If this all shakes out the way authorities say it will, the deaths of two local prosecutors, the panic that gripped a city and a massive manhunt that ensued may all stem from the theft of some computer monitors and a disgraced lawman who held a grudge the size of Texas.
The brazen shootings of a Kaufman County prosecutor in January and those of the local district attorney and his wife last month stunned the nation. An army of law enforcement officials converged on the area near Dallas.
Gov. Rick Perry vowed to find the killer and doubled a $100,000 reward that had already been offered.
But despite the feverish search, investigators had one big problem - a plethora of suspects. By the nature of their jobs, prosecutors make many enemies.
Detectives eyed an ever-growing lineup of potential suspects -- a local white supremacist gang, drug cartels. Leads that had them looking far away from the town where victims were gunned down.
But in the end, prosecutors say, the culprit was closer than they thought. Right under their nose.
In broad daylight
Those who worked with Mark Hasse thought the prosecutor was lucky to still be alive.
The hard-charging attorney, known for being a supreme story teller, had his own story to tell. He had once crashed a World War II-era plane -- an insane plummet that crushed his skull and left him without the sense of smell.
He survived, only to meet his demise January 31 on the county courthouse parking lot.
Someone confronted Hasse, investigators say, then shot him dead.
The killing, which occurred in broad daylight in the middle of town, sent law enforcement scrambling.
A local attorney said Hasse feared for his life and had recently began carrying a gun with him to work, daily. Detectives scoured Hasse's cases for possible culprits. Many emerged.
But still as the days moved on, no was arrested. No was named as the prime suspect.
District Attorney Mike McLelland vowed to find the "scum" who killed his "stellar" assistant.
Shot a dozen times
McLelland, a man known for not mincing words when it came to criminals, was angry. He aimed a steely stare at the reporter's cameras as if eying Hasse's killer.
"I hope that the people that did this are watching, because we're very confident that we're going to find you," McLelland said at a January news conference. "We're going to pull you out of whatever hole you're in, we're going to bring you back and let the people of Kaufman County prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law."
Two months later, the 63-year-old prosecutor was dead. His body was found in his Kaufman County home along with his wife's on March 30.
They both were riddled with bullets, investigators said, shot at least a dozen times.
At his funeral, McLelland's daughter told the many assembled to continue to fight like her father had.
"He was quite eloquent in saying that he didn't give a sh-t if people were scaring him, and he wasn't frightened, and he was going to stand his ground," Christina Foreman said.
But fear seemed to be creeping in.
An interim district attorney was picked to lead the shaken area until the governor could select a new top prosecutor.
"I wonder if the governor is going to find anyone brave enough to take the job of district attorney," Kaufman city Mayor William Fortner said at the time.