November 29, 2006

No closure ....

Back in September, the nephew of a woman who I had grown up with was murdered in the parking lot where he worked. He was shot multiple times at close range with a .30 caliber rifle while sitting at the wheel of his pick-up truck. He was 22.

Yesterday, I received an email from my SIL with a link to the local newspaper back home.
Right there on the front page was a picture of the man police have arrested for the murder.
A 22 year old man is dead at the hands of a 47 year old man.
Here's the rest of the story ..... see if it makes sense to you, because for the life of me, I can't seem to wrap my mind around it.

A middle-aged West Virginia woman posing as an attractive young female on the Internet became the apex of a love triangle that sparked a fatal ambush in Clarence in September, Erie County sheriff's officials said Monday after arresting the man suspected of the killing.

Sheriff's detectives arrested Thomas Montgomery, 47, without incident Monday morning at his home on East Grand Boulevard, Cheektowaga, Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announced.
Montgomery has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Brian M. Barrett, 22, of the Town of Lockport.

Barrett was gunned down inside his pickup truck after leaving his part-time job at Dynabrade Corp. on Sheridan Drive in Clarence late on the night of Sept. 15.

Investigators said Montgomery, a 12-year employee at Dynabrade, had been e-mailing the woman over the Internet since May 2005. In April, Barrett began a similar correspondence with the woman - who is in her mid-40s but posed as an attractive 18-year-old, using her daughter's e-mail and Web page.

"It would appear to be some kind of jealousy on the part of Mr. Montgomery, because Brian Barrett was exchanging notes with the same individual," Howard said at a late-morning news conference.

Love triangles often spark killings. But neither man ever saw the woman face to face.

"What's unique is that this was all a fantasy," Howard said.

Following the killing, authorities were scrambling for a motive in the attack on Barrett, described as a hard-working young man, a full-time Buffalo State College student who worked part time at Dynabrade.

It didn't take long for detectives to field tips about Montgomery's possible involvement.
"He made comments in the workplace that raised anxiety and led people to believe that he had a propensity for violence," Sheriff's Chief Dennis M. Rankin said.

Investigators then learned about the two men's separate relationships with the West Virginia woman.

Detectives aren't sure how Barrett learned about the woman, but they suspect that Montgomery may have boasted at work about this attractive young woman he was wooing.

She wasn't the only member of the love triangle to misrepresent herself on the Internet. Montgomery, a former Marine, passed himself off as a young Marine who had served in Iraq.

Montgomery learned about Barrett's correspondence with the West Virginia woman through conversations with him and other employees.

Sheriff's officials spent two months investigating the case, flying to West Virginia to interview the woman and gaining access to all three people's personal computers.
The Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory analyzed all three computers, using advanced techniques to access information that most computer users wouldn't be able to find.

"This is a combination of 21st century forensics and old-time police work - finding evidence at the scene, canvassing the neighborhood and interviewing employees," Howard said. "And we had great cooperation from [Dynabrade], the woman and the public."

What a tragic waste.


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