On Thursday afternoon, freelance journalist Kim Wall stepped aboard the UC3 Nautilus, an imposing, privately built, black submarine docked in the Port of Copenhagen.
The 30-year-old Swede was there to interview its owner, a Danish inventor named Peter Madsen – an eccentric man famous for building the sub via crowdfunding in 2008, and for his company RML Spacelab, which plans to be the first to launch a human being into space in an amateur-built rocket.
But by Friday afternoon, the 46-year-old man was being winched to safety by a nearby boat as the Nautilus sunk to the depths of Koge Bay. Technical issues, he claimed; a “minor problem with a ballast tank”, he told local station TV2.
But with Kim Wall nowhere to be found, authorities had their suspicions. Suspicion enough that, on Saturday, Madsen was charged with manslaughter.