Washington State man Patrick Drum, 34, was sentenced to life in prison on September 18, 2012, in a Clallam County Superior Court. Drum, a convicted felon, pleaded guilty to the June 2nd and 3rd murders of registered sex offenders Jerry W. Ray, 56, who lived a few miles away from Drum, and Gary L. Blanton Jr., 28, who was living with Drum. Investigating the murders, deputies had found a note in a rental car that connected Drum to the victims, which said he hated sex offenders and that, “It had to be done.” Drum was caught after an extensive manhunt and reportedly planned on continuing his killing spree until stopped by police. He even confessed to having targeted a third man for termination in Jefferson County, but was stopped before he could travel there and carry out the murder.
Ray was living with his elderly father at this time of his murder. He had been convicted in 2002, after pleading guilty to child rape involving a 7-year-old and a 4-year-old. At the sentencing hearing Ray’s father, who is in a wheelchair and has no one to take care of him now, told the court that he has “no sympathy for the man that shot and killed my son.”
Blanton, a married father of two, was placed on the sex offender registry because as a teen he had pleaded guilty to third-degree rape. His wife, Leslie, maintains that he was placed on the registry for having gotten “caught having sex in high school.” Blanton’s family doesn’t think he should have been made to register as a sex offender. His family is angry and even mystified at his murder, especially since Drum had known Blanton for 9 years, knew his history, and was living with Blanton when he killed him.
Judge S. Brooke Taylor condemned Drum’s actions saying, “It’s reprehensible. … You took two lives. People who loved people and were loved by people.” When Drum was allowed to address the victims’ families, he said “It was never my intent to hurt the families,” and added that he felt bad for their suffering, but, “As for the men themselves, actions speak louder than words.”
In 2005 Washington State man Michael A. Mullen committed a very similar act of vigilantism in Bellingham when, in reaction to the abduction and rape of Shasta Groene, 8, and the murders of four members of her family by repeat sex offender Joseph Duncan III, Mullen killed two registered sex offenders. Mullen, however, researched the sex offender registries and chose his victims more carefully than Drum. Mullen targeted Hank Eisses, 49, who had pleaded guilty in 1997 to raping an adolescent boy at his home near the Canadian border on several occasions after plying him with drugs and alcohol; and Victor Vazquez, 68, who had pleaded guilty to sexually abusing his own children, boys and girls from infancy to age 14. Both were serial offenders, both went to prison, both went through sex offender treatment programs, and both were shot execution-style through the head. He later told investigators that he had posed as an FBI agent and had interviewed the three sex offenders he found living in the home. He said that only one man expressed remorse at his crimes. That one he let go. The other two he decided had to die.
Mullen turned himself in a week after the murders, and confessed saying that he had been a victim of sexual abuse as a child and wanted to protect children, including his own, from predatory pedophiles. In a bid for martyrdom, Mullen initially requested the death penalty, but his family convinced him to put up a defense. Mullen never had to face the court, which likely would have been as hostile to his actions as it was in Drum’s trial. Mullen’s attorney made a plea deal with the prosecution, which eliminated the element of premeditation and the life sentence he faced. Mullen was convicted of the murders and sentenced to 44 years. Mullen was found dead in his cell on April 15, 2007, a possible suicide.