EDINBURGH, Scotland – A Scottish man convicted of murdering his best friend, whose blood he said he drank in an effort to gain immortality, was found dead Tuesday in his prison, officials said.
Prison officials would not comment on the suspected cause of death of 23-year-old Allan Menzies (search). British media reported that Menzies had committed suicide.
Menzies was convicted of bludgeoning to death 21-year-old Thomas McKendrick (search) in a frenzied attack two years ago after they had an argument over "Queen of the Damned," a film that starred the late American R&B singer and actress Aaliyah (search) as the vampire Akasha.
Menzies was found dead in Shotts Prison (search) in central Scotland at about 7:50 a.m. Tuesday, the Scottish Prison Service said in a statement.
"Police and next of kin have now been informed," the statement said. "A fatal accident inquiry will be held in due course."
Menzies had seen a video of the horror film more than 100 times in the months before the murder, witnesses said. The defendant claimed that he had been ordered by a vampire from the movie to kill his friend. Both men lived in Fauldhouse, Scotland.
On Dec. 11, 2002, McKendrick criticized the vampire character during a visit to Menzies' home. An enraged Menzies killed McKendrick by repeatedly beating and stabbing his body, witnesses said.
During his trial last year, Menzies told the court he had drunk the dead man's blood and eaten part of his head.
Menzies testified that he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the attack, and a psychiatric consultant agreed. But three other experts rejected that diagnosis and he was sentenced to life imprisonment.