A week ago Ewen Macdonald was a loving father, loyal husband, respected community man - and largely unknown.
The 30-year-old Feilding farmer had done nothing to particularly stand out from the crowd and led a typical life for many young men in the Manawatu.
But that all changed when he was arrested for the murder of his wife's brother, Scott Guy, instantly making him one of the country's most talked about people.
News spread like wildfire that he was in custody.
"There isn't anything I could think of, looking back, to say 'I'm not surprised'. Everyone was shocked," a Feilding resident said.
The resident, who spoke on condition they were not identified, said Macdonald was no different from "anyone here".
The resident said many young men in the community had young families, loved the outdoors and worked hard on their farms.
"He married into the Guy family so young so you can see why they would be so shocked.
[He and Scott] have basically grown up together."
They both attended Feilding Agricultural High School, though weren't in the same class. Scott was best man, and after he was killed, Macdonald spoke at the funeral and was a pallbearer.
Macdonald started working on the Guy family farm when he was 15, initially at weekends and after school, and later fulltime.
Scott's father Bryan Guy has said he didn't know if it was the farm work that appealed to Macdonald or Scott's younger sister Anna, who also attended Feilding Ag.
The pair met and started a relationship. Four years later they were engaged and married within a year.
"It's not as if he stood out because he was unusual. A lot of guys [from here] have young families and are active in the community."
Macdonald is on the board of trustees for Colyton School, where his children go to school, and active in the village of Colyton, close to Aorangi Rd where the families lived and where Scott Guy was shot in the throat at close range.
His parents, Kerry and Marlene Macdonald, are supporting him but say they are shocked and confused.
"As parents, when your child falls over you pick them up, give them a cuddle and rub the pain away with love and kind words," they said in a statement, but have refused to speak about him since.
Kerry Macdonald owns Hunting and Fishing in Palmerston North and talks proudly of having sons who are farmers and in the police force, and grandchildren who are all budding duckshooters.
A Feilding woman whose children went to school with Macdonald told the Weekend Herald locals found it hard to accept someone from their community had been arrested.
"It was expected someone from outside the area would be involved. So no one wants to go anywhere near this."
The Guy and Macdonald families were well respected and there was a large amount of sympathy towards them.
Bryan Guy has spoken about the rivalry the two men shared and the clashes about running the farm that led eventually to a family intervention.
The feud started after Scott Guy returned from living overseas; the problems ended when the two men were given specific responsibilities.
Asked about the rivalry, Macdonald's wife Anna told 60 Minutes her brother and husband were close. "They worked together. He spent most of his time with Scott on the farm as well."
She says she is standing by him until she hears some evidence against him and doesn't know why he has been charged.
"I just don't understand, I really don't. I just can't believe it. Until he says 'I have done it' or they've got something ..."By Andrew Koubaridis @A_Koubaridis Email Andrew