The Devil's Cinema

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The Devil's Cinema
Devil's Cinema.jpg
Author Steve Lillebuen
Country Canada
Language English
Genre True crime
Publisher McClelland & Stewart
Publication date
March 2012
Media type Print (hardcover and eBook)
Pages 352
ISBN 978-0771050336

The Devil's Cinema: The Untold Story Behind Mark Twitchell's Kill Room (McClelland & Stewart, ISBN 978-0771050336) is a non-fiction book by the journalist and author Steve Lillebuen.[1][2][3] The book is written as a narrative and features real characters and real events.[4][5][6]

The book is set in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and follows several detectives working on a missing persons case and the intersecting lives of Johnny Altinger and Mark Twitchell, an aspiring filmmaker[7] who is under investigation for luring strangers to his "kill room,"[8] which police believe is designed to replicate elements and methods used by fictional serial killer Dexter Morgan.[9]

In May 2013, the book won Best Non-Fiction at the Arthur Ellis Awards.[10]


Twitchell's arrest and trial attracted substantial media attention since his crimes were inspired by Dexter, the television series. ABC's 20/20,[11] Dateline NBC,[12] CBC's The Fifth Estate,[13] and many newspapers around the world covered the story, from England's The Guardian[8] to Australia's The Age.[14]

Steve Lillebuen had been an Edmonton Journal crime reporter when Twitchell was arrested, leading to a three-year project on writing and researching the book.[1] He also spent a year corresponding with Twitchell after he called the author from prison to volunteer for an interview.[15][16]

Notable people[edit]

  • Mark Twitchell: a young businessman and filmmaker who aspires to be the next George Lucas.
  • Johnny Altinger: a pipeline worker who loves computers and motorcycles.
  • Gilles Tetreault: a new arrival to the city of Edmonton.
  • Mark Anstey: the primary investigator in charge of solving the Altinger disappearance.
  • Bill Clark: a detective tasked with interrogating major suspects.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Cummins, Julianna (26 March 2012). "Correspondence with killer informs book on Twitchell case". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Book out on Twitchell murder case". iNews 880. 27 March 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  3. ^ MacKenzie, Alan (31 March 2012). "When a twisted life imitates twisted art". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "A Script For Murder". Maclean's. 26 March 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Boer, Peter (31 March 2012). "Murderer's mindset a mystery to crime author". St. Albert Gazette. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "Tale of bizarre killer has come to bookstore shelves across country". 28 March 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  7. ^ Gelinas, Ben (2011-04-16). "A star only in his own warped mind". The Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Trial of murder that mimics movie". The Guardian. 19 March 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  9. ^ Bennett, Dean (2 November 2008). "Edmonton filmmaker heads to court in script-written murder case". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  10. ^ Forani, Jonathan (31 May 2013). "Book about 'Dexter killer' among winners of Arthur Ellis Awards". National Post. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  11. ^ McLean, Tanara (19 March 2011). "Canada-wide blackout of 20/20 program on Twitchell case". The Edmonton Sun. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  12. ^ Morrison, Keith (30 September 2011). "Deadly House of Cards". Dateline NBC. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  13. ^ "Murder, He Wrote". the fifth estate. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  14. ^ "Accused murderer acted out film plot". The Age. 19 March 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  15. ^ "The Devil's Cinema: True Account of Mark Twitchell". Alberta Primetime. 27 March 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  16. ^ Puzic, Sonja (31 March 2012). "Book offers new insight into Edmonton filmmaker killer". Retrieved 1 April 2012. 

External links[edit]