Police officers are seen as Peter Madsen (not pictured) is surrounded by the police in Albertslund, Denmark, Oct. 20, 2020.

Conflict & Justice

Danish submarine killer recaptured after prison escape

On Oct. 20, Peter Madsen briefly escaped the country’s most high-security prison in Copenhagen — where he’s serving a life sentence — after taking a hostage and threatening prison guards and police with what appeared to be a gun and a suicide vest.

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Police officers are seen as Peter Madsen (not pictured) is surrounded by the police in Albertslund, Denmark, Oct. 20, 2020.


Ritzau Scanpix/Nils Meilvang via Reuters 

Peter Madsen, who was convicted of killing Swedish journalist Kim Wall in a self-built submarine in 2017, was caught by Danish authorities on Oct. 20, after he briefly escaped from prison.

Madsen was apprehended by police guided by prison guards following him. The police inspector, Mogens Lauridsen, told reporters that Madsen appeared to have a gun and some type of suicide vest. That’s why SWAT team officers stayed back, with their guns drawn, lying flat on the ground some distance from Madsen.

They were waiting for the bomb squad to arrive. It took several hours before officers were sure that the explosive Madsen had on him was fake. Same with the gun he had. Apparently, Madsen built the two items in the prison workshop.

Madsen is well-known in Denmark. He recently confessed to the killing and dismembering of Wall in a documentary based on 20 hours of secretly recorded phone calls between him and a journalist. The brutal murder is also touched on in a new crime series on Danish TV.

When onlookers realized it was the infamous submarine killer who was being pursued by police, they shouted obscenities at him.

Denmark’s Justice Ministry put out a statement saying that the prison break was “completely unacceptable,” and he promised to improve prison security.

Reuters contributed to this report. 

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