House of Cards indeed
April 6, 2011 1:40 PM   Subscribe

An amateur filmmaker is no longer pleading his innocence in the death of a man who was killed, cut up and dumped into a sewer.

Mark Twitchell is accused of killing Johnny Altinger in what Twitchell's lawyer calls a publicity stunt for Twitchell's film gone awry.
The bizarre case involves faked e-mails from the victim, a home-made Iron Man costume, circumstantially damning Facebook postings and Altinger's burned and dismembered body being recovered from a sewer.

The crown contends the accused was imitating the central character of Dexter, from the Showtime series of the same name.
posted by ricochet biscuit (41 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
What... I... jesus christ.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 1:48 PM on April 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Okay, seriously... looking at that picture of the guy, would you accept an invitation to his garage?

This isn't life imitating art, it's life imitating serial killer stereotype.
posted by fatbird at 1:50 PM on April 6, 2011


I have a feeling this is going to be like an episode of Special Victims Unit, in that each new discovery will be creepier and more repellent than the previous.

Unless it's all some crappy hoax. In which case it will be like Scooby Doo.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:51 PM on April 6, 2011


What the fuck? This is actually real and not a prank?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:51 PM on April 6, 2011


Hmm. His IMDB profile popularity has gone down by 20%. Talk about being convicted in the court of public opinion!
posted by Think_Long at 1:53 PM on April 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Much more here.
posted by tomswift at 1:53 PM on April 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Assholes like this give horror fans a bad name. They already think we're creepy enough; can we draw the line at actually murdering people?
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:54 PM on April 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Eyuck. Reminds me of the Brazil reality TV case. Fucked up shit.
posted by kmz at 1:55 PM on April 6, 2011


Unless it's all some crappy hoax. In which case it will be like Scooby Doo.

I would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn't been for those kids and their pesky Facebooks.
posted by maryr at 1:55 PM on April 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


[starts typing a referential joke]

"Ahhh, no..." {Backspace}{Backspace}{Backspace}{Backspace}

[starts typing a clever snark]

"Ehhh..." {Backspace}{Backspace}

[Sighs heavily, looks out window while thinking about victim's friends]
posted by CynicalKnight at 2:00 PM on April 6, 2011 [19 favorites]


Please DO NOT forget the alternative in alternative reality game.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:07 PM on April 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Assholes like this give horror fans a bad name.

SF/comic book fans too. Looks like he was big into Star Wars and Spider-Man.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:12 PM on April 6, 2011


Fucked up shit.

Huh. I was skeptical, but you're right. That Brazil story, if the allegations are true, is Grade-A Fucked-Up Shit.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:14 PM on April 6, 2011


An absolutely horrifying story could be made about this, following a character's motivation from "I'm doing this for fiction" to "I'm doing this for real."

All things considered, I strongly suspect that it would be in horrifically bad taste to actually make it though.
posted by quin at 2:17 PM on April 6, 2011


Been obsessed with this case for two years. Interesting that he finally admits it; I was starting to think Twitchell would get away on some bizarre technicality.

This is another good video explanation of the main events: 16:9 on Twitchell.

Here is a video of Mr. Twitchell's directorial efforts, "Day Players". He also appears at the end as a disgruntled director.

Twitchell was making a Star Wars fan-fic video called "Secrets of the Rebellion". Can't find any video of that online but here's a behind-the-scenes look at the filming.
posted by meadowlark lime at 2:17 PM on April 6, 2011


Okay, seriously... looking at that picture of the guy, would you accept an invitation to his garage?

Well, consider that Canadians elected a PM that looks just like him.
posted by zarah at 2:29 PM on April 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow. Amateur filmmakers surprise me in the new and innovative ways that they are posers.

Fucking poser...and murderer.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:44 PM on April 6, 2011


Thank god he wasn't playing Kingdom of Loathing...
posted by queensissy at 2:52 PM on April 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


There but by the Grace of God goes Tommy Wiseau.
posted by Amanojaku at 3:02 PM on April 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


i can't even
posted by liza at 3:16 PM on April 6, 2011


Well you can't get creepier than a name like Twitchell.

And now I"m hearing the theme song for "Mitchell"
posted by stormpooper at 3:16 PM on April 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


And now I"m hearing the theme song for "Mitchell"
Oh God damn it.
posted by ChuqD at 3:43 PM on April 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm about to star in my third gory, no-budget horror thing directed by a friend. The first two aren't finished and this one is shot in a basement and ends with my gruesome death (sorry for the spoilers but it's short and you won't remember this post). One if the directors was, I'm convinced, a sociopath. This one spent time with Herzog.
What I'm saying is I'm surprised it's nobody I know. I love the horror people I know but many are creepy as he'll.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:08 PM on April 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I feel like "Spent time with Herzog" should be a euphemism for something-- a long and probably unexplainable period of bizarre and crushing strain. Something very impressive, but that seems unlikely to have left its sufferer's humanity intact.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 4:27 PM on April 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


It's gotten a bit easier since you can just pay Herzog to hang out now.
posted by SomaSoda at 4:33 PM on April 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Irony alert:

Earlier in the week, the Crown presented blood spatter evidence that prosecutors believe helps prove Mr. Twitchell killed Mr. Altinger, 38, by first cracking his skull with a copper pipe. They said he then knifed him to death, cut up the body and dumped it in a sewer.

