Into the Deep explained: Was Peter Madsen found guilty?

Netflix’s Into the Deep is documentary film by Australian filmmaker Emma Sullivan that dives deep into the murder of Swedish journalist Kim Wall by Danish inventor Peter Madsen.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Plot summary

Into the Deep opens by highlighting the catastrophic event on the fateful day of August 10, 2017. Madsen and Wall went aboard the former’s self-made submarine, the UC3 Nautilus, in Køge Bugt, Denmark.

Wall intended to interview Madsen for a story about his competition with his old company Copenhagen Suborbitals and his former friend, Danish Architect Kristian von Bengtson.

The narrative then focuses on people working with Madsen and his company, RML Spacelab ApS, discussing the disappearance of the submarine and the eventual discovery of it.

The documentary then gives a background on the famous Danish inventor who was known for building submarines with a group of unpaid interns and volunteers at RML.

During the time of the incident, Emma Sullivan was already covering RML and Madsen’s efforts to launch a self-made rocket into space. He was a promising inventor with a team of dedicated individual around him, all determined to make this interstellar dream a reality.

A slight backstory also reveals that Madsen had a falling out with Copenhagen Suborbitals and started RML. Both ventures were crowd funded and people volunteered to work because they wanted to be a part of something big.

Into the Deep explained in detail:

How was Madsen arrested?

Wall and her boyfriend Ole Stobbe were planning a farewell party before their planned move to Beijing on August 16. The former skipped that plan to interview Madsen after receiving a text from him about the same.

He invited her on the submarine for a few hours but the vessel never returned. The police got involved after Wall was reported missing and the search began. The UC3 Nautilus was discovered the next morning in Køge Bay at 10:30 am local time and sunk a little while later.

After rescue attempts were made, only Madsen was found and revealed that he dropped Wall off the previous evening. However, no one had managed to get in touch with her, making the situation fishy.

He was arrested on August 11, 2017 for negligent manslaughter after he confessed that Wall died onboard after an accident. He mentioned that the submarine hatch cover dropped on the journalist’s head, killing her.

What did the investigation discover?

The police suspected that he had intentionally sunk the submarine to make it all look like an unfortunate accident. On August 21, 2017, a torso was discovered washed up on a beach in the southwest of Amager. It was later confirmed to be Wall’s.

The post-mortem examination found 15 stab wounds in Wall’s torso which were allegedly inflicted to make sure the body stays underwater. On October 6, police divers discovered two plastic bags in Køge Bay containing Wall’s head, legs, clothes and a knife.

Less than a week later, a saw with an orange handle (which was seen in Madsen’s garage in Sullivan’s earlier footage) was found in the water. Furthermore, on November 21 and 29, police divers found Wall’s arms as well.

In addition, the police had found videos showing women being murdered, decapitated and tortured on Madsen’s laptop. His colleagues too came forward to talk about moments when Madsen had joked about murdering people.

An inspection of Wall’s head disproved Madsen’s story about trauma to her skull being the cause of death. The Danish inventor changed his statement again and admitted to decapitating the body but still denied killing the Swedish journalist.

What was the verdict?

On January 16, 2018, the Dane was charged with premeditated murder, indecent handling of a corpse, and sexual assault. The prosecution accused him of torturing Wall before killing her by cutting her throat or strangling her.

The trial began on March 8, 2018 and just over a month later on April 25, he was convicted of all three charges and sentenced to life imprisonment.

What were the conclusions of the trial?

Madsen shocked the people around him with the discoveries that were made about him. Initially in the documentary, his friends described him as a charismatic and determined inventor but that idea went down the drain.

According to Into the Deep, 10 interns and volunteers at RML testified against him. A mental examination of the man proved that he was a pathological liar with a lack of empathy, remorse and guilt.

Into the Deep also adds that the UC3 Nautilus was destroyed under the supervision of Copenhagen Police Department. Furthermore, the court mentioned that the footage shown in this documentary was highly useful in Madsen’s conviction.


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