Mark Twitchell is "The Dexter Killer", as he describes it.

Steve Lillebuen, an investigative journalist from MacEwan University, set out to write a book on Mark Twitchell's Dexter-obsessed murderer in late 2010. The last thing he expected was to be called by the killer.

Mark Twitchell is "The Dexter Killer", as he describes it.

"48 Hours" is stunned to hear Lillebuen say that he just said, "If you're going to be writing a novel about me, you might want to come straight straight at the source." The call set off a correspondence that lasted almost three years with the serial killer. Troy Roberts, a "48 Hours" contributor, reports on the letters and offers a fascinating look at what Mark Twitchell believed motivated him. "The Dexter Killer” will air Saturday, April 23 at 10/9c on CBS. Paramount+ streaming is also available.

Lillebuen, author of "The Devil's Cinema" and "48 Hours," reveals that he wrote "probably 30 to 35 different letters -- upto about 350 pages... almost like a book worth." He is very self-aware and has an obsessive-compulsive tendency to write down everything. I would ask him one question and he'd give me 10 pages as an answer.

Twitchell, a 29-year old aspiring filmmaker, lived in Edmonton, Canada with his wife and daughter. His writings, while not imposing on the outside, were very dark. They showed his obsession with Dexter Morgan, a fictional character -- an obsession Lillebeun and police believe Twitchell carried into his real-life crimes.

Roberts is told by Lillebuen that there are significant connections to Dexter. ... He had a kill-room set up with plastic sheets. For his victims, he had a table. This was a very similar type of processing kit to Dexter's.

Police found a deleted file called "SK Confessions" on Twitchell’s computer after Twitchell was arrested on Halloween in 2008. Although the filmmaker claimed that this was a screenplay for his film, prosecutors proved that it was actually Twitchell's confessions detailing his crimes. He writes that he had "deliberately set up my killing room" and included "several rolls" of painters' plastic sheeting and a "forty five gallon steel drum... to store the body parts."

These were all items that the police later discovered at the crime scene. Twitchell states in the document that he did not "copy-cat Dexter Morgan's style," but he says "I would still like to pay tribute to the character."

Twitchell, posing as a woman online, lured a 38-year old man named Johnny Altinger into a garage. Twitchell spent time making the garage a "killroom" before beating and stabbing Altinger. He then placed Altinger's body on a table, and began to dismember him. This was reminiscent of Dexter's actions.

Twitchell wrote to Lillebuen that Dexter had "almost nothing" to do with his case. It doesn't have any bearing on what actually happened."

Roberts is told by Lillibuen that no one believes Dexter's creators are responsible for a real-life loss. That's ridiculous." However, Lillibuen claims Twitchell "completely denials that there's any connection at ALL," and adds, "There's a logical disconnection there."

The convicted killer claims that he killed Johnny Altinger in self-defense, not as a cold-blooded act of murder. Twitchell was working on "House of Cards" at the time of his arrest. In it, an innocent man is lured into a garage and then killed. Twitchell claimed that the plan was to lure men into thinking they were going on a date with a girl and then to attack them. Then, Twitchell would release his film and those men would be able to claim this happened, creating buzz. Twitchell claimed Altinger got angry at being tricked, and attacked him. This was a false premise, just as Johnny Altinger's murder was true. The jury did not buy it.

Twitchell wrote the same argument to Lillebuen three months after his 2011 conviction for first-degree killing, "I killed Johnny Altinger by accident of self defense." ...Why did he react? Why didn't he just run away like he was supposed? Lillebuen says that "he's still... pushing this narrative... He still blames Johnny" for what happened. Lillebuen told "48 Hours," that Twitchell is still trying to "argument... that it is innocent." To be honest, he's -- wrong."

Julia Cowley, a retired FBI criminal profiler, says that Mark Twitchell may be able to know that hasn't fooled anyone regarding the fact that Johnny was killed. He thinks he has fooled everyone. This is not the truth. Cowley believes that Twitchell's writings are the reason, especially in "SK Confessions" as well as the letters sent by the killer to Steve Lillebuen. Cowley analyzed them for "48 Hours."

Cowley says that he believes his primary motivation was sexual. What does he do if we look at the whole case? He joins online dating sites. He attracts men to his site who believe they are going on a date. ... It almost seems as though Mark Twitchell is also getting ready for a date. He speaks extensively about how he prepares the room, what he wears, and the weapon he chooses. It is described in seductive language by him... Cowley used the Twitchell "SK Confessions” to illustrate her point: "I wanted the weapon I used for the deed to be simple, elegant and beautiful."

Cowley states, "So to me, this date is important." He's dreaming about this. Twitchell's "thrill killing" is what she believes. She says, "I don’t think he believes anything is wrong with me... I think that he’s self-aware. He understands that 'I don’t have empathy or sympathies like... other people.’"

Twitchell wrote Lillibuen in July 2011, trying to explain his position. "There is no root cause... there are no school bullies or impressionably gory videos or games violence or... Showtime television shows to point the finger at." It is what it was and I am who I am."

Twitchell also expressed his dismay at the outrage caused by his case in another exchange. Twitchell complains that he finds the whole thing hypocritical. ... It's strange to see someone take a wild glee at watching psychotics murder dozens of people. "Suddenly, it's as if their stomach is turning inside-out when this happens in an isolated, unique situation."

Twitchell wrote another letter to Lillebuen, in which he elaborates on Dexter’s character and mass appeal. "A self-aware one, no less."

Some argue that Twitchell could be the same.


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