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Murderer who mutilated cat copied Netflix killer’s scheme

Scarlet Blake has been found guilty of murdering 30-year-old Spanish citizen Jorge Javier Martin Carreno
Scarlet Blake, rear, has been found guilty of murdering 30-year-old Spanish citizen Jorge Carreno - Vagner Vidal/Hyde News & Pictures Ltd

A murderer copied a Netflix killer by mutilating a cat then attacking a stranger and blaming someone else for encouraging them, a court has heard.

Scarlet Blake, a 26-year-old transgender woman, was found guilty on Friday of killing Jorge Carreno in July 2021, having hit him on the back of the head with a vodka bottle before strangling him and pushing him into the River Cherwell, where he drowned.

Blake had previously said how she had killed a cat and put it in a blender four months earlier, on the instruction of a former girlfriend, inspired by a Netflix documentary about a man who filmed himself killing kittens before murdering a student.

But during a two-week trial, Blake denied attacking Mr Carreno – a stranger who was on his way home from a night out – saying that the same girlfriend, Ashlynn Bell, had encouraged a graduation from killing animals to a human.

“She was wanting to make me do this thing and I was pretty much... well at a limit after going through with the killing of the cat,” Blake told the court.

Scarlet Blake live-streamed the killing of a cat
Scarlet Blake once live-streamed the killing of a cat - Thames Valley Police/PA

“She was conditioning me to obey what she wanted me to do.

“I wasn’t interested or willing – it was an awful thought to me.”

The trial revealed disturbing details about Blake’s relationship with US-based Ms Bell, with the pair meeting on a forum for people who were interested in “gore”.

Blake’s attack on the cat – in which the pet was skinned and put in a blender – was live-streamed online to Ms Bell, who the court heard “wanted” to watch.

The video was set to the New Order song True Faith, which featured in the Netflix documentary Don’t F--- with Cats, chronicling the case of Luka Magnotta.

Magnotta, who played the song himself while killing kittens, uploaded videos of his grisly attacks before going on to film himself murdering a university student.

Magnotta, now 41, initially claimed he was coerced into the 2012 murder by a friend called “Manny” but police found no evidence this individual ever existed.

In the summer of 2023, Ms Bell told police that Blake had confessed Mr Carreno’s murder to her.

However, Blake attempted to convince jurors that this was a false confession, by claiming Ms Bell wanted her to kill someone after making her live-stream the cat killing.

Jorge Javier Martin Carreno, the student victim of Scarlet Blake
Jorge Carreno, the student victim of Scarlet Blake - Hyde News & Pictures Ltd

“In the interest of keeping her happy, because I wanted her to kill me one day, because it’s sexually stimulating for me, that idea,” the court heard.

“She was quite obsessive over how apparently, I killed someone for her, and how now she’s dating a murderer. She seemed to enjoy it.”

The relationship between Blake and Ms Bell is thought to have broken down some years ago but the pair were still in contact.

A video shown to the jury showed Blake putting a ligature around Ms Bell’s neck and squeezing it until she lost consciousness.

A text message sent by Blake to Ms Bell offered further insight into their warped relationship. It read: “I would murder my mum for you...I also want to kill my dad one day...maybe when they are old I can just put a respirator with pure nitrogen on their faces while they sleep.”

Murderous messages were not the only disturbing things found on Blake’s phone.

One “meme” – a term for visual online jokes – showed an image of a rope, tape, a gun and knife, with the caption “first date with me”.

Another photo showed a bed strewn with rose petals spelling the message “bruise my oesophagus”.

An image of a woman wearing a T-shirt with an image of two speech bubbles reading “you’re cute” and “murder me” was also shown to the jury.

The court heard Blake and Ms Bell had online discussions about choking and death, but Blake told the court this was “role play” and that there wouldn’t be “actual death”.

Blake’s identity as a biological male who came out as transgender aged 12 was first raised by judge Martin Chamberlain at the start of the trial, who informed jurors it would “not be at issue during the trial”.

Images from Scarlet Blake's phone were shown in court
Images from Scarlet Blake's phone were shown in court - Thames Valley Police / SWNS

Jurors later heard that Blake had “always wanted to be a girl” but that the decision to transition caused an “emotional rift” between Blake’s parents, resulting in “unmet parental needs”.

As he summed up the facts on Thursday, Judge Chamberlain told the jury: “The fact she is trans on its own has no particular relevance to this case.

“It doesn’t make it any more or less likely that she is guilty of the offence with which she is charged.”

Yet he added that jurors were allowed to consider her “stature” and whether they believed she was “physically able” to carry out the attack on Mr Carreno.

At 69kg (approximately 10 stone 12 lb), the court heard Blake weighed almost two stone more than her 57kg (just under 9 stone) victim and was as tall as Mr Carreno, at around 171cm (5’ 7”).

Jurors were told of this weight difference during the trial.

Blake, who was born in China and emigrated to the UK in 2002, told jurors that never exercising was a means to avoid “masculine muscle gain”. Jurors heard Blake’s strength was the equivalent of an “unfit female”.

Blake previously went by the name Fangze Wang and later Alice Wang, and spent childhood in a detached bungalow in Marston village on the outskirts of north-east Oxford.

Blake’s mother, Fang Chen, is a clinical researcher at the University of Oxford, whom neighbours described as a “wonderful person” and “very professional”.

They remembered an only child who would spend most of the time tinkering with engines and restoring second-hand cars with friends in the garage.

Those who spoke to The Telegraph referred to Blake with both male and female pronouns. Describing the Chens as a “very private family”, they added: “We never had any troubles with them. We knew she [the mother] is doing the best for her daughter.

“She was working with cars… working second-hand cars fixing it, trying to keep busy, it was just for fun, activities with friends.”

However, another neighbour remembered how an ambulance attended on one occasion when she was self-harming.

Yesterday, Mr Carreno’s family paid tribute to him. Mr Carreno was one of triplets, who they said was an “exceptional being” who had an “immense desire to live and enjoy life”.

Blake showed no emotion as the guilty verdict was passed on Friday, but smiled while leaving the dock. Blake’s sentencing is due to be held on Monday.