The person who contacted me was almost frantic at first. Frantic but seemingly smart. Someone who’s done a lot a lot of digging, thinking and worrying.
A person I’ll call BN. BN maintains that a man in his twenties with strong roots in central North Carolina — a man who some information suggests may be living in the state now and circulates in our area — ought to be interviewed in connection with the Faith Hedgepeth case.
BN is a lay person with a theory. It would be easy to dismiss. It would also be reasonably easy to follow up on, too, if Chapel Hill police felt it worthwhile.
BN tracks this man, essentially.
BN is dogged. Deluged me with information.
BN answered any question asked.
So, I listened to the story of why BN believes this man might have murdered Faith. And: at least two other women. One of them in our area, in addition to Faith.
This man came onto BN’s radar when a young female relative — BN’s close family member — dated him. It did not go well. The man was quite frightening at times.
BN sent me the names and pictures of two other young women slain in recent years. Both cases are unsolved. One happened in the Triangle, another out of state where this man has lived and worked. BN also sent me a picture of BN’s family member.
When Faith’s photo is included side by side, there is no question the facial and hair similarities between the four women are striking. BN has that part right.
This kind of tip, this kind of outside “investigation,” this kind of pressure, is the kind Chapel Hill police have received on the Faith Hedgepeth case. The Durham County District Attorney’s Office is deeply involved, too.
I’ve listened to stories such as this throughout my a career as a crime writer. In a murder case, there’s only one real story in the end, though, so tips are either relevant or lead to nothing. It is so tough to know which ones get should attention and which should not.
I know the name and background of the man BN is focused on. His internet persona is at times disturbing. The man now indicates on social media that he is dating a young woman in a major Triangle city. In one photo, he wears a UNC cap.
The man’s ego is giant-sized. He clearly believes he is what women desire. He says he’s modeled. He may have a past link to the military. For now, I’ll leave it at that.
As I’ve said, the physical similarities between the three murder victims BN points to (one being Faith) caught my eye. Wait. They seized my attention, really. So I read the stories about the other two cases, including the one in the Triangle besides Faith’s. Some elements of the murders were similar, and some were not.
A depraved murderer is clearly capable...of murdering again. And of having murdered before.
These investigations start in small circles, expand outward as needed. After a year since Faith Hedgepeth died, how big is the circle? How big should the circle be?
The police keep asking for help, though. One piece, just one piece of information, may be crucial.
Someone always knows something.
BN has a theory. I’ve sketched it out in broad strokes. I see where BN is coming from. At least BN is trying.
There are some people who are not trying. Who are not stepping up. Why not?
Contact: Chapel Hill Police
Contact: Chapel Hill Police