In June 2003, a young college student who had a promising basketball career suddenly disappeared.
This was a sad end to his life. The show “Stranger Among Us: Blood on the Court” on Investigation Discovery tells the story of Patrick Dennehy’s murder and how a confession helped the police find the killer.
So, if you want to know what happened to Patrick, you can count on us.
How Did Patrick Dennehy Die?
Patrick James Dennehy was born in the California city of Santa Clara. People who knew him well said he was funny and determined, and he wanted to play in the NBA one day.
At the time, the 21-year-old was going to move from the University of New Mexico to Baylor University in Texas.
He had been kicked out of the University of New Mexico for losing his temper.
Patrick had to wait a year before he could play college basketball again because of the rules. In the summer of 2002, he came to Waco, Texas.
On June 16, 2003, Chris Turk, one of Patrick’s roommates, got back from a trip and saw that Patrick’s dogs hadn’t been fed in a while. The 21-year-parents old’s were also getting worried because they hadn’t heard from him in a while.
By June 19, they said he had been lost. A few weeks later, on July 25, the authorities got new information that led them to Patrick’s badly rotting body in a field in Waco. His death was ruled a murder after an autopsy showed that he had been shot twice in the head.
Who Killed Patrick Dennehy?
After Patrick went missing, the police looked into what he had been doing up until the day he disappeared. They found out about Patrick’s best friend, Carlton Dotson, who was also a basketball player.
He lived with Patrick until Patrick went missing. In interviews with witnesses, it was found that both of them were worried about their safety and told their coaches that teammates had threatened them.
The two also said that someone broke into their apartment and stole money.
By the first week of June 2003, Carlton and Patrick had bought guns to protect themselves and were practicing on a field in Waco.
The authorities then put together a list of what happened and when. Chris left for his trip on June 11, and Patrick talked to his girlfriend on the phone that same day.
The next day, he was seen with Carlton at a local restaurant, where he spoke with his girlfriend. On June 14, Patrick’s friend Daniel Okopnyi talked to him on the phone. He said Patrick said that his teammates had threatened him again, but he promised to come to a party the next day.
After that, Patrick wasn’t seen alive again. His family reported him missing on June 19, and about a week later, his car was found in a parking lot in Virginia Beach, Virginia, without any license plates.
Around the same time, police in Delaware told the authorities that Carlton had talked to a cousin about killing Patrick when he and Patrick were fighting. On July 21, 2003, Carlton called the police himself from a store in Chestertown, Maryland. This was a new turn in the story.
Carlton said he was hearing voices and asked for help. At the time, he was separated from his wife, and many members of his family were worried about how he was feeling. Even Carlton’s wife’s mother had said that he saw visions.
This information was scary, and when Carlton finally admitted to it, he was brought in for questioning. On June 11, Carlton said that Patrick pointed a gun at him while they were practicing shooting.
But the gun jammed, so Carlton shot back and said it was in self-defense. But what the autopsy showed didn’t match up with what he said. It didn’t look like the bullet wounds were caused by someone shooting in self-defense.
After that, Carlton said he took his stuff and drove to Maryland, where he dumped the gun. On June 12, people said they saw him driving Patrick’s car through the Texas town of Sulphur Springs.
After the murder, there was a scandal at Baylor University. A taped conversation between the basketball team’s head coach and two players was made public, which led to the scandal. On the tapes, the coach, Dave Bliss, could be heard telling the players to say that Patrick was a drug dealer. Also, Dave had broken the rules by paying Patrick and another student’s tuition.
Where is Carlton Dotson Now?
Carlton also told the police that people were trying to kill him because “he is Jesus, the son of God.” Later, he told them three places where they could find Patrick’s body, which led them to the remains.
At first, Carlton wasn’t able to stand trial, but a psychologist looked at him and said he could. The expert said that Carlton was psychotic, but it seemed like he was just pretending to hear voices.
Then, Carlton, who was 23 at the time, pleaded guilty to murder just days before the trial was to start. In June 2005, he was given a prison sentence of 35 years. Patrick’s stepfather said to the person who killed Patrick, “You, Carlton Dotson, are a killer and the worst kind of sinner.
May you never forget what you did.” According to prison records, Carlton is still locked up at the John B. Connally Unit in Kenedy, Texas. The most likely date for his release is July 2038.