Why Did I Write an Accused Murder?
So. Why did I write Pat in the first place?
And why did I wait 4 years to do it?
My family members have asked these questions. My friends have asked these questions. The guards at the jail where I visit Pat have asked these questions.
Why I Wrote An Alleged Double Murderer
The first reason: This! What I am doing right now: writing.
I won’t deny it: this guy is FASCINATING!
I wanted to know more. I wanted to understand. It’s obvious that there is one hell of a story here, and I wanted to write about Pat. What I’d write was still beyond me, but I wanted to write.
I decided the best way to get this going was to write him a letter.
I didn’t know how to send a letter to someone in jail, but I figured there was some type of protocol.
It took a little searching, but I found out Pat’s birthday (he’s about to turn 31), his full name, his arrest date and his booking number. The booking number is most important. You need to put it on the mail you send, and you need to give it to the guards when you visit.
During this Internet searching, I discovered Pat’s trial still hadn’t happened! I occasionally wondered why I never heard any news or gossip about him. I had no idea he’d been sitting in jail… waiting… all this time.
Right now, he’s in a sort of holding location where most of his fellow inmates will be in and out in a couple of months. They will either finish their trials and be moved to a prison to serve out their stay, or they are only in jail for a couple of months for some relatively innocuous crime (drug possession or something like that).
Yes, this means I can actually go to Pat’s trial!
This brings us to my second reason for starting this relationship.
I love crime shows!
I don’t mean CSI type dramas. I’m an ID Addict.
Investigation Discovery is a cable channel that shows non-stop true crime shows like Dateline.
I’m a huge fan of Dateline. I also love Homicide Hunter, Murder Next Door, A Crime to Remember, True Crime with Aphrodite Jones, Most Evil, 20/20 (when it’s a crime episode and not some boring “my neighbor from Hell” story), Murder Book, On the Case with Paula Zahn… etc. etc. If a show has the words “Evil,” “Murder” or “Homicide” in the title, it’s on my TiVo list.
The contents of my bookshelf include The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers, Welcome to Hell: Writings and Letters from Death Row, Helter Skelter, Last Meals (yup, just lists of final meals of inmates before being executed) and many worn out paperbacks about Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Richard Ramirez, David Berkowitz (Son of Sam), Zodiac, BTK, Jeffrey Dahmer… well, you get the picture.
So, I have this (possibly unhealthy) obsession with crimes and killers, and BAM: here is a possible killer who I’ve actually met!!
I’m super fascinated with what makes a person confess to a crime they didn’t commit. I’m in no way saying that this is the case with Pat, but let’s keep an open mind here, people. If any of you are familiar with the case of The West Memphis Three, then you know sometimes people really do confess to doing some pretty horrific stuff, even when they didn’t do it.
Anyway, I wrote a letter to Pat.
Keep in mind that we had only met briefly before his arrest; I wasn’t exactly writing to an old friend. I was nervous about it, too. I had no idea if he would remember me or write me back, and if he didn’t write me back… how in the world would I ever be able to write about him?
Also, what do you say to someone who is in jail and being accused of some seriously heinous stuff (double murder and dismemberment of one of the victims)?
Well, I talked about how crappy the dressing rooms had been at our theatre. I also mentioned that he’d been a huge topic of conversation around the place after he was arrested. I asked some questions about the truthfulness of Orange is the New Black (LOVE that show and wouldn’t care if it was all lies… but it’s not).
It wasn’t a long letter. Only 3 paragraphs.
He replied to me right away!
My understanding is that the Sheriffs only wanted to question Pat about a missing man and his ATM card. And then Pat supposedly confessed immediately…
Pat and his fiancee lived in an apartment complex two floors below a 26 year old Army combat soldier.
The Vet (as I’ll refer to him) had recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan and had started attending a local college. Word around the complex was that The Vet had about 50,000 dollars savings in the bank and the police say that Pat wanted that money.
They also say Pat was in major debt… that Pat was about to be evicted from his apartment… that Pat was getting married in the middle of a terrible financial situation…
Money was motive for murder.
The Vet and his parents were close. He was their only child. When their son didn’t come over as expected that morning and couldn’t be reached on the phone, the worried dad went to his son’s apartment to check on him.
Inside the bedroom, he found the partially clad body of a young woman.
She was a friend of his son’s. She had been shot.
She had writing scrawled on her. The words indicated she’d been killed because of some kind of romantic relationship that had gone terribly wrong.
With no sign of his missing son, The Vet’s dad called the police.
I want to point out that everything I know about this case so far is from what I’ve read and seen on TV. None of my information is from Pat. We were not yet in that point of our relationship.
I’m not sure what exactly was written on the body of the murdered girl. My understanding is that a black marker was used to write on her body or her clothing. It supposedly said something like “now you can fucking have her…”
I will be very interested in finding out the specifics when Pat goes to trial
(likely this February).
