Last December Robbie Lawlor walked free from prison after being acquitted of numerous offences, including attempted murder.
Just four months later, he would be shot dead in broad daylight.
What happened in those four months are key to the fate of the ruthless north Dublin gangster:
• On December 16, when Lawlor walked out of jail, a major garda alert was immediately activated. The gangster was whisked away from outside the Criminal Courts of Justice in an Audi car and as revealed in the Herald , detectives feared "imminent gangland violence" was a virtual inevitability.
• Then shortly before Christmas, a video emerged on social media which showed Lawlor being confronted by a young thug with close links to slain criminal David 'Fred' Lynch.
Other images were later posted which alleged that the men who attacked Lawlor had taken his sports bag which contained gym gear - and flip flops.
• By January, as revealed in the Herald, Lawlor was being officially warned by gardai about an active threat against his life, with the 'Mr Big' drugs mob and associates of criminal Cornelius Price both said to have a target on his head.
• On January 13, youths found human limbs in a sports bag on a green area in Coolock. It later emerged they were the remains of Keane Mulready-Woods.
The bag was also said to contain flip flops.
Lawlor was soon the chief suspect for the sick killing.