Matt clenched his jaws and narrowed his brow.
What struck him as he read the article a second time wasn’t the fact that Dylann Roof was an obvious racist. He was a racist and would be indicted for hate crimes on top of the nine murders. But what stood out for Matt was the role he seemed to share with Adam Lanza as a mass killer. The fact that they were almost the same age. The fact that they both lived troubled lives. The fact that they didn’t just kill people, they slaughtered them. And then the final blow. The fact that when he downloaded their photographs and examined them side by side, they could have been brothers.
The presence Roof seemed to share with Lanza was difficult to pin down. It was somewhere in the photographs. Somewhere between the lines. Not the shapes of their faces, but their blank expressions. Their attitude. They came from a similar place. A dark corner. Matt could see the hate showing on their faces, the hopelessness and rage. But nowhere was the physical match more telling than in their eyes.
Matt took a sip of coffee and pulled his laptop closer.
Their eyes, he thought. That’s where it was coming from. Both of them had the eyes of a predator—ultra-intense, completely riveting, and over-the-top psychotic. It was almost as if their eyes were no longer a window to their minds and emotions. It was almost as if the line had been snapped and their souls died off and vanished.
It seemed so unbelievable, so unfathomable, even outlandish, that no one looked at these two kids and didn’t know in an instant that something was incredibly wrong with both of them.
Dead eyes and the psychopathic stare. Both Roof and Lanza were a long way past being odd. Why didn’t anyone see it? Why did anyone have to die before they did see it?
Matt bookmarked the pages and saved the photographs. As he packed up his laptop, he wondered if the man he was looking for, the man who killed the Strattons and the Holloways, might not possess this same look. These same eyes. He wondered if the killer would show up at the funeral, and if he might not seem familiar enough to stand out.
– Robert Ellis, The Love Killings
ROBERT ELLIS WRITERS BLOG