Tinder sex cult: Woman who helped boyfriend hack victim into 14 pieces gets life term

Boswell, whose boyfriend Aubrey Trail received the death sentence in June, will spend the rest of her life at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women


                            Tinder sex cult: Woman who helped boyfriend hack victim into 14 pieces gets life term
Bailey Boswell, 27, helped lure the victim back to the apartment where she lived with her boyfriend and bought the power tools used to hack the body (Twitter, Taney County Sheriff's Office)
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SALINE COUNTY, NEBRASKA: A woman who was complicit in dismembering a hardware store clerk she met on Tinder, after her boyfriend fatally strangled her, avoided the death penalty. Instead, she was handed a life sentence on Monday, November 8.

Bailey Boswell, 27, would have been the first Nebraska woman to get the death penalty if not for one of the judges on a three-person panel at the county courthouse in Wilber, who ruled that prosecutors failed to prove that the case merited the ultimate punishment. Boswell, whose boyfriend Aubrey Trail, 54, received the death sentence earlier this year, will now spend the rest of her life at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women for her role in the 2017 death and dismemberment of 24-year-old Sydney Loofe.

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Loofe, who was a cashier at a Menards store in Lincoln, was strangled with an extension cord and chopped into 14 pieces before being dumped along country roads in rural Clay County. "The murder was coldly calculated, Boswell relished the murder, there was needless viewed mutilation of the body. The murder was senseless and Sidney Loofe was a helpless victim," Judge Vicky Johnson said as she read the verdict. "[She] was needlessly mutilated by Trail and Boswell as part of the plan to satisfy her sexual desire. The mutilation was not done as an afterthought to hide the body."

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Her boyfriend Trail was sentenced to death in June for fatally strangling Loofe before the pair dismembered her body. The date of his execution is yet to be established. Three women testified in 2019 how he lured victims into his sex cult via the dating app Tinder and later convinced them he was a vampire who could fly and read their minds.

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Prosecutors said Trail and Boswell had planned to kill someone before she met Loofe on the dating app in November 2017. According to Johnson, the couple chose Loofe after she showed sexual interest in Boswell and lived far away from other family members, thereby ensuring she "wouldn't immediately be missed."


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Todd Lancaster, Boswell's court-appointed attorney, said he was aware of at least two other cases in Nebraska where a three-judge panel was split over whether to impose the death penalty, resulting in a life sentence. "I can say that Bailey is grateful for the sake of her family and particularly her [7-year-old] daughter, Nahla, that she did not receive a death sentence, and so am I," Lancaster, of the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy, told the court. Boswell had previously implored the court to spare her life for the sake of her daughter. ''[Nahla] needs a mommy and I know I can contribute to her life. For my sake, for my daughter's sake please don't take my life," she said.

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Judge Peter Bataillon was the lone dissenter in Monday's ruling. While he called the crime horrible, he said he wasn't convinced Boswell had displayed "exceptional depravity" — the legal standard required for a death penalty. It's worth noting that Bataillon has voted to impose death sentences in the past.

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On the other hand, Judges Johnson and Darla Ideus disagreed and ruled in favor of capital punishment, after concluding that Boswell deserved it for helping lure Loofe back to the apartment where she and Trail lived and bought power tools ahead of time that were used to hack the victim's body. Meanwhile, they also pointed to statements at trial that Boswell was sexually aroused by the prospect of people being tortured and killed. "Boswell's actions and words demonstrate that she had no regard for the life of Sydney Loofe beyond her own pleasure," Johnson said. 

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That said, in order for someone to receive the death penalty in the state of Nebraska, a three-judge panel must all agree that a murder "manifests exceptional depravity by ordinary standards of morality and intelligence." Boswell will now become the 16th woman in Nebraska to serve a life sentence for first-degree murder, a spokeswoman for the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services stated.

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