I assumed that 'blood spatter analyst' was something made up for Dexter to provide some dramatic irony and cover.


I feel like "Spent time with Herzog" should be a euphemism for something-- a long and probably unexplainable period of bizarre and crushing strain. Something very impressive, but that seems unlikely to have left its sufferer's humanity intact.

You're making me feel so much better about this whole thing!
actually, the previous director being a sociopath was a point in his favor, in my eyes. guys like Kubrick, Herzog and Polanski aren't exactly paragons of humanity and kindness (and a recent Cracked list has more). actually, a guy actually DID stab himself on the feature I was in, but he was doing it to try and be more realistic. we armored his torso with a script first.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:38 PM on April 6, 2011


It's gotten a bit easier since you can just pay Herzog to hang out now.

yeah, that's what he did
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:38 PM on April 6, 2011


actually, a guy actually DID stab himself on the feature I was in, but he was doing it to try and be more realistic. we armored his torso with a script first.

So you're saying the script needed some padding?
posted by gottabefunky at 4:57 PM on April 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Yeah, this is pretty big news locally. Seems like quite a few Edmonton stories are turning up on Mefi lately. Twitchell is one sick mother, and I feel bad for his victim. But what amazes me is that he failed the first time, the victim got away, and there were no negative consequences for his would-be killer. The first victim, Tetreault, didn't even contact the police until after Twitchell was charged with murdering the second guy. I mean, Tetreault goes on date, gets attacked by a stranger wearing a hockey mask, almost dies, and just shrugs it off?
posted by Kevin Street at 5:15 PM on April 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


what
posted by nonmerci at 5:47 PM on April 6, 2011


tetreault, at the time of his incident, probably didn't want to suffer additional embarrassment.
posted by the aloha at 5:47 PM on April 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's an amazing story, but it should not be surprising that murderers are sometimes horror fans.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:50 PM on April 6, 2011


This is all kinds of amazing, to me. I have always had a really strong interest in serial killers, but there is something so bizarrely meta about someone watching Dexter and deciding to construct a carbon copy murder scenario as a result...On the other hand, sociopaths are generally not such tired copycats, in my readings of North American and European serial killers (which are creepily extensive), so psychologically how do you treat this guy? Murder fantasist? Something else? It seems like if he were a serial killer par excellence he'd have his own motivations and thus his own modus operandi, but IANAP and I watched too much Wire in the Blood in too short a period of time.

And then there's the issue of the script and how totally and utterly rubbish it is. In this day and age, who meets an "internet date" in a fucking residential garage? Are you kidding me?
posted by nonmerci at 6:00 PM on April 6, 2011


there is something so bizarrely meta about someone watching Dexter and deciding to construct a carbon copy murder scenario as a result

and being convicted by a guy who does Dexter's job
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:17 PM on April 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


nonmerci: "And then there's the issue of the script and how totally and utterly rubbish it is. In this day and age, who meets an "internet date" in a fucking residential garage? Are you kidding me?"

Two different guys within the space of a month, apparently. At the least.
posted by gilrain at 6:35 PM on April 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I mean, Tetreault goes on date, gets attacked by a stranger wearing a hockey mask, almost dies, and just shrugs it off?

Butterface II: the clarifying
posted by anigbrowl at 6:39 PM on April 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I mean, Tetreault goes on date, gets attacked by a stranger wearing a hockey mask, almost dies, and just shrugs it off?

"So you've been doing this online dating thing for a bit, how's that going? What's the worst date you've been on?"
posted by justkevin at 8:46 PM on April 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I assumed that 'blood spatter analyst' was something made up for Dexter to provide some dramatic irony and cover.

I don't know whether there is a specific JOB of Blood Spatter Analyst", but I suspect most trained forensic specialists know a lot about it.

And to really age myself, in the Jack Klugman TV series, Quincy used blood spatter analysis in a lot of his cases.

I always liked Jack Klugman as an actor, but I loathed The Odd Couple.
posted by Billiken at 8:34 AM on April 7, 2011


Wow. Life imitates art.

It might be like Dexter, but it's also really close to Man Bites Dog.
posted by winna at 9:47 AM on April 7, 2011


I mean, Tetreault goes on date, gets attacked by a stranger wearing a hockey mask, almost dies, and just shrugs it off?

Well, if the 'diary' mirrors real life, Tetreault was threatened not to tell.
posted by maryr at 9:53 AM on April 7, 2011


I haven't been following this too closely, but my understanding is that Twitchell intended to lure married men to the garage with the prospect of an affair, threaten them to give up their financial and email information, and then kill them. (Or at least that was the "plot" in House of Cards.) And then maybe, if they got away the threat of having their philandering exposed would keep them silent. But both of his actual victims were single, so he had nothing to blackmail them with.

And now Twitchell is claiming that he killed Altinger in self defense.

"Why yes, your Honour. I did lure a man into my isolated garage under false pretenses and threaten him with a weapon. But then he tried to kill me! I had no choice."
posted by Kevin Street at 2:41 PM on April 7, 2011


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