Patz, who was initially charged last year, made numerous violent threats in 2019 against athletes and their family members through anonymous Instagram accounts, according to a criminal complaint. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced recently that Patz faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison and a maximum $250 000 fine after pleading guilty to “transmitting threats in interstate or foreign commerce.”
In many messages to Tampa Bay team members, Patz threatened to enter the athletes’ homes and behead them or their family members, the FBI said earlier.
‘Your family will be beheaded,’ said one of the messages, quoted in the criminal complaint, but there’s much more where that came from.
What happened here?
The plea agreement between Patz and the DOJ goes on the record to say that on July 20, 2019, the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team lost their home game to their American League opponents, the Chicago White Sox. Later on that day, four of the Rays’ players and one of the Chicago White Sox players received direct messages on their Instagram feeds from ‘Parlay Patz’. While Patz didn’t outline precisely how he would go about murdering the players and their family members nor a timeline to take out the threats, the sinister and dangerous nature of his threats were enough to make an indictment.
It is clear that the DOJ wanted the general public aware that it was not on a wild goose chase by releasing a number of Patz’s messages in the media release to make perfectly clear that the man was a genuine threat to the player’s safety. For example;
- “I will enter your home while you sleep”
- “And sever your neck open”
- “I will sever your neck open you pathetic c**tbag”
- “I will kill your entire family”
- “Everyone you love will soon cease” and frighteningly;
- “I will cut up your family” and “Dismember the[m] alive.”
‘The safety of our players and staff is paramount and all threats are taken seriously,’ Rays spokesman Dave Haller said in a media release at the time. ‘The Rays and the players involved are cooperating with the FBI as the legal process continues.’
Patz was arrested in March 2020 after Patz turned himself into a federal marshal after the accusations first surfaced. Oddly, the threats to the MLB players came after Patz had already made more than $1 million in winning parlay wagers in 2019, however, how much ‘Parlay Patz’ lost along the way was not revealed.
Despite only admitting to threats against the Tampa Bay Ray baseball players, it is said that Patz had also made threats to other players across a range of sports including to players from leading NFL team, the New England Patriots, after Super Bowl LIII.
Allegedly, Patz bet $10,000 on the Los Angeles Rams to win Super Bowl LIII and they lost 13-3 to the New England Patriots. It is said that “Parlay Patz” sent a direct message to a New England player with the initials J.E. (most probably Julian Edelman) that he would “rape and murder your entire family”. Edelman caught 10 passes for 141 yards as he almost single-handedly won the game for the Patriots and wound up being named the game’s MVP.
Patz did not admit the Super Bowl-related allegation.
The case was investigated under the FBI’s Integrity in Sport and Gaming Initiative, which primarily seeks to combat illegal sports wagering, however, also has the scope to investigate threats and other criminal influence.