South Carolina killer partied in his last hours

GAFFNEY, S.C. — Patrick Tracy Burris spent his last days taking drugs in a partying binge. When police found him early Monday in an abandoned house near Dallas, N.C., he was so impaired he could barely walk.

But investigators don't know if Burris fatally shot five people in Cherokee County, S.C., for drug money — or if the career criminal was motivated by nothing more than the desire to kill.

At the crime scenes, he left behind cash and valuables, police said. Instead, they said he took items out of character for a robbery, but they wouldn't say what those items were.

"Some of the (valuable) things weren't taken," said Gaffney, S.C., police Chief Richard Turner. "You have to back up and say, 'If it's not a robbery, then what was the intent?'"

"The mind of a psychopath is something you cannot predict."

Cherokee County was fielding e-mails and calls Tuesday from other law enforcement agencies around the Southeast who believe Burris might have killed in their jurisdictions.

A day after Burris was shot and killed by Gaston County police, investigators tried to recreate his life.

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