Peter Madsen is a former Danish former engineer, artist, entrepreneur, and a convicted murderer. He is infamous for the sexual assault and murder of a Swedish journalist Kim Wall on his submarine UC3 Nautilus.
Peter Madsen was born as Peter Langkjær Madsen on 12 January 1971 (age 50 years; as of 2021) in Denmark. His zodiac sign is Capricorn. Peter completed his primary and secondary education in Høng, Denmark. He developed an interest in rocket fuel and rockets when he was in school because of his chemistry and physics teacher Johannes Fischer. The first rocket developed by him was one meter tall, and its design was based on the American ICBM MX Peacekeeper. He launched the rocket on 3 March 1986. In 1987, he was selected in an upper secondary school in Kalundborg, and he moved there to study. Peter never finished any sort of formal education, but he took courses in welding and engineering to learn about submarines. Madsen had an enthusiastic approach towards his projects, but it would often cause conflicts with others.
Height (approx.): 5′ 9″
Hair Color: Blonde
Eye Color: Blue
Family & Ethnicity
Parents & Siblings
Peter Madsen was born to Annie (mother) and Carl Madsen (father). His mother, Annie had married twice before she got married to Carl, and she had three sons from the previous marriages. Peter had three step-brothers and his father, Carl, was abusive towards all three of them except Peter. Peter was six years old when Annie decided to leave Carl and move away with her three children. Peter moved to a youth house in 1987 to study in a Danish upper secondary school. Carl Madsen passed away when Peter was eighteen years old.
Relationships, Wife & Children
Peter Madsen got married at Copenhagen City Hall, Denmark in November 2011. His wife worked in the film industry, and she decided to keep her identity hidden. Peter was in an ‘open relationship,’ and he had affairs outside her marriage as well. During his court trials, he accepted that he would often have sexual encounters with other women on the submarine that he built himself. Peter was also a regular visitor to various sexual fetish parties. His wife decided to abandon him when more information proving him guilty surfaced during the trials. B.T. In December 2019, Jenny Curpen, a former Russian reporter, and illustrator who is living in self-imposed exile in Finland got married to the notorious killer Peter Madsen. Peter confirmed his marriage with the artist through a Facebook post. BBC
Submarines (UC1 Freya)
Peter was interested in rockets and submarines from a very young age and after completing his schooling, Peter attended several courses in welding and engineering to learn more about submarines and rockets. Madsen did not have a proper job, so all his projects were financially supported by people, organizations, and enterprises that saw potential in him. Peter began building submarines, and the first private Danish submarine built was the Freya or UC1 Freya, which was built by Peter Madsen and Claus Nørregaard in 2001-2002. The submarine completed 500 dives, and it was decommissioned from its service.
The second project work by Peter and Claus was Kraka or UC2 Kraka, which was a diesel-electric midget submarine. The project was completed in 2005, and the length of the submarine was 12.6 m and had a displacement of six tonnes. The submarine was powered by a 16hp diesel engine and an 8hp electric motor. The submarine is on display at Denmark’s Technical Museum in Elsinore, Denmark.
UC3 Nautilus was a midget submarine built by Peter Madsen with the help of several other volunteers in 2008. The construction cost of the submarine was around $200,000, and it could house four to eight people, depending on whether it was diving or operating on the surface. In August 2017, the submarine was confiscated by the authorities as Peter Madsen was convicted for the murder of a Swedish journalist, Kim Wall. She was last seen alive on board with Madsen. In December 2018, the submarine was destroyed by the authorities.
In May 2008, Madsen and Danish architect, Kristian Von Bengtson, founded an amateur crowd-funded, non-open source human space programme, Copenhagen Suborbitals. Since 2008, they have flown five rockets and two mock-up space capsules. In 2014, Peter Madsen left the programme.
Rocket Madsen Space Lab
On 16 July 2014, Peter Madsen established a new laboratory named Rocket Madsen Space Lab in Copenhagen. In this laboratory, Madsen worked on building rockets based on polyurethane and H2O2 hybrid engines. From 2016, Peter was developing a nanosatellite launch vehicle using venture investments.
Disappearance and Murder of Kim Wall
Kim Wall was a Swedish freelance journalist who boarded the midget submarine UC3 Nautilus to interview the engineer and the owner of the submarine, Peter Madsen. On 10 August 2017, Kim Wall was preparing for a farewell party along with her partner Ole Stobbe. The couple was planning to move to Beijing on 16 August 2017; however, Kim received a message saying that Peter had invited her on board his submarine to interview her. Kim joined him on his submarine at 7 pm, but the submarine never returned to the harbour. Stobbe filed a missing report with the police that night, and the next morning, people on the docks informed the police and Stobbe that the submarine Nautilus was last seen near the Drogden lighthouse before it sunk. Peter Madsen was arrested by the police under the suspicion of murdering the Swedish reporter Kim Wall.
