'Killer Affair': How a private investigator who exposed adulterers was murdered after becoming involved in a complicated affair of his own
On October 1, 2013, authorities were called to a quiet, upscale neighborhood in Benbrook, Texas, on reports that a man in his mid-60s had been shot dead.
The shooter, who was on a 911 call the entire duration of the incident, including the shooting, was still at the scene when police arrived. He argued he had done it in self-defense. Also at the scene was a woman who was bawling her eyes out; the woman, authorities found out, was connected to both the shooter and the victim and lived in the house outside where the incident had unfolded.
What initially seemed to detectives like a case where scorned lovers had fatally confronted one another proved to be a little more convoluted, featuring multiple affairs and a tangle of lies that left the small town with a bad taste in its mouth.
The story of the so-called "love square" between those involved in the admittedly bizarre death of Richard Slatkin is the subject of Oxygen docu-series 'Killer Affair' and is scheduled to release on July 11.
Slatkin was a private investigator who made a living out of exposing liars, cheaters, and adulters. He was very good at his job and was described as well-liked, gracious, and a family person. But quite ironically, Slatkin would end up becoming the very thing he swore to destroy: an adulterer.
While his marriage was fraying at the seams, he met Catherine, the heir to a multi-million dollar medical company Alcon, and who said she wanted to learn the tricks of the trade to become a private investigator herself.
The pair fell head-over-heels for one another, and so began a four-year relationship that eventually saw Slatkin divorce his wife and marry Catherine. It was all smooth sailing, at least, for four years. The pair had two daughters together, but Slatkin began suspecting something was off with his wife by the time the second one was born in 2012.
His worst fear was confirmed when Catherine confessed that the second daughter was not his. She said she had had an affair with her high school sweetheart, Jason Patton, who like her was the heir to a vast fortune and ran in the same lofty circle as she and her family.
Despite being the recipient of the devastating news, Slatkin wanted to continue his relationship with Catherine for the sake of their children. He was willing to compromise and do whatever it took to make it work.
However, Catherine wanted none of it. She had sparked an old romance and was not willing to settle for anything less than a separation, and Slatkin had to move out of their house.
However, the spark with Jason was short-lived. Neighbors said they often heard the pair yelling at one another and fighting. It didn't help that Jason suffered from a drug addiction problem that saw him have numerous run-ins with the authorities.
Things reached a breaking point when, during one of his numerous altercations with the law, he found himself sentenced to prison time. It marked the end of their relationship, but the start of another, even more, depraved one.
During Jason's "going away" party before he had to turn himself in to the authorities, his father, 68-year-old oil and gas tycoon Johnny Llyod Patton Jr., made a move on Catherine. She obliged.
And so began her fling with the father of her first love, much to the disgust of both their families. To make matters worse, Johnny was still married at the time and reportedly broke the news of his relationship with Catherine to his son over the phone.
Despite the messy end to their relationship, Catherine maintained contact with Slatkin as well, considering they did share a child. It was something that did not sit well with Johnny, who was the jealous kind and had asked Catherine repeatedly to stop seeing the private investigator because he feared that they would get back together.
Little did he know, Catherine and Slatkin were still intimate with one another.
Soon, Johnny started seemingly become paranoid. He kept insisting to Catherine that Slatkin was threatening to kill him. He even dragged her to the police station to file a report against Slatkin, claiming the private investigator had attempted to murder him.
However, Catherine refused to back up his claims and said Slatkin had never done such a thing. Police could do little because of the conflicting information and told Johnny that the best they could do is keep an eye out for Slatkin.
October 1, 2013, proved to be the fateful day. Slatkin, who had by now moved to a new residence, had asked Catherine for the keys to their previously-shared apartment so he could move some of the appliances he owned.
As he was doing so, Johnny, who was on the line with a 911 dispatcher the entire time, walked up to him and fatally shot him in the chest in point-blank range.
When questioned by authorities, he continued to insist that it was something he had done in self-defense, pointing to the police report he had tried to make as well as the 911 call he had been on while shooting Slatkin.
In the state of Texas, using lethal force for self-defense is legal. And the 911 call and the police report seemed to indicate that this was one such case.
But prosecutors uncovered several holes in that defense.
For one, in the duration of the 911 call, Johnny can be heard driving when he claims Slatkin is in front of him and threatening him, which prosecutors said was proof that the 68-year-old was, in fact, hunting for the private investigator.
There was also the fact that the shooting was witnessed by two movers who had been with Slatkin at the scene. Both said Slatkin was unarmed and had even raised his hands when Johnny confronted him.
The final nail in the coffin was the testimony of Catherine and his ex-wife. She testified for the prosecution, telling the court that she had initially believed Johnny's excuse that he had done it in self-defense, but that she soon realized it was a lie and that he had it all planned.
Johnny was eventually convicted of first-degree murder in 2015 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.