Tag Archives: House of Cards

Dates From Hell: Investigation Discovery

MELBOURNE — Gilles Tetreault’s experience of being lured to “Dexter Killer” Mark Twitchell’s kill room under the ruse of meeting a woman is certainly one of the “Dates From Hell” worth featuring on Investigation Discovery.

The new series profiles the young man’s survival story in Edmonton, Canada, during an episode first broadcast on US cable on Wednesday night. (I’m not sure of when or if it will air in Canada, or elsewhere.)

His experience is frightening, unbelievable, and will surely terrify anyone planning on meeting up with somebody they’ve just had a connection with through an online dating website.

But let’s hope this TV snapshot of the case is also the starting point for discussions among those viewers who are hearing of it for the first time.

There is a lot more to this true story explored at-length in The Devil’s Cinema, from the perspective of the killer, the detectives, and the victim, Johnny Altinger, who tragically did not share the same kinds of luck as the man who got away.

Their stories merge, however, through that dating site, in that now infamous garage, and years later, when a courtroom would reveal all.

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Notes on the Devil’s tour

MELBOURNE — The initial tour for The Devil’s Cinema has reached its end with my return to Australia, leaving my book on the Mark Twitchell “Dexter Killer” case in the hands of the first wave of North American readers.

These past few weeks have been a fascinating and jolting experience.

A manuscript grows out of relative secrecy and then seemingly overnight these same words are suddenly appearing in hardcover, stacked on bookstore shelves, boxed up for shipping to people’s homes, and transmitted straight into portable e-readers: Kindle, Nook, and so on.

Authors are then subjected to great extremes while on tour: 4am wake-up calls, back-to-back interviews, then long pauses of nothingness that can quickly plunge into another round of public events and encounters with little to no warning.

But it’s been an absolute pleasure meeting many readers and stumbling into old friends as I walked these well-worn trails of book authors and their publicists.

Sincere thanks must go to a few keen and early readers who have spotted a couple of typos in the first edition, which have now been noted and corrected for all subsequent printings.

Many readers have also been messaging me with further questions.

I’ve answered some of them in a Q and A for Book Lounge, and another for Open Book Toronto. But please feel free to contact me with a question and I’ll try to post responses to the most common questions in future postings.

Until then, here some of the highlights from the tour:

Edmonton, Alberta

I arrived to a fresh snowfall blanketing the city, and this proved to be the best welcome home present I could ask for.

Canadians often complain about the bitter winters, but there is something quite refreshing about seeing snow once again for those of us returning after an extended absence (of course, this novelty quickly vanishes and the reality sets in, especially since it was early spring and the snow should have been long gone).

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At Last: Devil’s Cinema Book Launch

EDMONTON — In The Devil’s Cinema, released March 27, I set out to capture how a handful of very different people have met in a strange world of Dexter, Star Wars, and Internet addiction — resulting in a chilling, real-life crime.

But I am sworn to secrecy on revealing any further details about my research, and what exactly has been written, until the official book launch:

The Devil’s Cinema
Hosted by LitFest
7.00 pm
Wednesday, March 28th
Garneau Theatre (87 Avenue, 109 Street)
Edmonton, Canada

I’m thrilled that fellow author Todd Babiak will be joining me on stage as host for this event, which is presented by LitFest, Canada’s non-fiction literary festival.

Many have likely heard of the Mark Twitchell case from media coverage. But Edmonton residents are closest to the story and will therefore get the first chance to hear exclusive details before everyone else.

All will be revealed. Shortly.

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