Update: PAROLE DENIED.
The parole of Ruth Papay has been reversed and denied. Papay
will not have another hearing until May 2016. Thank you to everyone
letters to block this parole.
Patty Papay's Story
Patty Papay was
tortured and brutally murdered in front of her two young children.
Patty Papay had two dreams in life.
To be a great wife and a great mother. Patty’s first
dream came true when she married Pete Papay. Her second dream
was fulfilled when she had her two children, Heather and Eric.
Patty loved being a wife and mother. Patty would often be seen
pulling Heather and Eric to the church or park in the favorite
wagon. Patty cherished her time with her children and the three
of them were inseparable. In addition to being a great mom
Patty was the type or person who would help anyone in need.
Many described her as a kind soul who often went out of her
way to help others. When Patty met a troubled young girl named
Ruth Hooper her caring nature again took hold. She befriended
the young woman and gave her a job as a baby sitter for Heather
and Eric. Ruth Hooper would repay Patty by stealing her husband
and then killing her.
By the time Ruth Hooper met Patty Papay
she had already had a very troubled life. She lived with her
grandparents and her mother and had no contact with any of
her siblings. Ruth also had serious mental problems. She had
been hospitalized for these issues several times. Hooper stated
in court, “I was hospitalized when I was fifteen, sixteen,
The minute Hooper met Patty Papay she
saw the ready-made life she always craved. A nice home, a husband
and two wonderful children. She wasted no time and began having
an affair with Pete Papay. When Patty learned of the affair
she tried to work through the problems for the sake of her
children. Pete was not the wonderful husband he portrayed himself
to be and Ruth Hooper was not going let go of her new future.
Patty final decided this was no way for the children to live
and she made the decision to divorce Pete Papay. Pete moved
out of their home and Patty became a single mother with two
Nine months after Pete moved out he
married Ruth Hooper. There remained two problems for them.
One, Pete and Ruth did not want to pay child support to Patty.
Second, Patty had custody of the children. Ruth Papay knew
she had to do something to take care of these issues. She decided
Patty needed to be killed. Ruth made a detailed written “Plan” of
how to kill Patty Papay. The extremely detailed and meticulously
detailed plan remained in Ruth’s possession for about
two to three weeks until April 4, 1981. At 8PM that evening
Ruth’s “plan” went into effect.
A Vicious, Violent Murder
Patty Papay with her children
Heather and Eric.
At approximately 8PM on April 4, 1981
Ruth Papay drove to Patty’s Papay's house to return the
children after a weekend visit. Ruth Papay and Patty had a
volatile relationship and Ruth Papay did not have a driver’s
license. There was no logical reason for Ruth Papay to go to
Patty’s house while Pete Papay stayed home.
Prior to leaving Ruth placed a gun,
surgical gloves and a bottle or prescription pills she bought
the previous day in her purse.
Although it was pouring rain that night,
when Ruth Papay arrived she chose to park in an inconspicuous
area next to the house rather than in the front of the house
that was much closer.
Ruth Papay first removed four-year-old
Eric and his car seat and brought him to the front porch. Ruth
Papay then went back and got one year old Heather and brought
her to the house. Ruth Papay then forced her way into the house.
Immediately after getting into the house Ruth pulled the gun out of her purse
and began to beat Patty in the head with it while the children watched.
Ruth chased Patty into the kitchen.
She held the gun to Patty and told her she would blow the kids
brains out if she cried. She also said she would blow her brains
out if the kids don’t shut up.
While holding a gun to Patty, Ruth
then attempted to force Patty to drink a mixture of Wisk detergent,
Downy fabric softener, Comet Cleanser and rubbing alcohol.
Ruth also attempted to force Patty to take the pills she brought
with her. Patty likely was semi conscious at this point.
Ruth Papay stated the cleanser; household
detergents and pills were not, in her estimation, killing Patty
fast enough. She then decided to place a rag in Patty’s
mouth and pinched her nose shut hoping she would die soon.
At some point Patty gained her strength and knew Ruth would
stop at nothing to kill her. She then began to fight back.
Heather and Eric Papay, pictured
here shortly before their mother's murder, were forced
to watch their mother die.
When Patty began to fight back Ruth
wrestled her to the ground. Ruth was much bigger than Patty.
Ruth states “It was like a dream when I heard the kids
and while were laying down there I had the gun to her stomach
and was clicking it.” The only reason Patty did not die
was because the gun was not loaded.
