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Old 07-06-2009, 12:28 AM
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Janice Foster spent the holiday weekend locked and loaded. Weapons lay within easy reach throughout her house.

No one in Gaffney, South Carolina is taking chances. A serial killer's on the loose.

"It's definitely very very scary," Foster told CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann.

"It's in the back of your mind," said Alan Foster. "No matter where you go, people are talking about it."

Talking about being "terrified."

In one week, five murders here.

Last Saturday, Kline Cash, a peach farmer, was shot in his home.

Last Wednesday, 83-year-old Hazel Linger and her daughter were gunned down together at home - and remembered together at today's joint funeral service.

On Thursday, Stephen Tyler and his 15-year-old daughter Abby were killed as they closed the family appliance store, less than a half mile from the sheriff's office.

Investigators say all the victims were bound and shot. A sketch provides their best glimpse of someone most people here expect to kill again.

"We have many leads coming in, still coming in," said Gaffney Police Chief Richard Turner. "We do want those to continue; anyone that feels they have any information, how slight it might be, please make those calls, get in touch with the task force."

It's hard to believe for a town of only 13,000 people but 40 years ago, another serial killer - nicknamed the "Gaffney Strangler" - abducted and killed four people.

Once again, the community psyche is shattered. Unless you're expected, people in Gaffney say don't drop by.

Says Alan Foster: "Every time somebody opens a door they're carrying a gun."

This county had six homicides last year; now it's had five in one week.
I think this is another situation that illustrates that substantial waiting periods are a bad idea. Perform an instant criminal background check, yes; but waiting periods, no. Within one week, a once peaceful small town is now in fear of a serial killer. People who felt safe last week are now in fear for their lives. Does it make sense in this situation to tell people that are trying to arm themselves against a serial killer on the loose that they can't buy a gun today, they must come back in 3 days or 14 days?
"Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man! We shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out."
--Hugh Latimer, October 16, 1555
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