My name is Joyce Alexander, I am a retired registered family nurse practitioner. My youngest biological son, William Patrick Alexander TDCJ# 655687 is an inmate in the Texas prison system for murdering a 17 year old girl named Jessica Witt on January 20, 1992, in Tarrant County, Texas. He received a “life” sentence, but that doesn’t really mean “life,” and in his case, he got his first parole hearing at 15 years, and got a “set off” of four years, meaning he couldn’t request parole for another four years. The second hearing, though, I had realized my son was a psychopath, and continues to be a dangerous man, and I hired an attorney and fought his parole, he got a three year “set off” and he as another parole hearing coming up between August and December 2013.
I live on the family farm where my grandparents lived. My foster son, Michael, lives with me, and I live near my oldest son, Andrew. I haven’t seen Patrick or communicated with him since sometime about January, 2006 when he sent one of his ex cell mates to kill me.
Patrick had been an amazingly happy, popular and bright young child, all the way up to that fateful summer he turned 15. What a wonderful child, the joy of my life. Then he changed. I remember when he stated his law breaking career. He dumped his good friends, the children of my friends, and started to go out at night in our spare car while I was working the 11-7 shift at the local hospital. The police called me and I went to pick him up, and after that I took him to work with me, putting him to bed in an empty patient room in the hospital were I was the night nursing supervisor. That worked for a while.
By the time he was 17, the school resource officer (police officer) came to tell me that Patrick and a foster son, Steve, had a gun at school. I confiscated the stolen gun by coming upon them when they didn’t expect it and reached into the back seat of the car and got the gray gym bag the officer had described. That evening Patrick and Steve ran away. I turned them in to the police as run aways. The next day they were returned by the police and I sent Steve away, angering Patrick, but putting my own child first. I didn’t think I could handle the both of them.
A few weeks later, still on probation for the motorcycle he and Steve had stolen, Patrick talked his older brother Andrew into renting an apartment for them. Neither of them had jobs to support the utility bills much less the rent, and no vehicle. It took all of Andrew’s savings from his after college job at a food court to swing the first month’s rental and deposit.
A few days after they moved out, my husband and I came out to go to work and our car had been driven during the night and the engine was still warm. We went immediately to the apartment to find it filled with computers which I had no doubt were stolen. I called the police. Both Patrick, a juvenile, and Andrew, an adult, were arrested.
We lived in Florida at the time and as long as the juvy had not killed anyone, they would release them to the parents without any cash bond. We went down that night to pick him up, and when the beefy older policeman brought him downstairs, Patrick looked at us and sneered and said “What the f#@k took you so long?”
I looked at the policeman and said “There must be some mistake, this kid looks like my son, but couldn’t possibly be my son, because my son wouldn’t talk to me like that.” My husband and I left without Patrick.
By the time I got home the phone was ringing with him crying “why did you leave me?”
Three days later I went to his court hearing and watched him be brought in chained between two gang bangers, dressed in orange jail jump suits and jelly flip flops. The judge called his name in turn and I stood up and told the judge I couldn’t control him and the only way I would take him back was if they put a “radio collar” on him. The radio collars were crude in those days and because he was not yet 18 (by a few days) they could only put a plastic strap on it. There was a unit on the strap that had to be put into the phone when the police called to check that he was at home. He stayed three days before he cut it off and fled on another stolen motorcycle, going back to Texas.
At this point in time I was frustrated, mad and sad all at once, and I just wanted to stop him from destroying is life before it was too late and he got a “big boy” felony charge that would ruin his life. Patrick’s IQ was in the top 1 percentile and he could have had a full ride scholarship to any university in the US just based on that, but instead he decided to become a thief and dropped out of high school.
I just knew there had to be some way to stop the progression from A student to criminal thug. But I was wrong. There was no way to save my son from himself.
By the time he was twenty he had two years of a five year prison sentence under his belt and was rearrested less than five months after his release from the aggravated robbery sentence, this time for murder. My worst night mares had come true. My world fell apart and I went into a tail spin so horrible that I probably should have been sent to a psychiatric hospital. I didn’t sleep a wink for seven days and didn’t eat a bite for 14, drinking twenty cups of coffee a day with sugar and cream kept me going. Smoking four packs of cigarettes a day fueled my nicotine addiction and kept my hands busy.
I cried and screamed, locked the door and didn’t let anyone in, my friends wondered what had happened to me. My husband, also heart broken, didn’t know how to comfort me.
I took hundreds of dollars per month in collect phone calls from Patrick denying that he had anything to do with the murder of Jessica Witt. I wanted to believe him, but I couldn’t make myself believe, and I couldn’t not believe either. I was in hell.
I let things distract me from the truth, we talked about his truck that was impounded and he wanted me to get it out. It wasn’t worth what was owed on it, and after a few months I talked to his public defender lawyer and he told me “don’t worry about the truck, he has bigger problems.”
Patrick told us when the trial would be, we planned to go down to Texas to the trial, but then we found out he trial was already over. He had lied to us about when it would be, because he didn’t want us there. The evidence against him, as I found out talking to his attorney after the fact, (he didn’t violate client privilege by telling me what evidence had been presented in court.) They had witnesses who Patrick had confessed to, asked to move the body, they had tape recordings of him asking his cousin to move the gun which was under his mattress. They had found Jessica Witt’s body right where he had told his friend on the taped conversation where it was. I knew the truth, but I still couldn’t fully face it.
Later, I found out the real reason he didn’t want us there was that the “defense” he planned to use was his “abusive childhood.” A person from the victim’s family said the prosecution poked big holes in that “defense.” I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by him thinking such a defense would work, he had told lies about how abused he was since he was a teenager.
My son, my wonderful shining star, was a murderer. He had killed a 17 year old girl in cold blood because she had turned him in for using her grandfather’s credit cards. He was on parole at the time so he decided to kill her. I even realized that if he had come home to live after his two years for aggravated robbery, it would have been me he killed. He had no intention of going straight.
The one time he had come home to visit us after he got out of prison for the robbery he told me, in a sneering sort of way. “You know why I didn’t come home?” I said “Tell me why.” He said in a tone of voice to indicate that he was punishing me for not moving back home, like he had said he wanted to before he got out, “Well, because I knew if I got into trouble you’d turn me in to the cops.” I looked him in the eye and said “Yep, you got that right, nothing has changed.”
It took me nearly 20 years to realize just how true my statement really was. He has never changed, he’s a psychopath, he doesn’t want to change. I had finally come to see the truth that my son was never going to change, my son was a monster. He needed to stay in prison for the rest of his life. Not only for the safety of our family, but for the safety of society.
The healing needed from the emotional and mental trauma and pain of having to admit that someone you love…child, parent, sib, lover, spouse, friend…is a criminal without remorse is very difficult. But it doesn’t have to be a “criminal” in the sense that they are in prison, but an “offender” who has offended against the rules and mores of society, against the rules of morality…against all that is good, and has chosen to pursue a path toward evil, over and over again. God bless us all, but we must not give up, give in or fail to heal.