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?

12 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.

      1. Your comments are brilliant and articulate and portray the psychology of DW so succinctly, you must be a psychologist or psychiatrist.
        The distinction you made between a sociopath and psychopath is empowering and so helpful in trying to understand what motivates killers and/or criminals in general.
        Thank you for your astute commentary.

  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.

  4. I found this blog a few weeks ago. I’ve been listening to the new Sleuth podcast and, though I knew a bunch about this trial, I had to dig further. When I got to this post, I had to comment.

    The following passage from above is incredibly troubling to me: “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).”

    I understand that you’re not a journalist, so an expectation of objectivity isn’t realistic. However, it appears this guy may have you snowed. I can’t speak to the dynamic of your relationship, however, it appears he is using you to spin his story. Also, I always get a bad feeling in my stomach when a man who has a history of violence seeks to be seen as charming and when a woman is charmed in return. It’s troubling and something I would urge you to evaluate.

    His claims, that he was an addict and that he wasn’t in “that much debt”, have seemingly been debunked.

    If he had experienced withdrawal in prison, as addicts do, it would be documented. As a person who is in recovery, I can tell you that any true addict would undergo detox symptoms. Also, a first year law student would use his addiction as a mitigating factor if not in the guilt phase, then definitely in the penalty phase of the trial.

    As far as the debt goes, Dan was either completely in denial or he is blatantly lying. Public records show that the apartment complex was pursuing eviction at the time of the murders. According to the record, Dan and/or Rachel had received notice. Also, we now know that Dan and Rachel, both, had a number of overdrawn accounts, no jobs, and they were supposed to be getting married that weekend. It has also come out that Dan was fired from a few jobs when funds would go missing and the couple would steal much of what they had. As someone who has spent 12 years in the financial industry, I can say with expertise that he was in financial ruin.

    So, what are we to think of Dan? At times, in audio tapes and stories shared by friends who saw his dynamic with Rachel, he seems pathetic. At other times, he seems charming. What we definitely know is that Dan is extremely dangerous, lacks impulse control, and makes poor decisions. I hope you’re cautious with your dealings with him.

    1. Yup, OP mentions time and time again that she barely met him or may have on a couple of occasions. Then he comes out and says he remembers her vividly. Of course he does, it’s because you desperately wanted to hear that. Reading this blog, OP clearly is crushing on him hard and falling for his charm. Personally I am more curious to see how far she falls for him, I hope she doesn’t get used but it’s on a crash course for just that from the looks of it.

      He has 24 hours a day to think about how to manipulate OP.

  5. You are either one of those pathetic woman who fall in love with murderers or you are desperate for fame and money by writing a book. This whole blog is incredibly offensive to the vicrims (one of whom was a war veteran fighting for your freedom) . Shame on you.

  6. Wow, oh wow…there is so much naivete here I could point out, I don’t even know where to begin. To read these interactions between you and this psychopath, I almost feel sorry for your naive nature and obvious lack of insight into their thinking patterns and somewhat predictable behaviors.

    Psychopaths don’t have friends…they see people as tools they can use and manipulate for their own selfish benefit.

    Psychopaths get bored VERY easily. They are incapable of fear (yet you ask if he is scared?). Then you used his size and weight as a reason he is not afraid? SPOILER ALERT: it wouldn’t matter if he was 5’1″ and blind; psychopaths are incapable of feeling fear.

    He completely duped you into providing him with a photo because he had no idea who was writing him (until you gave him a photo). Based on what you share about his writings, he is continually minimizing what he has done, minimizing his debt, lying about having any kind of addiction (although psychopaths are known to commonly use very hard drugs…even heroin…because it helps to alleviate their boredom and slow down their brain function) but they lack the neural physiology to become dependent on a substance. That is the reason why they also can’t feel fear like the rest of us; their brain processes the fear hormones differently so they what they experience internally is exhilaration, not fear. This is why psychopaths tend to be adrenaline junkies, and can’t be heroin junkies. Here’s some info on that fact. https://blog.recoveryways.com/blog/one-surprising-reason-to-be-grateful-for-withdrawal-symptoms

    …and don’t even get me started on this “art” he drew and mailed to you. Do you not recognize what that is? It is a drawing of a jester…a trickster…and look at what is in that trickster’s hand. It’s a mask that is used to shield the true moral character of the person wearing it so that other’s do not see them for who and what they truly are. Do you NOT see that? Do you NOT recognize the significance of the mask to a psychopaths? Do you not realize that psychopaths KNOW they are duplicitous tricksters?

    Are you aware that most psychopaths wear what they call…the mask? Those are the words psychopaths use to describe the fake persona they “put on” so that others cannot see the depraved, indifferent, empathyless, entirely self-serving, self-absorbed, entitled and morally bankrupt humans they truly are behind that mask. Psychopaths take what they want, whenever they want or need it, and they do not care who they have to kill in the process. They can kill another human being…or three…and walk away just as easily as you or I would after accidentally step on a bug that we failed to see on the sidewalk. They go on their merry way throughout the rest of their day, just as you or I might after accidentally squashing that bug; they lose no sleep over it. They feel no remorse for taking the person’s life. They do not feel bad for the immense pain and suffering the deaths cause the families. They actually can feel regret…for getting caught.

