Right out of the starting gate, Mary Linda Patricia Vann didn’t have much of a chance of not becoming a teenage mother. Her maternal family had special talent from bringing children into the world; the fact they didn’t (as we say in the South) have a pot to piss was of little regard.
It was really no surprise when Pat found herself knocked-up and unwed at fifteen. Marrying the teenage baby daddy was a useless endeavor and, with three children in tow, had returned home to the home of her mother and stepfather.
While many young mothers would have been defeated after a failed marriage, not Pat. She had big dreams. Big, big dreams. All she needed was to find and marry a wealthy man to achieve them.
After a couple of relationships that didn’t pan out, Pat met Tom Allanson, a handsome young man from a wealthy Georgia family. His father was prominent Georgia attorney Walter Allanson.
Pat cared little that Tom was six years her junior or married with a young child, her only focus was the money and she was determined to tie herself to it.
While Pat turned women against her with her high maintenance attitude, she had a way of wrapping men around her little finger and Tom was no exception. As soon as his divorce was final, he proposed to Pat and although she played coy with “You don’t want to marry me” a few times, she ultimately agreed.
She was finally living the dream.
Scarlett and Rhett
Pat had always related to Scarlett O’Hara, the protagonist from Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 novel Gone With The Wind. Scarlett was a woman who knew what she wanted and wouldn’t stop until she got, without stopping to think of anyone other than herself and just how many, past and future, would describe Pat. The only difference between Scarlett and Pat was the former was fiction. Pat, unfortunately, was not.
So it’s not much of a surprise that Pat’s new marriage would begin on a Gone With The Wind theme wedding, complete with southern belle style bridesmaid dresses and parasols. Pat was dressed as Scarlett and Tom completed the scene in his Rhett Butler attire.
When the ceremony was complete, the couple made their escape in a horse-drawn carriage.
It was definitely a wedding event to remember.
Not So Wedded Bliss
What might have been obvious to others appeared not to be so to Pat. Independently, Tom wasn’t wealthy; it was his parents who held the purse strings. And try as she may, Walter and Carolyn Allanson refused to accept their son’s divorce; much less his remarriage to some floozy with an over-inflated sense of self-worth. What Tom had done to their family was a disgrace.
Tom didn’t care. He was crazy about Pat and determined to give her everything she ever wanted. So the couple soon purchased a Zebulon, Georgia, 52-acre farm with a beautiful gorgeous home that Pat named Tara and set about their life raising Morgan horses. The heavily mortgaged estate was quite the attraction, even earning a visit from then Georgia governor Jimmy Carter.
It may have appeared to many that the Allanson wealth was following the son, but the monthly debt-to-income ratio said otherwise.
A Woman On A Vengeance
Walter and Carolyn were so disgusted with their son that they had cut him from their lives and their will. Instead, they had made provisions for their grandchild and Tom’s first wife in the event of their deaths.
Pat was furious. Nobody, especially not Tom’s parents, were going to stand in her way of getting the money she saw as rightfully hers.
One day Tom came home to find a disheveled Pat on the porch. When he asked what happened, Pat told a pitiful tale of visiting his father’s office in the name of helping the family to reconcile their differences. Instead, Walter had exposed himself to her while making sexually lewd remarks.
Tom was outraged and was intent on confronting his father. Pat, however, insisted that he not; she agreed to a restraining order instead. Soon thereafter, Pat told Tom she’d heard rumors that Walter intended to kill Tom.
Alternatively, Walter told friends that he believed Tom was planning his murder. A pistol and rifle had recently been stolen from his home and he believed it was his son who had done so. Police searched the junior Allanson’s home but were unable to locate the stolen weapons.
As communication among the Allansons became not existent, the tensions rose to all time high.
It was the perfect setting for a narcissistic sociopathic woman to make her next move.
The Murder of Walter and Carolyn
Anonymous phone calls to both Allanson homes filled with violent threats were unrelenting. Then on the evening of June 29, 1974, as Walter and Carolyn drove along a country road, they suddenly found themselves being fired upon. Terrified, the couple notified police who searched the area to no avail. But the Allansons were sure they knew who was responsible.
On the night of July 3, 1974, while the residents of the small Georgia town were celebrating Independence Day with picnics and fireworks, under the cover of darkness, Walter and Carolyn were viciously gunned down in the basement of their home.
Just before the brutal murder, Walter had received a call from an anonymous woman claiming that Tom had been seen entering the basement of his parents home. Walter rushed home and went straight to the basement where he called for Tom to come out and face him. When he received no response, he began firing a gun wildly around the basement while yelling to Carolyn to call the police.
When police arrived, the found the body of Walter Allanson on the basement floor and Carolyn was in slumped sitting position on the stairs.
The killer had fled the scene.
Of Homicide and Suicide
It was no secret that Tom and his parents had long been at odds, so Tom was investigator’s first and prime suspect.
