Last month, Eagle reporter Andrew Amelinckx interviewed convicted killer Patricia Olsen at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Framingham, where she is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Police and prosecutors said Olsen coerced her son, Christopher Robinson, into murdering her husband, 48-year-old Neil Olsen, in January 2005 in order to collect life insurance and other money to pay off her mounting debts.

Patricia Olsen, 49, continues to deny any involvement in her husband's death. She was convicted of first-degree murder in Berkshire Superior Court in May 2006 and lost an appeal two years later. She proclaimed her innocence again during the interview last month, calling herself "a victim of the Berkshires' Good Old Boy network" because she said everyone involved in her case knew and worked with one another.

Patricia Olsen, 49, continues to deny any involvement in her husband's death. She was convicted of first-degree murder in Berkshire Superior Court in May 2006 and lost an appeal two years later. She proclaimed her innocence again during the interview last month, calling herself "a victim of the Berkshires' Good Old Boy network" because she said everyone involved in her case knew and worked with one another.

Olsen, a former Lanesborough resident, is seeking an attorney so that she can attempt a second appeal.


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Robinson, meanwhile, is at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Norfolk, a medium security prison, serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 15 years. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in June 2006 after shooting Neil Olsen in the head seven times with a .22-caliber rifle and beating his body with a 40-inch metal pipe.

Excerpts from the interview with Patricia Olsen are below. (Robinson, 29, did not respond to The Eagle's request for an interview.) Q: How and when did you meet Neil Olsen?

A: I met Neil in 1989 when I worked for a company in Pittsfield ... doing bookkeeping. Neil used to go there and letter the trucks; he had a [sign-making] business. From 1989 to 1993 I would see him maybe once a month. It wasn't until March 1993 that he said he needed to talk to me and he wanted me to come over to his house the next day.

He said he had always been attracted to me since the day he had met me years prior. He wanted to basically ask me to move in with him. ... He knew in his heart he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. We had never gone on dates or anything, but something inside of me told me it was just right. So one day before I went to work I showed up at his house and I said: "Let's do it." He wanted to get married that year, but both our families were saying we were crazy ... so we waited a year.

Q: When did your children from your first marriage come to live with you and Neil?

A: After Neil and I got married, it was maybe three or four years later. It was when the children [Christopher and Amanda Robinson] were entering seventh and eighth grades that they moved in to the house because [James Robinson and I] ended up having a big custody battle at that point. [Neil and I] ended up winning custody of the kids. I think that was ‘97 or ‘98.

At first when they moved [in with us], everything was fine. It wasn't until the kids started getting into their teenage years that things started happening. My son was kind of withdrawn; he just didn't seem to be interested in school. Amanda lived a style I didn't want to realize or I just kind of ignored it. Neil kept saying: "She's up to something." [He was] constantly searching her room.

As far as I knew, Neil was never physically abusive to the kids. He would come up with some of the most bizarre punishments. We had a long, hilly driveway and the punishment would be to regrade the ruts.

Christopher ended up moving out first when he was 18. And then Amanda moved out right after her 18th birthday.

Q: Why do you think Christopher killed Neil?

A: I think they absolutely hated each other. The summer before this happened, Christopher and Neil had an argument where the police had to be brought up to the house. Chris was trying to pick up his car that Neil had fixed, and Chris decided he didn't want to be a father and was being really neglectful with his baby [Zoe] and Neil said: "If I ever see you near your mother, Lyndsey [Turner, Chris' ex-girlfriend] or Zoe again, I'll kill you."

The police had originally told me [a] horse killed Neil. That Monday night, Christopher showed up at the house, and he was laughing about how he knew that horse was going to hurt somebody someday, and I told him that I didn't want him to disrespect Neil and to get out of the house. Chris and Amanda went outside for about a half an hour. When Chris came back in he said: "Can I move back in now? Now that Neil's not here, can I move back in?"

[Neil and I] had talked about letting Lyndsey and the baby move into our house. I seriously think that Chris thought that with Neil gone, he would be able to move into the house and have his mother back, his girlfriend back, and his baby. I am sorry that my son did this. I just ask that people pray for [Neil Olsen's family], me, my children.

