Editor’s note: This is the story of the Lovefraud author Joyce Alexander, who comments as “Ox Drover.”
By Donna Andersen
William “Patrick” Alexander didn’t want to go back to prison. He was 19 years old, almost 20, and had already done two years for aggravated burglary. Patrick suspected that 17-year-old Jessica Witt, of Dallas, Texas, was going to rat him out. Or perhaps she already did.
Patrick had used a credit card stolen from Jessica’s grandfather to pay for a trip to California, in violation of his parole. He racked up $8,000 in charges.
On January 17, 1992, Patrick and one of his unsavory friends were at Jessica’s apartment. Patrick told the friend that he was going to kill Jessica—anything to avoid going back to prison. As he talked, Patrick played with a small silver handgun, jacking rounds into the chamber and taking the clip in and out. The friend was scared.
The next day, the friend heard Patrick ask another guy if he knew anyplace to kill someone and hide the body.
Murder in the countryside
Patrick and Jessica became friendly while working together at a telemarketing company. Jessica was a pretty girl with long, dark, wavy hair. Even though she was still in high school, she’d left her parents’ home and moved into an apartment with friends.
At 10:30 p.m. on January 20, 1992, Patrick and Jessica left her apartment. According to Jessica’s female roommate, Patrick told Jessica that a guy in Fort Worth, Texas, about 35 miles away, was going to give him money so he could pay off her grandfather’s credit card.
Four hours later, Patrick returned to the apartment alone.
“Where’s Jessica?” the roommate asked.
“I killed her,” Patrick replied.
He gave the roommate Jessica’s purse and jewelry. He said he did not bring back Jessica’s leather coat because it had too much blood on it.
Patrick told the roommate that he and Jessica had driven to an area out in the country where people ride four-wheelers. Patrick and Jessica left his pickup truck on the road and walked towards an old house.
Jessica was walking in front of Patrick. He called her name, and when Jessica turned around, Patrick shot her twice in the head.
Patrick dragged the girl’s body to a mud hole and covered it with dirt, grass and branches.
Back at the apartment, Patrick sat in the kitchen as he talked and wouldn’t let the roommate leave the room. He showed the girl his .25 caliber pistol, with two bullets missing. She was terrified, believing she was next to die.
At 6 a.m., Patrick left. He said he had to take someone to work, as if nothing had happened.
Search for the body
Jessica’s roommate went directly to the police. Patrick Alexander was arrested the next day. He was charged with credit card fraud, but not murder, at least not yet. There was no body.
Police and volunteers searched the countryside, finding nothing.
A week later, from the Tarrant County jail, Patrick called a prison buddy. Patrick told the man where he’d left Jessica’s body, and because the searchers were getting too close, asked him to move it. Instead, the man gave a tape recording of the conversation to the police.
On January 31, 1992, 11 days after Jessica Witt had gone missing, police searched a wooded area around Marine Creek Lake in northwest Fort Worth. An officer noticed a pair of black boots protruding from a grassy pile.
Moving grass and sticks, the police discovered a body.
Jessica’s uncle was assisting in the search. He identified his niece’s body. Jessica had been shot in front of her left ear, and in the back of her head.
Mother learns of the crime
Joyce Alexander, Patrick’s mother, lived in Arkansas. A Dallas police sergeant called and told her that Patrick had been arrested and charged with the murder of young Jessica Witt.
“He talked to me like I was the killer,” Joyce says.
Joyce was horrified by the actions of her son, and heartbroken for the young girl’s family.
“I went into such a depression that I should have been hospitalized,” Joyce says. “I didn’t sleep for seven days. I lost 35 pounds in 14 days. I cried continuously like a gut shot dog.”
In the meantime, Patrick was calling Joyce on the phone from jail, saying none of it was true.
“I knew it was true,” Joyce says. “But I wanted to believe him.”