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Last Updated: Friday, 21 January, 2005, 12:05 GMT
Killer 'obsessed by occult'
Luke Mitchell
Luke Mitchell denied any involvement in Jodi's death
Luke Mitchell was born in July 1988 and was living in Newbattle Road, Dalkeith, when he began going out with schoolgirl Jodi Jones.

Jodi, 14, from Easthouses, Dalkeith, was a pupil at St David's Roman Catholic High School along with Luke.

She had been taking a shortcut along a woodland path to Luke's house on 30 June, 2003 when she was brutally attacked and mutilated by the killer.

Mitchell and Jodi had begun going out in about March 2003.

They saw each other a couple of times a week at first, but before long they were spending time together most nights.

On the evening of 30 June, Jodi had left her family home at about 1700 BST but the alarm was raised later when she failed to get to Mitchell's house or return home.

Jodi Jones
Jodi Jones was 14 when she was killed in June 2003

Her body was found on the wooded path known as Roan's Dyke at about 2230 BST by Mitchell and members of Jodi's family.

The picture of Mitchell and Jodi which emerged at the trial was one of rebellious teenagers experimenting with drugs, sex and alternative music.

But Mitchell's fascination with the darker side of music and youth culture was also revealed.

The prosecution highlighted his knife-carrying and cannabis smoking, and claimed he had told another teenager that he knew the way "to slit someone's throat".

On the day of the memorial service for Jodi at Gorebridge Parish Church on 3 September, 2003, Mitchell told Sky News he had not killed his girlfriend.

He said: "In all the time we were going out, we never had one argument at all. Never fell out or anything."

Luke Mitchell on Sky TV
Mitchell went on television to deny the murder

Mitchell was arrested the following April and in November 2004 his trial began at the High Court in Edinburgh.

He was charged with repeatedly hitting Jodi, compressing her neck, tying her arms and repeatedly stabbing her before and after she died.

Parallels were drawn in court between Jodi's injuries and death and paintings by Goth rocker Marilyn Manson, one of Mitchell's favourite acts.

The water-colours are based on the death of would-be Hollywood actress Elizabeth Short in 1947.

The pictures of what became known as the Black Dahlia murder showed the woman with massive injuries to her face, breast and torso.

Mitchell's defence dismissed the connection between the two deaths but further evidence of his interest in Manson was brought before the trial.

Wall on Roan's Dyke path
Jodi's body was found in woods behind a wall

The court heard how Mitchell liked horror films and occasionally read porn magazines and that he had bought the Marilyn Manson DVD The Golden Age of Grotesque two days after Jodi's death.

It included scenes showing two girls tied together near a track and struggling as hoods were placed over their heads.

His fascination with the darker areas of human behaviour was also reflected in his opinions on religion.

His school jotter was covered in Satanic slogans, with the numbers 666 and references to the Devil.

He also wrote an essay questioning God's existence and saying the world needed Satanic people - "People like you need Satanic people like me to keep the balance."

Just because I have chosen to follow the teachings of Satan doesn't mean I need psychiatric help
Luke Mitchell

The word Satan was written across the back of a jotter with the phrase: "I have tasted the Devil's green blood."

In another essay, Mitchell wrote: "So what if I am a Goth in a Catholic school? So what if I dress in baggy clothes?

"Just because I am more violent than others and cut myself, does that justify some pompous git of a teacher to refer me to a psychiatrist?

"Just because I have chosen to follow the teachings of Satan doesn't mean I need psychiatric help."

He also admitted stubbing out cigarettes on his hand as a "party trick" and had scratched the numbers 666 on his upper-right forearm with a compass.

But much of what brought Mitchell and Jodi together was focused around their interest in music and their attraction.

Jodi Jones' grave
Luke and Jodi shared a passion for alternative music

He and Jodi spent a lot of time together and had sex on the Saturday night before she was killed.

Mitchell was accused of going out with another girl at the same time as he was seeing Jodi.

On the day she died, one witness said he saw Jodi and Mitchell smoking cannabis in a hide-away in a wood.

Later, in police investigations of the death scene, the initials LM and JJ were found carved into the bark of a tree and in a search of Mitchell's bedroom a leather knife pouch was discovered with the initials JJ and the dates 1989 to 2003.

Mitchell's cannabis use was said to have escalated after the death and he claimed it doubled to four-and-a-half ounces a week, which was estimated in court to be about 600 joints.


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