Fired up and loaded with ammunition, 35-year-old Juan David Ortiz, a former US Navy Marine Corps trauma specialist, regular churchgoer, and husband with two young children, picked up 35-year-old Guiselda Cantu from San Bernardo Avenue, Laredo’s red-light strip, drove her to an underpass half an hour away, and told her to get out of the truck.

Then he smashed her over the head with a tyre iron and shot her twice in the neck.

Still manic, as if trying to beat some diabolical deadline, he jumped in the truck and drove straight back to San Bernardo Avenue where he ensnared Janelle Ortiz (no relation), a 28-year-old transsexual.

Fifteen miles out of town, he ordered her out of the vehicle and shot her twice in the back of the head.

Having killed two more women in less than two hours, it seemed as if he was determined to murder as many as he could before he was found.

The agenda was deadly. But even as police searched for him, he was back in town circling San Bernardo and its neighbouring Augusta Avenue…