BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The serial killings haunted not only families in Baton Rouge, but the hundreds of police officers who spent countless hours trying to hunt down the cold-blooded killer.
"It's probably one of the biggest cases ever in my career," said Zachary Police Chief David McDavid.
He says he remembers every detail of the Derrick Todd Lee case. He was a detective in 1992 when he had his first run-in with Lee for a burglary, something Lee served two years for.
In 1998, Randi Mebruer was killed, and over time, Derrick Todd Lee was linked to her death through DNA.
McDavid also suspects Lee in another local death - Connie Warner - who went missing in 1992.
"No doubt," said McDavid. "No doubt in my mind."
"Connie Warner's house was right there," said the veteran police chief. "That was in 92' when she turned up missing. Randi Mebruer was 98'. In 97', an officer stopped Lee in between these two streets. He had a knife on him and some gloves."
In 98', McDavid, along with other officers, went to Lee's home to question him. He remembers Lee welcoming them into his home.
"I went in an area of his bedroom to search, and evidently he walked away from the other officers. My hair stood up on the back of my neck and it scared me. I turned around and realized he was standing right there on top of me. It bothered me.
As more cases of missing women started popping up, area police formed a task force.
Their goal? To find the man who spread so much fear across South Louisiana.
For McDavid, one particular case pulled it all together.
"When St. Martin Parish put their photo sketch of the person that attacked the lady in St. Martin parish, and her son had come home and scared him away, I knew then that was Derrick Todd Lee because our photo and that photo was almost a complete match," said McDavid. "I knew then, he was our serial killer."
Chief McDavid remembers his own personal fear for the women he knew.
He remembers so many ladies buying guns, Tasers, pepper spray and taking self-defense classes. A simple knock on the door put fear in people.
"How can a human being do this to so many people and not have a conscious whatsoever?"
Although he says he's relieved for the victims' families, he does have one regret about Lee dying.
"My whole sad part about this, is that he has passed and we didn't get a confession from him from the murder of Connie Turner, and we were unable to find the body of Randi Mebruer."
He added that the real story is NOT Derrick Todd Lee, but the victims he left behind.