Jurors were taken on a tour Thursday through the world of a filmmaker and Star Wars buff accused of hacking up a stranger in keeping with a movie script, then hauling the bloody limbs away in the trunk of a car with the licence plate Dark Jedi.
Photos of the crime scene were provided by Constable Gary Short at the first-degree murder trial of Mark Twitchell.
Mr. Twitchell, 31, is an amateur moviemaker who prosecutors say killed Johnny Altinger, then chronicled the graphic murder and dismemberment on his computer under the heading "My Progression into Becoming a Serial Killer."
The Crown says it will prove that Mr. Twitchell was caught just as he was developing into a random killer in the fall of 2008.
Prosecutors allege it all began when Mr. Twitchell and friends made a short eight-minute movie in an Edmonton residential garage about a man lured to a remote location on the promise of an Internet date.
The man is tied up, tortured to reveal his Internet pass codes, then murdered.
A week after that movie, they say, Mr. Twitchell began doing it for real.
He lured one man to the same garage on the pretense of an Internet date with a woman and planned to kill him, but was foiled when the man fought back and escaped.
A week later, prosecutors told the jury, Mr. Altinger was lured there on the same pretext but didn't get away.
Constable Short's photos paint pictures of two men going in different directions.
Mr. Twitchell was married with an eight-month-old daughter. He was finishing a low-budget Star Wars tribute film titled Secrets of the Rebellion.
The leitmotif of his life was clutter: in his house, in his car and in the garage where police - using Mr. Twitchell's diary as a road map - matched physical evidence to the alleged slaying of Mr. Altinger on the night of Oct. 10, 2008.
They say Mr. Twitchell hit Mr. Altinger on the head with a heavy copper pipe, knifed him to death, then carved up the limbs, bones, sinew and flesh with heavy-duty saws and blades used by hunters to chop up big game. He first tried to burn the remains, then ended up dumping them in the sewer.
Constable Short's pictures of the garage depict an empty area save for sundry items on sagging, dirty wooden shelves, scattered wood, junk, garbage, cans, tables, chairs and boxes.
A large heavy metal table. Beside it, a tooth fragment the Crown says belonged to Mr. Altinger.
Blood spatters on another table and wall.
Police seized Mr. Twitchell's car, a cherry red Pontiac Grand Am streaked with mud and dirt and full of junk - on the floorboards, in the trunk, under the dashboard and on the seats. Shoes, papers, bags, a cellphone, rope, a gas can and a backpack. A novel about Dexter, a fictional character who works by day as a Miami forensic analyst and by night as a vigilante serial killer.
"It was extremely cluttered and messy," Constable Short said.
The coarse grey lining of the trunk, said Constable Short, was streaked dark red with blood.
Police went to Mr. Twitchell's home, a tiny bandbox of a house in St. Albert, a bedroom community on Edmonton's northern outskirts.
Upstairs they found children's toys and a little pink snowsuit. Downstairs was Mr. Twitchell's work area. It was a pig sty. A mattress on the floor, blankets and pillows scattered. Boxes everywhere. Blue jeans that police say had Mr. Altinger's blood on them crumpled in a ball.
A work station overflowing in paper and office detritus. A handcuff key and a samurai sword. On a side table, a hockey mask and a fake gun.
Mr. Altinger has been described by friends as loyal and constant. Days after he disappeared, his friends received e-mails with his name on them that said he had quit his job and run off with a woman to Costa Rica.
When police searched his small ground floor condo, it didn't look like a man going on a trip, Constable Short suggested.
It was a basic bachelor pad. A white sectional sofa and a computer work station overstuffed with cords and wires. A big-screen TV and video games. A tiny kitchen with dirty dishes. A small bathroom sink area overflowing with tubes and lotions. An unmade bed and an exercise machine. A towel on the shower rod. A robe hung on an open closet door.
There were almost no decorations or mementoes, no pictures on the off-white walls.
It was home. It wasn't homey. But the 38-year-old pipeline inspector and motorcyle enthusiast originally from White Rock, B.C., was trying to change that.
He had gone online to find a date and on Oct. 10 hopped in his red Mazda 3 to go meet her.
He was looking to make a connection. Instead he never came back.
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