Deadly love triangle involving Texas oilman, 71, and heiress, 35, explored in shocking true crime doc


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Debbie Patton-Bearden can vividly recall the day when she believed her brother had been killed.

The Texas girl got here ahead to take part in Oxygen’s new true crime docuseries “Killer Affair,” which takes viewers behind tales of homicide ignited by infidelity and deception. It options first-hand interviews with mates, households and investigators related to the circumstances.


Patton-Bearden’s life took a surprising activate Oct.1, 2013, when she obtained a cellphone name from her buddy Catherine Slatkin.

Debbie Patton-Bearden mentioned she wished to set the report straight about her brother Johnny Patton Jr.

“Catherine mentioned, ‘One thing is mistaken, [police] received’t let me inside the home,’” Patton-Bearden recalled to Fox Information, referring to her Benbrook residence.

“I informed her I used to be on my means. I ran, obtained in my automobile and drove off. Once I arrived, there have been cops in every single place. I simply stored saying, ‘Please God.’ I noticed an ambulance… I got here out and noticed a person laying down there. I went proper in the direction of him and no one was going to cease me. I used to be screaming, ‘Is that my brother? Is that Johnny?’ It took 4 cops to carry me again… I mentioned all I wished to know was if that was Johnny. However they mentioned no.”

The useless man turned out to be Richard Slatkin, the ex-husband of Patton-Bearden’s buddy. The 66-year-old had been shot within the chest outdoors of her residence. And to Patton’s shock, sitting behind the police automobile was her brother, Johnny Patton Jr.

“I don’t know if I collapsed or fainted,” Patton-Bearden admitted. “One thing occurred. I couldn’t rise up. However I needed to get my brother.”


The late Richard Slatkin is shown in a file portrait from Oct. 29, 2003. (Credit Image: © Tom Pennington/TNS via ZUMA Wire)

The late Richard Slatkin is proven in a file portrait from Oct. 29, 2003. (Credit score Picture: © Tom Pennington/TNS through ZUMA Wire)

The occasions have been the results of an intricate triangle involving childhood mates — and even a father and son.

Johnny Patton Jr., who was 68 years previous on the time of the taking pictures, was having a romantic relationship with Catherine Slatkin, the Star-Telegram reported. Based on the outlet, he claimed he gunned down Richard in self-defense. Slatkin, who was 32 on the time, testified that the lads have been jealous of one another.

However in response to the documentary, there was extra to this lethal love triangle involving the now 71-year-old and 35-year-old.

Slatkin acknowledged that earlier than relationship Johnny she had had an affair with Patton’s son, Jason Patton, which led to a being pregnant whereas she was married to Richard. She gave delivery to Jason’s little one, which in the end led to her divorce from Richard in Might 2014. (Jason was later convicted on drug expenses and despatched to jail.)

Slatkin, an heiress who’s the granddaughter of Bob Alexander, a co-founder of Alcon, began seeing Johnny, who was greater than three a long time her senior, simply earlier than Jason was put behind bars, The Day by day Mail reported.

Witness Catherine Slatkin testifies in the murder trial of Johnny Patton, Jr. in Judge David Hagerman's courtroom on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Fort Worth, Texas. (Credit Image: © Joyce Marshall/TNS via ZUMA Wire)

Witness Catherine Slatkin testifies within the homicide trial of Johnny Patton, Jr. in Choose David Hagerman’s courtroom on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Fort Price, Texas. (Credit score Picture: © Joyce Marshall/TNS through ZUMA Wire)


Based on the documentary, Slatkin’s relationship with Richard began whereas he was nonetheless married to another person. The Star-Telegram revealed she would go on to marry Richard in 2009 when she was 26 and he was 62. The couple had a baby collectively.

Slatkin testified that her mom and Johnny’s mom had been mates since childhood and that the households have been shut. Subsequently, she naturally gravitated towards Patton.

“I’ve all the time, all the time cherished Catherine,” mentioned Patton-Bearden. “Matter of truth, she has all the time been part of my life because the day she was born. She would all the time come to me with all the things. Each drawback she had, each man she was with, each married man she was with, besides Richard. I didn’t know she was having an affair with him on the time. It simply floored me however she stored that away from me. However I knew there was one thing occurring.”

Prosecutor Eric Nickols also participated in "Killer Affair." — Oxygen

Prosecutor Eric Nickols additionally participated in “Killer Affair.” — Oxygen

Whereas Patton-Bearden claimed Slatkin didn’t initially inform her about her affair with Richard, she did open up about turning into intimate with Patton’s nephew Jason.


“I knew all the things she was doing as a result of she would come to me,” mentioned Patton-Bearden. “I might say, ‘Catherine, go and discuss to your mother. Don’t put me in the course of all of this.’ However she would name me each time… She was an excellent buddy, however I began noticing issues about Catherine. I might inform her that younger women don’t do that and that she’s obtained a lot going for her. However she was residing a double life. There have been instances I might inform her she wanted to cease telling me all the things as a result of I simply didn’t need to know all of this. However she would come over and discuss to me and simply cry.”

The Star-Telegram revealed Patton acknowledged gunning down Richard however insisted it was justified as a result of the jealous ex-spouse repeatedly threatened to kill him.

Richard Slatkin's pal spoke out about the slain private investigator. — Oxygen

Richard Slatkin’s pal spoke out concerning the slain personal investigator. — Oxygen

Based on the prosecutors and testimony, Patton made repeated 911 calls claiming Richard was intent on taking pictures him. Nevertheless, prosecutor Eric Nickols mentioned that was a calculated lie.

Reuters reported Nickols mentioned one 911 name made across the time of the taking pictures detected the sound of a revving automobile engine, which urged Patton was within the automobile and never on the scene of the taking pictures, the place he claimed was being threatened by Richard. Nickols additionally mentioned Patton was jealous of Richard as a result of he conscious Slatkin had continued a romantic relationship together with her ex-husband whereas she was concerned with him.


“Patton stole Catherine from his son and killed Richard Slatkin as a result of he was a rival for her affection,” mentioned Nickols.

Witnesses additionally testified that Patton was abusive to his estranged spouse and all the time carried a gun. However Patton-Bearden alleged Richard had threatened to shoot her brother shortly earlier than he died.

“I knew Richard carried a gun as a result of he all the time confirmed me,” claimed Patton-Bearden. “… Thoughts you, Richard was not a really tall man. However he was an actual argumentative man. He was screaming and hollering at me that he was going to kill Johnny. I mentioned, ‘Richard, that you must shut up and inform me what the heck is happening.’ He mentioned, ‘I’m sick and uninterested in your brother being with Catherine.’… He was simply going nuts… I couldn’t get him to relax.”

Reuters shared a Fort Price jury convicted Patton of homicide and deliberated for 30 minutes earlier than sentencing him to life in jail. Patton-Bearden insisted her brother didn’t get a good trial.


“I do notice what went down is what went down however I do know the details,” she claimed. “I do know that Richard was threatening to kill him two weeks prior.”

Patton-Bearden mentioned she retains in touch together with her brother “daily.” As for Slatkin, she mentioned that their decades-long friendship is now over.

“I informed her, ‘Catherine, I’ve by no means been extra disenchanted in you in my life and our friendship is over,’” mentioned Patton. “‘I hope you bear in mind today and I hope that you simply bear in mind the day you noticed Richard laying on the street. And I hope you bear in mind what you’ve finished to my brother. And I hope that you simply bear in mind what you have got finished to your little women.’”

“Killer Affair” premieres July 11 at eight p.m. on Oxygen.

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