Oxford murder suspect killed victim in sex fantasy, say police

Treasury assistant at Somerville College, Oxford, is accused of plotting the Chicago murder in a sex chat room

Wyndham Lathem (left) and Andrew Warren
Wyndham Lathem (left) and Andrew Warren are charged with murder
(Image credit: Chicago Police)

An Oxford University worker and an American bubonic plague expert are accused of stabbing a Chicago hairdresser more than 70 times as part of a sexual fantasy killing.

Andrew Warren, 56, and US academic Wyndham Lathem, 42, have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Trenton Cornell-Duranleau, a 26-year-old hairdresser who was Lathem's boyfriend, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The accused allegedly chatted online for months about their shared fantasy of killing other people and themselves, Assistant State's Attorney Natosha Toller told a court in Chicago.

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Lathem's attorney said the case against his client appears to hinge on statements Warren made to police.

"The state's proffer seemed to be based in large part on the statement of Andrew Warren, a self-confessed murderer," attorney Adam Sheppard told the Chicago Sun-Times. "We are conducting our own investigation. It's already under way and we will have facts which differ from those proffered at the bond hearing."

According to police and autopsy reports, Cornell-Duranleau was stabbed repeatedly in his back, chest, shoulder and abdomen and his throat was slit while he was sleeping in Lathem's apartment.

Lathem, an associate professor at Chicago's Northwestern University, specialises in research surrounding the Black Death. Warren worked as a senior treasury assistant at Somerville College, Oxford.

The men surrendered to police in California after a national manhunt. Both will remain in jail pending trial, says the Associated Press.

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