Tom is arrested and charged with murder. Pat immediately retains the services of a local attorney to represent Tom, but soon finds herself at odds with the hired gun when she insists on directing Tom’s defense.
Defending Tom was no easy task. Tom insisted on one story while Pat insisted on another. Tom’s attorney was frustrated beyond words.
As Tom awaited trial, his bride of only two months visited as often as allowed. During one of those visits, she presented Tom with a Bible – one of only a few books inmates were allowed to have from “the outside.” But what jail personnel didn’t know is that it was a tool being used by Pat to instigate a suicide pact.
Every chance she got, Patricia begged the man she loved to join her in suicide so they would not be separated – ever. Tom considered it, often thought about it, but simply could not bring himself to carry it out.
It goes without saying that Pat too did not commit suicide.
Townspeople weren’t surprised when Tom Allanson was found guilty of his parents’ murder and was sentenced to two life sentences, to run concurrent (two sentences at the time of only one).
Pat cried her crocodile tears and put on quite a show when Tom was escorted to prison. But the reality was, she now had all she ever wanted – just for her.
Kentwood Farms, the named given to the property upon which Tara sat, was still heavily mortgage and the indebtedness owed mostly to Tom’s paternal grandparents who were lovingly referred to as Papaw and Nona.
With Walter and Carolyn gone and their grandson in prison, the elder Allansons were a prime target for a gold-digging murderer.
Doing her best Southern belle hostess act, Pat moved the elderly couple into her home and insisted she be their sole care provided. In declining health and no other family nearby to help them, the couple was thankful for Pat’s generosity.
Soon Pat had convinced the Allansons that she and Tom (despite his status as a prison inmate) should be the sole heirs of the estate and the couple updated their wills in which they disinherited their daughter, Jean Boggs.
Living with Pat, Nona’s health deteriorated rapidly. Although she had been sickly for some while, she’d never been bedridden as she was during her stay at Tara.
Papaw was heartbroken. His health was deteriorating, his wife too was in poor health, in a short time he’d lost a son and daughter-in-law and his grandson was in prison. His daughter was angry and not speaking with him, other than to berate Pat – the one person who seemed to care about something more than his money.
Jean, however, finally broke through. After notifying the authorities of her suspicions, followed by tests which showed Nona and Papaw both had arsenic in their systems, and surprise testimony from Pat’s daughter, Susan, claiming she saw her mother put arsenic in the elderly couple’s food and drink, Pat finally faced consequences for her actions. She was sentenced to time in prison.
A New Start As Pat Taylor
As the American justice is prone to do, Pat was released after a relatively short period of time; the narcissistic murderess unleashed on a society unaware of the evil slinking among them.
In searching for employment, Pat convinced a prominent Atlanta, Georgia, couple, Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Crist, Sr. to hire her and her daughter, Debbie, as home and caregivers. Mr. Crist survived only a short time after Pat began working for them. The Crist family believed that Pat neglected Jimmy and poisoned his wife, Betty Crist. But what was known for certain was that the mother-and-daughter team stolen money and valuables from the couple and lied about her status as a Registered Nurse.
In June 1991, Pat plead guilty to the charges and was served to another stint of 8 years in prison.
Tom Speaks Out
Prison gives a man a lot of time to think. And during his time in prison, he’d come to realize several things: Pat wasn’t who she seemed to be, she had used him to orchestrate the murder of his parents, and would do anything for riches. Money was the only thing and herself the only person Pat had ever truly loved.
After being released from prison, having served 15 years, Tom again found himself a desired interview subject by police. This time, however, they weren’t interested in accusing him, they wanted to know more about evil, manipulative woman he’d called wife.
Pat Allanson couldn’t pull the puppet strings on Tom anymore.
Pat was released from prison in 1999. She went to live with her stepfather and his new wife (Marguerite, Pat’s mother had died by this time). There she opened a doll shop she named Pat’s Pretty Play Things. (Pretty creepy, huh?)
In 2008, Pat was charged with doctor shopping and fraudulently obtaining over 3700 painkillers in less than a year. She was officially charge on three counts of unauthorized distribution. She entered a plea agreement with a sentence of probation only.
How much more will the lady now known as Pat Taylor get by with before she kills someone else? It may be an extremely rude thing to say, but since Pat is now in her 70s, hopefully she’ll die before she kills someone else.
Tom Allanson has used his experience in prison to create a men’s post-release program: Set Free After-Care. Each year he provides a multitude of services, including housing, for men recently released from prison. His mission to is to provide a more smooth transition from prison to society living in hopes that fewer inmates will return to crime and ultimately prison.
Pat’s only son passed away in 2004. It was said she engaged in a heated battle with his widow over his remains. Why she believed she was entitled to an opinion escapes most, and the outcome of the disagreement is publicly unknown.
A movie based on the case going by the same title as Ann Rule’s book about Pat Allanson frequently airs on the Lifetime Movie Network. Check out the trailer -