‘Killer confessions’ mirror trial details

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Written document found on computer recounts experience of becoming a serial killer

Police found a document on Mark Twitchell’s computer that appears to be a blow-by-blow account of a deliberate and planned murder — details that share many similarities with testimony from the ongoing trial.

Const. Michael Roszko, a member of the Edmonton Police Service technological crimes unit, testified Monday about the document he recovered from a laptop found in Twitchell’s car.

Twitchell is on trial for first-degree murder in the death of Johnny Brian Altinger.

Roszko told the jury he found four separate files buried in the machine that he blended together into one document. In the 41-page file the author writes about how he or she made a conscious decision to become a serial killer.

“I don’t remember the exact place and time it was that I decided to become a serial killer, but I remember the sensation that hit me when I committed to the decision. It was a rush of pure euphoria,” wrote the author.

The document recounts how the author plotted to lure his victims through an online dating site, using a double-detached garage on the city’s south side as his “kill room” and plotting to attack someone using a stun gun.

The court heard from other witnesses that a stun gun was found in a double-detached garage Twitchell was renting in south Edmonton.

The author of the document also talks about purchasing a game processing kit that a hunter would use to dismember remains, seeming to take glee at using the knives and tools for such a dark purpose.

“There’s also just something more gratifying about sawing through tendons and bones with your bare hands than using something else.”

A game processing kit was also found in the southside garage.

The document notes the challenge of hiding the victim’s remains.

“When you live in a land-locked city what are your options for making 230 pounds of dead human go away?”

The author in the document talks about being empowered by the murder.

“This experience changed my sense of place in the world forever. I felt stronger somehow above other people.”

Matching details

After recounting an unsuccessful attempt at killing a man, the document described a second attempt that was ruthlessly successful.

The document describes the killer hitting a man several times with a heavy lead pipe before stabbing him with an eight-inch hunting knife. The writing also describes in detail gruesome details of dismembering the body.

The document then goes on to describe the killer’s efforts to dispose of the body, first by fire, then after more gruesome dismemberment, before dumping the remains in a storm sewer.

The court has also heard Altinger’s remains were eventually discovered in a storm sewer in June 2010.

The victim in the document is noted to have pulled up to the garage in a Mazda. Altinger, the man Twitchell is accused of killing, drove a red Mazda 3.

Computer evidence

Roszko also testified about other evidence he found on the computer, including images of several woman from the online dating website www.plentyoffish.com.

He also testified Twitchell’s laptop had Internet Protocol blocking software designed to shield where a computer was sending messages from.

Roszko said at one point in the investigation a detective brought him hard copies of three photos that he understood came from a man who police believed was attacked, but not killed by Twitchell.

The Crown alleges that man believed he was going to the same garage to meet the woman represented in the pictures who he had met online. Roszko testified he found images identical to the ones the detective brought him on Twitchell’s computer.

More corroboration

Other details contained in the document were corroborated by Traci Higgins on Tuesday afternoon. Higgins was Twitchell’s ex-girlfriend who had rekindled a relationship shortly before he was arrested.

The document describes the killer’s past relationship with a woman named Laci, who met the killer in remarkably similar circumstances as Twitchell and Higgins.

The document describes their love life, even noting tattoos the killer’s partner had that seem to mirror Higgins’ real-life tattoos.

The trial is expected to continue into next week with the Crown expected to call several more witnesses, before wrapping up their case.

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