Just Another Guy with Opinions

Where Is Phillip Arnold Paul?

Posted by shadmia on September 20, 2009

Phillip Arnold Paul

Phillip Arnold Paul, 47, is 5-foot-8 and weighs 220 pounds. He is a mentally-ill killer – diagnosed with schizophrenia and hospitalized in 1987 – guilty of the murder of a 78-year-old woman in Sunnyside, Wash. He escaped from the Eastern State Hospital while on a field trip to the Spokane County fair.

After discovering Paul was missing from the group of 31 patients and 11 staff members, it took over two hours before the incident was reported to the police.

At the time of his escape, Paul was wearing a red windbreaker, blue jeans, a blue t-shirt and carrying a backpack. Police say Paul is not currently exhibiting violent behavior, but may become dangerous the longer he goes without medication.

“This is very serious,” said Susan Dreyfus, secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services, which oversees Eastern. “We need to understand what happened and why.”

This however is not the first time that Paul had escaped from the same hospital. In 1990 he escaped and was captured but not before shattering the shoulder of a Spokane County sheriff’s deputy in the process. He was convicted of first-degree escape and second-degree assault.

Spokane County sheriff’s officials were told Paul had $50 when he escaped Thursday, Sept. 17th — enough money to buy a bus ticket, said sheriff’s spokesman Dave Reagan. Authorities at Eastern State Hospital are struggling to answer some very serious questions:

“Why was he allowed to take such a trip?” Gov. Chris Gregoire said Friday. “Why did they go to a location that was so heavily populated with families?”

“He is in a bad mental state,” his brother, Tom Paul, told The Associated Press. “Why would they load him on a bus and take him to a fair?”

“They believe he was an extreme escape risk and the administration should never have allowed him on the field trip,” a statement from the Washington Federation of State Employees said. “The workers have unsuccessfully fought to stop the outings for murderers, rapists and pedophiles committed to the hospital as criminally insane.”

Susan Dreyfus, secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services, said those questions would be answered in an investigation she has ordered that included both state mental hospitals.

She was peppered with questions at a news conference, but deferred nearly all of them until the 15-day review, which will be in part conducted by the state Department of Corrections, was finished.

State officials have temporarily halted all outings for state patients with criminal histories while they conduct a review.

Phillip Arnold Paul’s criminal history began in April 1987. The gasoline-soaked body of Ruth Mottley, 78, is found in a shallow grave near her Lower Yakima Valley home, her throat slit and neck broken. Phillip Arnold Paul, who lived nearby, told deputies “voices” in his head instructed him to “kill the witch on Emerald Road.

In July 1987 he is diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and found not guilty by reason of insanity in Ruth Mottley’s murder and ordered held indefinitely at a “state mental institution for the criminally insane.

Between the years 1992-2000 Paul began a gradual return to society. He enrolled in classes, held a part-time job and was allowed to spend two weeks at a time at home with his family.

In October 2000 Paul begins to exhibit threatening and delusional behavior. He tells counselors of someone he thinks is a “witch.” He is sent back to Eastern State Hospital for the next 5 years.

In October 2005 he is again conditionally released and begins dating a woman who bore him a son in 2006. He stops taking his medication and is again sent back to hospital for a year. After his release his behavior becomes increasingly defiant and he is finally hospitalized again in Jan. 2009.

On Sept. 17, 2009 Phillip Arnold Paul walks away from his group while attending the Spokane County Interstate Fair. A massive manhunt is still under way to find him.

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UPDATE: Phillip Arnold Paul Captured. Click here for details.

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