A disgraced ex-LAPD officer swore revenge on those he blamed for his firing. He vowed to kill them all … and their families.
CHAPTER ONE: MURDER IN IRVINE
A double killing, a vengeful plan, a wave of fear
Police are baffled by the slaying of a young couple with no known enemies. The more they learn, the more ominous the crime becomes.
(Originally published in the December 8, 2013 issue of The Los Angeles Times newspaper)
The man emerged from a charcoal-gray pickup and approached the hotel check-in counter. He wanted a room and the Internet pass code. He was 6 feet tall, with a weightlifter’s build and military posture. But he could transform his soft, round face into a picture of amiability. He struck the night manager as personable and disarming.
Inside Room 116 of the Hi View Inn & Suites in Manhattan Beach, he stared at his Facebook page and a lifetime’s worth of grudges. It is not clear how long he had labored on the unusual document on the screen.
It was a rambling, free-associating screed in which he asserted firm opinions on politicians, journalists, comedians and television shows. It was a brew of hatreds, a sustained cry of self-pity and self-justification, and a blueprint.
One touch of a button would make it public, once people knew where to look.
It was 1:15 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 4.
Hours earlier, Irvine Police Det. Victoria Hurtado was crouched in the evening chill, studying an enormous diamond ring on a dead woman’s hand. It was one of her first clues. “This is not a robbery,” she thought.