    Psychopaths adapt easily to prison life. They are survivalists; they can make the best out of the worst situations. They are not delusional, but they can have delusions of grandeur…thinking they are more powerful than they actually are. He even tried to suggest to you that him not being able to drive to get fast food was somehow equal to the fact that you cannot fly to the moon to get cheese? I’m glad to see you picked up on that bullshit comparison. He was actually testing you…to see how easily suggestible you were.

    Do yourself a favor. If you are going to interact with these indivduals at least educate yourself on how they think, act, behave, and dupe others.

    One psychopath gave me a very important piece of information. She said when a psychopath is ready to kill you, you will never expect it because they will be so calm and so very polite to your face, and when they strike you will never see it coming. Does that warning sound somewhat familiar? Did either of this guy’s victims see the gunshot coming? Nope, he was calm and polite even when he was shooting them; they never saw it coming.

    Remember that…be skeptical…be aware…remember how well-masked these indivudals can be.

    A sociopath can easily get addicted to anything and everything. They are easily enraged: hotheads. They often lack impulse control. People KNOW they are hostile and aggressive and are not surprised in the least when they go ballistic. Psychopaths are calm, cool, fearless, and experts at luring others. Do not TAUNT this guy by paying attention to him. They can harbor a grudge for decades and come after you if they escape and you will not see it coming.

    Lastly, learn the psychopathic laugh. They laugh at inappropriate times when their mask is off or slipping (like if they’re drinking) and it sounds high-pitched, kind of like the joker or riddler on the kid’s tv show, Batman. I wish I were kidding, but that’s actually a fact. (both the joker and the riddler are both TRICKSTERS, too…are you connecting the dots here?) Listen to how this psychopath LAUGHS during the police interview AFTER he talks about cutting off the veteran’s head and hands. It was his idea of a good time. TAKE HIM AT HIS WORD WHEN HE SAYS THAT because that is the one time he actually IS telling the whole truth.

    Psychopaths are life-long atheists. Yes, of course they can go through all the motions of appearing “religious” if they think it will help them in their end-game, but they do not believe any of it and consider it ridiculous drivel. They are known to have very sharp minds for remembering things that will benefit them, so they can even recite scripture if needed. However, nothing will ever make a psychopath grow a conscience…or to feel the full range of emotions that most of us can feel. Their neurophysiology LIMITS what they can feel; they’re very calm, cool individuals. You can annoy a psychopath but they are not the anger-fueled aggressors that sociopaths tend to be; quite the opposite. They are calculating, skilled planners who cross their “I”s and cross their “T”s. To be honest, I was surprised that this particular psychopath let his brother get rid of the murder weapon. My guess is that he was possibly considering implicating his brother in the crime because he sure as hell was METICULOUS is collecting all the evidence an investigator would need, gathering it all together, and placing in all in one bag…with his brother, whose DNA would then be on it. Keep in mind, this is a man who told his fiancee…in a recorded phone conversation…that he had to move away from his family because he was close to killing them.

    Others have already told you to be careful. I do hope you are wise enough to heed their warnings. Most of the people who escape from prisons are psychopaths or extremely intelligent sociopaths. Be mindful of what you tell him. Be mindful that if you publish a book and it is wildly successful he is going to take note of this and come after you when he escapes and use every last bit of information you’ve shared with him to get that money…and he will need it…to cross the border into Mexico where all psychopaths head after their caught committing crimes.

    You are so histrionic that your concern is finding a photo where you look “cute” and you wouldn’t mind if this psychopath said he remembered you being “hot”. You had better hope he doesn’t think of you that way because they take what they want…when they want it…and they will kill you afterward so you can’t tell the police who raped you.

    You should be very prudent. You may even want to pick up a copy of Joe Navarro’s book, Dangerous Minds. He’s a former FBI behavioral profiler. After reading some of your posts, you NEED to learn a good deal of information about how Antisocial individuals think and behave in the world; the rules and laws of society apply to everyone else BUT them, as far as they are concerned.

    Be prudent, or be prepared to be very nervous when this guy escapes. Gavin Newsome gave him and every other psychopath a reprieve on death sentences, so the prisons will have to work a long, long time to make sure these guys don’t escape. They are HIGHLY opportunistic and always scanning their environment for “weakness” they can exploit. It is the natural way their brains work.

    Consider yourself warned…

    1. You must be a psychiatrist or psychologist or a very knowledgeable attorney. Your “comments” are brilliant and well thought out.

  7. I must comment on your last statement regarding the “evil-ness” of Daniel Wozniak. I must agree and disagree, based on my sincere Christian beliefs. Romans 3:23 states “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. We all have the potential to do evil, so in that sense Wozniak is no more evil than anyone else. Many will say “No, not me!” but I am sure many fine citizens of pre-Nazi-Germany would have said the same. The Nazi SS murdered my grandfather in Poland, and I could say “Not me” as well, but truthfully, my father, as well as many Polish citizens, had the same hatred for Jews as any “good” Nazi. And had I been raised in Poland (which like other East European countries was just as anti-Semitic as Germany), I might very well have the same hatred. The sin is there in all of us, our (fallen) environment allows it to manifest itself, often in quite terrible ways. The solution is a renewal, becoming “born again” after we confess our sinful nature and cry out to God for redemption through the blood shed by Jesus Christ on the cross.

Leave a Reply

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