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The Investigation: Why the story of Kim Wall’s submarine murder ignores her killer | Ents & Arts News

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On 16 January 2018, more than five months after the man who murdered and dismembered journalist Kim Wall’s body was arrested, authorities were finally able to charge him.

In a case that had become known around the world as the “submarine murder”, that charge was the result of a painstaking, dogged investigation by police in Denmark.

Officers knew from the start they had the right suspect but faced a near impossible task to find what they hoped would provide the grim proof – Ms Wall’s body parts sunken somewhere at the bottom of the waters of the Koge Bay.

Kim Wall had travelled extensively to report on social and economic issues
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Kim Wall was a talented journalist who had been on assignment when she was murdered

After boarding the homemade submarine UC3 Nautilus on the evening of 10 August the previous year, the 30-year-old Swedish journalist, who had gone to the vessel to interview its owner, was never seen alive again. At 11am on 11 August, the sub foundered and its creator was rescued at sea, alone.

The details of what happened next have been well documented, with the case making international headlines almost immediately. But those headlines told one side of the story, with many focusing on the “eccentric” killer and his background: what had driven him to such a gruesome crime?

Now, in a gripping account of the police’s Herculean efforts to get a conviction, the other side is being told in new drama, The Investigation. The series is written and directed by Tobias Lindholm, one of the co-creators of the critically acclaimed Danish drama Borgen and who more recently worked on FBI criminal psychology drama Mindhunter.

“The case was covered widely in both local and international press and the coverage focused a lot on the fascination or the scare or the thrill of the crime that slowly showed itself,” Lindholm tells Sky News.

“What had happened out there? And it became like a – at least locally, but in some international media as well – kind of an obsession with this crime and with the perpetrator, since he had some sort of interesting background story and since it happened in a homebuilt submarine. I mean, there was a lot of elements that were easy to be fascinated by. So we were, all of us, fascinated.”

Lindholm says his thoughts about the case were consumed by how Ms Wall’s loved ones – her parents, the boyfriend she had been due to move to China with just days after her murder – must be feeling seeing the non-stop coverage. “Why are we so obsessed with this terrible, gruesome act?”

In an unrelated meeting with Jens Moller, then head of homicide for Copenhagen police, he learned what had gone on behind the scenes; the meticulous investigation by detectives and prosecutors, the physically draining work of the divers who spent months searching the dark seabed in freezing temperatures; the cadaver dogs from Sweden and scientists analysing currents and wind speeds and directions, who eventually were able to successfully pinpoint the best locations to search.

Jens Moller (SOREN MALLING) in The Investigation. Pic: BBC / misofilm & outline film / Per Arnesen
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Jens Moller is played by Soren Malling, who starred in Scandi noir drama The Killing. Pic: BBC/misofilm & outline film/Per Arnesen
Danish Police investigator Jens Moller Monday evening Aug. 21. 2017 in front of the Police Head Quarter, Politigaarden, Copenhagen, Denmark. The police received Monday a notification of a female in the water south of southwest Amager. Pic: AP
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The real Jens Moller, pictured giving a statement in the days following Ms Wall’s death

Meeting Mr Moller gave Lindholm “a very different story”, he says. “A story about human sacrifice, a story about people who put their own life on pause to solve this case, a story about friendship and grief and victory and all these elements that were never even touched in the press.

“And then Jens told me one thing that became very key: he told me that he had never interrogated the perpetrator himself. He had other investigators to do that and then he will analyse the answers, come up with new questions, but never go in there, into the room. And with him saying that I realised that I could make not a true crime show, but a show we could call true investigation.”

So The Investigation, a six-part BBC2 series with a generic title – “we probably could have come up with more fascinating titles, that would point more directly to the crime, but I liked the idea that we would just… be very dry about it” – does not feature Ms Wall’s murderer at all.

