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The Devil's Cinema: The Untold Story Behind Mark Twitchell's Kill Room Paperback – February 5, 2013
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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“A well-written and researched exploration of a very dark side of a young would-be filmmaker who is perhaps a tad over-influenced in his life and actions by the fictional TV character, serial killer Dexter Morgan. The horrific crimes and the trial of Edmontonian Mark Twitchell is deftly presented by Steve Lillebuen in a book that is a well-paced, hard-to-put-down, real-life thriller.”
—Jury citation for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Non-fiction
"A compelling and frightening account. . . . Lillebuen creates a fascinating and detailed narrative, from the killer's and victim's early lives to the dramatic and bizarre courtroom trial. With its ties to online communities, dating sites, pop culture and modern filmmaking, The Devil's Cinema is a terrifying and intriguing account of murder in the digital age."
—Winnipeg Free Press
"Remind[s] us how the borders of human interaction and connective technology have shifted so drastically, and in so little time. . . . "
About the Author
From the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
As a fair warning; I have considerable personal familiarity with the evidence and court proceeding in which Twitchell was convicted of first degree murder. I attended the majority of the trial, and am very familiar with the evidence in play. I cannot comment on the manner in which the police investigation is depicted, nor the reaction of Twitchell's family and acquaintances. I also have no personal knowledge of the one victim, Johnny Altinger, and his character or circumstances.
I believe an outline of the facts is helpful, since the Amazon book description is sketchy. In 2008 Mark Twitchell decided to become a serial killer. His scheme was to lure men to a rented garage where he had prepared a `kill room', the bait being online ads for attractive women interested in casual sex. Twitchell would incapacitate his victims, force them to disclose financial and personal information, after which they would be killed and dismembered. Twitchell's plan was to conceal their disappearance by maintaining an online presence as the victim, telling acquaintances of an impulsive trip abroad.
Twitchell was clearly obsessed with and inspired by the "Dexter" television series and novels. His scheme incorporated many motifs from that fiction.Read more ›
S.K. Confessions made Twitchell sound human and relatable, not unfamiliar or disconnected as you might expect someone with psychopathic tendencies and a desire to commit murder to be. Granted he's a pathological liar, a killer, and not someone you'd want to invite into your life, but the document he created (and others) demonstrates perhaps the most insight we'll ever have into troubled minds. I wanted to learn more so I picked up The Devil's Cinema.
The Devil's Cinema does a great job of showing every perspective. Unexpectedly, it provides a lot of insight into the innocent victim and his last days leading up to his senseless murder. The beginning, which relies heavily upon the perspectives of the detectives investigating the case drags a little bit, but it quickly picks up once Twitchell's perspective becomes dominant.
I won't spend too much time generating much more praise about the book.Read more ›
The book is very well researched and reads like a novel, with excellent characterization and a well constructed story told from from multiple angles. Even the court room drama, which I find is where many decent true crime books fall apart, is gripping. The personal communication the author had with Twitchell, while adding compelling insight into his mind, is far from the only voice in this book.
Most importantly Lillebuen is very respectful to the victim, and Johnny features prominently in the story, allowing the reader to get to know the gentle kind man his friends and family so adored. It makes it all the more heartbreaking to learn how Twitchell disrespected him so much before and especially after death. The book could have easily sold out to the gore and horror of that night in the garage, but Lillebuen manages to retain dignity for the victim while still allowing the reader to discover what a twisted mind Twitchell truly has.
I highly highly recommend adding this book to your true crime collection!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was gripping to the end. Lillebuen carefully reveals details about the case to the reader, withholding details that were withheld from the public. Read morePublished 15 months ago by K.
The story is interesting but the writing is pretty bad. The author writes at a high school level.Published on August 20, 2014 by Name withheld because stalkers Google me and I find it annoying