, there were many people who were exonerated of serious rape and murder charges. Not just "couldn't prove they did it", but actual "the DNA evidence shows that it was definitely someone else". People were released after being locked up for years.

          If you threaten a lawyer with prison for representing a "bad person" on an appeal, most good lawyers won't do it. That means that people will stay in prison for crimes they didn't commit.

          And limiting it to "ridiculous" appeals doesn't help, because who decides if an appeal is "ridiculous"? Answer: The judge who just denied the appeal. And judges get things wrong. So there's far too much risk for the lawyer, even if they honestly think their appeal is valid.

  5. John Mangan

    I know Justice demands that everyone get a proper defence...

    ... but it must make your skin crawl having to stand by this guy as one lie follows another out of his mouth.

    Credit to his lawyer for having the stomach for it (and no, I'm not being sarcastic).

    I predict the appeal will go nowhere and we will never hear of this sad, pathetic individual again.

    Thankfully.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: I know Justice demands that everyone get a proper defence...

      Until they make a movie from the story.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: I know Justice demands that everyone get a proper defence...

      without a proper defense, you can never be certain you're jailing the right person.

      So I hope every criminal is convicted by a jury of peers, without bias, based on the evidence, which cannot be refuted, and punished to the maximum extent the law allows. And, he has a REALLY GOOD attorney to ensure that it's all accurate and above board.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When he gets out of clink, he should be allowed one last trip in in his sub. To the bottom of the Mariana Trench. With the hatch welded shut.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Why pollute one of the last pristine places on Earth. Just shove the whole sub as is into a smelter. With him inside.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Drooling for revenge and desiring suffering is hardly better than the crime committed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Too bad the victim isn't here to rebut your glib statement.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      " he should be allowed one last trip in in his sub"

      it's not really 'his' as I understand it. It was 'crowdfunded'.

      But his assets in that sub should be sold off to pay for the legal expenses (and other debts). Then he gets to see photos of someone else piloting it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I would crowd fund his last trip.

        The Navy needs a target for practice.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ...and a slow leak.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What to do?

    @AC "When he gets out of clink, he should be allowed one last trip in in his sub. To the bottom of the Mariana Trench. With the hatch welded shut."

    @Voland's right hand "Why pollute one of the last pristine places on Earth. Just shove the whole sub as is into a smelter. With him inside."

    I feel more or less the same way, which is why we have laws, courts, judges, juries, lawyers for the prosecution and defence, due process and all that: the whole dispassionate edifice of the judicial system.

    It's all there in an to attempt to deliver justice, to over-ride the tendency of us human types to get hot under the collar and make hasty, irrational decisions in some cases. It's not perfect, not by a long way, but it's a damned sight better than lynch mobs.

    1. JLV Silver badge

      Re: What to do?

      Totally agree with you about the law controlling our baser revenge instincts, but I still think that life in prison should mean life in prison for this guy. Not 16yrs with 6 yrs off for good behavior, for example.

      This was a premeditated murder, solely for self-gratification purposes, by a man of at least reasonable intelligence and no particular hardships, carried out in cold blood, against someone he had no reason to be resentful against. Add to that his repeated lying and lack of remorse.

      At best you could argue he did it because he was obsessed with mutilating women - those decapitation films found on his computer, hardly ground to ever let him out again.

      oh, and I still agree with @Voland's et all's jokes.

      1. Schultz
        Boffin

        "life in prison should mean life in prison"

        Unless you want to be dispassionate about it and consider:

        - the cost of imprisonment\

        - the decreasing deterrent effect of 'unimaginably' long sentences

        - the fact that a decade or two is a very long time and the person coming out of jail is probably a different person than that going in (think back 10 years in your own life ... and you didn't have your life disrupted by prison)

        - second chances in life

        I'd say some scientists should look at the statistics and inform the judiciary about sensible prison terms. Maybe they already did that in Denmark?

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: What to do?

      It's all there in an to attempt to deliver justice,

      I have a favourite quote. It is from one of the Serbs I used to work with. When Miloshevic kicked the bucket right before being convicted in the Haague he said:

      "Bugger... They should have given him to us. We would have given him a fair trial and hanged him like a dog."

      I am not in favor of the death penalty, but there are two cases where it should still apply - war crimes of all shapes and colors under any flags and extreme sociopathy which has led to murder. This gentleman is clearly in the second category.

    3. fajensen Silver badge

      Re: What to do?

      Well. You are right. Because, I know it will cheer me up to hear when someone have served him a round of ”morgenkaffe” -

      In prison this is a pot of boiling water with sugar added, served by throwing into face.

  8. ukgnome

    I can't believe they was able to pin this on him. He had a sound and concrete circumstance. Really this unfortunate set of events could of happened to anyone.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    sexual assault?

    How did they determine sexual assault? How long was the rotting sperm inside the rotting torso was bobbing about in the sea?

    1. IsJustabloke
      Facepalm

      Re: sexual assault?

      Yes because that's the most important aspect of this crime...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: sexual assault?

      He was a seaman.

  10. joeW Silver badge

    Never mind that animal

    The important question is, what will happen to the sub?

    1. IsJustabloke
      Meh

      Re: Never mind that animal

      The article says the victims family want it scrapped, seems fair to me.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Never mind that animal

        Scrapping is the only sane option for anyone who has seen Below.

        Who would want to descend to periscope depth in a machine haunted by a possibly headless vengeful ghostly revenant?

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Never mind that animal

          haunted by a possibly headless vengeful ghostly revenant

          It's a bit hard to believe in ghosts when there's no such thing as an immortal soul..

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Never mind that animal

        well, being a crime scene... scrapping may end up happening [especially if a judge orders it]

        I'd rather see it sold, crowdfunding investors get paid back a portion of it, and maybe the proceeds go to the victim's family [or at least pay off the legal expenses and debts and whatnot this (alleged) psychopath left behind].

  11. adam payne Silver badge

    "It is the court's assessment that the defendant killed Kim Wall," Burkoe told the packed courtroom. She and two jurors unanimously found him guilty, in accordance with Danish law. In addition to murder, Madsen was also found guilty of mutilating a corpse and sexual assault.

    and so ends the most bizarre case in years, unless of course he decides to appeal with yet another bizarre excuse.

    Let him rot in jail.

  12. Pete4000uk

    Rest In Peace

    I hope the poor woman didn't suffer before she died.

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: Rest In Peace

      Sadly it seems she suffered greatly. Reports I have read say he tortured and mutilated her quite savagely before her death.

      Madsen's ridiculous and ludicrous claims, the laughable nonsense he came up with, has tended to distract from the brutality and horror of what he did.

      Let's all hope Kim's boyfriend, family and friends can eventually find some peace.

  13. ma1010 Silver badge
    Coat

    His new story?

    Perhaps he will say she committed suicide, dismembered herself, and he only disposed of the remains to keep his sub tidy?

  14. Bob Vistakin
    Pint

    You mean they didn't believe her head fell off when the hatch hit it?

    Gosh. Unusually, justice really did prevail for once.

  15. chivo243 Silver badge

    For once

    Justice is served correctly. Sentence is a bit on the short side for this kind of heinous act. Maybe they could construct a submarine that's a prison? Keep him away from any population...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For once

      Make it one with a slow leak please.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019