Home / National News / Chicago slaying of hairdresser was part of sexual fantasy: Prosecutor


(CHICAGO) — The Northwestern University professor and Oxford University financial officer accused of fatally stabbing the professor’s boyfriend in a Chicago high-rise allegedly committed the crime as part of a sexual fantasy hatched online, prosecutors said on Sunday.

Wyndham Lathem, who was a faculty member at Northwestern’s microbiology-immunology department for 10 years, and a second suspect, University of Oxford employee Andrew Warren, were both taken into custody without incident in Northern California on August 4 after a nationwide manhunt.

Lathem, 43, and Warren spent more than one week on the run after allegedly killing 26-year-old hairstylist Trenton Cornell-Duranleau, who was found stabbed to death at a Chicago apartment registered to Lathem on July 27. At a press conference this afternoon, police described the scene as “savage and grizzly.”

Cornell-Duranleau was Lathem’s boyfriend, Officer Eddie Johnson, Superintendent of Police with the Chicago Police Department said at a press conference on Sunday.

The two suspects in Cornell-Duranleau’s murder met on the internet, Chicago Police Commander Brendan Deenihan said this afternoon, and Warren came to the U.S. to meet Latham.

Deenihan said on Sunday that on July 27, doorman at Lathem’s building received an anonymous call that a crime may have been committed on the premises. Corenell’s body was soon discovered with multiple stab wounds. Two knives, one of which was broken, were found at the scene.

Witnesses say they heard what sounded like a fight at 5 a.m., according to Deenihan.

Latham, who police say was staying in a hotel close to his apartment building, had picked up Warren at Chicago’s O’Hare airport several days before the alleged crime took place. Police said that surveillance footage from the apartment and hotel area at the time captured Lathem in the area with Cornell.

According to police, while Lathem was on the run, he sent a video message to various friends and family members apologizing for his alleged involvement in the killing. Lathem had described the killing as the biggest mistake of his life, according to Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

Guglielmi also said the two suspects donated $1,000 in the victim’s name to the public library in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Police said Sunday that it is unclear why that library location was chosen.

Lathem, who has been a faculty member at Northwestern’s microbiology-immunology department for 10 years, has been banned from entering the school, according to Alan Cubbage, Northwestern University vice president for university relations.

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