Cook and a roommate stole money from Cruz Ramos, a third roommate. Ramos noticed money missing, and asked Cook and the other roommate whether they knew anything about it. The two then lured Ramos into Cook's upstairs bedroom. They pushed Ramos down on the bed and, using strips torn from Cook's sheets, gagged him and tied him to a chair.
Over the course of the next six or seven hours, Ramos was cut with a knife, beaten with fists, a metal pipe and a wooden stick, burned with cigarettes, including in the genitalia, sodomized, and had part of his genitalia stapled to a chair. At one point Matzke, the other roommate, asked why Ramos had to be tortured, and Cook responded, “I’m having fun.” Matzke, suggested that they kill Ramos because they could not let him go. Cook replied that Ramos should be killed at midnight, “the witching hour.” When midnight arrived, Matzke first tried to strangle Ramos with a sheet. This did not succeed in killing Ramos. Matzke then took Ramos out of the chair, put him on the floor, and pushed down on his throat with a metal pipe. According to Matzke, because Ramos still would not die, Cook pressed down on one end of the pipe while Matzke pressed on the other. Finally, Matzke stood on the pipe as it lay across Ramos' throat and killed him.
The second victim was Kevin Swaney, a 16 year old guest at the apartment. Cook told Swaney to undress, Swaney complied. Cook and Matzke then gagged him and tied him to a chair in the kitchen. Matzke said he told Cook that he would not witness or participate in Swaney's torture. Matzke then went into the living room and fell asleep in a chair.
Cook later woke Matzke, who said he saw Swaney bound and gagged, sitting on the couch, crying. Cook told Matzke he had sodomized Swaney and that they had to kill him. Matzke said they tried to strangle Swaney with a sheet, but Matzke's end kept slipping out of his hands. Cook then reportedly stated “this one's mine,” placed Swaney on the floor, and strangled him.”