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Michigan Cannibal To Spend The Rest Of His Life In Prison For Horrific Dating App Murder

Following a special hearing, a judge found Mark Latunski guilty of first-degree murder after finding he acted with "cold calculation" in the gruesome murder of 25-year-old Kevin Bacon. 

By Jax Miller
Dating App Tragedies

A man who confessed to the cannibalistic murder of a man he met on Grindr will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Mark Latunski, 52, agreed to plead guilty in September to the 2019 murder and mutilation of hairdresser and college student Kevin Bacon, 25. However, it was up to a Shiawassee County court to decide whether or not Latunksi would be convicted of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or manslaughter, as the encompassing charge against Latunksi was for “open murder.”

Following a special two-day hearing, which began Tuesday, Latunski was convicted of first-degree premeditated murder, according to Fox Detroit affiliate WJBK, which carries a mandatory life sentence.

“The court finds that this is a crime of cold calculation,” said Shiawassee County Judge Matthew Stewart, according to MLive. “Kevin Bacon’s death was Mark Latunski’s design.”

RELATED: Michigan Man Accused Of Christmas Cannibalism Pleads Guilty To Murder

Latunski — a man with an extensive history of psychiatric diagnoses — confessed to luring Bacon to his Bennington Township home — about 90 miles northwest of Detroit — after meeting Bacon on Grindr, a dating app catering to the LGBTQ+ community.

Bacon left his Swartz Creek home for Latunski’s house some 20 miles away on Christmas Eve 2019 and was reported missing by his parents when he failed to show up for a family Christmas breakfast.

Mark Latunski Pd

Police found his car at a Family Dollar store parking lot about five miles from his home. Inside was a cell phone, which contained messages between Bacon and Latunski, leading authorities to Latunski’s home.

There, investigators found Bacon’s naked body hanging upside down from the basement rafters, the victim stabbed and his throat slit. Latunski confessed to the murder, as well as removing Bacon’s testicles for consumption, but claimed he was only carrying out a sexual fantasy with Bacon’s permission.

Latunski was initially found incompetent to stand trial but was deemed restored to competency back in 2020, a decision twice reaffirmed since. Court records showed Latunski had previously been diagnosed with major depression, paranoid schizophrenia and characteristics indicating a possible personality disorder.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys presented several arguments to the judge, who would, in lieu of a jury, decide which homicide charge would be most fitting for Latunski to plead guilty.

Although Latunski confessed to the gruesome murder, he claimed Bacon was a willing participant and that the homicide was merely Latunski granting Bacon’s alleged wish to die. (In 2020, a judge denied Latunksi’s motion to have assisted suicide charges added to his existing criminal charges).

Latunski previously told investigators the pair even discussed how they could get rid of Bacon’s body before Latunski killed him, according to the Lansing State Journal.

Kevin Bacon Ig

Shiawassee County Prosecutor Scott Koerner argued against this theory during the special two-day hearing, according to MLive.

“That’s not what Kevin wanted; Kevin wanted a fetish,” said Koerner. “He wanted to be protected. He wanted to make sure he was going to go home.”

Koerner pointed to Latunski’s past confessions, where he admitted to buying a dehydrator to turn the victim’s muscles into jerky. Latunski also confessed to wanting to make bone meal from Bacon’s skeletal remains.

The U.S.P.S. intercepted the delivery of the dehydrator following Bacon’s murder, according to the State Journal.

Latunski’s attorney, Mary Chartier, argued her client wasn’t capable of understanding the consequences of the homicide, as seen when Latunski went to a Christmas party after killing Bacon with the victim’s blood still on his clothes. This, Chartier argued, should have taken first-degree murder off the table.

Chartier also reminded the court that Latunski willingly allowed officers into his home when they came looking for Bacon, according to MLive.

“A person in Mr. Latunski’s shoes, in his mindset, has to have fully evaluated the consequences of the killing,” Chartier stated.

She added her client “did not measure the consequences at all.”

Prosecutor Koerner previously said he was “fairly confident” that Judge Stewart would decide on first-degree murder, which was why his office “didn’t offer any plea deals,” according to the State Journal.

In the state of Michigan, first-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole, according to the State Journal. In contrast, second-degree murder has a maximum life sentence, and manslaughter carries up to 15 years behind bars.

A formal sentence hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 15.

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