Ever since Det. John Byers of the Duncan, Oklahoma, police department entered the chilling crime scene in the stately Hruby home on Bent Tree Street, where he found the dead bodies of John, Joy and their teen daughter Katherine on Oct. 13, he – and others in the tight-knit community – have been shocked by the savagery of their killings. Adding to the horror is the identity of the killer authorities have in custody, the couple’s teen son, Alan Hruby.
“To kill your family over a dollar bill is hideous,” says Police Chief Danny Ford. “It’s beyond most people’s ability to comprehend.”
Shortly after Alan, 19, confessed to fatally shooting his mom, dad and younger sister – whose bloodied bodies lay undisturbed for nearly four days in the family’s home in an affluent neighborhood in Duncan – those who knew him best shared their thoughts on the University of Oklahoma political science freshman.
“He always had this creepy smile on his face, like he had everything figured out,” family friend Sandy Bruce tells PEOPLE. “But that picture they’re showing of him now, he looks so evil and so cold. And those eyes are the eyes of the devil.”
Newspaper publisher John, 50, his wife, known as “Tinker,” 48, and daughter Katherine, 17, were killed because Alan was obsessed with wealth, shopping sprees and bling, authorities say.
Says District Attorney Jason Hicks: “He felt like if he murdered his mother, his father and his sister, he would be the only heir to their estate.”
The teen hatched his grisly plan to kill his family, known and loved by many in the community, after his parents – who had long tried to rein in their son’s lust for spending money – cut him off financially. After stealing his father’s 9-mm pistol from his pickup, he drove to the family home and methodically killed his family one by one.
Afterward, Alan spent the weekend partying with friends at a Ritz-Carlton hotel room in Dallas he booked for the Texas-OU football game.
“Money can make people do stupid things,” says a horrified Bradley Brown, 21, who knows Alan. “That he could [murder his family] then act normal all weekend is just crazy.”
• With reporting by JEFF TRUESDELL and CAITLIN KEATING
For more about Alan Hruby and the impact his murders have had in Duncan, Oklahoma, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday