The murder stunned our community and made national headlines: Jayna Murray, killed in a savage beating inside the Lululemon yoga store in Bethesda.
At first, the killing seemed to be part of an attack by unknown assailants. Brittany Norwood, Murray’s co-worker, also had been assaulted and left tied up. The community was on edge for days.
And then came the more shocking news: Norwood had apparently set the whole crime scene up. She was the murderer.
My colleague Dan Morse covered the case from the moment the women were discovered inside the store to the emotional trial where Norwood was convicted of first-degree murder and sent away for the rest of her life.
Now he’s turning the story into a book. Morse has signed a deal with Berkley Books, a division of Penguin, to tell a tale, as he puts it, about “the heartbreak and tragedy for everyone involved.”
I like Dan even though he often takes his shoes off around the office. He’s a terrific cops and courts reporter. And I loved his coverage of the Lululemon case, including his masterful profile of Jim Drewry, the quiet, methodical, sweater-vest wearing detective who cracked Norwood’s absurd and twisted tale.
Dan’s story on the packed courtroom audience hearing Norwood tell her lies was gripping. Norwood described her victim to police this way in the early moments of the investigation: “She just was so innocent.” She added: “I’ve never seen so much blood.”
Mary Pat Flaherty, another terrific reporter, will fill in for Dan while he’s working the book, which is good news for readers because Mary Pat is awesome too. Meanwhile, Dan tells me he’s working away on the project — and he’s also expecting a baby any day now with his wife Dana Hedgpeth, another Post reporter.
That will be quite a juxtaposition for Dan: Writing about a life brutally taken away while he helps bring another life into the world.