The murder of Glenn Quinn in Carrickfergus in January was a particularly heinous crime. Glenn, who was 47, had a terminal illness and had apparently run foul of members of the maverick South East Antrim UDA a short time before his death.
It is believed that three men hid in a cupboard under the stairs beside Glenn's apartment and when he returned home they forced him into the living quarters and beat him mercilessly with iron bars and cudgels. It was reported that they laughed as they left the building with Glenn dying in a pool of blood.
No one with a shred of humanity could fail to be outraged by this murder and the large turnout at Glenn's funeral showed the level of disgust felt in the town.
However, disgust is one thing, but what police investigating the crime need most is hard evidence which would tie the killers - whose identity they believe they know - to the crime and ensure they are put behind bars for the lengthy sentences they deserve.
Now there appears to be a welcome breakthrough in the case. Following impassioned pleas by Glenn's sister for people to assist police, UDA leaders have moved to distance themselves from the alleged killers. They have assured a local pastor in the town that there would be no repercussions or reprisals against anyone who gives information about the killing to the police.
No one needs to share the views of the UDA in any of its forms, or countenance its aims or glorify its past deeds. It is a paramilitary organisation and as such many of its actions are outside the law. Yet the leadership should be commended for encouraging people to come forward with information and for saying it will not shield the killers.
This development shows that the killers are beyond the pale even for other UDA members.
Most of all it is encouragement for Glenn's distraught mother and sister that perhaps his killers will be brought to justice sooner rather than later.
They know that there are people who hold vital clues which could solve the case but have been afraid to speak out. Perhaps they will now find the courage to do so.
For those who don't want to speak directly to police, they can use the confidential Crimestoppers charity to pass on what they know. Any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, will help build up the case which will eventually trap the killers.