Aubrey Trail who slashed his own throat in court is convicted of using Tinder to lure a Nebraska woman to her death and cutting her body into 14 pieces
The, 52, could now face the death penalty after a jury found him guilty on Wednesday in the 2017 death of 24-year-old Sydney Loofe in Nov 2017
Loofe, a 24-year-old cashier at Maynard’s hardware store in Lincoln, Nebraska was last seen leaving for a Tinder date with Bailey Boswell, Nov 15, 2017
Her dismembered body was found dumped in garbage bags along a state highway in rural Clay County, near Omaha, a month later
He had maintained that Loofe’s death was accidental, as he’d strangled her during rough group sex with him and Boswell
Trail missed much of his own trial after slashing his own neck in the courtroom in June
He only returned on Tuesday with his gruesome scars clearly visible as he testified in his own defense
He could be facing death penalty at sentencing
Prosecutors had previously told the court that the pair had used the online dating site ,Tinder, to lure Loofe to her death after plotting her abduction and murder.
Three women testified during his trial about how Trail lured women into a ‘sex cult’ via the dating app and convinced them he was a vampire who could fly and read minds. They said Trail tried to convince them they could gain more ‘powers’ if they killed people.
The women participated in group sex with Trail, Boswell and other women in exchange for a weekly allowance and helping him with a scam antique business he was running.
The dismembered body of Sydney Loofe, [photo], was found dumped in garbage bags along a state highway near Omaha in December 2017 in rural Clay County, Nebraska. Loofe disappeared after going on a Tinder date with Boswell Bailey
We are innocent: Before they were arrested Bailey Boswell and Aubrey Trail released a couple of videos in which they claimed innocence in Loofe’s disappearance. In the first video which only showed a corner of Trail’s face [top left]. Boswell obscured her face by wearing a hooded sweatshirt and super-wide sunglasses.
Prosecutors said Trail and Boswell had already planned to kill someone before Boswell met Loofe on Tinder.
Boswell would solicit young women through social media sites and she and her boyfriend together picked out a victim, the court heard.
Trail said he and Boswell actually met Loofe several months earlier, but she didn’t want to participate in their other crimes. He said they rekindled a relationship in November 2017 through Tinder.
Trail said they tried to get her to be part of their group but she did not want to rip people off with the antique scam.
Months later, Trail said Boswell found Loofe on Tinder and arranged a date. He said that Loofe initially didn’t recognize Boswell because she was wearing lots of make up in her profile photos.
Trail told the court that Loofe ‘freaked out’ when she met up with Boswell but later agreed to a second Tinder date on the night she ended up dead.
He said the date ended up becoming a ‘sex party’ involving all three of them.
Trail said he was choking Boswell with an electrical cord while she had sex with Loofe before the roles were reversed. He claimed that Loofe was handcuffed while he choked her as she had sex with Boswell.
He said Loofe’s lips then turned blue and she started coughing.
He denied they had a plan all along to dispose of her body and said they panicked after she died. Trail admitted cutting up her body using a bow-type saw.
Trail’s own attorneys had previously argued that Loofe’s death was an accident during a consensual sexual fantasy.
The defense said during the trial that Loofe had agreed to participate with Trail in a ‘sexual asphyxiation’ as part of a fantasy that would be filmed. Loofe needed money at the time and she agreed to participate in exchange for payment, the defense said.
But Trail admitted during his testimony on Tuesday that none of that was true and that he accidentally strangled Loofe during rough sex involving just him and Boswell.
‘I can’t bring Sydney back. I killed her. I didn’t mean to, but I did,’ Trail told the court.
‘It was only me, Bailey and Sydney there the night Sydney died. I’ll get into how it happened I guess, but there was no two other girls there, there was no sexual fantasy, there was no $15,000 paid for sexual fantasy.’
Prosecutors said Trail repeatedly changed his story during the investigation and trial.
Authorities said Trail and Boswell were captured on video at a Home Depot buying tools used to dismember Loofe just hours before her death and while she was still at work.
During Trail’s trial, the court heard that Loofe had been cut into 14 different pieces.
A forensic pathologist also testified that Loofe’s body showed signs that she had struggled prior to her death.
She added that the wrist bruises showed Loofe had been restrained and that she struggled before dying of suffocation.
Defense attorneys argued that the injuries sustained in the struggle could have resulted from ‘rough, consensual sex’.
Dr Elieff agreed when she was asked if that could be the case.
Three women had testified earlier about how Trail would lure females into a so-called sex cult via Tinder and convince them he was a vampire who could fly and read minds.
The women said they were all recruited via Boswell’s Tinder account between July and November of 2017.
One woman testified that Trail had a group of witches and that for her to become one of them she had to kill someone and ‘take their last breath’, the Omaha Herald reports.
She would gain more ‘powers’ if the person killed was tortured for hours beforehand, the woman testified.
The witness described going to a Walmart with Trail and Boswell to grocery shop. She said they asked her if she was ready for her first ‘kill’.
A potential Tinder date showed up but they ended up leaving her at the grocery store and Trail later said they would ‘save her for another time’.
‘It all sounded like it was real, very convincing,’ she testified.
The witness who left the group before Loofe was killed, said Trail and Boswell threatened to kill her family if she told anyone about what had happened.
Another woman testified that Trail and Boswell made her follow strict rules, including that she had to make contact every three hours to let them know where she was.
She also wasn’t allowed to wear clothes in Trail’s home.
The woman told the court she was punished if she broke the rules, including once where he choked her with a belt and another time where he slapped her in the head more than 10 times.
She testified that Trail and Boswell would often speak about killing and torturing other victims because they needed to strengthen their powers.
They allegedly spoke of cutting out people’s eyelids, scalping them, cutting holes in people during sex, pouring acid on them and setting them alight.
She said Trail and Boswell had a killing bag – which they called ‘Bailey’s killing bag’ – that included a sauna suit, hammer and pliers.
The woman said she initially agreed to take part in a killing. She also left the group before Loofe was killed.
Another part of being involved in Trail’s sex cult was to help the couple swindle others by buying and selling antiques.
The third woman testified that she was only interested in the antique side of it and was never interested in having sex with the couple.
She said she never believed Trail when he spoke about vampires and witches but testified that they regularly spoke about killing and torture.
Trail on Tuesday dismissed the conversations they had in their group with other women about vampires and killings as just talk.
The last time anyone heard from Loofe was on November 15 when she posted a picture of herself to Snapchat, captioning the image: ‘Ready for my date’.
She was reported missing by her mother the following day when she failed to show up for her cashier job at a home improvement store. Her dismembered body was found a month later stuffed into garbage bags that had been dumped in a field.
Trail could face the death penalty after his conviction.
Boswell could also be faced with the death penalty if she is found guilty but her trial doesn’t begin until October.