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Edmonton accused killer told Facebook friend he 'crossed the line' Add to ...

An accused murderer's Facebook friend says he told her he had "crossed the line" four days after a man was bludgeoned to death in a garage.

Mark Twitchell, 31, is accused of killing Johnny Altinger, 38, on Oct. 10, 2008, chopping up the body, burning it and disposing of the remains in a sewer.

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Renee Waring told Mr. Twitchell's first-degree murder trial on Wednesday that he sent her a message on Oct. 14.

"This weekend I made the rounds to two Thanksgiving events and I also had something else keeping me busy," he wrote. "But I'm really concerned about telling anyone because of the implications.

"Suffice it to say that I crossed the line on Friday and I liked it."

Ms. Waring also testified that the two had been exchanging messages and emails that included "dark thoughts" and "dark fantasies."

She said Mr. Twitchell was using the name of TV serial killer Dexter Morgan when the two met on Facebook.

Mr. Twitchell admitted in court through his lawyer that he shared tips with Ms. Waring about how to kill someone and cut up a body.

Ms. Waring testified that she told Mr. Twitchell she wanted to kill her former husband's new wife, chop her into pieces and draw little circles with her blood.

Mr. Twitchell replied with gruesome advice on how to kill and dispose of a corpse without leaving a lot of blood.

"Although I appreciate your dark fantasy about skeletor, it is impractical," he wrote on Oct. 3, 2008. "It leaves behind way too much forensic evidence and you are too close to the situation with motive creeping out of your pores.

"If you really want to make this happen and get away with it, prepare a kill room, the same way Dex does. Wall-to-wall plastic sheeting."

The Crown has already entered into evidence Mr. Twitchell's books and DVDs about Dexter, a fictional character, who works as a Miami police blood spatter expert and moonlights as a vigilante serial killer.

Mr. Twitchell went on to advise Ms. Waring, who was also a fan of the "Dexter" TV show, to get a stun gun to immobilize her victim, get plenty of hefty garbage bags for the body parts, remove the teeth to make it difficult to identify the corpse and then burn the remains, she said.

"Ideally you would want to incinerate the entire body, but this requires exhaustive location planning and a suitable container as well as fuel. Otherwise, you can just dump the bags loaded with rocks Dexter-style into a large body of water."

He went on to recommend bashing the victim in the head with a copper pipe and suggested she use a wild game dressing kit to gut the body.

Mr. Twitchell's homicide hints closely mirror a diary Edmonton police forensic experts found in deleted files on Mr. Twitchell's laptop computer. While Mr. Twitchell's name isn't mentioned, the Crown contends that he wrote the diary and that it chronicles the killing of Mr. Altinger.

Ms. Waring testified that when she first started corresponding with the person using the name "Dexter Morgan" on Facebook, she wasn't sure who she was communicating with. She thought it might be the show's star, Michael C. Hall.

"Dexter Morgan" replied that he wasn't the star, but a filmmaker named Mark who was working on a psychological thriller about a serial killer who kidnaps men.

Ms. Waring, who testified by closed-circuit television from Ohio, said she replied to Mr. Twitchell's advice by saying she would need a male accomplice to pull off such a crime.

"Getting her would be easy, yes," Ms. Waring wrote. "A stun gun, that's a good idea, but I think when it came to cutting her up into little pieces, I would choke.

"But I think I could watch it happen and possibly assist. I don't think I could do it all by myself. I would need a male counterpart, someone with a bit more strength to get things done faster. Don't you need a good bit of heft to pull bones apart? Plus that is a lot of cleanup."

Prosecutors have said Mr. Twitchell posed as a woman on an Internet dating site to lure Mr. Altinger to the garage with promises of an intimate encounter. The diary calls the garage a "kill room" where the writer says he will enjoy his "play time."

He has pleaded not guilty to murder, but told court at the beginning of the trial that he would admit to interfering with human remains. The offer was not accepted.

In another email to Ms. Waring a few weeks after Mr. Altinger was killed, Mr. Twitchell wrote about how his life was in turmoil as police searched his home as part of a homicide investigation.

"Where do I even start? What is the short version. My marriage is ending. Long story. And in a non-related series of crapticular events, there is an enormous missing-person, possible homicide investigation going on centralized around a location that I had been renting for film work," he said.

"So of course police have tossed my house and impounded my car. Not fun, considering they won't find anything. And not the worst-case scenario, I should point out, in case you were thinking that, which I can't even begin to go into detail about, so don't ask."

On Halloween 2008, Mr. Twitchell sent a final email to Ms. Waring. She responded with a farewell message, including a picture of their hero.

"I sent him a Showtime E-card and it said 'Happy Halloween.' I don't remember everything else, but it was just 'I hope everything is going better.' And on the E-card it said, 'See you soon.' And it had a picture of Dexter Morgan from Showtime."

A week later Ms. Waring contacted Edmonton police about her email and Facebook relationship with Mr. Twitchell.

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