The man believed to be the one who killed Colorado's prisons chief fantasized in a letter to a friend about torturing and killing guards at the state correctional facility where he was incarcerated.
He signed it "Evil Evan Ebel."
Whether it was meant as a joke or something more sinister may never be known.
Ebel took the answer with him. He died after a shootout with authorities in northern Texas just days after, investigators say, he killed state Department of Corrections chief Tom Clements and Nathan Leon, a 22-year-old pizza deliveryman.
The letter has since become one more piece of a confusing and sometimes confounding case that unfolded after a clerical error led to Ebel's release from prison four years early.
Then, according to parole officials, it took Colorado authorities five days to discover that the parolee with ties to a white supremacist prison gang had disabled his ankle monitor and was on the loose.
The revelations have a raised a larger question: Could it all have been prevented? The answer is as confusing as the case.
Gunshot at the door
It began with the doorbell.
It was just after 8:30 p.m. on March 19 as a black Cadillac sat idling, empty, 200 yards from Clements' home in Monument, just north of Colorado Springs.
The prisons chief with a reputation for prison reforms and a crackdown on prison gangs -- including the 211 Crew, the white supremacist gang Ebel belonged to -- was home watching television with his wife, Lisa.
They weren't expecting anyone at that hour. But they had lived in the upscale community with its winding roads long enough to know that people unfamiliar with the area sometimes got lost, and sometimes rang the wrong doorbell.
Clements opened the door to find a gunman, who authorities believe may have been disguised as a pizza deliveryman.
The gunman said nothing. He just pulled the trigger, hitting the prisons chief in the chest, Clements' wife later told investigators.
She called 911, pleading for help to save her husband as he lay bleeding to death on the stairs of their home.
In the days that followed, investigators worked to develop leads, appealing to the public for help in the search for the killer.
Hundreds of miles away, in northern Texas, another part of the story was playing out, one that would link Ebel to the killings of Clements and Leon.
'A streak of cruelty'
By all accounts, Ebel came from a privileged upbringing. His father, Jack Ebel, an attorney and former oil executive, counts Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper among his friends.
"From the beginning, his son just seemed to have this bad streak, a streak of cruelty, and anger," Hickenlooper said on CNN's "State of the Union."
"They did everything they could. They tried. They worked with Evan again and again, but to no avail."
By the time most teens are in their first year of college or work after high school, Ebel was looking at hard time for armed robbery, menacing and a variety of other charges after putting a gun to the head of an acquaintance and demanding money.
Prison records show that almost from the moment Ebel began serving his eight-year sentence in 2005 at the age of 20, he proved to be a problem.
The documents paint a portrait of a volatile and, at times, dangerous inmate who threatened guards, fought with other inmates and disobeyed orders.
He was written up at least 28 times on disciplinary charges that resulted in additional days on his original sentence -- infractions that resulted in him serving more than five years in solitary confinement.
One of his more serious offenses occurred on September 17, 2005, when he threatened to kill a female guard, saying he would "kill her if he saw her on the streets and that he would make her beg for her life," according to the records.
Over a two-year period also beginning in 2005, he threatened to kill two other prison guards as well as an inmate.
In 2006, guards confiscated a letter Ebel wrote to a friend, another inmate at another prison, lamenting prison guards revoking his telephone privileges or turning off the water in the showers.
"I just fantasize about catching them out on the bricks and subjecting them to vicious torture and eventual murder, and that seems to get me through the days with a good degree of my sanity remaining intact," he wrote.
He signed it "Evil Evan Ebel Himself," adding an exclamation point with a swastika.
A year later, in late 2007, Ebel wiggled out of his restraints and punched a prison guard in the face, according to the records.
As part of a deal, he pleaded guilty in 2008 to assaulting a prison guard. The judge added four years to his sentence, which Ebel protested in open court.
"I just think four years is a little stiff, you know. By the time I get out, I'll be 33," he said, according to court transcripts.
But somewhere between the judge's verbal sentence and a court clerk entering it into a computer, the order that Ebel serve the four additional years at the end of his current term rather than concurrent with it got lost.
On January 28, at the age of 28, Ebel was released wearing an ankle monitor.
Every day, for 45 days, Ebel checked in with parole officers, one of a handful of conditions mandated by his release, said Timothy Hand, director of the state's Department of Corrections.
He also followed the other conditions. He got a job. He found a place to live. He didn't violate an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. He tested negative for drugs. He attended a drug treatment program.
Then, on March 14, something went wrong. The "tamper alert" on his ankle monitor went off, according to parole records. Initially, the ankle monitor was listed "for repair" and a message was left for Ebel to make arrangements to get it fixed.
He never called back.