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Is ‘Keeping Up With The Jones’ A Motive In The Yoga Shop Murder?

lululemon athletica
lululemon athletica

“The Bethesda community is “breathing easier,” according to Montgomery County Councilman Roger Berliner, after Norwood’s arrest Friday.” Bethesda Patch

Somehow, I doubt this. Myself, the outcome is all the more troubling. The story of two evil masked men taking advantage of an open yoga shop in this upscale shopping district is a more logical scenario for our preconceived social mores. And another anomaly that’s oh so hard to swallow, is the ‘real motive of Brittany Norwood’ was probably not to cover up her shoplifting.

A new Bethesda Patch piece, Bethesda Row Businesses Continuing Focus on Safety, Banding Together In Wake of Homicide by Erin Donaghue, has a topsy-turvy feel to it, where those in the business community feel a sense of relief, but are still nervous and shaken. Amy McLachlan of Urban Chic told the Patch, “Personally, I’m a little relieved, but it’s still horrific and awful.”

Looking at this situation, it only makes more sense that people would be more horrified by knowing the murderer was an employee, one of them gone afoul, rather than two-dimensional bogeymen, intruders from the outside invading your sacred territory.

And what about the Apple Store, that was adjacent to the Lululemon Athletica? Employees inside actually witnessed the murder, by way of sound, that Friday evening on March 11th.

In seeing how things turned out, how can these Apples employees feel better. I sense just the opposite is the net effect. Real social horror is the net effect. For when one takes a look at Brittany Norwood’s background, things just don’t gel. A star athlete, yes. But also a kleptomaniac, for lack of a better word. But why wasn’t this character flaw detected earlier?

And I’m hearing now, Jayna Murray had already called her out on lifting the clothing merchandise and putting it in her bag. I’ve also learned Jayna had contacted headquarters about the shoplifting infraction before she gets the call from Norwood to go back to the store to retrieve a wallet, a creative whopper of a lie to set up Murray (I believe). The logic of this is that premeditation is written all over the crime.

What were the dynamics in terms of relations between Murray and Norwood in the weeks leading up to this awful situation? Shedding light on their communication in the work environment will get at the crux of the matter, motive.

As I review the particulars of what occurred inside the yoga shop at around 10:30 PM (March 11th), I suspect jealousy as one of the motives. But that’s wrapped up in other psychological dynamics as well.

But taking a deeper look at this jealousy, and breaking it down, other aspects peer out with an ugly head. For one thing, Brittany was having financial problems. $20,000 in student debts and unpaid rent for a Washington DC apartment. And then there’s a discarded hotel job, not such a prestigious position for an ex-star athlete. The picture painted here is Brittany was winning once, but not anymore.

A Washington Post article (Motive Sought In Bethesda Yoga Shop Slaying, by Dan Morse and Dana Hedgpeth) has a brief quote that hits you like a ton of bricks. “Brittany hates losing more than she likes winning.”

The words are those of Sue Ryan, the head coach of the women’s soccer team at Stony Brook college. My take away from this telling quote, is that Brittany would burn with rage if she didn’t win.

This is her mindset as she returns late one spring evening to meet Jayna, at an upscale yoga shop. The key to my theory (keeping up with Jones’) is that after she did it, she gets Jayna’s car keys and takes possession of her vehicle.

She could think clearly now that she had complete control of her nemesis’ identity. The thievery was just a surface trigger of ulterior boiling, the ‘real motive’ was a perceived gap in social mobility. But this will be impossible to prove in a court of law.

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