At 70 years old, Patrick Fleming was in the prime of his life.
A Navy veteran, Patrick had earned two Purple Hearts for heroic actions in Vietnam. He was proud of his medals and of his rare and valuable coin collection, which he kept stored in his apartment at the Four Freedoms House, a senior living complex in Seattle.
And Patrick had just met the love of his life, Rosemary Garnett. They first started chatting in the laundry room, passing the time between loads, and quickly grew very fond of each other. They even started talking about marriage. Both were surprised and delighted to find love so late in life. Rosemary and Patrick would often make dinner together, then watch the evening news.
One evening in December of 2011, the couple had just finished up their usual routine. It was getting late and was time for Rosemary to take her nightly medication. It was just a short walk back to her apartment. She lived at the Four Freedoms as well.
When she went to take her pills, she reached into the fridge and realized she’d left her orange juice at Patrick’s place. She gave him a call. But, there was no answer. Strange, since she just left him only minutes earlier. By the time Rosemary walked back over to Patrick’s apartment, it was too late.
“He was pretty bloody. There was a lot of blood on the floor, blood around the room, and he had vicious wounds to his throat near the point of decapitation,” recalled Detective Cloyd Steiger. “It was a violent, violent death.”