Paul Bateson

Paul Bateson

Paul Bateson
Paul Bateson
Addison Verrill. Photo credit Criminal Minds Wiki
Name: Paul Bateson
Born: 24th August 1940
Died: (Unconfirmed) September 15th 2012
Birth Place: Pennsylvania
Number of victims: 1 (convicted) 
(implicated in a further 6)
Weapon Of Choice: Frying pan & Knife

On September 1977  in Christopher Street, New York, 36 year old Journalist, Addison Verril, was on a regular night out in Badlands, a gay bar he often frequented. A man caught his eye and Verrill offered to buy him a drink. That man was Paul Bateson. The pair got on well and that one drink became several drinks, followed by cocaine and poppers. At 3 AM the intoxicated pair headed onto a different gay bar - Mineshaft, where their drink and drug fuelled party continued before heading back to Verrill's Horatio Street apartment. They had sex and more alcohol and cocaine was consumed.

Mineshaft front entrance Photo credit
Verrill's apartment building. Photo credit City Realty
Badlands Bar. Photo credit Now and Then facebook

At around 7.30 AM the following day Verrill had had enough and ended the rendezvous. Bateson, however, didn't want it to end. He was having fun and because he had no money he couldn't continue his party binge on his own. By his own admission he took the rejection badly and decided to do something about it. He grabbed a metal skillet from the kitchen and quickly incapacitates Verrill before stabbing him to death with a knife. Before leaving, Bateson helped himself to Verrill's clothes, his MasterCard and $57 cash which he spent on more alcohol. He claimed to have spent the days that followed drunk.

On September 14th 1977, Verrill was found dead in his apartment. Police quickly established that even though the apartment had been ransacked, the motive for the killing was not robbery since items of value still remained. It was deemed a sexual encounter gone wrong and police appeared to not take the murder of a gay man as serious as other cases, even though there had been several other gay men murdered recently within the area.

Verrill's friend and fellow gay activist journalist, Arthur Bell, decided to use his media platform to demonstrate the seriousness of the (then) current crimes against the gay community and how they were not been given the attention they rightly deserved. Bell published his article in The village voice, ending it with a plea for anyone with any information regarding Verrill's murder to contact the New York Police, Homicide department. 

Arthur Bell outside The Village Voice
Arthur Bell outside The Village Voice

Bateson read a copy of Bell's article and was impressed with how well it was written, although he didn't agree with himself being portrayed as a psychopath. Bateson felt compelled to contact Bell and explained his side of things. He told Bell he was the one that murdered Verrill and he described in detail what went down on the night of the murder. Bateson expressed his remorse for what happened and wanted to atone for what he'd done but felt he was unable to do so because giving himself up would have caused him to lose his license, preventing him from practicing anymore. He didn't go into further detail about what he meant by this  because he feared he would give away his identity.

You see readers, Paul Bateson was an American Radiographer at the New York University Medical Center (NYUMC), who also appeared in the original filming of the 1973 horror movie, The Exorcist, as a Radiological Technologist. He began drinking heavily after the film was released and this affected his social life and impacted on his job performance, as a result he lost his at the hospital. It was his license to practice as a radiographer that he was referring to when speaking to Bell. Now, back to the story..

Bell, of course reported his conversation with the 'mystery caller' to the police. They took him seriously because the caller disclosed information about the murder that was not known to the public. Believing the caller would try and make contact again the police sent officers to Bell's home so they could be present if contact was made but also for Bell's protection, just in case. Everyone was surprised when a second phone call was made, but not from the original caller as expected. The second caller told Bell and the police that the man responsible for the murder of Addison Verrill was Paul Bateson.

Article from The Voice. Photo credit Google newspapers

The police quickly descended upon Bateson's East 12TH Street apartment. They found him lounging around drunk and he was promptly arrested, Bateson didn't seem surprised. He acknowledged to police he assumed it was to do with the article printed in the voice, the one Bell had written about Verrill's murder.

At the police station Bateson told the police what happened and provided a hand written statement in which he confessed to the murder of Addison Verrill. His statement corroborated with what Bell said the caller had told him. That was enough for police to charge Bateson with second degree murder and he was detained in police custody whilst awaiting trial.

Bateson's arrest. Photo credit GettyImages.
Bateson's arrest. Photo credit GettyImages.

Bateson's attorney attempted to have the written statement provided to police suppressed, claiming that not only had Bateson been intoxicated at the time he wrote it but that the police hadn't actually read him his rights at that point. Furthermore, Bateson decided to plead not guilty and claimed what he said he wrote in his statement was based purely on what he had read in Bell's 'The Voice' article. Bateson was confident he would be found not guilty. When considering the aftermath of what he believed would be a long drawn out trial, he surmised "A lot of people will be hurt - parents, friends...then, I'll tear up my roots and settle somewhere else"

Regardless at the attempts to suppress the confession, it was entered as part of the evidence and the trial came to an end much quicker than Bateson had been expecting. He was convicted of the murder of Addison Verrill and sentenced a month later to 20 years to life imprisonment. He subsequently ended up serving 24 years and 3 months and was allowed out on parole, which he successfully completed after 5 years.

It is worth noting that prosecutors, although they couldn't prove it, believed that Bateson was also responsible for the murders of 6 other gay men that had been found dismembered and floating in bags in the Hudson River around the same time period as Verrills Murder. Bateson, however, always denied any responsibility.