Judge describes man convicted of murder as a “blank wall”

This week, Patrick Latko, 34, or Gloucester County, New Jersey, was sentenced to two consecutive life terms for murdering Ryan Patterson, 34, and his mother, Diana, who was 64. Latko was jealous because his ex-girlfriend had begun a romantic relationship with Ryan Patterson.

The former girlfriend, Holly Patterson (no relation to the victims), described Latko as constantly jealous and accusing her of cheating. They broke up, but he “weaseled his way” back into Patterson’s life. On Nov. 3, 2011, shortly after Holly Patterson broke off the relationship, Latko killed Ryan Patterson and his mother.

Latko will have to spend 126 years in prison to be eligible for parole. The judge addressed him during the sentencing. According to the Press of Atlantic City:

“Who are you, Mr. Latko?” Superior Court Judge Albert Garofolo asked before imposing the sentence. “What are you? … Are you haunted by the pictures we all saw in this courtroom? Are you capable of experiencing that emotion? I think not, because I see a blank wall.”

Coverage on

Man convicted of fatal stabbings in Hammonton gets two consecutive life sentences

Ex-girlfriend takes stand in day two of Latko double-murder trial 


Comment on this article

3 Comments on "Judge describes man convicted of murder as a “blank wall”"

Notify of

It’s so sad to hear the victim impact statement. And the killer just sat there like a rock.

Yes, Shocked, I agree. The video and the story together make more of an impact. I looked at the murderer and I thought, “How many of us would walk past this man somewhere and think he was a perfectly normal, attractive person?” He is a sociopath and because he was finished with his evil and knew he was done, he became the “blank wall” that he truly is.

What about having parents who were ‘blank walls’? It was enraging for me to witness my parents, time and again, always blame someone else for their misdeeds and ‘sloppy’ parenting. I found out recently, through therapy, that they were ‘first class narcissists’ (the worst kind) but were so good at looking harmless and blameless that everyone looked at me as the culprit. “Well, we have this daughter…”

I am sorry to post this here when it is not directly related to the story (which was horrendous), but reading ‘blank wall’ just got me going.

And my parents actually were blameless, in a way, because they could not see themselves and were protecting their damaged and delicate egos. They also were quite wealthy, as my dad owned a business, but people looking from the outside-in see wealth and stability as ‘proof’ of success and mental health…hence the ‘no-blame’ bubble of protection surrounding them. Money and success influence people’s opinions every time.

Send this to a friend