Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

A Saudi Prince and a Murderer

A Princely Romance?

The two were having a grand time—or so it seemed. Shopping and eating at swank restaurants during the day, they would go clubbing until the wee hours of the morning at night before returning to their ultra-luxury rooms at the Landmark Hotel in central London. There, they would sleep in until the afternoon before beginning their fun cycle again. But Prince Saud bin Abdulaziz bin Nasir al Saud and Bandar Abdullah Abdulaziz were no ordinary pair. Al Saud was a Saudi prince, a grandson of the King of Saudi Arabia. Abdulaziz was his companion, although his exact relationship with Al Saud remains a subject of debate.

Al Saud with Abdulaziz
Al Saud with Abdulaziz
Al Saud would adamantly deny any sexual aspect to his relationship with Abdulaziz in court, yet a long list of witnesses testified that it seemed obvious they were in a gay relationship. Their sexual orientation would ordinarily have been only a subject of royal-watcher gossip. However, the nature of the relationship became legally significant after a series of ugly events suggested a sadistic side to Al Saud.

Almost a month after their arrival in London, Abdulaziz' body was found in the hotel room he shared with Al Saud. His body lay in a pool of blood on the bed. When the London press learned of the tragic scene, and that a Saudi prince had been arrested for murder, the news set off a feeding frenzy of speculation. Had Abdulaziz' death resulted from wild, sadomasochistic sex-play between a real-life Saudi prince and his servant? Would Al Saud be able to use his wealth and connections to buy his way out of a murder conviction? Or could Al Saud use his self-proclaimed diplomatic immunity to escape justice and charter a private champagne flight out of Europe, thumbing his nose at British justice?

The prosecutors handling Al Saud's case gradually unraveled the complex events which left Abdulaziz dead. What really happened in the luxury hotel suite on Valentine's Day and into the wee hours of the morning after was at least as sordid, and ultimately sad, as anyone could have imagined.

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