He never appears on screen, his name is never uttered, there is no time devoted to his account of what happened, which changed constantly in the months following his arrest. First, he had dropped the journalist off on land unharmed, then she had died accidentally, later he admitted dismembering her but not to killing her. However, we only hear this in the series from the police.

In an era where true crime shows dominate TV schedules, with much debate about the airtime focused on killers and their depravity, and failure to give victims a voice, it is a novel but no less watchable or compelling approach. Despite taking place in the waterway separating Denmark and Sweden, reminiscent of thriller series The Bridge, Scandi noir it is not.

The series starts pretty much “when the case lands on Jens Moller’s table”, Lindholm says. “And by making that decision and by not using flashbacks, I would liberate myself from all of that… with the decision of never meeting, never hearing and never mentioning the perpetrator, but only letting him be a source of confusion in the investigation.

“That’s three decisions that already by just making [them], I would liberate myself from the burden of genre convention.”

The Investigation. Pic: BBC / misofilm & outline film
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The series shows the hours spent searching the sea. Pic: BBC/misofilm & outline film

Mr Moller is played by Soren Malling, who also starred in another Scandi noir favourite, The Killing. He is the hero of the piece, albeit with no fuss or sensation, just a portrayal of a determined, efficient officer who gets the job done, even when the search seemed futile.

“We won’t be able to say what would have happened, if…” says Lindholm. “But I do believe that Jens Moller’s stubbornness and his honesty and his pledge towards [Ms Wall’s parents] Ingrid and Joachim made him just continue, even though a lot of people would have stopped or at least would have started to use very fewer resources on this.

“The divers’ efforts… it’s just amazing. And if you look at the area that they cover, and if you understand that it’s dark, you can only see one metre in front of you and there you are on the bottom of the ocean, going 100 metres in that direction, then 100 metres back, then a new square to dive, then a new route. It’s just incredible. So, yeah, their work was second to none.”

The Investigation has, perhaps unusually, been made with the full backing of Ingrid and Joachim Wall. Lindholm had “not written a word” before meeting them and they were “part of the whole development”, not having complete control but reading scripts and suggesting changes when scenes weren’t quite right. Their real dog, Iso, even plays himself in the show, and they were behind the scenes for his days on set.

Their support is testament to how sensitively and truthfully they feel the story has been told, especially as it comes so soon after Ms Wall’s death. Lindholm says there was no question of making the series without their blessing.

Joachim Wall (ROLF LASSGARD), Ingrid Wall (PERNILLA AUGUST) in The Investigation. Pic: BBC / misofilm & outline film / Per Arnesen
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Joachim and Ingrid Wall are played by Rolf Lassgard and Pernilla August. Pic: BBC/misofilm & outline film/Per Arnesen

“I felt that the story Jens told me needed to be told right now, because we needed to be reminded of the quality of collective strength,” he says. “I feel that our time is full of break-ups and chaos and a culture that is more and more focused on the one person’s achievement.

“This case, with the details that Jens gave me… proved a world that is actually working. It proved a society that works, it proved the system does work, it proves that if we stand together, if people do their best, if we believe in society, if we believe in playing our part in society, we can succeed. And that would not have been as interesting to tell 10 years from now, because then it would have been a reflection on the world of yesterday. I needed it to be a reflection on the world today…

“Had I done a show about the perpetrator and had we done a story about the crime and being fascinated with it, I would say it’s way too soon. But had we done this show 10 years from now, I would say it was way too late. So in this case, by making it about the investigation in our time, proving and showing people a story that they didn’t know, a story that proved that our police officers, that our divers, that our system works, made it relevant and necessary to tell.

“That was the conversation I had with Ingrid and Joachim the first time I met them. They totally agree. Their reason to be in this is because they’re so grateful that all these people, you know, put their own life on pause and went out and actually [made] a difference. And hopefully the show shows how difficult it was. A difficulty and a battle that we don’t really know exists, but it did.”

