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American Annals of the Deaf

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Deadly Charm: The Story of a Deaf Serial Killer
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The following morning both Clint and Marilyn were distraught that Lancer had run off again. They made a thorough search of the surrounding neighborhood. Patrick also pretended to look for Lancer. When Lancer couldn’t be found, Clint called the pound, but they said the dog wasn’t there.

Two days later, Patrick decided it was safe to bring Lancer back. That afternoon he said maybe Lancer had gone farther away than they thought. He asked Clint if he could borrow the van and go check some other places where the dog might have gone. Clint agreed, and when Patrick returned several hours later he had Lancer in tow. He explained that he had located the animal at a pound in Glen Burnie, some twenty-five miles away from the marina. “I had to pay fifty-five dollars to get him back,” Patrick told Clint in his note.

When Clint handed him the money, Patrick could see that his boss wasn’t completely convinced. Marilyn was looking at him funny, too, but, happy to have Lancer safely home, neither of them said anything.

The next day, February 7, work in the shop came to a halt because some necessary supplies failed to arrive. Marilyn phoned to say she would not come in until afternoon, Clint was still sleeping off the previous night’s binge, and Patrick decided to work on his motorcycle. Outside, it was freezing cold—snow was falling and Spa Creek had partially iced over— so he brought the Harley into the shop.

He had just disassembled some of the engine parts and spread them on the workbench when the odor of gasoline roused Clint from his hangover. He came roaring up out of bed. “Great God!” he screamed at Patrick. “Get that damned thing out of here before you blow us all to Kingdom Come!”

Patrick, not realizing that fumes from the vehicle’s gas tank could cause an explosion if they reached the woodstove’s open flames, reacted by shoving Clint away from the workbench. At that, Clint seized the motorcycle, flung it out the door, then grabbed all the parts from the workbench and threw them out as well.

Furious, Patrick stormed out of the building. Clint decided it would do the young man good to cool off, and he went back to bed. Sometime later he heard the motorcycle’s engine start and figured that Patrick had somehow put his motorcycle back together and driven off.

Later that same morning, Clint went outside to get his cigarettes from the van and was shocked to find that all four of the vehicle’s tires had been slashed. He called the police department to report the vandalism, and Officer J. M. Hollemann of the Annapolis Police Department arrived to investigate. The policeman checked and saw that there were footprints in the snow surrounding the van and that they seemed to stop in front of each slashed tire. Clint said he was pretty sure the prints matched those of the type of work boots Patrick wore, and Officer Hollemann noted that fact in his report.

By then, however, Clint was having second thoughts about accusing his violent young employee, possibly because he was aware that he had been paying Patrick under the table and had filed no tax reports on him. Or perhaps he was reluctant to get Patrick in trouble because of his deafness. Whatever the reason, he explained away the footprints to Officer Hollemann by saying that the van had not been moved for several days and that he had earlier asked Patrick to check it to see whether his missing dog, Lancer, might be inside. ‘I’m pretty sure Patrick would not do a thing like that,” he told the officer.

Regardless of that explanation, Officer Hollemann remained skeptical. In his detailed report on the incident he astutely observed, “Since one of the passenger doors to the van was open, and it was not a window style van, I feel the usual way to check for a dog inside would be to look in the open door, not walk all around the vehicle stopping at each of the four wheels.”

After Officer Hollemann left, Marilyn arrived and went with Clint to Sears, where they purchased four new tires to replace the ones that had been ruined. They mounted the new tires on the rims and stashed the old ones in the rear of the van, after which Marilyn left to return home, hopeful that the situation had quieted.

Patrick, meanwhile, had spent the afternoon with his friend Larry. Around six he headed to the local taverns, hoping to find sympathy from his other friends. But with the freezing weather, few people were out and about. Around nine, he returned to the shop. When he pulled in, he saw that Clint’s van was not in its usual parking spot, which meant he was not yet in. He assumed Clint was either at the bars or was spending the night with one of his girlfriends. Still seething about the day’s events, Patrick went sullenly off to bed.

Around midnight, Patrick was awakened by a noise outside. Glancing over at Clint’s bed, he saw that it was still empty. Cautiously, he slipped off his cot, found his boots, and went to check on his motorcycle, which he had left parked near the shop. The vehicle was missing.

Frantic, he ran back inside, dressed, ran back out, and managed to flag down a passing patrol car. He led Annapolis police officer M. P. Gibbs to where he had parked the vehicle. In the gleam of the officer’s flashlight they saw the motorcycle’s tire tracks leading to the end of the pier. They walked out on the pier, and the officer shone his light down into the water, but the darkness and ice made it impossible to determine whether Patrick’s beloved Harley was submerged in the water below.

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