Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

A Saudi Prince and a Murderer

Lies and More Lies


When the police came, Al Saud recounted that Abdulaziz had been mugged a few weeks ago in the Edgware Road area and speculated that he had remained injured from the attack. It seemed that Abdulaziz had died from the injuries he had sustained from the mugging attack, Al Saud, whose mental state then verged on the hysterical, concluded.

However, the police autopsy revealed that Abdulaziz died from injuries he had sustained within the last 24 hours, and that he had been punched and kicked to death. The police also concluded that a savage and murderous attack on Abdulaziz began the night of Valentine's Day and continued through 15 February, before Abdulaziz's body was found the following afternoon.

A still from the surveillance video in the hotel elevator.
A still from the surveillance video in the hotel
A surveillance video police found a few hours later would serve as a smoking gun in its stark and disturbing depiction of the physical abuse to which Abdulaziz had been subjected. Upon entering the hotel elevator around 4:00 a.m. on Jan. 22, Al Saud was caught on video repeatedly punching Abdulaziz with his fist and elbow. Abdulaziz merely covered his head to protect himself without fighting back. He remained submissive and cowered underneath his arms to cushion the blows. Another video recorded on the elevator February 5 showed another beating.

Police had more than enough evidence to arrest Al Saud on the spot, just a few hours after discovering the bloody scene in the five-star hotel room.

Once in custody at the London police department, Al Saud continued to obfuscate while the ongoing investigation revealed even more about what occurred on the night of the murder and during the weeks before the savage attack.

Investigating detectives would learn that Abdulaziz had sought treatment at local St Mary's Hospital for an ear injury February 10. Police officials said that injury, along with other evidence of bodily harm inflicted on the person Al Saud claimed was his friend, demonstrated sustained physical abuse.

A still from the surveillance video in the hotel elevator.
A still from the surveillance video in the hotel
Hotel guests told police they heard raised voices and an argument as well as furniture being overturned the night before Abdulaziz was found dead. Indeed, police found evidence that furniture had been moved, likely resulting from Abdulaziz' body being battered around the room.

A comprehensive autopsy report following Al Saud's arrest led police to determine that Abdulaziz's cause of death was "compression to the neck and head injury." The medical examiner found that Abdulaziz suffered a series of injuries both prior to and during the night of his death. However, the fatal blows were inflicted on the night of Feb.14 and during the early morning hours the next day, the medical examiner concluded.

Abdulaziz' many injuries resulted from a violent assault. They included two broken ribs, damage to internal organs, bleeding on the brain, a severe ear injury, bite marks to the cheeks, bruising up and down legs and arms, a bite mark to his right arm and back, neck bruises, and a broken larynx "consistent with compression to the neck," the medical examiner stated. Abdulaziz also had bruises on his face and suffered from a split lip and chipped teeth. These injuries were typical of abuse cases involving heavy punching and kicking over a period of time, the medical examiner said.

Saud Bin Abdulaziz Bin Nasir Al Saud
Saud Bin Abdulaziz Bin Nasir Al Saud
Police saw traces of blood on the floor indicating that that the assailant had dragged Abdulaziz's body from the bathroom, through the hallway, to the bedroom and onto the bed. They also discovered that someone, presumably Al Saud, had also taken great pains to wipe up the blood in the bathroom and its trail on the floor that lead to the bed. Far from being a distraught and concerned friend, Al Saud had taken great pains to mislead police about the circumstances of the death. He had acted in a rational and calculated manner attempting to deceive investigators, the detectives concluded.

While at the police station, Al Saud declared that he had diplomatic immunity as a Saudi prince. But once allowed to telephone the Saudi embassy, his pleas for help were rejected. Even if his fellow countrymen at the embassy had been willing help the prince, there was little they could have done. Under UK law, Al Saud was not entitled to diplomatic immunity, police officials said in an understated way. In the eyes of British law enforcement, Al Saud was just another perpetrator who, in the eyes of the police, had just committed a brutal murder.

Indeed, prince or not, Al Saud was going on trial for murder in a London court.

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