The Devil's Cinema
The Untold Story Behind Mark Twitchell's Kill Room
By Steve Lillebuen
McClelland & Stewart, Paperback, 9780771050350, 338pp.
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
List Price: $19.99*
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"A detailed, well-constructed account of a diabolical real-life Dexter. Lillebuen has written a riveting, true crime page-turner about aspiring filmmaker Mark Twitchell, who turned his obsession with fantasy into horrible reality." -- Robert Remington, co-author of Runaway Devil
On the night of October 10, 2008, Johnny Altinger was heading to his first date with a woman he had met online. He was never seen again. Two weeks earlier, aspiring filmmaker Mark Twitchell, a young father with a devotion to the television series Dexter, began a three-day shoot for his latest short film. His horror story featured a serial killer who impersonates women on an online dating site to lure unsuspecting men to his suburban kill room. But was his script actually the blueprint for a real-life murder? And what of Twitchell's other writings, including the elaborate and shocking document titled "S. K. Confessions"? Was it a work of fiction or a diary detailing his dark transformation into a would-be serial killer?
A powerfully gripping narrative, The Devil's Cinema is the definitive account of the notorious "Dexter Killer," a case and trial that captured the world's attention. Steve Lillebuen takes us deep into the extraordinary police investigation and the lives of everyone involved, while unveiling never-before-revealed details, all drawn from extensive and exclusive interviews -- including months of contact with the killer himself.
Winner of 2013 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Nonfiction
“A well-written and researched exploration of a very dark side of a young would-be filmmaker who is perhaps a tad over-influenced in his life and actions by the fictional TV character, serial killer Dexter Morgan. The horrific crimes and the trial of Edmontonian Mark Twitchell is deftly presented by Steve Lillebuen in a book that is a well-paced, hard-to-put-down, real-life thriller.”
—Jury citation for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Non-fiction
"A compelling and frightening account. . . . Lillebuen creates a fascinating and detailed narrative, from the killer's and victim's early lives to the dramatic and bizarre courtroom trial. With its ties to online communities, dating sites, pop culture and modern filmmaking, The Devil's Cinema is a terrifying and intriguing account of murder in the digital age."
—Winnipeg Free Press
"Remind[s] us how the borders of human interaction and connective technology have shifted so drastically, and in so little time. . . . "