The Deadly Magnolia: Patricia Allanson
By Kim Cantrell -
Right out of the starting gate,
Mary Linda Patricia Vann
didn't have much of a chance of not becoming a teenage
mother. Her maternal family had special talent from bringing children
into the world; the fact they didn't (as we say in the South) have a
pot to piss was of little regard.
It was really no surprise when Pat found
herself knocked-up and unwed at fifteen. Marrying the teenage baby
daddy was a useless endeavor and, with three children in tow, had
returned home to the home of her mother and stepfather.
While many young mothers would have been
defeated after a failed marriage, not Pat. She had big dreams. Big,
big dreams. All she needed was to find and marry a wealthy man to
After a couple of relationships that
didn't pan out, Pat met Tom Allanson,
a handsome young man from a wealthy Georgia family. His father was
prominent Georgia attorney Walter
Pat cared little that Tom was six years
her junior or married with a young child, her only focus was the money
and she was determined to tie herself to it.
While Pat turned women against her with
her high maintenance attitude, she had a way of wrapping men around
her little finger and Tom was no exception. As soon as his divorce was
final, he proposed to Pat and although she played coy with "You don't
want to marry me" a few times, she ultimately agreed.
She was finally living the dream.
Scarlett and Rhett
Pat had always related to Scarlett
O'Hara, the protagonist from Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel Gone
With The Wind. Scarlett was a woman who knew what she wanted and
wouldn't stop until she got, without stopping to think of anyone other
than herself and just how many, past and future, would describe Pat.
The only difference between Scarlett and Pat was the former was
fiction. Pat, unfortunately, was not.
So it's not much of a surprise that
Pat's new marriage would begin on a Gone With The Wind theme
wedding, complete with southern belle style bridesmaid dresses and
parasols. Pat was dressed as Scarlett and Tom completed the scene in
his Rhett Butler attire.
When the ceremony was complete, the
couple made their escape in a horse-drawn carriage.
It was definitely a wedding event to
Not So Wedded Bliss
have been obvious to others appeared not to be so to Pat.
Independently, Tom wasn't wealthy; it was his parents who
held the purse strings. And try as she may, Walter and
Carolyn Allanson refused to
accept their son's divorce; much less his remarriage to some floozy
with an over-inflated sense of self-worth. What Tom had done to their
family was a disgrace.
Tom didn't care. He was crazy about Pat
and determined to give her everything she ever wanted. So the couple
soon purchased a Zebulon, Georgia, 52-acre farm with a beautiful
gorgeous home that Pat named Tara and set about their life
raising Morgan horses. The heavily mortgaged estate was quite the
attraction, even earning a visit from then Georgia governor
It may have appeared to many that the
Allanson wealth was following the son, but the monthly debt-to-income
ratio said otherwise.
A Woman On A Vengeance
Carolyn were so disgusted with their son that they had cut him from
their lives and their will. Instead, they had made provisions
for their grandchild and Tom's first wife in the event of their
Pat was furious. Nobody, especially not
Tom's parents, were going to stand in her way of getting the money she
saw as rightfully hers.
One day Tom came home to find a
disheveled Pat on the porch. When he asked what happened, Pat told a
pitiful tale of visiting his father's office in the name of helping
the family to reconcile their differences. Instead, Walter had exposed
himself to her while making sexually lewd remarks.
Tom was outraged and was intent on
confronting his father. Pat, however, insisted that he not; she agreed
to a restraining order instead. Soon thereafter, Pat told Tom she'd
heard rumors that Walter intended to kill Tom.
Alternatively, Walter told friends that
he believed Tom was planning his murder. A pistol and rifle had
recently been stolen from his home and he believed it was his son who
had done so. Police searched the junior Allanson's home but were
unable to locate the stolen weapons.
As communication among the Allansons
became not existant, the tensions rose to all time high.
It was the perfect setting for a
narcissistic sociopathic woman to make her next move.
The Murder of Walter and Carolyn
phone calls to both Allanson homes filled with violent threats were
unrelenting. Then on the evening of June 29, 1974, as Walter and
Carolyn drove along a country road, they suddenly found themselves
being fired upon. Terrified, the couple notified police who searched
the area to no avail. But the Allansons were sure they knew who was
On the night of July 3, 1974, while the
residents of the small Georgia town were celebrating Independence Day
with picnics and fireworks, under the cover of darkness, Walter and
Carolyn were viciously gunned down in the basement of their home.
Just before the brutal murder, Walter
had received a call from an anonymous woman claiming that Tom had been
seen entering the basement of his parents home. Walter rushed home and
went straight to the basement where he called for Tom to come out and
face him. When he received no response, he began firing a gun wildly
around the basement while yelling to Carolyn to call the police.
When police arrived, the found the body
of Walter Allanson on the basement floor and Carolyn was in slumped
sitting position on the stairs.
The killer had fled the scene.
