Edward Thomas VanPatten
17 Years Old

January 29, 1983 to March 15, 2000

Edward Thomas VanPatten, a native of Norfolk, Virginia, was 6'2" and an only chid.

Eddie loved to draw, make people laugh and also loved wolves. He loved wolves so much that he had a wolf as a pet and named him Nikita.

Eddie had a low-rider truck that he and his dad would do their "father/son" projects with. Eddie and his father were best friends. Eddie and his mother spent a lot of time together shopping and going to the theater.

Eddie would help anyone in need. One summer, when he was 12, Eddie decided to help take care of his great aunt, who was dying of breast cancer.

Eddie often spent his summers with his grandparents in New York, his Aunt & Uncle in Texas and also spent two summers with family in Canada.

Eddie was in the 11th grade, worked to jobs and was just learning how to surf at the time of his murder.

There were over 1000 people at his funeral. People told me what a respectable son we had raised. Some parents even told me that Eddie was the only one allowed to drive their daughters to school.

Eddie was becoming a wonder young man. He valued life so much. He made each day count, now it is all gone. He will never graduate, go to college, join the Air Force, get married or have children. His life was robbed of so much.


Eddie was murdered by two of his "friends". James Gibson(17) who he knew for at least eight years and Tony Long(18).

Tony and James had robbed a store and beat up one of the employees who worked there. They had told Eddie about the crime they committed. Afraid that Eddie was going to contact the police they planned his murder.

Tony and James called Eddie and invited him to James' house. When Eddie went to James' house Tony and James strangled Eddie then threw him in the woods like trash.

These two murderers were at my house on the following Thursday and Friday. James gave me a hug and told me that he hadn't seen Eddie in days. Tony went bowling that Friday.

James Gibson was convicted of Murder in the First Degree on January 11, 2001 and was sentenced to 50 years.

Tony Long plead guilty of Murder in the First Degree in November 2000 and was sentenced to 45 years.

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Edward VanPatten