An Australian man who prosecutors say authored a systematic plan to commit the "perfect murder," fell short of his goal, costing him more than just his pride.
Gareth Giles, 26, was sentenced Wednesday to 26 years in prison for the January 2012 slaying of his friend, 49-year-old Russell Hammond.
According to police, the murder of Hammond was precipitated by the creation of an 18-point, step-by-step plan, found on Giles' computer that was titled: "The Advocate Document."
Dated November 11, 2011 -- two months before Hammond's murder -- the plan read, in part:
1. Catch bus to vic's home.
2. Advocate makes an entrance.
3. Tie vic up with rope and duct tape.
4. Take vic's possessions, i.e. car keys, shovels, wallet.
5. Take vic out back.
6. Throw vic in back of Vic's car.
7. Throw vic's possessions in back of car.
8. Drive to burial site [...]
13. Cover up blood with dirt.
14. Pack up tools.
15. Drive car to burning or drowning site.
17. Burn or drown vic's car.
"What is not included are items 9 to 12, which entails the burying of the victim and the collecting of his skull," Supreme Court Justice Betty King said in court Wednesday, according to The Age.
King added, "The victim does not have a name. It is just 'vic.'"
Authorities said the plan was strikingly similar to Hammond's killing.
Hammond's body was found dumped along a road in Corio, a suburb of Geelong, Victoria, on January 5, 2012. Hammond's Mercedes-Benz was also found burnt out.
"The deceased had been bound and gagged and a cord was located around his neck," a police press release stated.
A post-mortem examination of Hammond revealed he died as a result of manual strangulation.
An investigation into the deceased revealed Giles had known Hammond, who was reportedly homosexual, for years and had once lived with him, during which Hammond had supported him financially, police said.
In the days following Hammond's murder, police questioned Giles and his friend, 20-year-old Christopher Coulter. It did not take much convincing to make the men talk. Both admitted to being at Hammond's Drysdale home on the night of his slaying and to stealing several of his belongings. However, when it came to the actual murder, both men blamed each other.
With no solid evidence pointing to who actually strangled Hammond, Coulter and Giles were both charged in connection with the slaying.
According to The Geelong Advertiser, a man named Ryan Hall spoke with police after Giles arrest and told them Giles had once told him he thought it was okay to kill a person.
"He also spoke about 'bleeding people out' to get power," Hall said, according to the newspaper. "I think he was getting a lot of ideas from the movies he was watching," Hall said.
In court Wednesday, King called Hammond's slaying senseless.
''The crime was entirely motiveless, except for your expressions to your friend about your curiosity and desire to see what it felt like to kill, all of which makes you a person that may be considered very dangerous to our community," the judge said.
Giles, who was found guilty of murder in October, must serve at least 21 years of his sentence before he is eligible for release.
Coulter, who was found unfit to enter a plea, was sentenced in February to 25 years behind bars.
"You have an inability to understand or empathize with people on any ordinary, recognized level," King told Giles when she handed down his sentence.
Giles bowed to the judge and smiled as he was being led away from court, The Age reported.