Law enforcement officials remember the hunt for Derrick Todd Lee

Investigators react to death of Derrick Todd Lee

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The death of Derrick Todd Lee was welcomed news to many in the Baton Rouge area, especially those in law enforcement who spent several months tracking him down.

"It's one of the greatest days in a long time for me. He got what he deserved," said Col. Richie Johnson, an investigator with the West Baton Rouge District Attorney's Office.

For nearly two years, Lee left the Capital area paralyzed.

"It was just unbelievable, people did not want to be caught outside after dark," Johnson said. "He was probably unmatched in Louisiana I can tell you as far as serial killers, very skilled, very cunning."

There was no recognizable pattern to the location or timing of his attacks. They varied from parish to parish. Law enforcement agencies across the region had to work together more closely than ever before.

"The attacks that we actually charged him with were in all probability just the tip of the ice burg of what he really committed. He made everyone feel like they were a potential victim," said Col. Mike Barnett, who helped lead efforts by the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office.

"Black or white, rich or poor, he was just all over the board," Johnson said.

Johnson joined the hunt for Lee after the murder of Geralyn DeSoto. The 21-year-old LSU grad was beaten to death in her Addis home.

"It was not a typical crime scene," he said.

Investigators believe he gained access to her home by posing as an individual stranded with a broken down car, according to Johnson.

"We think she handed him the cordless phone and then he attacked her during that time frame. And she fought like hell, from the front of the house all the way to the back and in the back tried to hit him with a gun, the butt of gun, raked across the roof. It was just an all-out fight," he said.

Eventually Lee was tracked down in Atlanta, with DNA evidence connecting him to many of the crimes.

"He had no remorse what so ever. We did many interviews with him, he could care less," Johnson said.

"He has caused more pain than anyone would have a right to cause and while I hope he has got himself right with the Lord, I think in all probably he's probably trying to justify his actions to Lucifer about right now," Barnett said.

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