Here at Mind Over Mystery we often steer clear of the bloodiest, grisliest crime scenes. There’s a hundred other sites and podcasts that specialize in “true crime,” the bloodier the better– “it bleeds it leads” and all that. We focus on mental challenges, stories of crime and history and psychology and espionage and science that give the mind numerous paths to travel.
But now and again, a “sensational” killing also rises to be an absorbing study.
The thumbnail of the case is simple enough, if a bit bizarre even on it’s surface. A twenty-six year old male, Trenton Cornell-Duranleau was found stabbed to death–we’re talking perhaps seventy wounds– in the home of his lover, Wyndham Latham. A researcher in microbiology on faculty at Northwestern University, it’s alleged Latham had a chatroom relationship with one Andrew Warren, employed across the ocean with the Cambridge University system. He paid for Warren to fly to Chicago, it’s said, expressly to go hands-on with sex-murder-suicide fantasies of some tortured shape that had been hatched on-line.
After the bloody events, Latham and Warren hit the road, in a rented car, for days. With the hope of doing what? Every law enforcement official on the planet would be on the lookout for them, sooner or later. Remorseful at some level from the start, they made donations as they traveled in Trenton’s name, one to an organization that serves the LGBT community in health and social services.
They surrendered peacefully in California. Indictments, for murder, have recently come down for the pair, representing prestigious institutions on two continents.
As bizarre as all this may sound, unless pleas are changed, the case may light up a courtroom one day with turns and surprises.
“We hope that anyone who reads about the case doesn’t have a rush to judgment,” one of their attorneys stressed. “There’s a wide possibility of scenarios that could have occurred here.”
Many possible scenarios? Presumably, dozens of stab wounds will not be called “self-defense.” Or an accident, as in, how clumsy of me. Just what scenarios could account for the butchery that authorities encountered in Latham’s Chicago apartment?
Two grown and educated men, heading away from this scene like boys running from a petty fire they’ve started in a schoolyard. There’s nothing about this case that doesn’t make you shake your head.
As a study of human psychology, twisted variety, it’s going to be one for the books.