Tag Archives: Patricia Ruth Dent

From the ‘Crime Will Kill You’ Files

No bad deed goes unpunished – even if forces beyond one’s control exacts the punishment.  Joseph McKinnon, a Trenton, South Carolina man, died after suffering a heart attack while digging a pit to bury his girlfriend after killing her.

McKinnon had told a neighbor that the hole he was creating in his yard was meant for a water feature to enhance his garden. But when another neighbor subsequently spotted McKinnon laying face-down and motionless beside the pit one Saturday morning, they called police.

After officials determined McKinnon had succumbed from cardia failure, Edgefield County Sheriff Jody Rowland says his office set out to locate and alert McKinnon’s next of kin.

That’s when authorities realized McKinnon’s live-in girlfriend, Patricia Ruth Dent, 65, had vanished.  They learned Dent’s co-workers had been trying reach her without success.

“That took us back to the pit he (McKinnon) was digging,” Rowland stated.

After digging further, they discovered Dent’s remains bound in duct tape and wrapped up in black trash bags.  An autopsy determined she’d been struck in the face and had been strangled.

A neighbor had already seen the hole in the ground. But, when police arrived, McKinnon had refilled it, before dying.

Rowland emphasized the extraordinary circumstances, but noted, “Basically this case is over.”

My only hope is that McKinnon will spend eternity in the After Life digging holes in hard dirt and suffering one fatal cardiac event after another.

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