Ex-Northwestern professor, Oxford employee arrested for bizarre fantasy murder

By Ray Downs  |  Aug. 21, 2017 at 12:28 AM
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Aug. 21 (UPI) -- A Northwestern University professor and an Oxford University employee were arrested Sunday for their alleged involvement in the stabbing death of a 26-year-old man in Chicago - a murder prosecutors say was part of a violent sexual fantasy.

Wyndham Lathem, a 43-year-old microbiologist at Northwestern University and Andrew Warren, a 56-year-old British payroll employee at Oxford University in England, are suspects in the death of Trenton Cornell-Duranleau, who was stabbed stabbed more than 47 times to his back, chest, shoulder and abdomen on July 27, according to the Chicago Tribune.

After the killing, Lathem and Warren fled the state, eventually winding up in California, where they arranged their surrender through attorneys and local law enforcement. Police from Chicago then extradited the two men back to Chicago, where they pleaded in court Sunday.

According to WLS, prosecutors said Lathem and Warren met online and eventually hatched a murder plan as a sort of sexual fantasy that would involve "killing others and then themselves."

The plan involved killing several people chosen by Lathem before the two would kill each other simultaneously.

After discussing their plan, they allegedly decided to murder Cornell-Duranleau, who was Lathem's boyfriend. Three days before the murder, Warren arrived from England and Lathem picked him up at O'Hare airport. On July 27, while Cornell-Duranleau was asleep, Lathem texted Warren: "time to kill," authorities said.

According to prosecutors, surveillance video shows Warren entering the apartment building at approximately 4:30 a.m. The two then allegedly carried out their murder plan. Lathem stabbed Cornell-Duranleau with a six-inch drywall knife saw as Warren recorded the murder with a cell phone. But Cornell-Duranleau fought back, which neighbors reportedly heard, and Warren went to the kitchen to get another knife to help carry out the stabbing.

Cornell-Duranleau last words were, "Wyndham, what are you doing?"

As Cornell-Duranleau bled to death in the bedroom, Lathem and Warren showered and cleaned up the murder scene, prosecutors said.

The two then fled the scene and drove to a public library in Lake Geneva, a resort town in Wisconsin located near Chicago, to make a $1,000 donation in Cornell-Duranleau's name. They also donated $5,610 to the Howard Brown Health Center, an LGBT health and social services provider.

While on the lam, Lathem reportedly made a video to friends and colleagues where he apologized for his involvement in the murder and "elaborated that he is not the person people thought he was," prosecutors said. He also admitted Cornell-Duranleau "trusted him completely and felt safe with him but he betrayed that trust."

Both suspects have pleaded not guilty.

Lathem has been fired from Northwestern University. Warren has been suspended from Oxford University.

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