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The rest of the events in the house are also open to conjecture. But speculation is that Bates, who was in another room, may have gone to the phone, found it disabled and then picked up a two-foot-long piece of steel before entering the bedroom, ready to fight. The steel rod was something a construction worker would have access to, but investigators don't know why it was in the house. Bates's father, Richard Bates, can only guess that his son sensed trouble before that night. "Maybe he was concerned about this kid ahead of time," Richard Bates says.
Steven Bates never got to use the weapon. He was shot once as he stepped through the door. The bullet hit him in the left cheek, ripping out the top of his spinal cord before exiting through the right side of his neck. His body slumped down next to Turville's guitar.
Investigators say another scenario is possible: Lara and Bates may have been away getting pizza when Turville was shot. In that case, Lara wouldn't have known Turville was dead on the bed when he started working at the computer and wouldn't have known what was coming when Gallegos walked to a spot on the other side of the computer.
Gallegos also slit Lara's throat after he'd shot him twice, took a blood-soaked pillow from under Turville's head and put it on top of Lara's head. Investigators speculate that he may have been trying to conceal groans or gurgling sounds.
After killing all three young men, Gallegos ripped the phone out of the wall in the bedroom, grabbed the keys to Turville's Toyota 4-Runner, stepped over Bates's body in the doorway of the bedroom, put the knife in a drawer in the bathroom and left Bayfield for the last time.
The drive from Bayfield to Greeley runs nearly 400 miles over several high mountain passes. There are also two long, flat stretches going up the San Luis Valley and then across South Park. The 35 miles from Center to Saguache is as flat and straight as a yardstick, with nothing to distinguish one mile from the next. The adrenaline undoubtedly flowing through Joe Gallegos after he killed Turville, Bates and Lara eventually would have faded. Gallegos kept it going, however, by gobbling one pill after another from a stash in his coat pocket. The over-the-counter pills were an asthma medication with ephedrine as the main ingredient; they are popular with weightlifters trying to get "up" for a workout. Ephedrine is also a key ingredient in crank, police say. The other parts, such as ethyl alcohol, are easily available. Hocker says she thinks that Joe Gallegos did some crank on Saturday when he got back to Cortez and that he was in withdrawal from it when he became so violent in Bayfield two nights later.
Gallegos also kept himself awake listening to rap music. In the Toyota's tape deck was Season of Da Siccness, an album by Brotha Lynch Hung, an obscure, underground gangsta rapper. Gallegos reportedly had told some friends that his favorite song was "Locc 2 da brain." It was a far cry from the music Kris Bryant says Gallegos liked to listen to around the house. She recalls that his favorite tape was Your Holiness Surrounds Me, a collection of easy-listening songs with Christian lyrics. Jeb Bryant blames rap music for practically the entire incident, saying, "I talk about rap music as a disease on society."
Long after the Gallegos murders, when Josh Turville's family came to pick up the Toyota, Josh's father, Steve, turned the key in the ignition, and rap music blared at full blast. His wife, Mary, was standing nearby. "I thought it sounded like something out of the pit of Hell," she says.
As dawn broke Tuesday, Joe Gallegos drove over the foothills into the Front Range metropolis and headed north to Greeley. The only people who knew something might be wrong were turning cold in Bayfield.
Gallegos arrived in Greeley mid-morning and walked without incident to the fourth floor of McCowen Hall on the UNC campus. He knocked on Hocker's door, and when her roommate, Elizabeth Rieboldt, answered, he pushed his way in, she later told police. Heidi was gone; she was giving some privacy to Rieboldt and her boyfriend. Gallegos paced around the small room for a few moments and asked for a pop, saying he was thirsty. They gave him one, and he reached into his pocket and took more pills. The two scared students asked what they were. "They're my crazy pills," he replied. By the end of the day, he would take forty times the maximum recommended number of pills, according to a toxicology report.
When he left the room to look for Heidi, Rieboldt called her--she was in a friend's room--to tell her "Crazy Joe" was here and he looked like hell.
"I was like, 'Oh, no--why is he annoying me so much?'" Hocker recalls. She came back to her room and waited with her roommate and the boyfriend for Gallegos to return. She says she didn't feel threatened enough to call police or even alert campus security, because she was planning to just tell him to go away.