On Wednesday, the Shiawassee County cannibal, 53-year-old Mark Latunski, was found guilty of first-degree murder. He had previously pled guilty to open murder for having killed, mutilated, and eaten part of 25-year-old Kevin R. Bacon of Swartz Creek in December 2019. The conviction entails a mandatory life sentence.
Shiawassee County Judge Matthew Stewart determined that "this is a crime of cold calculation ... Kevin Bacon's death was Mark Latunski's design."
Karl Bacon, the victim's father, expressed relief upon Latunski's conviction. He said, "It's in our best interest to see him in prison forever and I didn't want him out in public again."
WJBK reported that the victim's father was surprised to hear about some of his son's interests and proclivities, which were raised this week in court. "What was released (Monday) shows that Kevin had a dark side," said Karl Bacon. "He obviously got into something that he wasn't prepared for."
Kevin Bacon, a hairstylist who worked in Swartz Creek, met Latunski on the gay and transsexual dating app Grindr on December 24, 2019. Reportedly aware that that Latunski was a fetishist into violent sex, Bacon went to the cannibal's house for "sexual reasons."
Latunski later told investigators that he and Bacon discussed the Swartz Creek man's killing and that Bacon said, "OK, I'm ready."
When Bacon didn't show up to breakfast on Christmas Day, his family worried. Later that day, they called police to report the victim missing.
Bacon's roommate, Michelle Myers, notified investigators that Bacon had met a man on Grindr the previous day.
Bacon's phone, wallet, and other belongings were subsequently discovered along with his car at a Family Dollar in Clayton Township.
On the basis of social media posts pertaining to Latunski's house as well as other indicators of Bacon's potential whereabouts, police were dispatched to the cannibal's home on West Tyrrell Road in Bennington Township, Michigan, where, on December 28, 2019, they found Bacon's body in the basement.
One of the witnesses who testified during the trial, now an undercover Michigan State Police officer, said that police found Bacon naked and dangling from the rafters with his ankles bound, throat slit, body perforated by stab wounds, and parts missing.
The cannibal admitted in September that after stabbing Bacon, he removed the victim's testicles and brought them into his kitchen. Latunski allegedly cooked and consumed the victim's genitals.
Cannibal killer pleads guilty in murder of Kevin Baconyoutu.be
Latunski married Jamie J. Arnold, a man he met on Grindr, in December 2016. They broke off the relationship in September 2019. Arnold told MLive, "Never in a million years did I think he'd be capable of doing such a horrendous crime."
Over the course of a few months, it appears Latunski may have committed a handful of horrendous crimes.
According to a 2020 complaint, Arnold allegedly introduced a New York man named James Carlsen to Latunski. With a ticket purchased by Mark Latunski, Carlsen then flew from New York to Michigan. With the intention to engage in sadomasochist gay sex, he then traveled to Latunski's home.
Latunski allegedly chained up Carlsen and held him captive. Carlsen claimed to have cut himself free while the cannibal was asleep. Once freed from his restraints, he called 911 and fled the area in a panic. However, lacking funds to return home, Carlsen returned to his former captor, expecting Latunski to pay for his flight back to New York.
Flint Journal-MLive obtained the 911 calls from two men fleeing Latunski's basement on two separate occasions. One of the callers said he was from New York.
911 call details man’s frantic flight from basement at center of murder case - Nov. 25, 2019youtu.be
Michael Parks, Latunski's neighbor, recalled to WILX the time that a man with purple hair and a leather skirt came to his front porch, covered in blood. He said the man screamed, "Help me, keep him away ... he wants to hurt me, he wants to hurt me."
"Another vehicle pulls in my driveway and out comes, who I now find out is Mark, wearing a leather skirt, belts across his chest, no shoes, no shirt on ... very odd-looking gentleman," said Parks.
Michigan State Police Special 1st Lt. David Kaiser detailed how on November 25, 2019, troopers rescued the 29-year-old man referenced by Parks. The victim indicated he had been chained up in the cannibal's basement.
Kaiser stated that the victim "advised he did not want a report to go to the prosecutor's office and he was not looking for any type of criminal charges. The victim reportedly returned Latunski's leather kilt and was provided a ride to safety by police.
Prior to his marriage to Arnold, Latunski had been married to Emily Latunski from 2001 to 2013. The couple raised four kids.
Latunski was charged with parental kidnapping in September 2013 for taking two of his kids from his ex-wife. The resultant trial began in January 2015 but was dismissed one month later without prejudice.
Emily Latunski claimed in 2013 that her ex-husband, when off his medication, would watch torture/horror movies, talk to himself, and stay out all night.
The Des Moines Register reported that Latunski was diagnosed in 2010 and 2012 with a variety of mental health disorders, including borderline personality traits, depression, and paranoid schizophrenia.
The cannibal, who received a degree from Central Michigan University and a master's in chemistry from Iowa State University, previously worked for American Chemical Technologies making lubricants, but was fired, allegedly for "erratic behavior."
Although allegedly erratic, Latunski's murder of Bacon was meticulously planned and premeditated. He even told officials he had planned on ordering a dehydrator to store additional pieces of his victim's body.
Latunski's next hearing is on December 15.