A Nebraska man was sentenced to death for the murder and mutilation of a Tinder date after she refused to engage in group sex and fraud.
The sentence was given to Aubrey Trail, 54, on Wednesday (9 June) by a panel of three judges in Wilber, a town 40 miles outside of Lincoln in Nebraska.
Prosecutors said at trial that Trail and his girlfriend, Bailey Boswell, had been planning to kill someone before Boswell met 24-year-old Loofe on the dating app Tinder and lured her to them.
Trail was found guilty of first-degree murder and criminal conspiracy in 2019 over the 2017 murder of Loofe. Previous to his conviction, he had pled guilty to improper disposal of human remains.
In his statement to the court, Trail recanted his earlier claim that Loofe died of erotic asphyxiation during rough sex and admitted that he strangled her with an electric cord, as prosecutors had alleged. He said he tied up Loofe and killed her because she “freaked out” when he told her about his lifestyle, which included defrauding antique dealers and group sex with Boswell and other women.
Ms Loofe’s remains, which were cut up into 14 parts, were found in trash bags, alongside sex toys, a dog leash and a plastic sauna suit.
During the trial witnesses, who remained anonymous, referred to Trail as the ‘vampire leader’ of a ‘witch cult’.
When justifying the sentence, Saline County District Court judge Vicky Johnson, the killing of Ms Loofe met the legal definition of “exceptional depravity” so the harshest consequence; the death penalty.
“Trail’s words and actions demonstrate he had no regard for the life of Sydney Loofe beyond his own personal pleasures”, she said.
She also pointed out that Trail had boasted about his actions, telling police officers that Boswell had consumed Ms Loofe’s blood. It was also stated during the legal proceedings that he had bought supplies to commit and cover up the crime, such as tools and bleach.
In 2019, Trail slashed his own neck in court so was not present for significant sections of the trial. He yelled “Bailey is innocent, and I curse you all” while he did it.
Despite being condemned to death row, Nebraska reportedly does not have the resources to carry out the sentences, according to the Des Moines Registerso the killer will remaining awaiting execution.
In October, Boswell was found guilty of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and improper disposal of human remains. If the prosecutor’s recommendations are taken up by the panel, Boswell could become the first and the only woman sentenced to death in the state.
The Associated Press contributed to this report