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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dec 27-KPNX tonight

After a couple of rough days, Paul rallied. Today he hosted KPNX and showed off his new head. Watch tonight at 10 pm on Channel 12!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mike Watkiss with Paul!

Here's the link. I don't know if I've done it properly. I'm sure KTVK will straighten me out if I haven't. Look at that round head! Woooohoooo!

Serial shooter victim Paul Patrick back in hospital

by Mike Watkiss

Posted on December 23, 2009 at 5:38 PM

Updated today at 5:38 PM


azfamily.com's Mike Watkiss revisits Paul Patrick, the man who became the face of the victims in the serial shooter case.

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The staples are titanium...and so is the guy!

Paul survived his skull re-attachment, to the intense relief of gathered family members. He is in a lot of pain but still found the strength to host KTVK's Mike Watkiss bedside. A camera wasn't far behind and soon Paul was telling everyone for himself how determined he is to survive and thrive. It played in the 5:00 newscast. I'll try to put up a link to the interview if I can figure it out.

Mike Watkiss called Paul Patrick "the toughest guy I know." I couldn't agree more! What Paul has gone through and keeps coming back for more is nothing short of amazing.

It's hard to get used to seeing him with the "round" head. I've seen the "divot" for so long, a full skull takes some getting used to! Imagine how it feels to Paul?! Oh, almost forgot to say, it takes 160 titanium staples to keep that patch of skull in place. Whew!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fairy Dust Needed Today for a Frozen Skull

Long after the prison doors clang shut, the headlines vanish and the lawyers have moved on to other cases, the crime itself is still right where it always was--at the epicenter of a heartbroken family. Paul Patrick was shot by a serial killer in Phoenix in 2006. That wretch is now behind bars. I sometimes cross paths with the excellent lawyers who put him there, when I walk the halls of justice in downtown Phoenix. They are on their way to other courtrooms with other cases and so am I.

But when Paul Patrick walks, it is down his own hall, with the help of two professional aides. And a camera nearby to record it. Because it is a momentous event, Paul taking a few steps. The 12 gauge shotgun in Sam's hands blasted away a good deal of Paul's torso. The eighty or so lead pellets still inside Paul have a tendency to move around and cause him a great deal of trouble. Earlier this year, roving pellets brought him so near death there was only one chance to save him, and that was by attempting to remove half his skull. His mother--whose vigilance is the only thing that has kept him alive on many occasions since the day he was shot--said she just wasn't ready to say good-bye to him yet, so she authorized the almost ridiculously desperate procedure. Against all odds, Paul survived. He has been living without his skull for 9 months now. There is just skin covering the right half of his brain. Any stray elbow or falling nightlight could do him in forever.

Today, the neurosurgeons have decided it's finally time to put the skull back. There is no need to explain how risky this procedure is, I think it speaks for itself. Will it bond? will it swell? will it get infected? will it still fit?

Today is a day people can "light a candle in a dark room" for Paul. Justice and the news machine have moved on. But Paul is still living the same case. He has no choice. I cannot do what I fervently desire, and that is to sprinkle fairy dust on the hands of the surgeon, on the freezer that has kept his skull for almost a year, on the tubes and machines that will keep him alive for the next few days. What I can do is leave no stone unturned in finding people who will blow him a kiss, cheer him on, tell him a joke. Anyone who wants to root for Paul today or send him a Christmas wish can do so here or at the FaceBook page. He and his mother will see the messages, I promise.

Paul's would-be killer has expressed a lot of remorse. He's doing his time, which will be for the rest of his life. But what I learned from this trial is that those things are a tiny part of crime-fighting. Paul fights the crime every day, every minute, for the rest of his life, too. Sam's remorse can't help him now. But your love and well wishes can.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Big Name, Big Style

He is handsome and gracious and held the audience in the palm of his hand. I can't say enough good about our evening with iconic author Joseph Wambaugh.

If by some miracle of fate you don't know him, he is the LAPD cop who burst onto the literary and pop culture scene in 1971 with The New Centurions. His gritty tales--both fiction and non-fiction--of police and their work have influenced and made possible shows like Hill Street Blues and The Shield.

At the Poisoned Pen on a cool December 2 evening, Wambaugh showed why he has been successful enough for a hundred lifetimes. He told charmingly shocking stories of actor James Woods who starred as an unknown in Wambaugh's self-produced The Onion Field. He did an imitation of Truman Capote and snuck us inside the In Cold Blood author's Palm Springs home on a day when it was 120 degrees. He brought us curbside to an almost-shakedown of out of work and forgotten Robert Blake in pre-Baretta days on an evening when a pre-famous Wambaugh was in a patrol car and how the term "Little Beaver" formed an instant connection between the two. And he raised us back up to the heights of glamour on set with Johnny Carson.

Watching Wambaugh work was like a master class in the art of being a raconteur. It was also a master class in being a very big person as he frequently and generously shared the spotlight with old friends, fellow cops and even little old moi.

He had the knack for zeroing in on the heart of the matter in seconds as he wrote the exact perfect thing in a book for Paul Patrick and one for Cliff Jewell (hey! they don't know it yet! it's a surprise--they wanted to go but couldn't make it--so a little Wambaugh is coming to them!).

If you ever have the chance to see this gentleman--and I mean that word in its highest literal sense--in person, do yourself a favor: go!

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