Cat killer guilty of murdering stranger as he walked home in Oxford

A woman who livestreamed herself killing, dissecting and blending the body of a cat before brutally attacking a man and leaving him to drown to death in a river months later has been convicted of murder.

Scarlet Blake, 26, targeted Jorge Martin Carreno, 30, as he walked home from a night out in Oxford in July 2021.

She led him to a secluded riverbank where he was hit on the back of the head with a vodka bottle, strangled and then pushed into the River Cherwell where he drowned, Oxford crown court heard.

Blake denied murder but was convicted on Friday. She showed no emotion as the verdict was returned.

Prosecutors said Blake, who is transgender, killed the BMW worker, who was a stranger to her, because she had a “fixation with violence and with knowing what it would be like to kill someone”.

The murder came four months after Blake livestreamed the horrific killing of a cat. Blake told the family pet: “Here we go, my little friend. Oh boy, you smell like shit. I can’t wait to put through the blender.”

Jorge Martin Carreno was killed in 2021. Photograph: Thames Valley police/PA

After the killing, Blake dissected the animal, removed its fur and skin, and placed its body in a blender.

During the video, the New Order song True Faith played in the background, which the court heard was in homage to a Netflix documentary called Don’t F**k with Cats about a man who killed felines and murdered a human.

Blake “boasted” about the killing to others and told of “her desire to open up a person like her ‘little cat friend’”.

During the trial, the court heard Carreno had been out with co-workers in Oxford city centre and was trying to get home when Blake found him sitting in the street.

She was seen on CCTV walking the streets of Oxford wearing a heavy military-style hooded jacket, face mask and carrying a rucksack, looking for a victim.

Prosecutors suggested she was carrying a “murder kit” in her rucksack, including a garotte and leopard-print dressing gown cord, which she rejected. Giving evidence, Blake denied she was looking for a victim and instead had gone for a walk because she could not sleep.

She said she walked with Carreno to an area called Parson’s Pleasure at the riverside and left him there alive to go home, telling the jury she did not know how he died.

Suggestions that Carreno may have killed himself were rejected by his friends and by a Home Office pathologist who said he did not believe the Spanish national died accidentally.

Prosecutors said Blake had an “extreme interest in death and in harm” and got sexual gratification from violence and killings.

At one point, jurors were shown a disturbing video of Blake consensually tying a ligature around her then partner’s neck from behind and pulling it tight until she appeared to fall unconscious.

The trial heard that Blake, who was previously known as Alice Wang, came to the UK from China aged nine, and came out to her parents as transgender at the age of 12.

She said it had “caused a large emotional rift” and made her parents unhappy.

The court also heard that Blake had developed an online relationship with Ashlynn Bell, another trans woman, in the US.

The court heard Blake confessed to her former partner Bell, who lives in the US and told jurors she is also sexually stimulated by violence, that she had killed Carreno with a homemade garotte before throwing his body in the water.

Blake told jurors she had made up the details of the killing because Bell wanted her to kill someone after making her livestream the killing of the cat.

“I wasn’t interested or willing … she was wanting to make me do this thing and I was … at a limit after going through the killing of the cat.”

During her evidence, Blake claimed she had a fragmented personality, which included being a cat, and miaowed at the jury to show how she would interact with friends.

“With friends I know quite well who are aware of this part of me, I miaow at them in greeting,” she said.

Blake will be sentenced on Monday.

This article was updated on 23 February 2024 to add further details and biographical information, including reference to Scarlet Blake’s transgender identity, which were not included in the agency copy on which our initial version relied.

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