Tag Archives: Johnny Altinger

Arthur Ellis Award: A Devil of a Win

TORONTO — The Devil’s Cinema has won the Arthur Ellis Award — Canada’s top literary prize in crime writing — as a “well-paced, hard-to-put-down, real-life thriller” exploring the Mark Twitchell criminal case and “Dexter Killer” trial.

Here’s what the jury had to say in its award citation:

“A well-written and researched exploration of a very dark side of a young would-be filmmaker. … 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.”

The award is an incredible honour. I come from a breaking news background, so getting the chance to write the book in the first place was like jumping off the treadmill and straight into a marathon. To have my first attempt at running this race recognised by the Crime Writers of Canada is such a thrill and a real mix of luck and gratitude.

I’ve already thanked many people since the award was announced on May 30th in Toronto. But I must make special mention of the dozens of sources who agreed to be interviewed.

Journalists can’t document history unless sources will cooperate. So many people did. This is their tragic story, and I’m thrilled it has resonated with so many readers around the world.

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‘A Criminally Good Canadian’

MELBOURNE — The Devil’s Cinema has been shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award — Canada’s top prize in literary crime writing.

And the non-fiction award nomination did not go unnoticed across Canada or here in Australia (“A Criminally Good Canadian” via Fairfax newspapers).

It’s such a great honour to be nominated and recognised in this way. Best of luck to my fellow nominees, who have now given me a great stack of fascinating crime books to read.

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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.”

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