When the drama dies, what's left is the serial killer's crimes
It's like we've opened the cover of this summer's hottest crime novel, and we're all waiting to read more.
Prince George's County police said this week that they have behind bars a man destined to become "one of America's most infamous killers," a 27-year-old who murdered two mother-daughter pairs last year and may have left a trail of bodies from Largo all the way to Florida and Texas.
He is smart, cunning, "brilliant" even, according to Prince George's Chief Roberto Hylton.
The case is set in a bucolic Maryland neighborhood where the lawns are big, the trees spread their branches wide, and it is quiet except for the buzz of one lawn mower on a weekday morning. The swings sway ever so slightly in the breeze on an empty playground.
This is where he allegedly did his handiwork, where he honed his grim art after poring over texts on crime scene forensics, law enforcement and police procedure.
He thwarted an FBI profiler, who concluded his crime scenes were unrelated.
Two mothers, both nurses, and two daughters, both young and attractive, found dead two months apart. Both times, the killer struck on a Monday.
The detectives were dogged, compiling 14 binders of evidence against the ruthless predator, who is so well educated he held not one but two master's degrees, police said.
"This case before you, I think, is going to be a case study for many law enforcement agencies in the future," Hylton said Tuesday. "This was an individual that was very well read, a studious person, that studied the policing system, knew the policing system, knew about his craft."
The case is already up for discussion on a fan site called Serial Killer Central.
And we don't even know who the guy is yet.
We do know that the cops are head over heels for this case, setting it up to be the stuff of legend.