SPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers for the latest The First 48 episode.
“Along Came A Killer” saw Gwinnett County police (not the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office as previously seen on the show) respond to a suburban home where three people were found dead and a child was potentially missing. Their search for the suspect included the use of air support, K-9 units and tracking the suspect’s Uber history—with all of it pointing the detectives toward a surprising motive for the murders.
001. Be careful who your roommates are
This episode opened in a slightly different way for The First 48. Viewers saw the mother of one of the victims talk about how her son Bob was always trying to help people. Bob had no idea that the roommate he’d moved in was a drug dealer, and that person in turn had drama that got both of them and a third person killed. It’s sad to think in such cynical terms but “Along Came A Killer” was a strong reminder that people need to be cautious with who they help, especially if you’re going to bring that person into your home.
This isn’t even the first episode of this show with a similar premise, and ironically, some of them aired on Thursday night. “Bleeding Heart,” in which a Tulsa man was murdered by the homeless couple he’d taken in, repeated just before new episodes and “Down a Dark Hallway,” where another Tulsa gentleman was killed by a tree-trimmer who’d decided to go back and break into his house, re-ran after the new installments.
002. Phone death notifications are terrible
Making a death notification is always a gut-wrenching duty for any police officer. Most prefer to make the notification in person because of the gravity of the situation. However, The First 48 has shown several times where it’s not possible, either because loved ones are out of state or they’ve somehow found out about the murder before the police could notify them.
“Along Came A Killer” showed us two death notifications done over the phone and both of them were just awkward and painful. The first one involved Corporal Doug Loomis having to tell one victim’s fiancee, who had left the house just days earlier over his involvement in drug trafficking. That conversation was stunted as if he was struggling to figure out how to break the news. Then later on another victim’s family reached out to police after hearing from a friend, and Loomis had to tell them that their loved one was dead, too.
There will never be a perfect or less than agonizing way to inform someone they’ve lost somebody that they care about, but this First 48 hour illustrated why phone calls are less than ideal.
003. Uber drivers will not ignore your murder
Many The First 48 viewers commented on the suspect’s decision to take an Uber to the crime scene and take another Uber to flee after the murders. It was easy for Gwinnett County to track down the records, which allowed them to definitively get a name for the suspect, interview the driver who had dropped him off to get a positive ID, and get the address where the suspect had gone to after the shootings. It essentially served up a bunch of evidence on a plate.
This was a series of dumb decisions by the suspect, but also credit to the Uber driver who not only was able to identify the suspect in a lineup, but also gave incredibly detailed testimony. It’s rare to get a witness who’s able to remember that much. We need more people like that guy in the world.
The First 48 airs Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on A&E. For more true crime stories, visit Crime-TV.com.
Article content is (c)2020-2021 Brittany Frederick and may not be excerpted or reproduced without express written permission by the author. Follow me on Twitter at @BFTVTwtr, on Instagram at @BFTVGram.