Final Thoughts on ID’s Final Cut

MELBOURNE — There was a telling moment during Investigation Discovery’s Final Cut episode “A Script to Die For,” one that revealed how some attention on the Mark Twitchell case has remained too focused on all the gory details.

Crown prosecutor Avril Inglis, who secured a first-degree murder conviction in the “Dexter Killer” case, seemed intent on steering the conversation away from the brutality of Johnny Altinger’s demise.

“I think it’s very easy to get lost in the sensational aspects of it,” she said in the episode.

“We see Hollywood movies and TV shows about murders all the time, but Mr Altinger was a real person who had a real life and it was an absolute tragedy what happened.”

She’s right.

I’ve always felt that covering true crime should be about exploring what makes people tick, not detailing every drop of blood spattered at their crime scenes.

Sure, graphic detail can be important, but only in helping us understand the psychology behind such horrific acts, not to satisfy some desired thrill or titillation.

This is what drew me into writing a book on the case; I wanted to find out what drove a man with no criminal record, a wife and a young child, a devoted group of friends and a career on the rise to give it all up to become a would-be serial killer.

“Mr Twitchell is an incredibly unique murderer,” Ms Inglis said.

“It’s very unusual for an individual to murder a stranger for no tangible, apparent reason or gain.”

I hope The Devil’s Cinema can at least provide an explanation.

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