Suspect caught after gruesome mutilation

October 3, 2008 3:52:34 PM PDT
Harris County Sheriff's deputies have arrested a man they say killed and mutilated a man more than a week ago while high on a dangerous drug known as 'sherm.'By all accounts, Mark Andrew Boyd looks like your typical 37-year-old. Yet as unassuming as he might appear, authorities say Boyd did something so awful even the most hardened homicide detectives were horrified.

Lt. John Denholm said, "One of the investigators that made the scene came in and was telling me, 'John, you know I've seen a lot in the last 15 years, I've never seen anything like this.' He showed me the pictures and I agreed with him. I haven't seen anything like that either."

Homicide investigators say Boyd killed one of his acquaintances, Wilbur Ake, by stabbing him to death in Ake's apartment back on September 23, then mutilated the remains. They believe he was high on a drug called fry or sherm, the street term for smoking marijuana that's been soaked in embalming fluid.

"It's like he sat there and played with the knife for an hour or two," Lt. Denholm said.

Even though Boyd knew the victim, the sheer brutality of the crime, compounded by alleged habitual drug use, led investigators to believe Boyd was more than capable of attacking someone else.

Lt. Denholm said, "You don't know when he's just going to want to do it again, because you do something like this and it's obvious he enjoyed it. So if he enjoyed it once, he might enjoy it again. That's why we were really trying to get him picked up."

While the motive is still not clear, police say Boyd stole the victim's ATM card and withdrew about a thousand dollars. At the victim's north Harris County apartment complex where it happened, neighbors are in disbelief.

"He was very friendly, he let everyone in his house," recalled neighbor Rockila Aspinall. "He had his arms open wide to anybody, he was ready to talk to anybody."

Boyd is facing a capital murder charge. Authorities say he is cooperating with their investigation after they arrested him Friday afternoon.

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