Q: Why do you think both of your children testified against you?

A: There [allegedly is evidence] that Christopher [said]: "My lawyer told me if I can pin this on someone else, I'll only get manslaughter, so [expletive] I'm going to say my mother did it because the [expletive] hasn't been here to see me."

What Christopher doesn't realize is that I had been admitted to Jones [the psychiatric unit at Berkshire Medical Center] soon after I lost Neil. It was so overwhelming I didn't know ... It was just too much ... I just couldn't handle losing Neil and then finding out it was Christopher who did it.

As far as Amanda ... goes, I think ... she was scared. She told me they had told her they could get her for accessory before and accessory after [the fact] because she was aware, she was at Wal-Mart when Christopher bought the gun, and that she lied about it afterwards and each charge she was told ... she was looking at two life sentences. She was never charged.

Q: Did Amanda express any regrets about testifying against you when she came to see you in prison? (She stopped visiting four years ago, according to Olsen.)

Q: Did Amanda express any regrets about testifying against you when she came to see you in prison? (She stopped visiting four years ago, according to Olsen.)

Q: Did Amanda express any regrets about testifying against you when she came to see you in prison? (She stopped visiting four years ago, according to Olsen.)

A: The first time she came ... in the fall of 2006 ... I didn't even know who was here. I remember standing by the desk, and then I heard "Mommy," and my heart just broke. That's when we sat down and I said to Amanda: "You need to tell the truth." And she said: "I can't." That's when she told me about the accessory before and after the fact charges.

(Amanda Robinson, who lives in Wilmington, N.C., did not respond to The Eagle's interview requests.).

Q: If you were let out tomorrow, what would you do with your life?

A: I want to go home with my mother [in Vermont]. She's 76. She drives here once a month. She's been my rock.

Q: What's happening with your case?

A: I write letters all the time. It's like a roller coaster. You get excited writing all these letters, and then you start getting feedback about how the economy is bad and no one can afford to do pro bono [work]. I go to the law library a lot, but I'm scared to do my own motion because once you do something and you get declined for that reason, you can't do it again, so I have to be very careful on how I do it. I just keep writing letters [to attorneys]. It's all I can do. I just keep praying. It's my faith that keeps me going every day. It's my faith that's allowed me to forgive people, and it's my faith that keeps me alive. I don't think I'd be here today if I didn't have that.

Q: Have you forgiven your son?

A: I've forgiven him for what he's done to me because I know he was scared. ... He said that he didn't want to spend the rest of his life in prison, and he didn't ever think I'd be found guilty. So I have forgiven Christopher for what he has done to me, but I still can't forgive him for what he did to Neil.

Q: Is it hard to move on from Neil's death?

A: There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about him. At night it's the hardest because I just lay there and you put yourself through that "what if, why didn't I."

Christopher, that Sunday night [the night of the murder], called and asked me if he could spend the night at the restaurant [Mrs. O's Seafood, owned by Neil and Patricia] again, and I said "no," and he said: "Mommy, it's snowing outside. What am I supposed to do?" And I said: "I don't care," and I hung up. A few hours later he comes back and kills Neil, and I have to live with that.

Yes I did hide things from Neil, like giving Chris meals, things like that, but he was my son. ... But you don't expect something like this. I've never regretted anything I've said, because anything I've ever said, even today, is the same thing I said nearly eight years ago. I've always told the truth about things.

Q: How do you spend your time in prison?

A: I stay very busy. I've got a lot of good friends in here that give me a lot of mental and spiritual support. Neil taught me a lot about the sign business, and I'm able to use that in what I do for work here now. I do digitizing for the embroidery department. I absolutely love it. It keeps me busy 61 2 hours a day. I pretty much ... stay to myself at night.

My classes [at Boston University for a bachelor's degree in liberal arts through the state prison program] keep me busy. I pretty much do two or three [classes] a semester. Church on Sundays. I have a spiritual mentor that comes in on Tuesdays. I used to see a psych every week, but now I'm down to once a month.