It snowed Sunday in Palatine. All the rest is speculation.
What really happened at the Brown's Chicken & Pasta in town remained a grim mystery early Monday, some 48 hours after bullets ended seven lives inside and turned the cookie-cutter building into a monument to human savagery.
Material described as evidence was taken during a search in the home of an Elgin man whom police have questioned.
In an interview, Cook County Medical Examiner Robert Stein let slip a single gory fact. Found in the restaurant, Stein said, was a bloody broom.
It was a detail that only deepened the mystery. Did the killer or killers take time to sweep up, hoping to obliterate evidence?
Stein also said that some of the bodies had multiple gunshot wounds.
Each massacre develops its own dark character, and this one's-an information void-made it all the more horrific for those who stood vigil over the weekend in the restaurant's frozen parking lot, or who slowed as they drove by.
The gawkers served, in a way, to memorialize the once-generic place, their presence testifying not only to morbid curiosity but to the sense of community that is the opposite of the impulse to kill.
What they and thousands wanted to know is, at its core, unanswerable, no matter how many facts eventually come out: Why would somebody gun down a hard-working couple, the restaurant's owners, and five of their workers, leaving their corpses in walk-in coolers? What mind could conceive of, much less execute, such a scenario?
There were, apparently, no witnesses to explain. There was still no arrest. And Palatine police, investigating a crime no department could prepare for, were steadfast in their unwillingness to provide facts, clues or even theories.
In the absence of information-police would not even clarify if they believed it was only one murderer-rumors and morbid fantasy spread through the suburb.
Police discovered the seven bodies about 2:30 a.m. Saturday after the parents of an employee had called them, concerned that their son hadn't returned home after the restaurant closed at 9 p.m.
Found shot to death in refrigeration units were the owners, Richard E. Ehlenfeldt, 50, and his wife, Lynn W. Ehlenfeldt, 49, of Arlington Heights; Palatine High School students Michael C. Castro, 16, and Rico L. Solis, 17; and Palatine residents Thomas Mennes, 32, Marcus Nellsen, 31, and Guadalupe Maldonado, 46.
Martin Blake, a 23-year-old taken into custody Saturday at his Elgin home, was being questioned by investigators Sunday, according to police sources. Police did not identify him as a suspect, and no charges had been brought against him.
Blake was employed on the night shift in the Brown's kitchen until a few days ago, Brown's workers said.
Friends and employees said Blake was fired by Richard Ehlenfeldt.
Police obtained a search warrant to go into Blake's two-story house, according to police sources.
After a daylong search Sunday, five officers from Elgin, Cook County and Palatine emerged from Blake's home with two large plastic bags.