Less than 2 miles from our house in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (we live a stone's throw from the police station), a triple homicide occurred. Last month, Tom, Lisa, and Kevin Haines - dad, mom, and teen son - were stabbed in their Manheim Township home. The sole, unharmed survivor was a college-age daughter - Maggie - who went to get assistance but never saw the killer(s).
The slayings caught the attention of Anderson Cooper, Greta Van Susteren, and People magazine. The crime has also been dissected on the Internet, and the Capote book, In Cold Blood, pops up in the discussions.
Folks were stunned by the unexpected deaths, in part, because the family were non-flashy, middle Americans who lived in a safe, leafy neighborhood. Plus, nothing was removed from the Haines' home to indicate that it was a robbery gone awry; the family was in bed when they were attacked; and there was no forced entry.
Atlanta-based Steve Huff, who writes at CrimeBlog.Us, weighed in with a daring prediction. The killer, he declared, was a young, bright male who acted alone and was probably a friend.
Wrote Steve, " ... I wouldn't be surprised if he went to school with Kevin Haines ... this killer is someone who has been hiding in plain sight ... "
Bingo! This weekend, Alec Devon Kreider, a 16-year-old Manheim Township high school (g-school) student, was charged with criminal homicide in the stabbing deaths of the Haines family. He was a classmate and and close friend of Kevin's. Alec confessed that he initially intended to 'smother Kevin.'
The police remain mum about the motive, but Blogger Huff is already probing into the disturbed psyche of the school-aged killer who has been described by those who knew him as "quiet."