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‘Cryptic writing’ found in belongings of Phillip Adams, former NFL player accused of killing 5


A search of late murder suspect Phillip Adams’ home and belongings turned up “cryptic writing” and signs of a possibly new religion or ideology for the former pro football player, authorities said Friday.

The York County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina released notes from the search in an effort to shed further light on the violence of April 7 when Adams is suspected of killing five people, including two children. He appeared to have fatally shot himself the next day.

Authorities said Adams, 32, a former NFL cornerback, lived down the road from victims Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70, and his wife, Barbara Lesslie, 69, in Rock Hill, South Carolina, a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Also killed were their grandchildren, Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5, as well as James Lewis, 38.

The search was part of investigators’ attempts to “find the answers that are so desperately wanted by everyone that has been impacted by this horrendous event,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

According to Det. D. Askew’s summary of the April 9 search, “Numerous notebooks were located with cryptic writing with different designs and emblems.”

“Detectives had also learned that Phillip Adams had been acting differently and possibly following a new religion or ideology,” the detective wrote.

It was unclear whether investigators believe this is what drove the athlete to commit violence.

Adams played six seasons in the NFL, with the San Francisco 49ers, the New England Patriots, the Seattle Seahawks, the Oakland Raiders, the New York Jets and the Atlanta Falcons.

He suffered a gruesome injury as a rookie 49er, in which his left ankle and foot appeared to be snapped and pointing in different directions. He also suffered at least two concussions two seasons later, in 2012, with the Raiders.

Adams’s brain will be examined by researchers to determine if he suffered from a form of degenerative brain disease, officials said earlier this month.

“I think the football messed him up,” Alonzo Adams, who identified himself as Adams’ father, told NBC affiliate WCNC of Charlotte. He did not elaborate.

He said Dr. Robert Lesslie was his own physician “a long time ago.”

“I know they were good folks down there,” Alonzo Adams said.

The sheriff’s office also reported that their search of Phillip Adams’ belongings turned up two “sub machine gun/ rifle style firearms” of the same calibers used in the attack, and seven handguns.

Maria Piñero contributed.



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