Afterward, Mary put together her daughter's last hours based on the bits and pieces of information she got from the police. On Wednesday night, March 5, Britney and Crystal stopped and picked up a pizza for dinner. When they got home, Larry was in the kitchen eating a bologna sandwich, Annie Lee's caregiver told the investigators. Larry made a comment about how it wasn't right that he was having to eat bologna while they had pizza. Britney told Larry he could have pizza, too, if he'd go out and earn some money. It was a tense moment, and the caregiver told the police that she grabbed her things and left.
Larry had been released from prison in October 2013 after serving time for failing to register as a sex offender. When he arrived at Annie Lee's house, he found things had changed at the 1,200-square-foot green and white residence in Sunnyside. Britney and Crystal were taking care of Annie Lee, and they shared the back bedroom in the house and used the tiny middle bedroom as a storage closet. Annie Lee had the front room, and Larry was relegated to sleeping on the couch in the living room, a converted garage.
The room was narrow, dark and covered in forest-green carpet. A curtain hung across the doorway to give Larry some privacy. Larry told Britney's mother, Loranda McDonald, that he didn't like the fact that his daughter was gay, Loranda told the media after he'd been arrested. There was also the car. They'd had the vehicle for less than a week when Larry asked to borrow it. Britney refused, Cook says. "These are the things we know. He had resentment. They had a better life. They were being treated differently at that house. He didn't agree with their lifestyle, but neither did the Jacksons. Were they killed for being gay? Who knows? He's the only one who knows and he's not talking."
On Thursday morning, Britney took Zaniah out to the car just before 8 a.m. Zaniah was going on a school field trip to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Authorities aren't clear about exactly what happened next. Britney and Zaniah were about to leave when Britney turned around and went back into the house. That was the last time Zaniah saw her. After sitting in the car for a while, Zaniah got out and went back inside.
That night, video footage captured the Kia Sorento on the Bolivar ferry at 9:18, according to the criminal complaint. Fisherman's Cove is located about a mile from the ferry dock. One of the headlights on the SUV was burned out, and a ferryman stopped and told the man driving the SUV about the burned-out bulb and the two worked to fix it during the crossing, Cook says. At about 10 p.m., Larry made a call from his cell phone and the call pinged a cell tower in nearby Dickinson, Cook says.
Alerted by a friend, Ebony rushed to the house the night the bodies were discovered. Larry was sitting out front. She asked him what had happened, and he told her that Crystal had been killed by a gunshot and Britney was beaten to death. "Then he talked to the police and tried to act surprised, like he didn't know how they died," Ebony says now. The lie made her suspicious, and the way he was acting just seemed off. "His whole demeanor, his body language, it was like a dog died, not his own daughter," she says. "We were shocked by all of this, and he was eating in the kitchen and drinking a beer."
Larry attended the candlelight vigil for his daughter the Wednesday after Britney's and Crystal's bodies were found in Bolivar. He's a huge man, 6'5" and about 250 pounds. He towered over the crowd, but looked drawn and hollowed-out in the video. His face is almost an exact replica of Britney's, only with a stronger chin and some sharp lines of age. He stood in the center of the group clutching a bouquet of blue and white balloons. With Loranda at his side, he said a few words and released the balloons. He didn't look anyone in the eye throughout the vigil, but he watched the cluster of balloons until they disappeared into the dusk. Meanwhile, investigators were searching Annie Lee's house. After the vigil, Larry and his mother, Patricia Nixon, were leaving the parking lot when investigators pulled Larry aside and asked him to come to Galveston to answer some questions.
When they first arrived at the house to conduct initial interviews with the Cosby family, investigators noticed that the window shutters matched the one they'd found in Bolivar. They also saw that one of the front-window shutters was missing, according to the criminal complaint. Then an investigator found blood on the door frame and a smear on the sidewalk that had been shoddily covered with bricks. That was enough to get a search warrant.
The recently cleaned driveway lit up like a Christmas tree when investigators brought in the Luminol. Larry's room was covered with his daughter's blood, Cook says. "The carpet was terrible. It was severely bloodstained, and he had throw rugs placed conspicuously over those spots," Cook says.
Britney's wallet was found in a field near the house, and a fingerprint taken from the Bolivar scene matched Larry's left thumbprint, according to the criminal complaint. He claimed the shutter had been removed from the house before he came home from prison. He couldn't explain how the fingerprint had gotten there. The detectives took Larry to Galveston and attempted to interview him. He didn't cooperate or talk, and they couldn't get any response out of him, Cook says.
Within hours, he was charged with tampering with evidence for moving the bodies. The charges may be upgraded to murder if law enforcement can conclusively identify the murder weapons from the collected evidence being reviewed by the FBI, Cook says. "There's lots of little pieces. There's no doubt in our mind that he killed them, but we can't exactly prove it," Cook says. "Right now we believe there's enough circumstantial evidence to charge him with murder, but we're not the ones who have to prosecute it or prove it. That's the district attorney's job."
Ebony McDade, Larry's sister, posted videos on YouTube shortly after he was arrested and charged with moving the bodies. She had no doubt that he did it, she said. "My brother had a history of things and we knew he was never a straight-line path, but I never thought he would do this," she says in the video.