Two men from the academic world joined forces to live out their twisted murder fantasy, prosecutors said at a hearing for Wyndham Lathem and Andrew Warren in Chicago Sunday. Prosecutors said Lathem, a microbiology professor at Northwestern University, and Warren, a treasurer at Oxford University, communicated for months in an online chat room about their "sexual fantasies of killing others and then themselves," the Chicago Tribune reports. Prosecutors said the men decided to kill other people before killing each other simultaneously. Lathem allegedly decided that their first victim would be Trenton Cornell-Duranleau, his 26-year-old boyfriend.
Prosecutors said that on July 27, days after Lathem paid for Warren to travel to the US to carry out their fantasies, they attacked Cornell-Duranleau while he was asleep in Lathem's apartment, the AP reports. The medical examiner testified that the attack left him with 70 stab wounds, some of which almost decapitated him. The two men then went on the run instead of carrying out their plan to kill each other, prosecutors say. After eight days, they surrendered to authorities in California. Lathem's lawyer told the court that his client, a plague expert who has since been fired by Northwestern, is a "distinguished microbiologist," but the judge denied bail for both men. "The heinous facts speak for themselves," he said.