As I Said
To Quote myself: “The brain has a nasty habit of blocking things people don’t want to remember and adding things to make a ‘better’ story.”
Melissa at Shakesville notes that we now know the first woman killed was not the shooter’s girlfriend. The victim’s roommate and best friend didn’t know the shooter and had never seen him. The media and probably law enforcement assumed that this was a boyfriend/girlfriend problem because that’s the most familiar story.
So the “Asian male with a maroon hat” would have been all the police would have had to work with even if the initial victims hadn’t died.
It’s unfortunate that we don’t have better tools available to spot dangerous mental health problems earlier, but we don’t.
From start to finish this is one of the 5% of cases where the victims didn’t know their murderer.
Update: Via All Hat and No Cattle – the initial police effort was focused on locating and questioning the victim’s actual boyfriend, Karl D. Thornhill because of the reasonable assumption that this was one of the 19 out of 20 cases of murder, rather than the exception.