Australian filmmaker Emma Sullivan had been documenting Peter Madsen for over a year when her project took a tragic turn – now, her true-crime documentary is coming to Netflix.
The bizarre and tragic story of Swedish journalist Kim Wall, who was killed by a Danish inventor after she went to interview him on his submarine, captivated the world. So perhaps it was only a matter of time before her murder – dubbed the ‘submarine case’ – became the subject of a new true-crime documentary.
Netflix’s upcoming Into The Deep premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival and was described by some as even more chilling than a horror film.
Here is everything we know about the film so far.
Who is Kim Wall?
Kim Wall was an established, freelance journalist who had travelled the world from her home in Sweden. According to the BBC, Wall had been chasing an interview with Danish inventor Peter Madsen for several months and had “little hesitation” in taking up his invitation for a trip on his homemade submarine off Copenhagen.
Wall – who had reported for the New York Times, The Guardian, Vice and the South China Morning Post – was interested in Madsen’s ambition to build a rocket to launch into space. The story was slated to be her last before she moved to Beijing in China with her Danish partner. Wall’s last text message to her partner before her death read: “I’m still alive btw. But I’m going down now. I love you! He brought coffee and cookies tho.” Her partner raised the alarm after midnight on 11 August after he didn’t hear back from her.
How did Kim Wall die?
Madsen was pulled to safety from his submarine after it sank the following morning. Wall was nowhere to be seen and it took nearly two weeks for her death to be confirmed.
Her mutilated torso was found on a beach by a passing cyclist on 21 August 2017 – 10 days after she went missing – and her head, legs and clothing were found by police divers on 6 October.
During the police investigation, Madsen gave three different versions of what had happened to the journalist, which eventually helped lead to his conviction.
Madsen first claimed that he had dropped her off the night before. Later, he claimed there had been a “terrible accident” on board – in which Wall had fatally hit her head on board – and he had dumped her body. In his final account, he said Wall had died on board of carbon monoxide poisoning and admitted to dismembering her body (which he had previously denied).
At this trial, Madsen denied murder and aggravated sexual assault but admitted to dismembering her body and disposing of it at sea.
However, prosecutors rejected his version of events, saying Wall’s death had been intentional and sexually motivated. They said Wall’s murder was premeditated, pointing to the fact that Madsen had watched a beheading video on his phone shortly before he had taken Wall on his submarine. They also said he had asked other women to join him on his submarine that same week but no one else had come.
Madsen was given a life sentence after a judge ruled that Wall’s murder was cynical and planned.
What is Into The Deep about?
According to Variety, documentary filmmaker Emma Sullivan had been filming Madsen for the 18 months before Wall’s death under the belief that she was making a film about his space aspirations. She got more than she bargained for.
After Wall’s death, the documentary turned into something very different: an opportunity to study a murderer before his first kill.
Into The Deep looks at both the life of Madsen and the volunteers who had dedicated their lives to his space project. The true-crime documentary wades through Sullivan’s old footage for warning signs, as well as documenting the aftermath of the submarine’s disappearance to Madsen’s trial.
Who is involved with Into The Deep?
Sullivan focuses on giving a voice to those people who were volunteering for Madsen, a ‘semi-celebrity’ in Denmark. However, several key figures are omitted from the 90-minute film, including Madsen’s wife and Wall’s boyfriend.
Is there a trailer for Into The Deep?
Not yet, but we will be sure to update this story when there is.
Is there a release date for Into The Deep?
The documentary will be available to stream on Netflix later this year. The release date is yet to be confirmed.
Image: Getty, Netflix.