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Fmr. FBI expert on Alexandria murders | News

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Fmr. FBI expert on Alexandria murders
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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- Former FBI agent Gregg McCrary talked with our Surae Chinn via Skype. He says there are several things investigators are doing while 53-year-old Charles Severance is being held in a West Virginia jail.

He says the main focus is ruling him in or out as a suspect.

McCrary has extensive interrogation experience.

"He is a suspect whether they call him that or not that's why they're investigating him," McCrary says.

Charles Severance appeared before a judge in Wheeling, West Virginia, picked up by police there on a warrant, wanted by authorities in Loudoun County for a firearms violation.

He now sits in jail awaiting an extradition hearing on Monday. In the meantime, former FBI agent Gregg McCrary says the interrogation process should be underway unless Severance has a lawyer.

"To do a good interview you have to get a lot of background information which hopefully they've been developing over time. What they're going to go after is verifiable information. In other words where was he, at the time of the murders? Then you can begin to weave into those questions you already know the answer to, to those questions you'd like to know the answer to and see what you get. That will either eliminate or firm him up as a suspect," McCrary says.

Investigators will be interviewing family and friends and looking at physical evidence in the series of high profiled Alexandria murders that took three lives: Realtor Nancy Dunning in 2003, transportation planner Ron Kirby in November and music teacher Ruthann Lodato in February.

Her father was an Alexandria judge her brother a retired judge and according to the Washington Post, her brother may have presided over a gun possession case involving Severance in the 90's.

Other potential grudges against his victims? People remember him arguing with Ron Kirby about his plans for the Wilson Bridge.

And Nancy Dunning's husband was the sheriff, charged with serving warrants and court orders.

McCrary says there seems to good reasons the murders are connected.

"Certainly you have the geography being all in Alexandria. We have bullet fragments with similar class characteristics, the description of the offender is the same," McCrary says.

But he cautions, don't be too quick to conclude they have their suspect.

"You have to be careful not to fall in love with the suspect. Then you start to only look for confirmatory evidence. That's why you have to have a skillful, well balanced, even-handed investigation."

McCrary says investigators want to be thorough and at the same time if they can rule him out, do it as quickly as they can so they don't waste time finding the right suspect.


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