Members of The Danish Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) assist police at Kalvebod Faelled in Copenhagen on August 23, 2017 in search of missing bodyparts of journalist Kim Wall close to the site where her torso was found on, August 21
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Members of The Danish Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) assisted police in the search of the sea

In one scene, Ingrid Wall, played by Pernilla August (Star Wars) is comforted by neighbours who bring flowers to her door.

“I had done another scene where [Ingrid] would go to the supermarket and everybody would look away, because I had an idea about Scandinavian society being cold and people not knowing how to reach out and be brave enough to touch each other,” says Lindholm. “I imagine the scene where she felt isolated, going out to a community and suddenly everybody looked away because they were scared that they would say the wrong thing…

“I sent that screenplay to them and Ingrid called me and said, ‘We like it, but you got something wrong. We never felt isolated. We only felt to be embraced and felt the love, the support, the help from our local community’.”

The script was changed. “As soon as I had written it, I could definitely see that it made more sense. I just didn’t have that idea, that was all Ingrid being honest. So they had helped me a lot.”

Following their daughter’s death, the Walls, also journalists themselves, set up the Kim Wall Memorial Fund awarding grants to young female journalists; the legacy of her work which often told the stories of those who weren’t able to do so themselves.

A heart-shaped memorial, created from stones and pebbles on the beach, also features in the series. “I wanted to recreate one on another beach and Ingrid insisted that we would film that one, because she wanted the people who had done it back then to understand how much it meant to them.”

Lindholm is still in contact with the couple daily, he says. “I think Ingrid and Joachim enjoyed coming to set and then feeling, seeing it and understanding how serious we were about their story. They felt comfortable about that.”

It seems crass to talk about spoilers in a story such as this but, without giving too much away, there is a speech given by Ingrid Wall at the end of the series. The couple were on set to see August deliver it.

Jakob Buch-Jepsen (PILOU ASBAEK) in The Investigation. Pic: BBC / misofilm & outline film / Henrik Ohsten
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Prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen is played by Game Of Thrones and Borgen star Pilou Asbaek. Pic: BBC/misofilm & outline film/Henrik Ohsten

“I wrote that together with Ingrid,” says Lindholm. “I asked her, what do you want… If you could get the last word in this whole story, in this whole media circus, what do you want to say?”

“When we shot that scene, I had Ingrid and Joachim by my monitor… that was kind of an interesting and, for me, emotionally challenging experience. But I think that Ingrid and Joachim were probably the coolest of us all. They are very realistic, and very aware of the choices they make, and they are very responsible to watch each other. I never felt them struggling on set.

“I definitely felt that once in a while, while we were writing and while I was, not interviewing, but talking to them about different ways and the whole preparation, I could feel that we needed to go through a conversation that wasn’t nice to have, but it was never an emotional, brutal experience at all. They are very strong and they’re very realistic about their own situation.”

It must be strange and difficult to see your real life portrayed as a drama on screen, especially under such unthinkable circumstances. But the Walls feel proud, says Lindholm. Proud of their daughter, whose award-winning investigative journalism is highlighted in the show, and proud that those involved in bringing her killer to justice are now being celebrated.

“They feel that it is what it should be, a celebration of the unsung heroes, the ones that helped them through the darkness, the ones that brought their daughter back home, the ones that, you know, without getting rich or getting famous off it, just did a tremendous job to help them,” says Lindholm.

“I believe Joachim said to me that he felt it was very close to a documentary in the sense of how realistic and how precise it is in the descriptions.

“Remember, it’s not a story about Kim, it’s not a story about Ingrid and Joachim, it’s a story about Ingrid and Joachim’s life when it crosses the investigation. But they, together with Jens and [prosecutor] Jakob Buch-Jepsen, who’s played by Pilou [Asbaek, Game Of Thrones], all feel that it’s very honest and very accurate and all feel proud that we did it this way.”

