Story on Twitchell laptop outlines killing

A deleted document found by police on Mark Twitchell's laptop computer, which the Crown believes details the luring and killing of Johnny Altinger, was read into evidence Monday at Twitchell's first-degree murder trial

Warning: This story contains graphic and disturbing details

This Toshiba laptop computer was seized from Mark Twitchell's vehicle. (Edmonton Police Service )

A deleted document found by police on Mark Twitchell's laptop computer, which the Crown believes details the luring and killing of Johnny Altinger, was read into evidence Monday at Twitchell's first-degree murder trial.

"This story is based on true events," the document known as SKconfessions begins. "The names and events were altered slightly to protect the guilty.

"This is the story of my progression into becoming a serial killer."

Twitchell, 31, an aspiring filmmaker, is accused of bludgeoning, stabbing and dismembering Altinger, 38, on Oct. 10, 2008, after luring him to a rented south Edmonton garage through an internet dating site. His first-degree murder trial is now in its third week in Edmonton Court of Queen's Bench.

After he kills and dismembers a victim he calls "Jim," the author of the document states how the experience altered his life.

"This experience changed my sense of place in the world forever," the text reads. "I felt stronger, somehow above other people. I felt like the proud owner of a very dark secret that no one would ever be in on."

Mark Twitchell is shown here in an interview with Edmonton Police Det. Bill Clark. (Edmonton Police Service)
The Crown has told the jury that this 42-page document is the "most damning" piece of evidence.

Police forensic analyst Const. Michael Roszko testified that he found the document while searching the hard drive on Twitchell's laptop computer.

He told the jury that he printed the file and passed it onto homicide detectives as soon as he read the opening lines. The document was read to the jury Monday.

Document describes preparations

The author of the document calls killing "an exhilarating new hobby" and describes how he prepared for the luring and killing of his victims.

The document, which reads like a diary, describes the purchase of a number of items that match pictures of exhibits entered at the trial: a hockey mask, a hunter's game processing kit, a 45-gallon steel drum and a hunting knife, which is described as the "kill knife."

There is also a description of how the author set up a "kill room" in the garage.

The author describes posing as a woman on internet dating sites to lure his victims. At first, the author thinks about luring married men, but then decides they would be reported missing more quickly. 

Instead, the writer decides to target unmarried men in their late 30s and early 40s, of average height and build.

The author then speaks about downloading an IP address blocker.

"I mean it would be rather silly of me to run this whole operation from my home computer without it, just so that if any of my play mates disappearances were actually investigated, there would be this electronic trail leading the police directly back to me and my little workshop of horrors," the document says.

The document details a first encounter with a man named "Frank," who comes to the garage, but manages to get away after fighting back. 

The jury has been told they will hear testimony from a man who escaped from the garage seven days before Altinger was slain.

Author goes to victim's apartment

The document goes to describe a meeting with a second man called "Jim," who was found through a free dating website.

The document describes how Jim comes to the garage, and how the author introduces himself as a local filmmaker named "Harry," and shows him a prop gun.

The author tells Jim the woman he is meeting is running late, so he leaves, comes back 20 minutes later and then leaves again. The author then contacts him on the dating site and offers to reschedule, but Jim offers to come back that night.

"Crouched, poised, I had a whole new plan," the author says. When Jim enters the garage, the author strikes him on the head several times with a pipe, then stabs him in the abdomen and the neck.

What follows is an extremely disturbing and graphic description of how the author dismembered the body and put it into garbage bags.

While he is cleaning up the garage, his wife "Tess" calls and asks him to pick up baby formula on the way home. He backs Jim's Mazda into the garage and then leaves.

Two days later, the author describes using the keys to let himself into Jim's apartment. He is able to get into Jim's Facebook, Messenger and internet dating accounts because the passwords were set on auto log-in.

He sends an email to Jim's friends, telling them he is going away with a woman for two months. He also changes the status on Jim's Facebook profile.

A friend testified last week that Altinger went to the garage, thinking he was going to meet a woman. The woman wasn't there, so Altinger called his friend and said he had left the garage after talking to a man who said he was a filmmaker.

He later sent an email to his friend telling him that the woman was now there and he was heading back to meet her.

Friends also testified they received an email from Altinger's email account on Oct. 13, telling them he had met a woman and was heading to Costa Rica for two months.

The document then describes how the author dumped the body in a sewer after trying to burn the remains in a barrel.

With files from the CBC's Janice Johnston