The fight then continued throughout
the house. After the murder Patty’s hair and blood were
all over the house. On the floors, the walls and even on the
doorknobs. There was no doubt Patty fought not only to live
but to protect her children. It is estimated this torture went
on for two to three hours.
The fight finally ended in the bedroom.
By this time Ruth Papay had managed to get a knife from the
kitchen. Ruth Papay, while sitting on top of Patty, took the
knife and stabbed Patty Papay three times in the heart. Ruth
Papay then fled the house leaving the children behind. They
would spend between 10-12 hours in the house with their mother
lying dead on the bedroom floor.
Sometime between 7:30 and 8:00 AM on
April 5th Ruth Papay went back to Patty Papay’s home.
Ruth claimed she went back because she forgot to bring some
diapers and a pair of shoes back and she wanted to return them.
She also stated she wanted to check on the children because
she knew what she had done and wanted to make sure they had
something to eat. According to Ruth when she arrived four-year
-old Eric’s first words were “Mommy is dead, mommy
By the time Ruth arrived at Patty Papay’s
house Pete Papay had already called police. Ruth Papay wasted
no time in confessing to what she had done. She told police
the gun was with her grandmother and that they would find the
knife and written “plan” in the trash can at her
home. She also told them she had brought the medical gloves,
which she put on to keep the blood off her hands. Some of Ruth
Papay's comments were:
“When I hit her with the gun
I knew there was no turning back.”
“I knew that if I stop I would
still end up down here.”
“I wanted to make it look like
“Her name is Pat Papay I kill
her because it was a reaction, something snap. I didn't go
over to do it, I didn’t go with that idea in mind.”
At trial Ruth Papay took the stand
and continued to talk. According to Ruth she quit school in
eleventh grade because “I can’t cope with people.” She
also said her emotions get out of hand and she becomes angry.
According to Ruth Papay, Patty took the children and told her
to get off her property. Ruth then stated,
Next Parole Hearing:
May , 2016
“I just snapped – went
off. I had the gun in my purse hanging on my slacks and I just
looked down and I reach in and pull the gun out, open the door
and went in after her.”
Ruth Papay’s defense at trial
was that she committed the murder because she was on her period.
She said the “plan” was something she wrote down
to help her cope. She never did explain why she parked her
car around the side of the house or why she brought rubber
gloves, pills and a gun to the house if she did not plan to
Throughout the trial Ruth Papay giggled
and showed no remorse. At trial a police officer with fifteen
years experience and who interviewed Ruth Papay after the murder
“I believe she went over there
to kill Pat Papay just like the note said. I believe when she
gave the statement she might try to color it up or change the
way it happened. But in interviewing her she would show no
remorse, no nothing when the question of Patricia Papay was
brought up and how she was killed- very cold.” The officer
also stated the only time she did show remorse was when she
would not be able to see her husband anymore.
The trial took one day. Based on overwhelming
evidence and the statements of Ruth Papay Judge Max Chilcote
found Ruth Papay guilty of aggravated murder and sentenced
her to life prison. He also ordered her to spend every anniversary
of the murder in 24 hours of solitary confinement. Prosecutor
John Allen states the only reason Ruth Papay did not face the
death penalty was because it was not available at the time
of the murder. Heather and Eric went to live with their grandmother.
To this day Eric still remembers his mother’s murder.
Both Heather and Eric remain haunted by their mother’s
There are certain inmates who deserve
true life sentences and should never be paroled. Ruth Papay
is one them. Ruth Papay premeditated the murder of Patty Papay.
She had plenty of time and opportunity to realize what she
was doing was wrong and stop. Instead she chose to continue
her crimes until she completed her “plan” to kill
Patty Papay. In addition, all this occurred in front of Patty’s
one-year-old daughter and four-year-old son. These children
were forced to watch their mother die. Ruth Papay then left
the children alone with their dead mother for twelve hours.
Ruth Papay is the worst of the worst.
She tortured and murdered a defenseless innocent mother of
two. The only reason she did not face the death penalty was
due to the fact it was not in effect when the murder occurred.
After reviewing the case documents and Ruth Papay’s prison
records we believe releasing her would present both a serious
risk to the family of Patty Papay and to the community.
We strongly believe that to further
the interests of justice and to protect the community Ruth
Papay should serve the maximum prison sentence of Life for
her heinous, violent, brutal crimes.
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