People quickly assume most homicides are Coworkerm when in reality, most homicides are committed not by a stranger.

Part of the misconceptions takes roots from a 1990s FBI report suggesting that in half of all the murder cases, the victims had no relationship with the killers.

The report was only partly true; even if the victims and killers never knew each other, they most likely had some relationship through mutual friends, coworkers, or acquaintances.

If a victim was community as the killer, despite not knowing each other, it should have been considered a form of the relationship too. Randomness implied the impossibility of protecting yourself. 

This is why the story of random killing in the Lululemon Murder case on March 11, 2011, seemed believable during the early phase of the investigation.

Jayna Murray, a manager at the Lululemon Athletica store in Maryland, was brutally stabbed 331 times.

Based on the testimony of a coworker, it was a random homicide. As the coworkers came along, the police realized the story was false. The true killer was no stranger at all.

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10 /10 One Dead, Another Tied Up

The mystery began when on Saturday morning, other employees of Lululemon arrived to find the store in disarray and their two coworkers covered in blood.

Norwood tied-coworkers were lifeless. Norwood told the police she and Murray went back to the store after it had closed Friday night to pick up an item.

Two masked men followed the women into the store and began the assault. Almost immediately, the authorities launched a search and asked local stores to provide data on the sales of the ski mask.

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9 /10 Victim Turned Witness Turned Suspect

Further investigation revealed some inconsistent statements from Norwood. The police realized that her story didn’t add up a week after the incident.

For example, the police found that the only bloody footprints at the crime scene were Norwood’s; the superior other bloody prints were identical to the shoes found at the location.

Her bruises didn’t appear to result from a brutal attack, and the way she was tied up seemed to be self-inflicted. On March 18, Norwood was arrested on suspicion of murder.

8 /10 Habit Of Stealing

The police were suspicious of Norwood’s account almost immediately after questioning. However, they needed to examine the evidence collected from the scene and the statements of other witnesses before they could form a plausible theory.

A deeper look into Norwood’s history revealed a history of thievery, and she had a habit of stealing small items from her high school teammates and coworkers.

Managers at Lululemon were aware of her stealing practice too. However, they could not simply fire someone unless they had an airtight case with hard evidence.

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7 /10 Caught In The Act

On the night Murray died, she was not even supposed to be working, and she was there to cover a shift for her fellow store manager.

Earlier in the day, Norwood was trying to steal a pair of yoga pants from the store, but Murray found the stolen pants in Norwood’s bag.

The manager told everyone of the case, but she had to pay the ultimate prize. Norwood killed Murray in one of the most brutal murders, giving the victim more than 330 wounds from five weapons.


6 /10 Minor Wounds

Unlike what happened to Murray, all injuries in Norwood’s body were mild. After killing Murray, the killer gave herself some minor wounds and tied her own feet and hands. Norwood lay down next to Murray’s corpse until the next day.

The killer had a small cut on the pants and refused to speak to the officers who first arrived at the crime scene.

She never even opened her eyes until Police Officer Christin Knuth touched her arm. Norwood did appear convincingly traumatized.

5 /10 Deception Failed

Norwood made up a story about an assault by two masked men and that she and Murray were both victims. Intruders broke into the store and brutally killed Murray but left Norwood alive for some reason.

At least for a short while, the deception worked. The fake story had every element the public wanted to hear: intruders in masks, physical assaults, female victims, and a mystery for the police to solve.

The deliberate investigative method by the police eventually broke down the lies and found that Norwood was the actual suspect.

4 /10 Random Killing Is Rare

The majority of homicide cases are not random, in which the killer and victim are strangers to each other, based on statistics by the Bureau of Justice.

According to Richard Rosenfeld, a professor of criminology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, even if the killer and victim don’t know each other well, they have mutual acquaintances and friends.

That said, the media and public often treat non-random homicide – in which the killer is the spouse, relative, friend, and acquaintance – as if it is something that has never happened before.

3 /10 Randomness Is Politically Good

Part of the problem is how politicians used the idea of randomness to give everyone a stake in the case.

Both conservatives and liberals like to play up the randomness because it provides a chance to explore the issues of class, victimization, wealth distribution, and often race.

There are plenty of talking points the left and right can use in a case of “random murder” to improve their chances of gaining voters’ approval. Everybody wins except the victims of the murders.

2 /10 Predictive Policing

Some law enforcement agencies and departments have developed a method known as “predictive policing” based on the idea that homicide is not random.

The police use previous records to determine the likelihood of homicide as if they are making weather predictions.

For example, the chance of a homicide happening is higher when two men with extensive criminal records are in the same place at the same time.

The list goes down from there to random killing at the bottom. It is all based on assumptions and the latest homicide statistics.

1 /10 Tried And Convicted

Norwood was brought to trial for the murder of Jayna Murray. After a six-day proceeding, Brittany Norwood was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life with no possibility of parole.

Judge Robert Greenberg, who delivered the sentence, said that Norwood had plenty of opportunities to stop inflicting wounds to Murray but chose to continue stabbing more than 330 times.

The judge called her “one hell of a liar.” Brittany Norwood is now serving his life imprisonment at the Maryland Correctional Institute for Women.

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