Of Homicide and Suicide
It was no
secret that Tom and his parents had long been at odds, so Tom was
investigator's first and prime suspect.
Tom is arrested and charged with murder.
Pat immediately retains the services of a local attorney to represent
Tom, but soon finds herself at odds with the hired gun when she
insists on directing Tom's defense.
Defending Tom was no easy task. Tom
insisted on one story while Pat insisted on another. Tom's attorney
was frustrated beyond words.
As Tom awaited trial, his bride of only
two months visited as often as allowed. During one of those visits,
she presented Tom with a Bible - one of only a few books inmates were
allowed to have from "the outside." But what jail personnel didn't
know is that it was a tool being used by Pat to instigate a suicide
Every chance she got, Patricia begged
the man she loved to join her in suicide so they would not be
separated - ever. Tom considered it, often thought about it, but
simply could not bring himself to carry it out.
It goes without saying that Pat too did
not commit suicide.
Townspeople weren't surprised when Tom
Allanson was found guilty of his parents' murder and was sentenced to
two life sentences, to run concurrent (two sentences at the time of
Pat cried her crocodile tears and put on
quite a show when Tom was escorted to prison. But the reality was, she
now had all she ever wanted - just for her.
Farms, the named given to the property upon which Tara sat,
was still heavily mortgage and the indebtedness owed mostly to Tom's
paternal grandparents who were lovingly referred to as Papaw and Nona.
With Walter and Carolyn gone and their
grandson in prison, the elder Allansons were a prime target for a
Doing her best Southern belle hostess
act, Pat moved the elderly couple into her home and insisted she be
their sole care provided. In declining health and no other family
nearby to help them, the couple was thankful for Pat's generosity.
Soon Pat had convinced the Allansons
that she and Tom (despite his status as a prison inmate) should be the
sole heirs of the estate and the couple updated their wills in which
they disinherited their daughter,
Living with Pat, Nona's health
deteriorated rapidly. Although she had been sickly for some while,
she'd never been bedridden as she was during her stay at Tara.Papaw
was heartbroken. His health was deteriorating, his wife too was in
poor health, in a short time he'd lost a son and daughter-in-law and
his grandson was in prison. His daughter was angry and not speaking
with him, other than to berate Pat - the one person who seemed to care
about something more than his money.
Jean, however, finally broke through.
After notifying the authorities of her suspicions, followed by tests
which showed Nona and Papaw both had arsenic in their systems, and
surprise testimony from Pat's daughter, Susan, claiming she saw her
mother put arsenic in the elderly couple's food and drink, Pat finally
faced consequences for her actions. She was sentenced to time in
A New Start As Pat Taylor
American justice is prone to do, Pat was released after a relatively
short period of time; the narcissistic murderess unleashed on a
society unaware of the evil slinking among them.
In searching for employment, Pat
convinced a prominent Atlanta, Georgia, couple,
Mrs. Jimmy Crist, Sr. to
hire her and her daughter, Debbie, as home and caregivers.
Mr. Crist survived only a
short time after Pat began working for them. The Crist family believed
that Pat neglected Jimmy and poisoned his wife,
Betty Crist. But what was
known for certain was that the mother-and-daughter team stolen money
and valuables from the couple and lied about her status as a
In June 1991, Pat plead guilty to the
charges and was served to another stint of 8 years in prison.
Tom Speaks Out
gives a man a lot of time to think. And during his time in prison,
he'd come to realize several things: Pat wasn't who she seemed to be,
she had used him to orchestrate the murder of his parents, and would
do anything for riches. Money was the only thing and herself the only
person Pat had ever truly loved.
After being released from prison, having
served 15 years, Tom again found himself a desired interview subject
by police. This time, however, they weren't interested in accusing
him, they wanted to know more about evil, manipulative woman he'd
Pat Allanson couldn't pull the puppet
strings on Tom anymore.
Pat was released from prison in 1999.
She went to live with her stepfather and his new wife (Marguerite,
Pat's mother had died by this time). There she opened a doll shop she
named Pat's Pretty Play Things.
(Pretty creepy, huh?)
In 2008, Pat was charged with doctor
shopping and fraudentently obtaining over 3700 painkillers in less
than a year. She was officially charge on three counts of unauthorized
distribution. She entered a plea agreement with a sentence of
How much more will the lady now known as
Pat Taylor get by with
before she kills someone else? It may be an extremely rude thing to
say, but since Pat is now in her 70s, hopefully she'll die before she
kills someone else.
Allanson has used his experience in prison to create a men’s
post-release program: Set Free
After-Care. Each year he provides a multitude of services,
including housing, for men recently released from prison. His mission
to is to provide a more smooth transition from prison to society
living in hopes that fewer inmates will return to crime and ultimately
Pat's only son passed away in 2004. It
was said she engaged in a heated battle with his widow over his
remains. Why she believed she was entitled to an opinion escapes most,
and the outcome of the disagreement is publicly unknown.