911 DISPATCHER: What did the notes say?
M. ROBERTS: Like the thought of ... my children, not seeing them grow up, like, let's see, uh, I'm not even sure, here it is, my daughter Abigail I want you to know that I love you and I'm sorry I couldn't be here to watch you grow up. That's how the notes start.
911 DISPATCHER: OK, hold on one moment (line goes dead).
He had gathered a small arsenal -- 600 rounds of ammunition, a 12-gauge shotgun, a 9 mm handgun, an illegal stun gun, eye bolts, flex ties, toilet paper, a 5-gallon bucket, extra clothes, rolls of clear tape, lumber and nails, and sexual lubricant, according to Pennsylvania state police.
Roberts finished his milk route around 3 a.m. and parked his work truck at the Nickel Mines Auction House, across the street from the yellow, one-room schoolhouse where the massacre would take place later that morning.
At 7:15 a.m., he was home with his wife, Marie, helping her get their three children, two boys and a girl, ages 2 to 7, ready for school.
By that point he appeared resigned to a fate that would devastate a community and stun the nation. Paula Derby, a neighbor, told ABC News that she saw Roberts at the bus stop that Monday morning about 8:45 a.m. She said that Marie usually saw the children off to school, and found it unusual that both parents would be at the bus stop. As the Roberts children bounded up the bus stairs, their father called them back.
"Go back and give your father a hug,'' she remembered the driver telling them. As they descended the stairs, their father crouched down and hugged them.
"Just remember how much your daddy loves you," Derby quoted Roberts as saying. It was the last demonstrable act of love from a man being consumed by hatred. Co-workers and relatives told police that Roberts had seemed moody and distracted in the weeks before the shooting, but that over that last weekend, he appeared to brighten.
"A few days before the shooting, a weight was lifted," Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Jeffrey B. Miller told reporters last week.
Marie Roberts left the house, authorities said. By 9:15 a.m., she was at a prayer group with other mothers. Her husband was at the hardware store buying more flex ties.
And just before 10 a.m., Roberts backed his wife's grandfather Lloyd Welk's pickup truck up to the front of the one-room schoolhouse.
He walked in briefly, turned, walked out and calmly began to load a gun. He ordered the boys, the teacher and several older girls out. "Obviously, the teacher was very concerned right away," Miller told ABC's "Good Morning America" last week. "He wasn't agitated, but he was very serious about what he was doing, and methodical in how he separated students, allowed certain people to leave, and then began to bind the female students he had at the blackboard. "They weren't able to get away. They were basically standing, bound to each other, their legs were bound together. They couldn't run away from that location."
At the last minute, a little girl reportedly escaped and ran with teacher Emma Zook to a nearby, non-Amish farm, where a 911 was placed at 10:36 a.m.