This month, a 31 year old amateur filmmaker was sentenced to life in prison, by an Edmonton courthouse, for a murder committed following a horror movie script that he himself wrote. At the end of a four week long trial in which forensic analysis played a key role, Mark Twitchell was found guilty of murder, for killing, on the 10th of October 2008, the 38 year old Johnny Altinger.
Here is what crime scene investigators tell about the crime:
Mark Twitchell registered as a woman on an online dating service so he can lure his victim to the garage of a rented house. CSI agents agree that this is a very common ruse used by criminals to lure unsuspecting victims into their traps.
The crime scene investigators found a gruesome scene when entering that house. When he arrived, John Altinger was hit on the head with a blunt object (a metal pipe), stabbed to death and then his body was dismembered using a hunting knife. The murderer then tried to burn the victim, but, unable to do that, he dumped him into the city sewer.
Crime scene investigators found a thirty page long text on Mark’s computer which depicted the details of the murder. The text was written in first person and began with “This is the story about my turning into a serial killer”.
The chief criminal investigator, detective Bill Clark, is convinced that the amateur filmmaker is a very dangerous killer:
“In my opinion, we are talking about a psychotic killer that we managed the get off the streets of Edmonton. In my and my colleagues’ belief there is no doubt – if he wouldn’t have been caught, he would have killed again”.
With a few days prior to this murder, Mark Twitchell lured another man into the same trap, but that one managed to get away.
During the trial, Mark Twitchell claimed that it was all a joke and the victim became furious about it and attacked him. He claims that stabbing his victim in the heart was, in fact, self defense. Forensic science as well as forensic psychology were important in the jury’s decision, who did not believe this theory and sentenced him to life in prison.