A DANISH inventor admitted to dismembering a Swedish journalist, whose body parts were found at sea after she went missing August 10 - but he denied killing her.
Peter Madsen also changed his story to claim that Kim Wall, who had been interviewing him for a story, had died of carbon monoxide poisoning while on board his homemade vessel.
The 30-year-old Columbia Journalism School grad was found stabbed in her ribcage and genitalia more than a dozen times "around or shortly after her death," prosecutors have said.
Madsen has pleaded not guilty.
On October 8 Danish police announced divers had recovered the decapitated head and the legs of Ms Wall.
In a grisly case worthy of a Nordic noir thriller, Copenhagen police inspector Jens Moller Jensen told reporters that divers had found bags containing her missing clothes, her head and legs in Koge Bay, south of the Danish capital.
"Last night our forensic dentist confirmed that it was Kim Wall's head," he said.
Jensen said the decapitated head contradicted Madsen's version of events. There was "no sign of fracture on the skull and there isn't any sign of other blunt violence to the skull," he said, citing an autopsy carried out on Ms Wall's body.
Locating Wall's head was a priority for investigators, as the final autopsy on the torso was not able to establish the cause of death.
However, it did show multiple mutilation wounds to Wall's genitalia.
Prosecutors believe Madsen killed 30-year-old Wall as part of a sexual fantasy, then dismembered and mutilated her body.
Prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen told a court custody hearing that a hard disk found in Madsen's workshop contained fetish films in which real women were tortured, decapitated and burned.
"This hard drive doesn't belong to me," Madsen insisted, saying numerous people had access to his workshop.
Police in three countries are now checking cold cases amid fears Madsen could be a serial killer.
Madsen's DNA is to be tested against unsolved killings in Sweden and Norway as well as Denmark, including the 1986 find of the dismembered remains of a 22-year-old Japanese tourist whose corpse was found in several plastic bags in Copenhagen harbour.
Wall worked as a freelance journalist based in New York and China, and her articles were published in The Guardian, The New York Times and others.
At the time of her disappearance, she was believed to be working on a feature story about Madsen, an eccentric, well-known figure in Denmark.