You wouldn’t think of “Kim Wall” as the name of a Swedish journalist, but it is. You wouldn’t think local journalism, interviewing a quirky scientist right in her home territory would be fatal for her, but it was. You might not think it would take years for the dark side of his bright mind to become obvious, but it did.
All too late for Kim Wall.
Peter Madsen it seems is a genius of a Danish inventor and builder, and even designs and sails his own submarines, not tiny little things with one man squeezing aboard, we’re talking serious craft of over fifty-five feet. How many people do you know who could even dream of doing that?
And the noted journalist Wall agreed to go down with him for a spin, it rates after all as something of a human interest story. She never came back alive, though bits and pieces of her dismembered body attest to her tragic end.
All journalists are aware of the dangers of reporting on criminal cartels, or brutally corrupt governments, or filing war stories from the front lines as shells explode around you. But filing a story on a brainy, eccentric inventor? When’s the last time that cost a journalist her life?
She may have wondered, just how good a builder is he? If his private contraption develops problems and sinks like a stone… but she was probably told he knows what he’s doing. Not too risky a proposition. Did she give any thought to being out of touch, below the sea, with a guy she didn’t know? What if his psyche, not his engineering, were flawed? We wonder what she weighed before taking on the story…
And what about the supposed Einstein of Danish inventors?
As one writer mused, “Could someone as brilliant as (Madsen) is supposed to be really have been that stupid? If two people leave port on a submarine and one of them is never seen again, the cops are going to want to talk to the other guy.”
Not that bright people are uniformly bright in all areas of their behavior, they rarely are. Not that everyone can control their darkest urges, and we may be talking real sickness here. In his entertainment collection, it’s said they found films in which torture and murder are offered as turn-ons. And there are similar deaths, unsolved, now being looked at through a new police lens.
In this day and age, of course, we don’t just get tearful confessions from someone who’s clearly guilty of a chilling crime. She fell and died in a terrible accident, he said. He was so distraught his first, agonized thought was to scuttle the ship with him on it. Later, he carried on with life but awkwardly hacked up the body and tried to dispose of pieces. All dumb, but panicked and innocent.
A jury may some day have its credulity stretched with all that. Meanwhile, Sherlock has lots of questions about exactly what went on below the water. And in the minds of a couple of intelligent people.