A Wisconsin man charged with fatally stabbing his girlfriend more than two dozen times and slaughtering her 4-year-old daughter has urged homicide detectives to listen to Eminem’s 2010 track Space Bound if they wished to understand his motive behind the slayings.
Patrick Fowler, 33, is currently on trial in Milwaukee for the savage March 2016 killings of Jessica Ellenberger, 28, and her cancer survivor daughter, Madyson Marshel.
According to a criminal complaint, Fowler told police after his arrest that he and his girlfriend of one month got into an argument and that he began stabbing her because ‘he felt as if he were being disrespected.’
After allegedly knifing the woman 26 times and slitting her throat, Fowler stabbed the four-year-old twice, then used the toddler’s coloring books as kindling to set the mother and daughter’s bodies on fire.
On his way out of the blood-spattered, burning house, Fowler said he grabbed a handful of Madyson’s Easter candy from a basket.
On Day 2 of Fowler’s murder trial on Wednesday, prosecutors played a recording from his interview with homicide detectives that took place shortly after his arrest in Arkansas.
At one point during the interrogation, the investigators asked Fowler why he set the victims’ house ablaze, to which the man replied that they should listen to Eminem’s song Space Bound in order to understand his mindset, reported Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
He then quoted verses from the song, which talks about a man who strangles his girlfriend after realizing that she does not love him anymore.
‘Don’t play games; it’ll be dangerous if you f— me over,” Fowler recited to the cops. ‘Cause if I get burnt I’ma show you what it’s like to hurt. ‘Cause I’ve been treated like dirt before you and love is evil, spell it backwards. I’ll show ya.’
The track, which appeared on the Detroit rapper’s seventh album, Recovery, also features the following lyrics: ‘I’m trying to stop you from breathing/I put both hands on your throat/I sit on top of you squeezing/’Til I snap your neck like a Popsicle stick.’
On Thursday, an emotional Fowler took the witness stand to testify in his own defense and walked back much of his previous confession, instead pointing a finger of blame at some unspecified ‘figure’ for the murders.
With tears streaming down his face, Fowler claimed that he was guilty of cowardice, not murder, because he was hiding in the bathroom, scared, as ‘someone else’ butchered his girlfriend and her daughter inside their home on North 86th Street in Milwaukee on March 19, 2016.
‘I chose to save myself. I got three daughters myself. What if it was them,’ Fowler told the court through sobs, according to Fox 6 Now.
Fowler said the three of them were spending the day together preparing Easter baskets when he went to use the restroom.
When he returned a minute later, he said he saw ‘a figure’ rushing at him with a knife. He then fled back into the bathroom after suffering a severe cut to his hand.
While he was hiding in the bathroom, Fowler testified, he heard screams. When he emerged later, Fowler said he discovered his girlfriend, a protection officer with a security firm, and her daughter dead inside the toddler’s bedroom.
The 33-year-old defendant said he held the woman and child in his arms and prayed for them, which resulted in their blood getting on his clothes, and then left the house with Madyson’s Easter candy.
An autopsy found 26 wounds on Ellenberger’s upper body, plus burns on 40 per cent of her body. Madyson was stabbed twice and was burned over 100 per cent of her body.
US Marshals later picked up Fowler during a Greyhound bus layover in Texarkana, Arkanas, and extradited him back to Wisconsin to face two charges of first-degree murder.
Fowler’s mother was also arrested after it was discovered she had bought her son the bus ticket and knew he had allegedly killed Ellenberger and her daughter.
In his testimony on Thursday, Fowler claimed his mother had urged him to go to the police, but he decided to flee to Texas because he looked ‘guilty as hell.’
Fowler told the court he decided to confess to the murders after learning from his brother that his mother, the mother of his daughters and her friend had all been arrested in Milwaukee for helping him skip town.
At the time of the 2016 double-murder, Fowler was on probation for threatening to kill his ex-fiancee and her son with knives after she broke off their engagement six months prior.
The 33-year-old was also convicted of child abuse in 2009 and is a registered sex offender.
Closing arguments are expected to be presented later in the day on Friday, after which the case will go to the jury for deliberations.