Accused killer Mark Twitchell was capable of pushing the boundaries as a filmmaker in an effort to capture realism on camera, says a woman he knew in Edmonton's movie industry.
"He was really into the theatrics of everything," the woman, who asked not to be named, said Sunday.
In the script for House of Cards, Twitchell wrote of a male killer who lured a man to his death on the pretence of a date with a woman.
Twitchell, 29, was charged Saturday with the first-degree murder of Johnny Brian Altinger in what police believe is a ghastly case of life imitating art.
The accused, who is a fan of the Dexter television show about a vigilante serial killer, will appear in court Monday.
Homicide detectives believe Altinger, who worked in pipeline quality control, showed up Oct. 10 at a garage where Twitchell made his movies. They said he was lured there on the promise of a date with a girl he had set up on the Internet.
It was the last day anyone saw Altinger, police said.
They seized a script written by Twitchell that detailed a plot similar to what they believe happened to the missing man. In the script for House of Cards, Twitchell wrote of a male killer who lured a man to his death on the pretence of a date with a woman.
In the script police seized, the masked killer forced his victim to reveal personal login information to Internet networking sites.
Lyla Amery received an e-mail sent to a lot of Altinger's friends after his disappearance. It bragged of a sudden trip to Costa Rica with a new woman.
"Johnny's not the type of person to just up and take off. You can set your watch by him," Amery said.
Investigators believe someone other than Altinger logged into his online accounts and sent messages in his name.
Forensic psychologist Liam Ennis called the case "fascinating."
Most murders are impulsive acts, often committed while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. But in this case, a lot of forethought and planning would have been required to execute such an apparently elaborate scheme as police suggest.
"Across the board, what is described to have taken place is extremely rare," said Ennis.
The allegations of luring the victim via the Internet, eliciting personal information from him and then using it to send e-mails to his friends after he was killed are so unusual, they can't be compared to other cases, he said.
When he read the article in the Journal this weekend, Ennis immediately called a colleague and advised him to look at the story because it was so incredible.
"I don't know what to say," Ennis added. "I'm keeping my fingers crossed that someone asks me to be involved in this case."