Former Police Chief: 'Derrick Todd Lee needed to die'
BATON ROUGE - Former Police Chief Pat Englade remembers the terror South Louisiana serial killer Derrick Todd Lee inflicted on this community. After learning of his death today, Englade said he hopes the victims' families will find some closure.
Englade was the Chief of the Baton Rouge Police Department when Lee panic struck the community as multiple women turned up murdered.
In 2003, a team of detectives realized they had matched DNA to Lee. Former Baton Rouge Police Chief Pat Englade remembers the 20-hour days he worked, trying to find the man who tormented this entire community.
"It was one of the most traumatic things that's ever happened to the city, and today we can say justice was done," Englade said.
Behind the scenes, the South Louisiana Serial Killer Task Force mobilized, hunting down every lead as women continued to be killed without the criminal being brought to justice.
"My biggest fear was if we don't catch him another victim is going to show up and that's a heavy burden to carry," Englade said.
Tracy McKneely knew Derrick Todd Lee her entire life. She says his charm is how he managed to trick so many women. Lee even had her fooled.
"A couple of weeks before they captured him in Atlanta, he saw me and my mom at a gas station," McKneely said.
She remembers that chance encounter, and just how polite Lee was. That charm was still there even after DNA linked him to the deaths of seven women, and he hadn't been caught yet. As people who knew him reflect on the pain he caused so many people, Englade is still haunted by the horrific way Lee treated his victims.
Derrick Todd Lee was 47-years-old at the time of his death today. His exact cause of death has not been released, and an autopsy is pending.