Behind The Killer Smiles

Broke and homeless, JOHN ALLEN MUHAMMAD and LEE MALVO traveled together and are accused of killing together too. A story of two lives gone bad

Each night the man and the boy sat hunched over the same table, playing chess in Stuart's Coffee House in the seaside town of Bellingham, Wash. sometimes they would play until midnight. The man, John Allen Muhammad, 41, did what little talking had to be done. The boy, 17-year-old Lee Malvo, listened. Whenever cafe employees intruded with small talk, he would glance to Muhammad, as if for permission, before answering. They drank only plain coffee, as the college students and patrons around them indulged in smoothies and tarts and poetry readings. And each game ended the same way: with Mhammad winning.

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