Deadly trouble in Liverpool: Matt's Memo

Brandy Dallas and Samantha Rainwater.

Sheriff evidence technicians were still processing a scene of terror more than 24 hours after a man stabbed two women to death in Liverpool. There are signs inside the house of a messy struggle for life. The two lovely smiling women we have seen in their photos surely did what they could to survive. But, it was not enough. Investigators say Justin Dallas used a folding pocket knife to get his way.

His history of domestic violence against Brandy Dallas already led to the demise of their marriage and an order of protection that made it illegal for him to come near her. That July confrontation cost him his job at Upstate University Hospital where he worked with the other woman who was killed, Samantha Rainwater.

Prosecutors are not yet saying what motivated Dallas to attack the mother of his two children Monday morning. They know a friend gave him a ride to Rainwater's house. That driver has talked to police. So has the third woman who was present during the attack. Greater understanding of this story is likely to come, but already it seems all too familiar.

"It's a domestic." That's a phrase we hear a lot from law enforcement when an abusive relationship boils over into violence. It can be a dismissive phrase at times. But, in deadly occurrence like this the phrase encapsulates a sense of ongoing history between an estranged couple.

So many victims here. The two women. The third who will live with what she heard and saw. The two Dallas children and the Rainwater daughter. The attacker himself.

Our community has seen our fair share of cases like this over the years. Even one in the late 1990's when a father killed a mother leaving three young children behind. Lee Ann's Memorial law came from that homicide. The New York legislature said children of a murdered mother and killer father can not be forced to visit the father in prison. It didn't take much to convince the legislature of that being a sound practice after such a terrible act.

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