Who wants to write about an accused murderer? I do!

(Post 7)
Pat asked me again why I wrote that first letter.  I felt it was fair to let him know I want to write about him.  I don’t understand why it mattered to me, except that he’d asked me to be honest.
So here’s what I said (and it was all true):

I don’t have one simple answer for that.  I definitely have a strong curiosity about you.  I have since you were arrested.

I’ve always had an interest in crime and criminal acts.  I don’t mean for that to sound ghoulish or morbid.  I just want to figure out what makes a person tick.  The people who do the things most outside of society’s norm are the ones who fascinate me the most.

You have to admit that upon first hearing about the crimes for which you’ve been accused, most people will immediately assume you are a monster.

However, that is such a simplified response.  The man I met four years ago did not appear to be a monster, and these well written and thoughtful letters you’ve sent me have only made me even more aware of your humanity.

When you were arrested, I was immediately creatively drawn to your story. I felt that there was so much to explore about you and your life.  I wanted to write about you or write something inspired by you.  I really wanted to understand you…

Who is this man accused of such heinous acts and how is he the same creative, funny and seemingly kind person who is writing to me about helping a fellow inmate get his GED?

Who was he before and how in the world did he get here?

How do you feel about me or anyone wanting to tell your story?

I was super nervous Pat would just stop writing me all together.  He is facing double-murder charges after all.  Maybe he’s not interested in making friends with someone who wants to “tell all.”I just felt like I had to be upfront.  At least “up-fronty.”

When it comes to this blog, I’m taking a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach.  Pat hasn’t asked me if I’ve written anything yet, and I haven’t volunteered the information.It’s not like he has Internet access anyway.

So far, I haven’t posted anything I wouldn’t want him to read.  I’m not painting him in a bad light. I’m just being honest.OK, the description of the crime doesn’t make him look good, but I’m just saying he’s accused. Anything I wrote could be found with a basic Internet search.

I did say in the first post that I think he’s guilty.

I do.

Guilty of what precisely, though… I don’t know.

During our last visit, Pat even hinted that he is not completely responsible for this crime.
Then who is?
Then why confess?
I did not ask those questions.Yet.

Why Did I Write an Accused Murder?

February 2015

(Post Three)

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.

Just sayin’.

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!