‘Crime Junkie’ is a true-crime podcast, and their latest episode is the exploration of one of the most sensational cases in recent times. Serial killers have always fascinated us, and films and television shows have taken advantage of this. However, the latest installment of ‘Crime Junkie’ shows how a popular show about a serial killer inspired a person to try and be a copycat. Yes, we are talking about Mark Twitchell, who attempted to emulate Dexter Morgan from ‘Dexter.’
For those unaware, the series is about a serial killer who hunts other serial killers in Miami while working as a blood splatter analyst. Dexter’s uniqueness stems from his forensically foolproof crime scenes. The kill rooms are designed not to leave any evidence, while he disposes of his victims’ dismembered bodies without a trace. Twitchell tried the same with John Brian “Johnny” Altinger.
Although he did get away with the murder, Altinger’s friends were surprised when he didn’t show up to work and resigned via mail. They urged cops to look into the story of Altinger’s apparent vacation in Costa Rica. The police questioned Twitchell, and when his story didn’t hold up, they arrested him on October 31, 2008. Subsequently, they retrieved a deleted document called ‘SK Confessions’ (serial killer confessions), which helped them capture him. Twitchell was convicted in April 2011.
Now, you might be wondering where the ‘Dexter Killer’ is today. We have got you covered with the latest updates and news.
Who is Mark Twitchell?
In October 2008, after 38-year-old Johnny Altinger suddenly vanished, Mark became the investigators’ focus. The directions that Johnny left with his friends led to a garage rented by Mark. Furthermore, Johnny had told a friend that he met a filmmaker and not a woman as he thought he would before he disappeared. At the time, Mark told the police that he had recently shot a film in the garage.
The police soon learned that Mark was a married father. He had been married to Jess Twitchell, but their relationship had been rocky recently, with them sleeping in separate rooms. Mark had also been lying to Jess about being employed. As the investigation progressed, Mark became the prime suspect. He was obsessed with the show ‘Dexter.’ He was also found in possession of Johnny’s car but had a flimsy explanation for why he had it.
Mark told the police that he had recently shot a film titled ‘House of Cards’ in the garage. The plot involved a killer in a hockey mask who lures a man to the garage using the internet and then kills him. The investigators then came across a deleted file on his hard drive titled ‘SK Confessions.’ The document went into detail regarding a murder similar to the one in ‘House of Cards.’ It also mentioned a crumbling marriage.
The file also involved a description of another person who survived, which was Gilles Tetreault. With all circumstantial evidence seemingly pointing to Mark, all the police needed was physical evidence. This came through when they found Johnny’s blood in Mark’s trunk and other biological evidence in the garage. At Mark’s trial, he claimed that the whole thing was supposed to create an urban legend that would, in turn, cause some buzz for his movie. He stated that he intended only to scare the men and let them go, but Johnny wasn’t happy with the deception, leading to a fight.
Mark claimed that he hit Johnny in the head with a pipe before Johnny wrestled it away, striking him. Then, Mark said that he stabbed Johnny in self-defense. In a panic, Mark claimed to have cut up the body and then tried to burn it. But eventually, he dumped it in a sewer. After that, Mark also admitted to breaking into Johnny’s house, sending those emails, and stealing his laptop and printer.
Where is Mark Twitchell Now?
In April 2011, Mark was found guilty of first-degree murder. Then 31 years old, he was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years. In the end, the authorities opted not to charge him with the attempted murder of Gilles. While in prison, Mark was reported to have continued to watch ‘Dexter’ while behind bars.
In later correspondence with Steve Lillebuen, who was writing a book about Mark, the killer said, “There is no … root cause … no school bully or impressionably gory movies or video game violence or … Showtime television series to point the finger at. It is what it is, and I am what I am.” Mark also maintained that he killed in self-defense. As per recent reports, Mark has been serving his sentence at the Saskatchewan Federal Penitentiary in Prince Albert, Canada. He will be eligible for parole in 2036. Furthermore, as of April 2022, a movie about his life has been announced.
Read More: How Did Johnny Altinger Die?