Danish inventor Peter Madsen is on trial for the murder of journalist Kim Wall
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Ms Wall’s legacy lives on in a memorial fund set up to provide grants to young female journalists

On 25 April 2018, following a trial, Ms Wall’s murderer was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. Sky News covered the case extensively. For those who didn’t follow it, through Sky News or elsewhere, his name is easy enough to Google. Writing this article about the series raised the question of whether or not his identity, just as in the show, could be ignored when it is clearly so public.

Taking Lindholm’s final thoughts, it was easy to decide.

“I hope that fiction more than anything offers the opportunity to be somebody else for a while,” he says. “In this case, we are given the opportunity to be Jens Moller, to be Ingrid and Joachim. I do believe that… being in their perspective for these six episodes can change our perspective of the world.

“Maybe we realise the responsibility we have as media consumers: what do we click on, how do we treat cases like this, and what are we fascinated by? Hopefully, it can challenge the convention that the killer, almost by nature, is fascinating or interesting. And hopefully it will inspire us to see that together, we can achieve great things.”

The Investigation starts on BBC Two on 22 January and will also be available on iPlayer

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Domestic abuse is the world’s hidden pandemic – but victims are being left with nowhere to go | UK News

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As COVID-19 spread throughout the world, another pandemic was growing – hidden in the homes where we have been ordered to stay.

International Women’s Day, on Monday 8 March, is a day to celebrate the achievements of women and call for more action on gender equality.

But this year it feels there is little to celebrate. Whether you look at women in the workplace or maternity rights, the pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities in almost all walks of life.

The pandemic’s impact on domestic abuse is particularly bleak.

Across the world, there has been a marked rise in reports of domestic violence. In France, reports increased by 32% during the first week of lockdown. Ireland saw a five-fold increase in domestic violence and reports were up 8.1% in the United States after lockdown orders. In the UK, police have seen a 10% increase in reported cases of domestic abuse and calls to helplines have also risen sharply.

Domestic abuse is a vastly under-reported crime and the true picture is likely to be far worse than the official statistics show.

But the emergence of what the UN is calling a “shadow pandemic” is clear.

While for most of us, the stay at home directive has meant grappling with the stress of home schooling or hurling well-meaning articles about baking banana bread into the rubbish bin, for a significant number of people it has been altogether more sinister.

When your abuser is your partner or family member, spending time at home is to be trapped. The usual escape routes are harder to access, and the critical support from friends and loved ones shut off.

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in this week’s budget that domestic abuse schemes in England and Wales will receive an extra £19m from the government over the next two years.

Most of the money will be going towards work with abusers to reduce reoffending, and £4m will provide 132 new bed places – or “respite rooms” – for homeless and extremely vulnerable women who have suffered domestic abuse.

The extra money has been welcomed, but charities have warned it’s not enough.

Women’s Aid estimates that £393m is required to support refuges and community based services in England, so there is a shortfall of more than £200m.

The charity warns that “will mean that women and children will be turned away from the lifesaving support they need”.

“While funding for working with perpetrators is important, it must never come at the expense of funding lifesavings support for survivors. Women-only services deliver tried and tested support that survivors and their children continue to desperately need. They are likely to face even further pressure and demand once lockdown finally lifts,” it said.

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An MP’s story of domestic abuse

Domestic abuse survivors need extraordinary bravery. It means hiding your passport and squirreling away money in amounts small enough not to be noticed, but big enough to fund your escape. It means scrambling together clothes and quickly bundling up the children before the abuser gets back home (and who is out of the house for long these days?).

Some refuges have closed altogether, while others are struggling with a chronic shortage of beds. Local authority spending on refuges has been cut from £31.2m in 2010 to £23.9m in 2017.

What happens if, after that stomach churning rush of fear and determination, there is nowhere to go?

We’ll be exploring the issue with Claire Barnett, the executive director of UN Women UK, on Sophy Ridge on Sunday on 7 March. Other guests will include Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, the SNP’s Mhairi Black and the head of Ofsted Amanda Spielman.

