Northwestern professor, 47, gets 53 years for stabbing his hairdresser boyfriend, 26, to death with the help of his British lover after meth-fueled threesome

  • Former Northwestern professor Wyndham Lathem, 47, was sentenced to 53 years in prison after he brutally stabbed his boyfriend to death 
  • Lathem had recruited Andrew Warren, who flew from England to Chicago, to help him live out a sexual fantasy involving a murder suicide
  • The pair stabbed Lathem's boyfriend Trenton Cornell-Duranleau, 26, more than 70 times in his Chicago apartment in July 2017
  • The ex-microbiology professor was later found guilty of first-degree murder in October 
  • Warren pleaded guilty to murder on 2019 and was given a 45-year prison sentence on the basis that he testify against Lathem 



A former Northwestern professor was sentenced to 53 years in prison on Tuesday after he brutally stabbed his boyfriend to death during a violence-infused sexual fantasy almost five years ago.

Wyndham Lathem, 47, was sentenced by Cook County Judge Charles Burns on Tuesday after he was found guilty of first-degree murder in October.

The ex-microbiology professor had stabbed his hairstylist boyfriend Trenton Cornell-Duranleau, 26, more than 70 times at their Chicago apartment, with the help of Oxford University financial officer Andrew Warren. 

Lathem, who was fired from his position following the killing, testified during his trial that Warren alone stabbed Cornell-Duranleau during a methamphetamine-fueled threesome. 

According to Lathem's attorney, him and Cornell-Duranleau would engage in sexual fantasies involving fetish, restraints, leather bondage, and a variety of sex toys,' noting that they would use meth or knife play during sex 'to heighten the pleasure'.

Warren pleaded guilty to murder in 2019 under a plea agreement that called for him to testify against Lathem in exchange for receiving a 45-year prison sentence.

The former financial officer testified that he flew from England to Chicago to meet Lathem and take part in a pact to kill each other before agreeing to kill Cornell-Duranleau at Lathem´s suggestion.

He also testified that he did, in fact, stab Cornell-Duranleau, but only after Lathem had already begun stabbing him.

Former Northwestern University professor Wyndham Lathem, 47, was sentenced to 53 years in prison on Tuesday after he was previously found guilty of murdering his boyfriend in October

Wyndham Lathem, 47, was sentenced by Cook County Judge Charles Burns on Tuesday after he was found guilty of first-degree murder in October

Lathem had recruited former Oxford University financial officer Andrew Warren to help him carry out his sexual fantasy of a murder suicide. Warren (above) pleaded guilty in 2019 and was handed a 45-year prison sentence in exchange for testifying against Lathem 

Lathem's boyfriend Trenton Cornell-Duranleau was stabbed more than 78 times 

Cornell-Duranleau was stabbed 78 times while he slept in Lathem's Chicago high-rise condominium on July 27, 2017.

A doorman at the Grand Plaza Apartments previously told the court that a resident had reported hearing screams.

The front desk at the condominium later got a call from someone who said that a crime may have been committed inside Lathem's apartment. Chicago Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said the call was placed by Lathem, from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, while he was on the run. 

The condominium contacted the police who arrived to perform a welfare check.  Officer Mark Beam, with the Chicago Police Department, found Cornell-Duranleau lying in a pool of blood with stab wounds all over his body. 

He said that the copious amount of blood on the floor led him to believe that the victim was already dead. 

A search of Lathem's condo yielded a bag of 'crystal-like' substance and suspected drug paraphernalia, along with a drywall knife and two bloody kitchen knives, one of which was broken in half, according to a police evidence technician. 

Police arrived to the Grand Plaza Apartments after the condominium's front desk received an anonymous call about a welfare check. The call was said to be placed by Lathem

 Lathem (pictured in 2017) was arrested in August of that year after he and Warren were found by the police following an eight-day manhunt

Arrest warrants were then issued for Latham and Warren who were found and taken into custody in the San Francisco Bay Area following an eight-day manhunt.

The pair had stopped in Lake Geneva to drop off a $1,000 for Cornell-Duranleau before fleeing for California.

The prosecution argued that Lathem took advantage of a 'young man just trying to make his way in Chicago' to fulfill an apparent sexual fantasy.

However, Lathem's attorney painted a different picture, saying that Warren committed a crime against both the defendant and the deceased.

'This was nothing more than a crime of opportunity that had two victims,' defense attorney Kenneth Wine.

'Andrew Warren took the life of Trenton Cornell and ruined the life of Dr. Lathem.' 

Wine, declining to comment on pending litigation, provided a copy of his opening statement to In the statement, he explained that Lathem and Cornell-Duranleau had a sexual relationship that often involved 'three way sex with people they met online,' as well as 'bondage and submission and other sex toys, including knife play'.   

Wine claims that Warren joined the couple in their bedroom the night of the murder and attacked them. Lathem allegedly went to the bathroom after having been stabbed by Warren and 'heard fighting going on' in the bedroom.

Lathem and Warren, pictured in this earlier courtroom sketch, dropped off an $1,000 donation in Cornell-Duranleau's name after fleeing the scene of the murder

'Andrew Warren will get on the stand and admit he smashed Trent Cornell over the head with metal bedroom lamp. The evidence will show that Andrew Warren viciously stabbed Trent Cornell to death with two knives,' Wine said.

'Dr. Lathem was shocked to discovery his lover's dead body. He was at a loss as to what to do. He felt responsible for putting Trent Cornell in harm's way. He believed – and still believes to this day – he bears responsibility for Trent's death. It was Dr. Lathem, after all, who brought Andrew Warren into their lives.'

Wine continued, saying that Warren killed Cornell-Duranleau because he was jealous of the couple's relationship. 

'The evidence will show that Andrew Warren told Dr. Lathem that he – Andrew Warren – killed Trent Cornell so they could be together,' he said.  

'Andrew Warren, who had just been told by Dr. Lathem the night before that Dr. Lathem had no romantic interest in him, killed Trent Cornell out of the most common of human emotions - jealousy, but it was more than mere jealousy, it was a jealous rage of a murderous psychopath. Andrew Warren had a motive and a perfect alibi. Dr. Lathem had no motive.'

However, Assistant State's Attorney Matthew Thrun argued that Lathem and Warren devised the murder plan together as part of a fantasy that was supposed to end with them killing each other.

'This defendant may have shown one face to the world — respectable, prestigious doctor, but Trenton saw another face,' Thrun said in court on Monday, according to WTTW.

The prosecutor continued, arguing that the evidence that Lathem orchestrated and took the lead in the murder is 'clear and overwhelming'.

'He provided the crime location. And when he was on the run, he was behind the wheel... he decided where to go,' he said. 

Thrun also argued that Lathem's blood was found in the condo and on two knives. He also allegedly confessed to the crime on video.

'He's going to tell you, "I killed him, I did do it, it wasn't an accident, it was a mistake … and I will regret it with every fiber of my being,"' Thrun said, quoting the footage.     


Ex-Northwestern professor gets 53 years for brutally stabbing boyfriend to death

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