The Killer Beside Me is investigating the 2006 murders of two school secretaries, Kay Harrelson and Peggy Merimon, who were murdered by Mickey Patterson in Lubbock, Texas.
On August 9, 2006, Kay Harrelson and Peggy Merimon were last seen leaving Lubbock State School at lunchtime as the pair reportedly got into a car driven by an unknown man.
A search was initiated when the two women failed to reappear. It was 11 days later that 51-year-old Harrelson was in a ditch near Shallowater, TX, approximately 15 miles northwest of Lubbock.
The whereabouts of 61-year-old Merimon remained a mystery for another four years until her remains were finally located about thirteen miles from where Harrelson had been found. Merimon left behind a large family that included seven children and 25 grandchildren.
In the meantime, the police investigation had zeroed in on fellow school employees, Mickey Patterson. An eyewitness stated that they thought Patterson was driving the car that the two women were getting into at the school.
Patterson made a tearful confession to FBI Agent William Teigen during an interview in August 2006. During the interview, he claimed that the two women were bisexual and wanted a threesome with him. He also said he’d had sex with Merimon a few months beforehand.
He first claimed that he’d given his car keys to the women and never saw them again; however, he admitted to killing them at the end of the interview. Unfortunately, he later retracted his confession. Without adequate evidence, the cops were unable to arrest him.
Police needed evidence against Mickey Patterson
DNA samples were taken, and tests were run, but these failed to match to Patterson.
As there was no physical evidence to connect Patterson to the crime, investigators needed another way to connect him with the murders, and they found it in the cellphone records. These placed Patterson in the area where the bodies were dumped the day after the school secretaries disappeared.
Cellphones usually use the closest available cell tower to send or receive information, and records showed that Patterson’s phone usually used the two towers between his West Lubbock mobile home park residence and the school. However, on August 10, 2006, his phone bounced data off a tower in Shallowater.
In 2009, Patterson was arrested in Bend, Oregon, and was transported back to Texas to face a trial. It was a short time later that Merimon’s body was finally discovered.
In 2011, he was put on trial for the murder of Kay Harrelson and was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison. He was also charged with the murder of Peggy Merimon, but he died in jail in November 2012.
More from The Killer Beside Me
Follow the links to read about more murders committed by people who lived close to the victim.
When Denise Vasseur tried to end her affair with fellow San Diego zookeeper, Patrick Hamilton, he responded with extreme violence. Her body has never been located, but Hamilton admitted to burying the remains in the Anzo-Boregga desert.
Gail Spencer was held hostage before being strangled to death in her own home as her colleague Tracy Jones stole over a million dollars from her employer.
The Killer Beside Me airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.
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