Bailey Boswell, the woman accused of helping her boyfriend kill 24-year-old Sydney Loofe after wooing her on Tinder in 2017, was convicted of murder Wednesday and may face the death penalty.
After deliberating for about three hours, a Nebraska jury found Boswell, 26, guilty of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and improper disposal of human remains for her role in the November 2017 slaying and dismemberment of Sydney Loofe, a cashier at a Lincoln home-improvement store. As the verdict was read, Loofe’s mother and sister reportedly wiped tears from their eyes.
A three-judge panel will now decide whether Boswell will be sentenced to death or life in prison for the first-degree murder charge. According to the Omaha World-Herald, she could be the first woman sentenced to death in Nebraska.
Prosecutors allege Boswell acted “in tandem” with her 52-year-old boyfriend, Aubrey Trail, to lure Loofe to her death after meeting on the dating app. Loofe was missing for 19 days after the Tinder date, and her body was finally found in garbage bags scattered among ditches and farm fields in rural Nebraska.
“Ms. Loofe was dismembered and discarded like trash,” Assistant Nebraska Attorney General Mike Guinan said during his closing statement on Tuesday in Dawson County Court. “This was a climax killing. There was an excitement, I will suggest to you.”
“If nothing else, this case is about an orgasmic desire to torture and kill,” he added, according to the Omaha-World Herald.
The 26-year-old’s defense attorney, however, argued Boswell was just participating in sexual role-playing and was dominated by Trail—who murdered Loofe alone.
“Looking at the evidence, it’s pretty clear that Aubrey Trail killed Sydney Loofe,” Todd Lancaster of the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy, said during closing arguments, adding that the 52-year-old regularly “dished out” violence and threats to “control” women.
Wednesday’s verdict comes more than a year after Trail was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. During both trials, jurors heard from witnesses who said the 52-year-old convinced his “cult” members he was a flying, mind-reading vampire with a coven of a dozen witches—whom he claimed would gain their powers by killing people.
Throughout the trial, three women testified for the prosecution about their earlier encounters with Boswell and Trail, all providing similar stories about the couple’s bizarre rules—which included not wearing clothes in the apartment—and their discussions about killing, torture, and witchcraft. All three women met the couple after “swiping right” on Boswell on Tinder.
“To get your power, you have to breathe in their last breath,” Ashley Hills testified during the trial as she recounted her months-long relationship with the couple in 2017.
During his closing statements on Tuesday, Guinan walked through the timeline of the case as he argued Boswell was a willing and active participant in the sinister murder plot.
“We have a victim In this case and it’s not Bailey Boswell, it’s Sydney Loofe,” the prosecutor told jurors, adding that “Boswell and Trail did everything together” because “they were a team.”
Guinan said that Trail and Boswell had a “recruitment process,” which included finding women on Tinder, supporting them financially, and discussing torture and murder—a topic that would make the 26-year-old’s “eyes light up.” One woman who testified during the trial also noted that the couple discussed selling homemade murder and torture videos.
But unlike other women Bowell met via Tinder, Loofe wasn’t immediately told about Trail, Guinan said. And while Loofe was gushing to a friend the night before her second date with “dream girl,” the couple was purchasing tools to dismember a body, including a hack saw and bleach, he said.
“[Boswell’s] got a date coming up that night and here’s how she’s getting ready,” Guinan said, noting that the cleaning equipment the couple bought proves the “premeditation” in the murder scheme, according to the Omaha-World Herald.
That night, Loofe picked up Boswell for their date that “would seal her fate,” Guinana said. About 24 minutes after she sent her last text message to her mother, she was strangled by Trail with an extension cord before using a “fine-toothed saw” to dismember her body, according to prosecutors.
“I’m suggesting to you Miss Loofe was pounced upon. I’m not suggesting to you that Miss Boswell killed Loofe alone, but in tandem with Trail,” Guinan said, adding that Loofe struggled and that when she was on the floor fighting for her life she looked at her killers “eyeball to eyeball.” According to court documents, Trail confessed to the murder and told authorities Boswell helped clean up the crime scene.
The morning after the date, Loofe was reported missing when she didn’t show up for work at Menards. Nineteen days later, after an extensive search and a manhunt for Trail and Bowell, authorities found her body about an hour-and-a-half drive from her apartment complex outside of Lincoln.
“We are asking you to return a guilty verdict. Not because we demand it, but because the law demands it,” the Nebraska prosecutor said, according to the Omaha-World Herald.
Boswell’s defense attorney attempted to poke holes in the prosecution’s case on Tuesday, saying prosecutors had not proved Boswell participated in any violent acts or was previously aware of Trail’s plans to kill Loofe. Lancaster argued during his closing statement that Trail killed Loofe before calling the 26-year-old and saying: “You are gonna help me.”
Lancaster did admit Boswell “participated in a lot of conversations” but claimed they were nothing more than fantasy.
“She did what she was told because of the threats from Aubrey Trail,” Lancaster said.” But talking about this case without talking about Aubrey Trail is like talking about the Titanic and not talking about the iceberg at all. Aubrey Trail is at the very center of this case.”