Sergeant Marshall Slot, the lead investigator on the case, tells Lisa that while the community in Sugar Land was convinced a crazed murderer was on the loose, police began their investigation by interviewing Bart and Kent.
"We did the walk-through interviews with Kent and Bart. We did them separately so that neither one of them could taint the other's walk-through. When I spoke with Kent, Kent was very exact. Kent was very expressive in talking about the shots," Sergeant Slot says. "Bart was very guarded in his words. He wouldn't commit to anything."
Police learned that while the Whitaker family was murdered coming home from a dinner celebrating Bart's graduation from Sam Houston State, he actually was on academic probation at the school. In fact, Bart only had enough credits to qualify as a freshman.
Investigators also learned that police had been dispatched to the Whitaker house two years earlier. After an informant's tip, they warned Tricia and Kent that Bart was overheard plotting to have his family killed. "Kent and Tricia allegedly confronted Bart, and he said that it was part of a drunken joke. And they believed him," Lisa says. "Tricia apparently told a friend that she was concerned about it, but she just couldn't believe that it could be true."