Getting to Know Him

March 2015

(Post Six)
Pat replied to my letter later that week.   Yes, I know being in jail does afford
him a fair amount of spare time, but I still appreciated the quick
response.   I could tell he was eager to
continue this relationship.Like when
you give a guy your number and he texts you right away.  It’s a nice feeling.

His letter was written in pencil in his very neat printing on six pages, double-sided,
on yellow legal pad paper.
I bet he’s not allowed to have pens! Pens can be taken
apart.  There are probably a lot of
things that you can make with pen parts.I should ask about that.

 

Pat’s Letter

Pat thanked me for writing to him again and said he’d try
to answer all my questions as honestly as possible.   He also asked for honesty in return.
But he didn’t say what he wanted me to be honest about.  Just that
“a foundation cannot be built on lies and/or distrust.
”It makes me feel a little guilty about the
blog.   Does writing it make me
dishonest?

Pat told me he was happy to get my pictures and remembered
me “quite vividly.”  He said I “came across as a very easy-going genuinely nice person” (I think I
am a nice person.  Being remembered as
“hot” would be good, too).
“Freedom” was brought up again.  He’s tried to adapt to life behind bars;  he wants to use his time to help others any
way he can.
One point he has made hits me where I live. He feels like his years being incarcerated
have allowed him to strip away the false faces he used to wear.  In jail, he can be himself.
He wrote this letter to me at the end of September.  When he quoted Bill Cosby “I don’t know the key to success, but the
key to failure is trying to please everyone,
” he had no idea that, ironically, Cosby would be all over the news in a couple months.  It’s still a pretty good quote, though.
Then Pat answered all the questions I’d asked! 

Pat’s Answers

 

  • The Drugs: Pat used Crystal, Heroin, Ecstasy and he mixed a lot of pills (so some serious perspective and reality altering kinds of drugs).
  • He defended himself against the accusation that he had massive financial problems and said he was only a month or 2 behind on rent. The media completely over-exaggerated his debt
  • Overcoming addiction is still an on-going battle (in other words – getting drugs behind bars isn’t too difficult).
  • He told me that I was the only person to ask him if he likes his lawyer. He seemed impressed by that. Pat has a Public Defender lawyer who he really likes his lawyer and he talked about fighting for the greater good…
Which now makes more
sense in the light of some major developments happening around Pat’s case in
the past month!  His lawyer is making
major waves about the DA’s Office infringing on the rights of inmates.Now, Pat is getting a new judge after 5
years.  Meaning this trial isn’t starting
any time soon.

 

  • Pat’s free time is spent meditating, reading, studying theology, yoga, working out, taking counseling correspondence classes (he wants to be a rehabilitation councilor for other inmates), Bible classes, watching sports on TV… He showers and visit his fellow inmates during his 1-2 hours outside of his cell.
  • He wrote that inmates share whatever books and magazines they get sent in.
  • Visits are always a surprise. They only get visits on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. They can only have one visit per day.
  • Pat’s visitors have included:
    • His parents – regularly
    • A few of his theatre friends
    • The parents of an old girlfriend
    • A Dateline Producer!!!!!
    • Writers from New York (hmm – I’m not worried)
    • The Vet’s father (The “Vet” is one of Pat’s alleged victims. So having the guy’s dad visit Pat in jail is pretty astonishing).
    • and now ME
  • He has NEVER been scared inside the jail. He’s a big guy (6’2” and 200 lbs) and he’s in jail for a big crime. He isn’t affiliated with any gangs and he tries to promote “an atmosphere of peace and unity.” It seems like Pat gets along well with the inmates and the guards. He’s personable. He has been depressed, but never afraid.
  • Answer about the quest for God was quite extensive, so I’ll summarize. He is interested in all religions and has studied with many religious and spiritual leaders. He quotes Gandhi “All religion is true. I just want to love God.” Pat believes there is one true God that created us all. He believes that Jesus died for our sins. Pat is a LOT more religious than I am.
Pat ended his letter by inviting me to write to him again
and to feel free to inquire more.He
thanked me for just treating him like a human being.  He lost a lot of friends when he was
arrested.  He knows and understands that
many people think he is an evil man.

I don’t.
Pat may be 100% guilty of this crime.  That doesn’t mean that this crime is 100% who he is.
He’s funny.  He’s
silly.  He’s geeky.  Hell, he might not even be a murderer (more
on that later).
A present was also enclosed for me.
My first drawing from Pat.
Awwww… right?

5 thoughts on “Getting to Know Him”

  1. I have a couple of questions.
    I have a feeling this won’t get posted and I won’t get a response but I’ll give it a shot.
    1. I have now read all your posts and I recall you mentioning that one of the pieces of evidence found was a picture of an Asian looking lady with hair of flames (or something along these lines). Did this concern you or ring a bell with you given the above picture?
    2. Considering this supposed drug use was never brought up by his lawyer as mitigating circumstances as part of his defence or particularly in the sentencing phase, and no evidence of drug use was found in their apartment, do you now realise that he most likely lied to you (or at minimum, hugely exaggerated) ?

    I might try facebook if this doesn’t work.

    1. Hello Ame,

      Welcome to the blog. Your comments are interesting and well thought out. I’m excited to have an Australian reader. I’m sorry I’ve been so slow at putting up the comments.
      As far as California being a progressive state… You would think the answer to that is yes, but it’s not always that way. This crime took place in Orange County, and it is a very right wing area.

      1) The picture of the Asian looking lady with flames has been a real a curiosity for me. The prosecutor, Matt Murphy, only brought up the picture in court during his opening statement. It was never explained. My understanding is that the picture was found in a sketch book of Sam’s – and was between other pages of sketches. I don’t know who drew the picture, but I have doubts that it was Daniel. I would have liked for Matt Murphy to talk about it more and say if there were any fingerprints or DNA on the paper.

      2) It bothered me that drug use was not brought up by Daniel’s lawyer. I questioned Daniel about it during the trial. There were a lot of defense decisions made that I didn’t understand. I do think he was doing a lot of drugs and probably cleaned up all evidence of it. BUT – drug use or no drug use – it’s not an excuse or even an explanation for murder.

      I’ve been writing the blog for a while now and I share information as I learn it. I’m sure that there are lots of little mistakes or questions throughout. For example – I’m guessing I would have rephrased the statement about Daniel confessing “immediately.” From reading the blog, you know that I know Daniel lied a lot to the police before he confessed. Honestly, I don’t know why I chose that word. I’ll have to make sure to be more careful in the book.

      Thank you for reading and for all your comments.

  2. Thanks for your reply!

    Yep I realised as I kept reading that I was doing so after learning all the facts, whereas you were writing it in real time. It made a lot of the earlier posts make a lot more sense. Also I will now admit when I first started reading I felt a little disgust/anger, which is unusual for me. But again, I realised that when you first contacted him you didn’t know all the facts – and by the time all the facts came out you had already forged a friendship. And I can 100% understand how that could happen. In fact I have thought many times about writing to prisoners – I don’t believe that every person who commits a crime is all bad – in fact I believe hardly ANY criminals are all bad.

    Anyway thanks for answering my questions and I look forward to future posts, and hopefully a book down the track! (from a fellow true crime junkie, daughter of a 40 year detective, and student of criminology).

  3. More interested in information regarding Sams fathers initial and subsequent visits in the earlier stages… seems more important (no offense).

    1. None taken.

      Thanks for the comment.

      Steve Herr went to visit Daniel because, at least at the time, he believed there was more to the story than what Daniel confessed. Daniel said Steve Herr was always polite and courteous, but Daniel didn’t give him any more information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *