Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Thomas Montgomery: Bizarre Love Triangle

Bizarre Love Triangle

Map of New York State with Buffalo locator
Map of New York State with Buffalo locator

On Friday, September 15, 2006, just outside Buffalo, N.Y., Brian Barrett's shift at the Dynabrade power tool plant ended at 10 p.m. He climbed into his truck to head home, but before he could slip his key into the ignition, someone shot him at close range with a .30-caliber rifle. Three bullets passed through his driver's side window, hitting him in the arm and neck.

He died almost instantly, but it would be two days before a coworker would notice his body still in the truck in the parking lot on Monday morning.

Erie County Sheriff's deputies dispatched to the scene at 8989 Sheridan Drive in the Buffalo suburb of Clarence talked to locals. They reported hearing gunshots and seeing a man wearing camouflage and a ski mask. Near Barrett's truck officers found a peach pit and a leather cartridge case covered with what was later determined to be dog hair.

Once the investigators talked to a few coworkers at the factory where Barrett had been working part-time for the last four years, the outline of a likely scenario quickly came into focus. The 22-year-old seemed to have become the victim of a bizarre love triangle: He was likely killed by a man pretending to be someone he was not, obsessed with a woman pretending to be someone she was not.

And almost all of it, until the bloody final act, had happened online.

 

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