The Devil's Cinema
The Untold Story Behind Mark Twitchell's Kill Room
By Steve Lillebuen
(McClelland & Stewart, Hardcover, 9780771050336, 352pp.)
Publication Date: March 27, 2012
List Price: $27.95*
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Reality and fantasy collide with shocking results in this riveting account of the notorious case of Mark Twitchell - and the police investigation into one of the most bizarre murders in recent memory.
In October 2008, Johnny Altinger, a 38-year-old Edmonton man, was on his way to a tryst with a woman he had met on an online dating website when he emailed the directions to their rendezvous to a concerned friend. He was never seen again. Two weeks before Altinger's disappearance, independent filmmaker Mark Twitchell began shooting a low-budget horror film about a serial killer who impersonates a woman on an online dating website to lure his victims to their gruesome deaths. But these are just the starting points of the stranger-than-fiction case of Mark Twitchell, a man with a startling plan to turn his life-long love of fantasy and desire for fame into reality:
- Did Twitchell, in a horrific example of life imitating art, act out the grisly premise of his own script?
- Obsessed with Dexter, the popular TV show and book series about a fictional vigilante serial killer, Twitchell assumed Dexter Morgan's profile on Facebook. But how far did he intend to take his fascination with Dexter?
- Is the shocking document "S.K. Confessions" a graphic work of fiction that, as Twitchell claims, he wrote to promote his film? Or is it a diary he kept of his transformation into a killer, and proof that the police stopped a prolific serial killer at the very beginning?
Veteran journalist Steve Lillebuen provides a gripping investigative account of the nesting doll intricacies of the case, plunging us into the world of pop culture fanaticism and into the mind of a self-professed psychopath. Drawing on extensive interviews, Lillebuen illuminates what can happen when some of our culture's darkest obsessions are pushed to extremes.
STEVE LILLEBUEN is an experienced crime reporter whose work has been published in a wide range of respected media, including the Edmonton Journal, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the National Post, the Sydney Morning Herald, and around the world through The Associated Press and its related agencies. He currently divides his time between Edmonton and Australia.