Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

A Saudi Prince and a Murderer

A Crime Scene in a Five-Star Hotel


Al Saud and Abdulaziz checked into the London hotel in January 2010, arriving from a stay in the Maldives. Staying at the hotel for almost a month, Al Saud racked up bills at swanky restaurants and nightclubs, a male escort service (later revealed in trial testimony), erotic massage services, and shopping trips at some of London's poshest boutiques.

London's Landmark Hotel
London's Landmark Hotel

The pair remained in close company during their stay in London, despite the obvious class differences and the way Al Saud treated his companion as an inferior. Entering or leaving the hotel to dine or shop, the two were mostly together. According to one witness, a self-described homosexual and hotel employee, the two were obviously a gay couple. Aside from the fact that Abdulaziz routinely walked behind Al Saud, the hotel staff were not struck by anything unusual about the pair as they came and went during their stay at the hotel. Later, though, a more sordid and ultimately tragic side to their relationship emerged during the police investigation and subsequent trial.

On the afternoon of February 15, 2010, Al Saud made a phone call from his room to a local chauffeur whom he had hired during his stay in London. He told the chauffer, whose identity was not revealed by prosecutors, that Abdulaziz was in bed unconscious and that he had not been able to wake him up.

Bandar Abdullah Abdulaziz
Bandar Abdullah Abdulaziz
The chauffeur told Al Saud to call the front desk and drove to the hotel. Upon arriving in the room a few minutes later, the chauffeur found Abdulaziz lying in bed, bleeding profusely from the ear. It was apparent that Abdulaziz was dead. Al Saud said he had not yet called the front desk, and the chauffeur then called reception, declaring that there was an emergency.

A hotel staffer quickly summoned an ambulance, and paramedics arrived. They quickly pronounced Mr. Abdulaziz dead at the scene. They made a "no signs of life" declaration at 5:00 p.m. and called the police.

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