It's a chilling crime wave that has had deadly effects on one business community.
Two realtors in Ohio have been found murdered in homes they were showing. A third was held hostage by two armed robbers.
"These people were sadistic," says realtor Cynthia Cursaro-Weston.
She was showing an apartment to two men when suddenly they pounced.
"The man behind me grabbed me by the throat and the other one spun around and put the gun to my nose," she says.
For an hour, the gunmen demanded money from Cursaro-Weston.
They eventually fled empty-handed, with a warning.
"They said if I told anybody they were going to kill me," says Cursaro-Weston.
But at least she survived. Her friend and fellow realtor Vivian Martin wasn't so lucky.
She was found strangled in a for-sale home, which was torched by her killer.
Two men have been charged with her murder.
"I believe if we hadn't caught them, they would have gone on a real estate agent killing spree," one police officer told INSIDE EDITION.
In an unrelated incident, real estate agent Andrew VonStein was shot dead in a home he was trying to sell in a nearby town.
An INSIDE EDITION investigation some time ago revealed the deadly perils that realtors can face. Some feel so vulnerable that they organize their own self-defense classes.
She says her ordeal has changed the way she does business.
"I will do things a lot safer in the future," she says.