On 21 August 2017, a torso washed up on the beach which was found by a cyclist nearby. A post-mortem examination was conducted, and the torso had fifteen stab wounds in the groin region. Later, the police conducted a search operation near the beach where they found two plastic bags containing Wall’s head, legs, clothes, and a knife.
Arrest and Trials
Peter Madsen was arrested on 11 August 2017 and held in custody where he was questioned regarding the whereabouts of Kim Wall. Peter gave a statement saying that he had dropped off Wall on land. Later, he changed his statement and said that Kim Wall died from a blunt force trauma as the submarine’s hatch cover fell on her head. When her head was found, a post-mortem report suggested that there were no signs of blunt trauma to the head. Madsen again changed his statement and admitted to dismembering the body of Kim Wall. However, he still denied killing her and said that she must have died because of inhaling the poisonous exhaust fumes that must have entered the submarine, but there were no signs of exhaust fumes in the lungs of Kim.
On 16 January 2018, Peter Madsen was charged with murder, sexual assault, and indecent handling of a corpse as the prosecution accused him of torturing the reporter Kim Wall before killing her. The trial began in March 2018, and on 25 April 2018, he was convicted of all the charges framed against him and sentenced to life imprisonment.
In Digital Media
In January 2020, a Danish documentary, ‘Into the Deep,’ based on the life of Peter Madsen, was premiered at Sundance Festival. The documentary was directed by Australia-born Emma Sullivan. The documentary was initially supposed to be distributed on Netflix but the participants claimed that they did not give consent to appear in the movie with their name and image so the documentary was put on hold by Netflix. The streaming platform announced that they have withdrawn from the deal.
- Peter Madsen was good friends with former adult movie actress Dorthe Damsgaard. Dorthe told a local newspaper that Peter had invited her several times to his submarine, but she declined the invitations as she has claustrophobia. During her interview with the newspaper, she said-
He had two sides: He could be a well-spoken and charismatic person who could speak for hours about his submarine. And then … a much darker side. He made it no secret to me about having sexual fantasies and he was funny, manipulative, serious and scary as a person.” 9News
- Peter Madsen was sentenced to life imprisonment in April 2018, and he was sent to Storstrom jail. While serving his jail term, Peter came across a prison guard, a mother of two, and they both started having frequent conversations. Later, it was found that the prison guard developed feelings for Peter, and she fantasized about moving in with Madsen. The Times
- On 15 August 2018, Peter Madsen was attacked by an 18-year-old inmate in Storstrom prison. After the attack, Peter’s lawyer requested the court to get Madsen transferred to Herstedvester Prison, Denmark to protect him from any further attacks. CPH Post
- During the judgement, Peter Madsen was sentenced to life imprisonment and along with this, he was asked to pay a compensation of DKK (Danish Krone) 328,246.14 to Kim Wall’s parents and DKK (Danish Krone) 150,000 to Kim Wall’s Danish partner. He was also asked to bear the costs of the case.
- Peter Madsen’s father was an abusive alcoholic, and he would often get drunk and hit his stepsons. Peter was his favourite of the four and he always escaped the beating.
- Peter had several close friends who initially supported him during the court hearings but as more evidence related to the murder came forward, showing that Peter was guilty, his friends gave up on him. His wife would also attend the court hearings but after listening to Peter’s confession during the trials, she decided to abandon him and move away from the city.
- According to a volunteer who had worked with Peter Madsen at Copenhagen Suborbitals said that Peter was a short-tempered person in nature when it came to working on a project. He said that Peter used to act like ‘a child who just lost his toy or dropped his ice cream or something,’ and he would occasionally throw hammers and other tools. Fox News
- On 27 June 2014, Peter Madsen was invited as a speaker to the European Confederation of Young Entrepreneurs event.
- After his arrest in August 2017, Madsen’s computer was searched by police for any proofs or connections to the murders. In his search history, they found videos of people getting murdered and the top three categories searched by him for porn were ‘throat,’ ‘girl,’ and ‘pain.’
- In October 2020, Peter Madsen tried to escape from Herstedvester prison, Copenhagen. Peter escaped from the prison by threatening a prison employee with a homemade explosive device and ran away from the prison. He covered a distance of 500 metres from the prison before he was recaptured by the police. The bomb squad arrived on the scene and after hours of testing, they established that the explosive device was a fake one. On 9 February 2021, he was handed down a 21 months prison sentence for his attempt to escape from jail.
- On 19 December 2020, Jenny Curpen posted a picture of an illustration made by her of herself and Peter Madsen together. She drew this picture as a one year marriage anniversary gift.