Patrick O'Sullivan
Patrick O’Sullivan

An alleged rapist accused of trying to recruit a fellow inmate to kill two witnesses wanted to mail one target’s decapitated head to the witness’ family for the holidays, Suffolk County authorities said.

The grisly failed hit-for-hire plot was detailed in handwritten letters shared between the suspect, Patrick O’Sullivan, and an anonymous inmate-turned-informant who was incarcerated near O’Sullivan’s Suffolk County jail cell, according to investigators.

“The DA needs a crying bitch [to] really get a conviction, right?” the 21-year-old East Moriches man allegedly wrote in one of the letters to the informant that prosecutors released to the media. The informant wrote back: “Yeah, without her no one can say you were there when it happened.”

O’Sullivan has been jailed since December on charges of predatory sexual assault, first-degree rape, criminal sexual act, sexual abuse, burglary and criminal use of a firearm. Prosecutors said he shot at the victim, who was house sitting a Stony Brook home at the time, tied her up and sexually assaulted her at knifepoint in November 2012.

A judge set his bail at $1 million bond or $250,000 cash, which O’Sullivan has not posted. Authorities said he tried to recruit the inmate he befriended because the “hit man” was scheduled to be released last month. O’Sullivan allegedly offered $23,000 for a hit on both the victim and a witness that places him in the house, which belongs to the suspect’s friend.

“In his mind, without those two witnesses, he would go free,” Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota told reporters Wednesday during a news conference at his Hauppauge office. “He wanted it done before the holidays.”

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Spota then read part the most disturbing part of a detailed letter O’Sullivan allegedly wrote to the informant after the informant was released from jail: “After you kill the witness, bury the witness so that after the case against me collapses and I get out of jail, I can dig the body up, cut his head off and mail it to his family for the holidays.”

But, the inmate reported the plot to prosecutors through his attorney and negotiated a slightly earlier release. Spota said both targets have been made aware of the plot. Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco said O’Sullivan now being watched even closer by guards at the county’s main jail in Riverside.

“He will be kept separate, but you can’t keep inmates from talking to each other,” said DeMarco, adding that inmates “kite” notes between cells by folding them into paper airplanes and flying them back and forth.

O’Sullivan will be arraigned Tuesday on two counts of conspiracy to commit murder. He faces up to life in prison on the predatory sexual assault charge, if convicted.


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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.