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New Book Details Reaction From Apple Store Employees During Lululemon Murder

By Aaron Kraut

Tuesday - 11/5/2013, 12:55pm  ET

Flickr photo by ehpien

One of the many attention-grabbing aspects of the 2011 Lululemon murder were the Apple store employees next door who heard the attack happen but didn’t figure that a murder was happening.

Washington Post crime reporter Dan Morse is promoting his book on the March 2011 murder of Jayna Murray by co-worker Brittany Norwood. “The Yoga Store Murder: The Shocking True Account of the Lululemon Athletica Killing” will be published Nov. 5.

The Post today published an excerpt of the book with details on what exactly the Apple store employees heard and thought that night:

The sounds reached Jana Svrzo as she walked across the sales floor of the Apple Store, now closed for the night. Jana was 29 years old and wore funky black sneakers and a ready smile — an easy fit among Apple’s hip, young sales army. It was just after 10 p.m. on Friday, March 11, 2011, in downtown Bethesda, and Jana, the store’s manager, had about an hour’s worth of record-keeping ahead of her, following the opening day sales for Apple’s hot new product, the iPad 2.

Now, though, she looked to her right and listened. The sounds were high-pitched yelps and squeals, and low-pitched grunts, thuds, a dragging noise, as if something heavy was being moved. Jana thought they might be coming from a room near the back exit or a room upstairs, where technicians were still on duty. She asked a security guard to help her search.

Jana and the guard split up, meeting two minutes later upstairs, where they spoke to another young manager, Ricardo Rios.

“Screaming,” the guard said. “It sounded like some lady was screaming.”

They checked out the technicians’ room. All clear. They walked downstairs to the sales floor and heard more yelling. “It’s coming from next door,” Jana said — from Lululemon Athletica, the luxury yoga store with which Apple shared a wall.

She and Ricardo walked closer to the wall. Jana now could hear someone saying: “Talk to me. Don’t do this. Talk to me. What’s going on?”

Then she heard what sounded like a different voice, maybe the one that had just been screaming. Now it was quieter: “God help me. Please help me.”

“Maybe I should just call the cops,” Jana said.

“That’s up to you,” Ricardo answered. He told Jana it sounded as if one person had just heard tragic news and the other was trying to get her to talk about it. “I think it’s just drama.”

Ricardo went back upstairs. It was 10:19 p.m., eight minutes after Jana had first heard the noises.

Wilbert Hawkins, a second security guard, had been observing the commotion. The crashing sounds, he figured, could have been a merchandise display falling over, the yelling some kind of horsing around. He and Jana and Ricardo came to the same view: This was Bethesda; surely the noises were something explainable.

[Washington Post]

Flickr photo by ehpien