Happy New Year from Murder Friends! In this special, we chat about new years memories, resolutions, yoga shop murders and sneaking around naked in a president mask.
11 March 2011, colleagues Jayna Murray and Brittany Norwood close up the Lululemon store in Bethesda, Maryland which has a fairly affluent area with a parade of high end shops. Lululemon is a higher end sportwear brand and are well known for selling expensive yoga pants and cashmere sweaters. It was founded in Vancouver in 1998 and headed by Chip Wilson. There have been a number of controversies surrounding the brand and its founder such as false advertising, quality of the products, some legal disputes involving design patents and intellectual property and some comments made by Chip Wilson. He’s said things like “some women’s bodies are unsuitable for the brand”, refusing to make plus size items and mocking people for their accents etc. There have also been reports of cult-like attitudes within store – where everyone is expected to live and breathe the store values
The next morning, when a staff member enters the store to open up, she finds everything in disarray and strange noises coming from the back. She exits and asks someone else to enter. That person finds the brutalised body of thirty year old Jayna Murray. He then finds Brittany Norwood, bloody and beaten, tied up in a bathroom and unresponsive.
Police find blood everywhere including on a buddha statue near Jayna’s body and bloody footprints – from a mens size 14 pair of shoes. The police start a manhunt.
Brittany is able to give an an account of the attack. After closing, she reports that she arranged with Jayna to meet with her back at the store as she had left her wallet inside. As they re-entered, they were attacked and sexually assaulted by two masked men who then tied her up and left. Police start a man hunt for the assailants and commence their investigations.
During the police investigation, a report came from the Apple store next door that staff overheard two women arguing, then screaming and then one pleading. Including a woman shouting “oh please god no”. Despite this, they didn’t call the authorities.
This ignites suspicions and Brittany’s story that night becomes slowly unravelled. Evidence started pointing towards her, rather than then two men she described.
Brittany had alleged that both of the women had been sexually assaulted although no evidence of this was found after physical examinations. Brittany’s DNA is found in Jayna’s car but Brittany claimed never to had been in her car. Although later she changed her story. It was argued that Brittany’s injuries were self-inflicted, as they were on the opposite side of her dominant side. Also, that they were relatively superficial compared to Jayna’s and there were far less of them. Further, that she could have tied herself up in the position she was found. That bloody men’s size 14 footprint mentioned earlier? Faked by Brittany. She grabbed a shoe from the shelf, popped it on, and walked around the store.
Brittany is arrested the same day of Jayna’s memorial service and charged with first degree murder.
The severity of the attack, with Jayna receiving 331 injuries, and the possibility that numerous weapons were used to inflict them, led Brittany to land herself with a life sentence with no possibility of parole, seven months later. She tried to appeal but it was unsuccessful.
But what was the motive for all of this? Police say Jayna had discovered that Brittany had been stealing items and had confronted her. Brittany then lured her back to the store, attacked her, staged a crime scene, self-inflicted wounds on herself and then tied herself up.
The Yoga Store Murder – youtube video
Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lululemon_murder
patch.com – https://patch.com/maryland/bethesda-chevychase/timeline-the-lululemon-murder-investigation-and-trial
Murderpedia – https://murderpedia.org/female.N/n/norwood-brittany.htm.
AL.com – https://www.al.com/news/birmingham/2016/01/naked_peeping_tom_wearing_rona.html
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