My sweet brother, Patrick Dale, was taken away from our family in 1983 at the young age of 27. Pat was shot in the head and chest by a man who had recently been released from a mental institution, had a criminal record for various violent crimes, and still he had access to his father’s shotgun. Pat was nice enough to give this stranger a ride home from a social gathering because Pat loved to help people when they asked for help.
This man went inside his house to supposedly “get some gas money,” but returned to Pat’s car with a double-barrel shotgun. He held Pat at gunpoint, forcing him to drive for over an hour. He then blew his head off, dragged his body into the woods to rot in the July heat. The buzzards and putrid smell led a road worker to his body a week later. This murderer was arrested; he pleaded temporary insanity, but was quickly found guilty for Premeditated Capital Murder. He was sentenced to “Life Without Parole” and still sits in prison in Holman State Pen in Atmore, Alabama.
We miss Pat more and more every year. Our family and other loved ones will NEVER get over this event. Pat was robbed of his life, we were robbed of our brother and our parents lost their son. This could have been avoided if the family had locked the shotgun away from their dangerous son.
I am Amanda Dale Finley, Pat’s little sister, a survivor of gun violence.