Suspected Killer May Have Copied Showtime's 'Dexter'

Canadian police say the murder of a Canadian man resembles Showtime's "Dexter."

ByABC News
November 13, 2008, 3:02 PM

Nov. 14, 2008— -- Authorities in Canada continue to investigate a gruesome killing ripped from the pages of a Hollywood script.

Filmmaker Mark Twitchell, 29, now sits in an Edmonton jail cell, charged with first-degree murder in the disappearance and death of John Brian Altinger.

Edmonton Police are asking the public for help finding a red 2003 Pontiac Grand Am, belonging to Twitchell. Police Det. Mark Anstey told ABC News that authorities are "hoping someone has seen him [Mark Twitchell] dispose of some evidence. ... We believe John Altinger's remains were in that car at some point."

Twitchell will enter a plea later this month. His lawyer has yet to return calls from ABC News.

The two strangers were brought together one October night by a collision of fiction and reality. Edmonton Police allege that Twitchell brought scenes from his own grim and violent screenplay to true life.

In a white, two-car garage in Edmonton's Mills Woods neighborhood, Twitchell spent countless hours putting his scripts to film. In an eight-minute movie short he created, titled "House of Cards," the main character is a violent and twisted vigilante.

"A male killer in the movie poses as a female on an Internet dating site, lures a married man into a garage where the film was being done," detective Anstey said. "That male is knocked unconscious and duct taped to a chair. Info about his bank accounts and passwords on his computer are all solicited from him before he is decapitated and his body cut up."

In real life, Altinger, a 38-year-old pipeline industry worker, disappeared Oct. 10 after going out to meet what he believed to be a woman he encountered online, police said. Before leaving for his date, Altinger left directions for his destination with a friend.

Days later, police said, friends received an e-mail from Altinger's account, reading, "I've met an extraordinary woman named Jen who has offered to take me on a nice long tropical vacation."

His friends, suspecting he was not the author of the note, soon contacted authorities.

Using the directions left behind, investigators found their way to a white, two-car garage in Edmonton's Mill Woods neighborhood.

Police soon learned the property had been rented by Twitchell. As in "House of Cards," authorities allege that Twitchell posed as Altinger's online romance, set up the fake meeting, attacked and killed his victim and disposed of the body.

The whereabouts of Altinger's body is a mystery but authorities said they have gathered forensic material from the scene of the crime.