NEW YORK (CBS) In a town known for its long association with Naval Aviation Pensacola has been rocked to its core by a double homicide of a popular and seemingly almost Saintly couple whose stated life mission was to adopt and provide a home for severely disabled children.
The murders of Melanie and Byrd Billings have caused the national media to descend upon Pensacola in a media feeding frenzy. Eight suspects have been arrested in connection with the execution style murder of the Billings.
The planning and the actual execution of the Billings was captured on a sophisticated professionally installed video surveillance system that was installed in their North Florida mansion. The Sheriff's department has called the homicide "a military style assault" that was very professional.
However after being here for three days and interviewing dozens of people it appears that this homicide was anything but professional. Unless you are executing a drug cartel kingpin you don't require seven people some with significant criminal backgrounds to commit a homicide. You don't do it in broad daylight and you don't drive your own vehicles to the homicide so that the police can find you about thirty minutes after the shootings.
The suspects in this case did everything but call the police prior to the murder and give them a heads up. Close attention is now being paid to the extravagant lifestyle of the Billings and how they maintained and financed that lifestyle.
This story is far from being over...
PREVIOUSLY ON CRIMESIDER
July 16, 2009 - Mystery Deepens Around Execution of Couple Who Raised 16 Kids
July 15, 2009 - Men Trained for Month in Wealthy Couple's Slaying, Sheriff to CBS
July 14, 2009 - Faces of Evil? 7 in Custody in Slaying of Wealthy Fla. Couple
July 14, 2009 - Fla. Couple Killed: What Horrors Did Children Witness?
July 13, 2009 - Parents to 16 Slain for Nothing
July 10, 2009 - Parents of Sixteen Slain
Paul Ciolino is a special consultant to 48 Hours and owner of a internationally-recognized full service investigation firm. Ciolino specializes in complex criminal defense and fraud investigations. Ciolino's participation in wrongful conviction investigations has helped free five men from death row in Illinois.