The odd tale of 5 people killed in a San Francisco house

I saw this small news blurb on my regular news hunt at KTLA, last night.

Five people, believed to belong to a family, were found dead on Friday morning by another member of the family who entered the house. Initial reports were vague and detectives would only say that the public was not “at danger” leading to a presumption that the deaths involved a murder-suicide. The news article lists the exact address of the house. Being the Google Earth voyeur that I’ve become, I instantly opened it up and found the small quaint row house near Balboa Park and the 280. It is a deep orange colored dwelling with white framed windows and stooped on a long sloping hill of a street just a throw’s length from a BART track, and across the street from a college campus. The neighborhood looks typically San Francisco nice, bicycle friendly, and one-way, of course.

When the Google photo was taken, the house had flimsy curtains, hardly to be construed as “drapes.” Today I found a few news reports of the murders in Yahoo and AP. They have shed a bit more light on the murders, but not enough to quell the mysteriousness.

What’s known is that the victims are 5 Asian adults (3 women, 2 men) and that at least 2 appeared to have been shot to death. One of the victims was found in the front foyer. When the person who discovered the bodies ran to the back, she discoverd 2 more victims in the garage. After arriving, police discovered 2 more inside the house. Apparently the house is owned by a software engineer who failed to show up for work on Friday, but police have not released the identities of the victims.

I was intrigued by the following item in the AP story:

Yellow police tape sealed off the entire block, as investigators dressed in white hazmat suits walked in and out of the orange row house carrying plastic bags. Police would not say what was in the bags, and reporters were kept at a distance.

In addition, a police spokeswoman said the crime scene was so “tangled” that it was hard to “assess” what happened.

A neighbor told news reporters that she heard a man shouting or speaking very loudly on Thursday night, but she didn’t recall hearing gunshots.

I’m still trying to figure out what a “tangled” crime scene is. And why hazmat suits?The bodies had only been dead a few hours. Perhaps some of the murders involved poisoning? Or was there a substance in the house that gave authorities pause? And why were they carrying out items in plastic bags which they mysteriously declined to elaborate?

Interesting story, I wonder if we’ll hear more about it.