For the two years after he was fired from the WDBJ news network, the killer of journalists Alice Parker and Adam Ward lingered in Roanoke, living a disturbed existence in a dank and squalid home just a few hundred yards from the company's headquarters.
When police raided the apartment of Vester Flanagan, they found cat faeces on the kitchen floor, sex toys and posters of male pin-ups.
Neighbours described Flanagan, who had claimed he was discriminated against by his employers for being black and gay, as being erratically aggressive towards men.
"He was really nice to the girls," said one source. "But he had a problem with the male neighbours. He would just throw cat ---- into their balconies."
Fearing the front door might be booby-trapped, police wore bomb disposal vests and used a long ladder to reach the third floor apartment from the balcony when they raided the home in the hours after Flanagan murdered his colleagues live on television.
Instead, they found a sparsely furnished apartment, with beige carpets and greying walls, that had been left in squalor.
A towel had been left on the kitchen floor, mopping up a pool of cat's urine.
The bathroom sink was covered in more than a dozen scented candles, which neighbours said Flanagan had used to light his apartment.
The door of his fridge is covered in photographs showing Flanagan on television during his time as a reporter at the WDBJ news network: an apparent shrine to a bygone era of which he could not let go.
It is in this environment that Flanagan plotted his revenge on WDBJ news. Photographs from inside the apartment show the computer, mounted on a stand in the corner of the living room, on which Flanagan is believed to have written the crazed and rambling suicide note he sent to ABC news.
Sitting on a beige plastic garden chair, Flanagan typed out long drafts accusing Parker and Ward of racism. He praised mass killers, including the perpetrator of the Virginia Tech university shooting, the single deadliest attack by a lone shooter in America in which 32 people were killed.
In the days before the murder, he disposed of "personal documents" and other effects in bins in the surrounding area, a source with knowledge of the investigation told The Daily Telegraph.
Flanagan's two cats also disappeared. In his suicide note to ABC, he said he had killed them in a nearby forest.
In the time since Flanagan had left the television station, both Parker and Ward had become engaged to colleagues at the network. With both soon due to leave for their new lives, Flanagan on Wednesday loaded his Glock 19 gun and left his home to perpetrate the murder he had seemingly waited two years to commit.