A man faces the camera with his face digitally blotted out and his voice eerily altered to a deep, throaty grumble but nothing can hide the horror of his words: He calmly boasts of slaughtering 16 young women and hiding their bodies. The video poster, "CatchMeKiller," offers clues about open murder cases and challenges searchers to find the women before he reveals himself.
Only after investigators and the families of two very real victims raced to catch the killer did they discover it was all a hoax, a "game," put on by an attention-seeker, Georgia authorities said.
Andrew Haley, 27, is on trial in Gainesville, Ga., for allegedly making false statements and tampering with evidence after officials with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation identified him as the creator of the videos.
"There was nothing to indicate he was involved in any of these murders," GBI spokesman John Bankhead told ABC News.
The accusation stunned the father of Jennifer Kesse, a Florida woman who disappeared in 2006, to whom Haley reportedly alluded in the videos as one of his victims.
"What? Why? What is it? What personal satisfaction does a person get out of that?" Drew Kesse told ABC News' Atlanta affiliate, WSB-TV. "You have to realize the impact again that this type of situation has on a family."
Kesse traveled from his Florida home to Georgia for the trial. His daughter would be celebrating her 29th birthday today. On a website dedicated to her, Jennifer Kesse's mother and father penned heartwrenching birthday letters.
"Please know that we will always be trying to find you Jennifer. We Love you and will never ever stop until we bring you home. Happy Birthday! Love, Dad, xoxo," Drew Kesse's posting said.
Haley pleaded not guilty and his public defender told the court that while his actions were "creepy," they were not illegal.
"It was creepy, it was hurtful, but it was not criminal," attorney Kristin Jordan said.
Haley pronounced in the videos, "once all 16 bodies are found, you'll know exactly who I am," the Gainesville Times reported.
"Every week there will be a new clue," the speaker said in the video, according to the Times. "Every new clue will lead to a new body. Every new body leads to a new clue."
During testimony Wednesday, GBI special agent Gary Rothwell said Haley's first set of "clues" described the case of Tara Grinstead, who went missing in Ocilla, Ga., on Oct. 22, 2005.
"We had a person essentially confessing to the murder of Tara Grinstead, and we had to pursue that lead," Rothwell told the court.
Investigators were able to track Haley down by his computer's Internet Protocol (IP) address, Bankhead said.
"He stated it was a game and he was trying to get as many hits as he could on his website," Rothwell said at trial, which began Wednesday.
Assistant district attorney Conley Greer told jurors it may not have been murder, but it was far more than a game.
"He said, 'It's just a game,' but it involves two real people, two real families," Greer said. "There are real consequences when you deal with real families and real hurt."
If convicted, Haley could face up to 15 years in prison, WSB-TV reported.
The Gainesville Times contributed to this report.