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Crime type differs between two Alberta cities

A man pretending to be a woman on the Internet, allegedly lures a middle aged man to his garage before killing him, imitating a screenplay he wrote.

A man pretending to be a woman on the Internet, allegedly lures a middle aged man to his garage before killing him, imitating a screenplay he wrote.

If it sounds like the scene from a movie, that’s because it practically is. But this is what allegedly happened in Edmonton when 29-year-old Mark Twitchell was charged in the disappearance and murder of a man police say he lured to his garage to kill.

While both cities boast their share of crime, Calgary tends to have a lot of shootings, but Edmonton has had quite a few headline-stealing cases such as Twitchell and Thomas Svekla, the man who was found guilty of killing a prostitute.

Edmonton criminologist Bill Pitt acknowledges a mixture of bizarre incidents last year, but insists even in Edmonton they are unusual.

“The film director was (allegedly) a case of life imitating art imitating life, but those types are so statistically rare,” Pitt said.

But what about the series of missing prostitutes found dead and the four men charged with cutting a man into pieces in a bloody apartment?

“People cutting up bodies, well that happens in every city everywhere and Calgary is no different. These guys just got sloppy and got caught,” Pitt added. “Calgary has a lot of missing people who just haven’t been found.”

Cathy Prowse, a University of Calgary crime expert, said one possible reason for the difference in the types of murders between the two cities could be that Edmonton has more transients.

“I’m not suggesting transient people commit the crimes, but having more transients means people can go missing and people won’t notice right away,” Prowse said.

And Pitt agreed, adding, “Calgary has more of white collar, head office type and Edmonton has more blue collar, labour working type.”

But both experts agree the gang problems — with Calgary’s surging now, Edmonton’s increasing — are taking the forefront of the city’s crime trends.

 
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