Who Case: 152
I have lived in High Valley since 1979 and witnessed the demise of Tom Willhite in his bi-plane. Of course I heard all the stories about Wm Penn Patrick. I personally knew and liked Jack Mather, although he and Camille had parted ways by the time I knew him. I don't know why, but many residents of Lake County still refer to Patrick as "PennPatrick", as if that were his last name.
According to Mather, Patrick crashed the day the drapes were being hung at the Casa. My friend Elton Garner said he went to the crash sight with his Jeep and retrieved the bodies, but he never said only teeth and a few bones was all that was left. I had always heard the passenger was a Frenchman, but now I understand he was from Finland. The story was that the radio equipment had been taken out of the plane to allow a passenger room to ride, as a P51 was a single pilot plane.
When Willhite crashed in 1983 the wreckage was taken to the P51 crash site and his body was buried at the top of the hill West of the Casa. It has since been moved, as the property was sold to a Jew from Israel whose religion forbade owning property with buried human remains. The ranch is now a very large open marijuana grow. PSI World held its last class there at the end of May, 2021. At one point I was told "PSI" stood for "people synergistically involved".
As a close neighbor who visited the ranch many times I can say the place drastically improved after Willhite's death. During his tenure the roads were almost impassible as he spent nothing on maintenance. His widow, Jane, changed all that and it was a nice place once she took over.
Other neighbors, as well as Jack Mather, had nothing but good to say about Patrick. They went out of their way to tell what a nice, friendly guy he was. I heard of Bill and Jack driving through the valley in a convertible Cadillac waving at anyone they passed. Tom Willhite was not nearly so friendly.
There were rumors of a suitcase full of cash buried somewhere on the ranch, but no one ever heard of anyone finding it. Also Patrick was supposedly being chased by the IRS for tax evasion the day he crashed, which of course fueled the suicide theory.
The ranch gained a reputation of being cursed and jinxed as over the years there have been 3 plane crashes. The new owner is a pilot and has expressed his intent to often use the airstrip.