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‘I’m on the move!’: NASA’s Perseverance rover takes its first test drive on Mars | Science & Tech News

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NASA’s Perseverance rover has taken its first drive on Mars, just weeks after landing on the Red Planet.

The one-tonne robot travelled 21.3ft (6.5m) in a mobility test that the space agency said will allow the checking and calibrating of the rover’s systems and instruments.

Once Perseverance really gets going, it is expected to undertake regular commutes of 656ft (200m) or more.

Anais Zarifian, Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mobility test bed engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, said: “When it comes to wheeled vehicles on other planets, there are few first-time events that measure up in significance to that of the first drive.

“This was our first chance to ‘kick the tyres’ and take Perseverance out for a spin.”

And the news was good: Ms Zarifian said the rover’s six-wheel drive “responded superbly”, adding: “We are now confident our drive system is good to go, capable of taking us wherever the science leads us over the next two years.”

Perseverance was moving for about 33 minutes, first driving 13ft before turning in place 150 degrees and reversing 8ft to find its new parking space.

The rover landed on Mars on 18 February to much celebration in the US and across the world, becoming the ninth spacecraft since the 1970s to achieve such a feat.

The landing came after a 300 million-mile journey over nearly seven months, as part of a mission to find out whether there was once life on the mysterious planet.

Scientists believe that if there ever was life on Mars, it would have been 3 billion to 4 billion years ago, when water still flowed there.

Two spacecraft from the UAE and China have also swung into orbit around Mars in recent weeks, a sign of the growing global interest.

Perseverance carries 19 cameras – more than any other interplanetary mission – and has sent 7,000 photos back to earth already.

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The rover is also kitted out with a navigation system to help it avoid dangerous boulders and ravines, a range of scientific instruments for performing experiments, and a miniature helicopter that will become the first rotorcraft to fly on another planet.

The samples of rock and soil it collects will be sealed in tubes and left in a well-identified place on the surface for a future mission to collect.

Next up on Perseverance’s diary are more tests, and the calibration of its scientific instruments and longer test drives, as well as the experimental flight test programme for the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter it is carrying.



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Outrage in India over latest ‘honour killing’ as father beheads daughter after finding her with man | World News

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Outrage over so-called honour killings in India has been reignited after a father who found his daughter in a “compromising position” with a man severed her head with an axe – and then took it to his local police station.

The man walked through the streets of Hardoi district in northern Uttar Pradesh state carrying his daughter’s head, confessed to what he had done upon his arrival at the station, and was arrested, police said.

Superintendent Anurag Vats told the Thomson Reuters Foundation: “The man said he saw his daughter in a compromising position with a man and he beheaded her in a fit of rage.”

Shocking images of him carrying the 17-year-old girl’s head through the streets of Uttar Pradesh were shared online, reigniting urgent calls for the introduction of laws specifically dealing with so-called honour killings.

Madhu Garg, vice president of the All India Democratic Women Association’s Uttar Pradesh branch, said: “The issue of the right to choice needs immediate attention and a separate law should be made for dealing with honour killing.”

Human rights groups say thousands of women and girls are killed across South Asia and the Middle East each year by family members angered at perceived damage to their “honour”.

Perceived offences can include eloping, fraternising with men, or any transgression of staunchly conservative values regarding women.

Last month, a woman was burnt alive by her family members over an inter-faith relationship in Uttar Pradesh, local media reported, quoting police officials.

India officially recorded 24 honour killings in 2019, but campaigners say government statistics on honour killing mask
the true scale of the crime, with women at greater risk than men.

Almost 70% of honour killings in India are women, according to Arockiya Samy Kathir, the founder of non-profit campaigning group Evidence, which has for years worked on honour killings in south India.

In 2018, the Indian government asked all states to set up special cells comprising of police and welfare officers, as well as a 24-hour helpline, to help couples facing harassment or those seeking protection.

But campaigners say compliance has been poor.

High-profile cases of violence against women in India have sparked mass protests in recent years, although many of them are not related to honour killings.

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