Tuesday, September 22, 2009 7:40:39 AM
Police: Insane inmate planned escape for months

06:09 PM PDT on Monday, September 21, 2009

KING Staff and Associated Press

Video: Insane escapee back at Eastern State Hospital
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SPOKANE, Wash. -- An insane killer is back in Eastern State Hospital after escaping while on a field trip to the Spokane County Interstate Fair.

Questions now being asked are why was he allowed out in the first place, and why did it take two hours for supervisors to report him missing?

Phillip Arnold Paul, 47, spent three days on the run before he was captured Sunday afternoon near Goldendale. On Monday, he was back at Eastern State Hospital under orders from a judge.

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Authorities said Paul appeared to have carefully planned to disappear into the crowd at the fair during a trip with 30 fellow patients on Thursday.

"This should not have happened and I cannot make excuses for it. I am so sorry," said Susan Dreyfus, Department of Social and Health Services Secretary. She is vowing swift action, but so far, everyone's still on the job.

"The person who was responsible for him at the fair is still working because I need the facts," said Dreyfus.

Earlier this month, a Yakima County Superior Court judge said, "Mr. Paul does represent a threat to public safety because, regardless of the reasons, his condition has deteriorated. He has become more aggressive."

Phillip Paul

Despite that, the insane killer was allowed to attend a county fair on Family Day.

"This trip should not have happened," said Dreyfus.

When captured, he was carrying a sleeping bag and a backpack with food, clothing and many of his personal items from Eastern State. Paul, an amateur musician who posts songs on MySpace, was also carrying a guitar. Ominously, a hand scicle protruded from the pack when he was captured.

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said Paul conned a friend into giving him a ride from Spokane to Goldendale. The friend believed Paul had been legally released. When the friend saw news reports of the escape, he contacted authorities and led them to the point where he had dropped off Paul on Thursday.

Spokane Co. Sheriff's Dept.

Phillip Arnold Paul

In the end, it was aircraft—and a familiar face—that cornered Paul in Goldendale, on a rural highway about 80 miles south of Yakima. Paul exited the wilderness just off Goldendale-Bickleton Road just after 4 p.m. Sunday and came face-to-face with a Spokane County Sheriff's detective who had captured him during a previous escape during a field trip to Medical Lake in 1991.

"He knew that he'd been located, he'd been feeling presence of helicopter all day long, and he surrendered without incident," said Knezovich.

Deputies arrested Paul, who reportedly offered no resistance.

"It appeared that he was going to voluntarily turn himself in because of the pressure of the ground force we had in the area," said Klickitat County Sheriff Rick McComas. "He came out of the brush, onto the roadway, as law enforcement officers were going by. His intent was to voluntarily give himself up because he knew we were going to find him."

It was similar to his 1991 capture.

"He cooperated with us in 1991. We didn't have any problems until we got down to the jail. That's when he attacked me," said Detective Roger W. Knight.

Following the arrest in 1991, Paul knocked Knight unconscious in the jail booking area, separating his shoulder, and was convicted of first-degree escape and second-degree assault.

Last week's escape was apparently planned after Paul's efforts to move from the mental hospital to a residential facility in downtown Spokane were rejected by a judge earlier this month. The judge found that Paul represented "a threat to public safety."

Paul had petitioned and won conditional release to the downtown facility, called The Carlyle, twice in the past, fathering a child during one of his releases. His most recent release ended in January after his mental condition reportedly deteriorated.

Diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, he was committed for the 1987 strangling and slashing of 78-year-old Ruth Mottley in Sunnyside. Paul, 25 at the time, snapped Mottley's neck and slashed her throat twice. He then doused her body with gasoline and buried her in her own flower garden. Paul told authorities that voices in his head told him Mottley was a witch who was casting spells on him.

Mottley was a retired educator who had founded the town's historical society and appeared on a list of Washington's 100 most influential women.

On his My Space page, Paul talks about his schizophrenia and the medications he takes. Identifying his band as Philly Willy and the Hillbillies, he posted songs that called Eastern State the "nut hut," the "castle on the hill," and a "palace of the pill."

On the site, Paul referred to the killing of Mottley.

"A four second mistake took Phil on a path no one could have imagined. A person lay dead at his feet."

Given Paul's history, many are wondering why Paul would ever be released from incarceration.

"There is an extreme amount of anger in the law enforcement community that this even took place," said Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. "My question is if somebody was noncompliant in taking their medications, what made them believe he would be compliant on a trip to the Spokane Fair on Family Day?"

Knezovich plans to ask the state Legislature to ban field trips for the criminally insane. He also plans to bill the state for helicopter flight time and overtime for about 10 deputies.

Eastern patients have taken outings into the community for years, and hospital officials say they can be a useful tool in treatment. All such trips are on hold as the state examines its practices in light of the escape. The state Department of Social and Health Services has promised a security review will be completed within 15 days. contributed to this report.

  •  britt
  • 97.96% (Exalted)
  • Operations Foreman
Tuesday, September 22, 2009 7:52:15 AM
Jan Leno made a very inappropriate remark last night. He stated that it was easy for the man to escape when he mixed in with the carnies. (might not be exact but that is basically what was said). I flipped the channel to something else. Why still all the sterotyping?

corrected spelling typos
Tuesday, September 22, 2009 8:35:50 AM


Originally posted by britt

Jan Leno made a very inappropriate remark last night. He stated that it was easy for the man to escape when he mixed in with the carnies. (might not be exact but that is basically what was said. I flipped th channel to something else. Why still all the sterotyping?

Because the carival industry in general has a bad image. It may not be fair but it's the way it is and something needs to be done in order to improve your image. However, there are many people here and in this bussiness that don't care about their image.
It is what you learn, after you know it all, that counts.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009 8:52:50 AM
I stopped watching Leno years ago, he just can't help himself.
coney girl
Tuesday, September 22, 2009 11:54:28 AM
I don't watch TV except a few clips on the web, so have no idea if Leno is an equal opportunity insulter like the dunk tank clown at San Gennaro the other night? I think jokes based on stereotypes prevail if the group or industry that's insulted doesn't have the equivalent of an Anti Defamation League or NAACP to speak out against it.

I went to the Leno site and watched the monologue in question. After saying that an "insane murderer" had escaped during an outing to a county fair, Leno said: "Apparently he was able to escape by blending in with the carnival ride operators." This is the type of joke you'd expect from a joe shmoe on the comment section of a news site and not on prime time TV! Definitely over the line and Leno should be called out on it.

Benji, I don't agree that the stereotyping continues because "the carnival industry in general has a bad image." Over the past decade or so, most people I meet think it's so cool that I was a carny kid. Before that I suffered stupid comments like "You don't look like a carny" and "Oh, so you were a little crook!"

Amusing the Zillion
A former carny kid casts an insider’s eye on the amusement business, Coney Island, and fun places in between 
Tuesday, September 22, 2009 12:46:44 PM
Shame on Leno !! He does make a lot of BS jokes..
<h5>"If you cant run with the BIG dogs stay on the porch"</h5>

Randy D.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009 9:34:20 AM
Shame on the brillant person who deceided that a field trip from a Mental Hospital to a Fair full of families with children was a good idea. The decision maker in this unbelievable mess not only needs to be fired, but, also evaluated by a mental health professional!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009 9:41:39 AM
It's not just Leno. I hear it on talk radio and other types of radio all the time. Bob and Tom type stuff is notorious. There have been more than one time I've written or called about it.

It's unfortunate but and those of us who know people in the industry know that it's not accurate. However, it's always been this way and probably always will be this way.