The murdered woman was a 23 year old; The Vet’s fellow student and his tutor. Even though she had a boyfriend (A Marine combat engineer stationed in Japan),
the police immediately suspected that the relationship between The Vet and Tutor Girl was actually romantic. A logical conclusion. It appeared she’d been sexually assaulted and The Vet was nowhere to be found.
The dad protested profusely that his son would never have hurt Tutor Girl, but evidence showed otherwise. The previous evening, she was at dinner with her brother when she received texts from The Vet. He was depressed. He really wanted a “girl to talk to.” Tutor Girl was never one to abandon a friend in need, so she agreed to drop by his apartment later that night. Her brother got a text around midnight letting him know she’d arrived safely to The Vet’s apartment.
Now she had been found dead in the apartment of that man who had “lured” her to his home… and he was missing.
The police tracked the missing man’s activity through credit card and bank activity. The Vet’s ATM card led them to a 17 year old kid who had been taking out money. The 17 year old immediately told the police that he’d been given the card and asked to take out the money by… Pat.
Now, obviously, the police wanted to how Pat came into possession of a missing man’s ATM card – especially when that man was wanted in questioning to a murdered girl found in his apartment. This is when they tracked Pat down at that restaurant. It turns out that Pat didn’t realize that the police only wanted to question him about the ATM card. He thought they knew much much more.
You see, The Vet wasn’t on the lam.
He was dead.
According to the police, Pat confessed to murdering them both.
He invited her in and shot her in the head.
Wow, right? Hold on… it gets worse.
Pat decapitated The Vet’s body. He also cut off the man’s left arm and right hand.
He left the torso and legs at the theatre and hid the head, arm, and hand in a nearby park.
No one at our theatre had any idea that the man singing on stage had just murdered two people… according to police.
When I use “allegedly” and “supposedly” to discuss Pat’s crime and confession, I do this because his trial hasn’t happened. He is innocent until proven guilty.
I’m pretty sure Pat is guilty. He’s also my friend.
My New Friend is in Jail
I have a new friend.
Actually I met him for the first time in 2010, but he really only became my actual friend until a few months ago when I first wrote him a letter.
He is in jail.
He’s “awaiting trial.” He’s been waiting a long time, too – 4 years and 7 months so far. That is a longer-than-usual time to wait for your trial. It’s especially a long time if you sit inside a cell 22 hours day. My friend is being charged with “special circumstances,” so he can’t get bail, and the prosecutor is asking for the death penalty.
Let’s start by saying that I am NOT going to use my friend’s name in this blog; at least not at this point.
Obviously, anyone could Google what I’m going to tell you about the case. You could find out my friend’s name and all about his alleged crime. I’m not trying to hide anything, but I watch a lot of TV, and I figure if I don’t say his name, then nothing I write can be used against him in a court of law.
That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.
I’m going to call him Pat. My friend Pat, who is in jail.
When I first met Pat back in 2010, he was acting in a play at my theatre. I’m calling it my theatre because I was one of the people who helped with the day-to-day running of the place. I was a company member and a director.
Pat was just around for one show. Even though he was the lead actor in a musical running at the theatre, it was Pat’s first time acting there.
The show was doing well and it was making money. That was all that mattered to me.
So, even though Pat was just a visitor, I liked him. I didn’t think he was the greatest actor in the world, but he was doing a good job in the show and audiences responded well to him.
I started eyeing him for my summer musical. He seemed like a nice guy. He was good-looking and personable. He was funny and polite. He was even engaged to one of the actresses in the show, and they were getting married the next week! He seemed like he had his life pretty organized (at least organized enough for an actor in community theatre).
I chatted up Pat when I was house managing for his show one night.
This theatre was really small. There were a lot of people in Pat’s show, and he ended up having to use the theatre’s office for his dressing room (he was the only man in the show). I was selling tickets and snacks from the front of the office, while Pat was hanging out “back stage” in the back of the office.
A makeshift curtain hid him from the audience. He made me laugh, because every time someone would order a soda, Pat would hand it to me through the curtain.
A few days after the show ended, Pat was arrested.
He was at a restaurant having an impromptu bachelor party with some of his buddies. The Sheriffs swarmed in and arrested him just as he’d finished paying the check (a fact that annoys him a bit).
Hello, and welcome to my blog. Thank you for reading, and, since you’re here, for deciding to go all the way back to the beginning.
I began writing this blog in January 2015, long before Daniel Wozniak’s trial. He hadn’t had his day in court yet, and as his friend (and a true crime fan), I wanted to write the blog with an “innocent until proven guilty” stance.
It’s two and a half years later now. I’m working on a book about Daniel Wozniak, our friendship, and his crime, so I decided it would be a good idea for me to review what I’d written at the beginning.
I made some jokes in those early posts that I do not love, and I can see how some readers might take offense and stop reading the blog right then and there.
I could easily go back and edit those old posts to take out any embarrassing parts I don’t like. But that’s not being honest, is it?
I just want you guys to know that I know my early posts were a little rough around the edges. Keep going. It gets really interesting… and the story is far from over.
— Murderer Musings