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Filmmaker Mark Twitchell, centre, is shown in courtroom sketch with his defence lawyer Charles Davison on Wednesday March 16, 2011. (Amanda McRoberts/The Canadian Press/Amanda McRoberts/The Canadian Press)
Filmmaker Mark Twitchell, centre, is shown in courtroom sketch with his defence lawyer Charles Davison on Wednesday March 16, 2011. (Amanda McRoberts/The Canadian Press/Amanda McRoberts/The Canadian Press)

Crown says Edmonton filmmaker accused of grisly murder planned 'kill room' Add to ...

For a few days in the fall of 2008, say prosecutors, Mark Twitchell was living his dream: a would-be serial killer on the go, tooling around in his Pontiac Grand Am, a bloody hunting knife in the front seat and a dog-eared copy of "Dexter" in the back.

He'd planned for weeks, bought knives and a meat cleaver to go with a specially built metal table and chair for a makeshift "kill room" in a rented garage.

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Beside him in the front seat - on a black laptop computer covered with Spiderman stickers - was a document recounting his exploits in grisly, intimate detail.

Three days after he allegedly killed Johnny Altinger, he got a speeding ticket - 115 km/h in a 100 km/h zone.

He tossed it in the glove box.

His car was overflowing with books, papers, bags, receipts and trash. He scribbled down things to do on a Post-It note.

The yellow stickie reminded him to clean the "kill room," then go have rough sex with a woman who had a different name than his wife.

Mr. Twitchell, 31, is on trial for the murder of Mr. Altinger, 38, who was a pipeline inspector and motorcycle enthusiast originally from White Rock, B.C.

Prosecutors continued Friday to enter evidence they said will prove their case. They already told jurors that Mr. Twitchell was a wannabe serial killer who lured two men to a garage on Edmonton's south side by posing as a blind date on an Internet site.

When the men arrived, the Crown says, Mr. Twitchell tried to kill them. The first one fought back and got away, but didn't tell police.

The second one, Mr. Altinger, was ambushed, cracked on the head with a copper pipe, knifed to death with a military assault blade, dismembered with knives and saws used to cut up deer and dumped down the sewer.

Prosecutors say it was part of Mr. Twitchell's master plan as chronicled in a 30-page document found on his laptop that begins with the line: "This is the story of my progression into becoming a serial killer."

The defence is expected to argue it's not a diary but a work of fiction.

The evidence presented to date paints a picture of a man who, in late September 2008, was trying to break into the mainstream film business.

Mr. Twitchell had just incorporated a production company and had finished shooting a low-budget tribute movie to "Star Wars" titled "Secrets of the Rebellion." The film was still stacks of raw footage waiting to be edited.

On Sept. 26, 2008, Mr. Twitchell and some friends shot an eight-minute movie in the garage. It was called "House of Cards" and revolved around a cheating husband lured to a remote location on the promise of an Internet date. He would be attacked, tortured for his Internet pass codes and then murdered.

A week later, say prosecutors, Mr. Twitchell followed the same script - this time for real. He lured a man to the garage and, wearing a hockey mask to hide his face, he tried to subdue him but failed.

The next week, he targeted Mr. Altinger.

Police Const. Nancy Allen presented evidence taken from Mr. Twitchell's home to suggest he'd been thinking about what he was going to do for weeks.

There were receipts dating back to August for a meat cleaver, the military knife, handcuffs and a steel barrel the prosecution says was used to burn Mr. Altinger's remains.

There were sketches for a metal chair and table later found in the garage.

Const. Allen presented a wall calendar from Mr. Twitchell's home showing a notation that read: "Mark appointment, 7 p.m." That was on Oct. 3 when the first victim allegedly was attacked and broke free. A second notation was made on Oct. 10, the day Mr. Altinger disappeared.

There were two more notes for Oct. 17 and Oct 24.

The evidence also depicts Mr. Twitchell as a young married man with an infant daughter, a home in the suburbs and a growing fascination for the fictional twisted crusader Dexter.

Dexter is the main character in a series of novels later adapted to television. He is a blood-spatter expert for the Miami-Dade police department by day, a vigilante serial killer by night, who uses his blood lust to punish the guilty.

Police found Dexter books in Mr. Twitchell's car and home and burned onto DVDs beside his computer.

Mr. Twitchell also appears to have loved comics, especially the "Star Wars" series. His Grand Am had the vanity licence plate read DRK JDI for "Dark Jedi." His film company email address was named for Kit Fisto, a noble warrior in the space epic. Police arrest photos show a "Star Wars" tattoo on Twitchell's right bicep.

When he was arrested, he was putting the finishing touches on an "Iron Man" costume for Halloween.

Prosecutors have said that within days of the murder, the walls were closing in on Mr. Twitchell's world because Mr. Altinger had emailed the address of the garage to a buddy.

 

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