A Danish man convicted of murdering a Swedish journalist on his homemade submarine has been remanded in custody after he confessed to threatening several people on his brief escape from jail.
Prosecutors said Peter Madsen threatened a psychologist and a warden on his way out of the Herstedvester prison in Copenhagen and allegedly pointed an object that looked like a gun at the driver of a van once he was outside the facility.
Madsen was recaptured after about five minutes.
He also told the police officers who handcuffed him that he would detonate an explosives belt, which turned out to be fake, prosecutors said.
Prison personnel who followed him saw he had jumped into a passing white van.
They informed police, who arrested one of Denmark’s most notorious criminals less than half a mile from the prison where he is serving a life sentence.
Madsen, 49, was convicted in 2018 for the murder of Kim Wall, a 30-year-old Swedish reporter he had lured aboard his homemade submarine in 2017 with the promise of an interview.
He dismembered Wall’s body and dumped it at sea.
Madsen now faces preliminary charges of attempted prison escape and making threats.
Preliminary charges are one step short of formal charges and allow police to hold Madsen for two weeks while they investigate.
During a custody hearing at Glostrup City Court, Madsen answered “yes” when a judge asks if he confessed to the new charges.
Prosecutors alleged one or more other people helped Madsen leave the prison, although defence lawyer Anders Larsen said his client denies anyone else was involved.
Police said after Madsen was apprehended he used an object that resembled a firearm and an imitation explosives belt when trying to escape.
Under Danish law, Madsen cannot get additional prison time for the escape attempt but the terms of his incarceration can become stricter.
Madsen denied murdering Wall and claimed she died accidentally inside the submarine but he did confess to throwing her body parts into the Baltic Sea.
He lost an appeal in 2018.
Life sentences in Denmark usually mean 16 years in prison but convicts are reassessed to determine whether they would pose a danger to society if released and can be kept longer.