Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Derrick Todd Lee

Stunning Confirmation

The Zachary detectives and Attorney General investigators waited.  The crime lab was backed up.  The serial killer task force had priority.

Meanwhile, cops in St. Martin Parish released a sketch of a black man they said had broken into a woman's house and tried to rape her.  The attacker ran off when the woman's son came home and surprised him.

Detective David McDavid saw the sketch in the newspaper.  He thought it looked a lot like Derrick Todd Lee.

The Zachary cops asked the crime lab to hurry up.

On Sunday May 25, the results came back.  Derrick Todd Lee was the Baton Rouge serial killer. 

The scientific confirmation of what they'd long suspected still stunned the investigators in Zachary. 

Detective Ray Day was at a Harley Davidson rally in Mississippi when he got the news.  "It was overwhelming," he says.

David McDavid was cutting his grass when he got the call.  He jumped in his car and raced to the task force office in Baton Rouge.  Now that the task force investigators knew Lee was the serial killer, they had to find him and arrest him.  McDavid wanted to help.

There were already 50 people at the task force office when McDavid walked in.  Ten months earlier, they had told him to go home.  Now they were shaking his hand and thanking the Zachary cops and Attorney General investigators for cracking the case.  One of the agency heads — McDavid can't remember which one — said to him, "We just want to congratulate you on solving the serial killer case."

Lee arrest photo
Lee arrest photo

Derrick Todd Lee bolted.  First to Chicago, then to Atlanta.  U.S. marshals caught up with him there. 

Copyright Chuck Hustmyre

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