Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Scotland Yard's Baffling Case of the Playboy Killer

Detective Inspector Brent Hyatt

D.I. Brent Hyatt
D.I. Brent Hyatt

While Papalexis was living large in Florida, Detective Inspector Brent Hyatt of Scotland Yard had entered the case and was quietly building a case against the so-called developer. Known as a maverick investigator who fancied paisley ties, Hyatt had a mind of his own and sometimes marched to the beat of a different drummer. That is not to say that he did not follow the rule of law; he just liked to do things his own way. He said he had felt "compelled" to solve the case of Christodoulides' murder the moment he began working on it.

"The more baffling, the more interesting I tend to find it," Hyatt recalled. "But there was something else. So many murder victims are themselves caught up in crime these days, yet in this case the victim was a wholly innocent man who had been killed in his own home. That got to me. And the only one with both access to the property and a clear motive to kill him was Papalexis, a man whose wealth and connections should have taught him better."

Admitting that he had needed a lucky break to solve the case, Hyatt received it in May 2003 when Ylli Xhelo, 36, an Albanian builder, was arrested for possession of marijuana inside a London tube station in a routine bust. Xhelo was released soon after his arrest and disappeared, but his DNA had been obtained during the arrest. After processing, his DNA came back as a positive match to that obtained from cigarette butts found at the scene of Christodoulides' murder. Unfortunately, by the time the match was made police had no idea where Xhelo had gone. Nonetheless, Hyatt decided to keep the information low-key; there was no sense in letting others know that the cops were on to them.

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