Let me note that this is not a return attack on Debbie Tate. Most hold the opinion that silence is an admission to guilt so I’d simply like to address some of the points posted on the site.
I’ll begin with the most egregious, digging up Sharon’s grave. Let me be clear, I did not have Sharon's casket opened, just the grave so that Patti could be buried with Sharon, Doris, and the baby. And, yes, I have the letter from Roman giving me permission to do so. Does anyone really believe that Holy Cross would allow me to not only open a grave but to bury Patti in Doris and Sharon's plot without written consent from Roman--or at the very minimum a court order? As we wrote in the book, the grave has been opened twice since Sharon's burial--once for Doris to be buried next to Sharon, once for Patti to be buried with both.
The second thing that I will state at this time is in reference to the Holy Cross paperwork for Patti's funeral because it is indeed true--yes, I stated that I was Patti's stepsister and power of attorney--2nd part true-- but I did not call myself a Tate. I did this because sadly the archdiocese would not recognize my relationship with Patti as family. Since Roman was signing over the right to bury Patti there, it had to be a family member that signed the forwarding documents and since I was the one paying for and arranging her funeral I lied--sue me. If you've ever had to make funeral arrangements for the one person you hold most dear to your heart you'll understand that you're not always thinking clearly and you do what you have to do to get the job done. I never thought a private purchase receipt for my partner's funeral would become public record. And, quite frankly it breaks my heart that Patti's funeral arrangements have been brought up on that site for public debate. On Patti's death certificate, which I knew was public record and an official document, I signed "Friend".
The numerous points made to prove Patti and Debbie were close? Yes, Patti was a kind and forgiving person so, year after year after year she continually tried to mend the relationship with Debbie only to have Debbie slap her in the face for trying—literally, well, more like a punch on the one occasion that she dislocated Patti’s jaw. In any case, yes, this did include making her part of the wedding party. But if we had to bring Patti’s real friends and children in as witnesses in a court of law, she’d lose this argument in a heartbeat.
Account of Paul Tate: At no point did Brie or I claim to write/copy verbatim from any one of the Tate family’s unpublished manuscripts. Never did we state that words were taken directly from PJ’s manuscript. I state very emphatically in the introduction: “I unearthed a treasure of the Tate family’s home movies, audio and video recordings, journals, and letters dating back to 1961, as well as a massive archive of police and court documents from Sharon’s murder case…. It took months to catalog it all,... By using what I’d found, as well as the personal knowledge shared over the years with me by P.J., Doris, Patti, and Brie, I decided to write it from each of their unique and extraordinary perspectives.”
What this means is that we COMBINED many sources—personal conversations, tape recordings, and yes, we referenced old unfinished manuscripts to form one cohesive narrative. The numerous attacks on Debbie’s site in comparing PJ’s manuscript, Five Down on Cielo, to what’s in Restless Souls is a useless endeavor because only a single paragraph was lifted from it. The rest came from conversations with PJ 20 years after it was written.
Patti Tate Account: I have the dated floppy disks to prove when Patti and I began writing her autobiography. The rest about Robin Olsen, I will leave to Col Scott’s Blog to expose—so far he’s doing a very fine job. I’ve protected myself very well on this issue and have signed documentation from Patti. Amongst other things, I have Patti’s signed contract with our agent in 1999. I also have a registered Writer’s Guild Copy of our collaboration at the time. Why would Patti, a decent, honest, and kind person, turn around and sign a contract with me if she’d promised Olsen that they would write a book together? Something’s very wrong here and it’s not me.
As for the rest of the trivial accusations like the cloudy day at Doris’ funeral? I don’t care if they have a documented weather report that there was a freak snowstorm in LA the day of Doris’ funeral, it was written from Patti’s perspective/memory and that’s how SHE remembered it.
Did I try to push through legislation that would allow non-family members to make impact statements at the parole hearings? No. This bill—AB 219—was a long time in the making at the time that Patti died. It was about to be passed through when PJ Tate made a written request to the state of California that I be his representative at the parole hearings for Sharon’s killers. When Debbie caught wind of this she immediately began protesting that I not be allowed to speak on PJ’s behalf and that she would be the sole representative for the Tate family at the parole hearings—which is why Brie too was denied her right to make an impact statement at Atkins 2005 hearing. The people in Sacramento that were trying to help, hoped that AB 219 would be passed by the time of Atkins next parole hearing so that Debbie's protests could be silenced. Did I want it passed? Absolutely, so I could carry out PJ’s wishes. Did I personally lobby for it? No. At the time, technology wasn’t very advanced. In order to keep PJ up to date, I printed my correspondence between the people in Sacramento and myself so he could read them. Those copies are still in my possession...As a side note, at Atkins hearing that year, the impact statement of Paul Tate's that Debbie began reading and Steve Kay finished reading, was the impact statement I had prepared and planned to read had I gone to the hearing.
Would I take a lie detector test over the final questions posed on the website? Absolutely—and I’d pass.