Christina White knew Quinn Patterson for 27 years - and he called her just moments after his shooting spree killed Wendy Campbell and her daughter Natanya, and wounded Jeff Pipe. She tells Sam Hurley how Patterson's mind deteriorated.
"He wasn't remorseful at all, in his brain he was thoroughly justified," says Christina White.
"I've known him, and I've lived with him, I've left him and I've gone back to him. Yes, I know him very well."
The 66-year-old Australian first met Quinn Patterson in 1990 while they were picking blueberries in rural New South Wales.
She'd known him in the 27 years since as a best friend and lover, long before he shot and killed property manager Wendy Campbell and her daughter Natanya and wounded contractor Jeff Pipe on a bloody July morning near Whangarei.
Speaking exclusively to the Weekend Herald from her home in the Queensland town of Gympie, she said Patterson displayed signs of mania even in the early years.
"Oh mad, mad! Absolutely mad. You know, he was drinking 24 hours, he was smoking marijuana, he was just hell," she said.
The couple, however, formed a close relationship and left for New Zealand in 1993, settling in Northland.
However, the more time White spent with Patterson the more she learnt about his "crazy upbringing".
"They believed in aliens and it was, you know, doomsday preppers ... There was always the little grey men who were going to come and sort everything out. Quinn believed in all this, he was brought up with it."
Patterson was born in Canada but when his family moved to New Zealand he attended school in Waikato. He also spent time living in Auckland, White said.
Patterson's father died last year, his mother has also passed.
Patterson dealt with alcohol and drug addiction but became "worse" when not using, White said.
"There was nothing to soak up the aggression that he still had.
"I lived with him when he was on the drugs and I lived with him when he wasn't and I tell you what - I told him before I left - I'd rather him be back on the drugs than live with him like he was."
As the pair learned more about each other, White discovered Patterson's previous conviction for stabbing a police officer.
She was told a story which "was a lot different than the one that the police gave".
On June 20, 1983, when Patterson was 21, he left a bar on Victoria St in central Hamilton with his brother.
He was seen with a 13-inch hunting knife.
Police dog handler Bruce Howat, then 31, tried to stop him, but Patterson ran off. Howat gave chase, letting his dog Cara out to help - Patterson turned and stabbed the officer several times in the arm.
There were a few mistrials before Patterson was finally convicted in 1984 and sentenced to 18 months in jail for grievous bodily harm.
"Prison taught Patterson a few things," White said. "How to be a criminal: what else do you learn in jail?"
Patterson and White stayed together, going through several rough patches, and Patterson's increasing "episodes" while renting a Whangarei home.
"We weren't there very long because he was living in a car and a shed and it wasn't much fun for me. So that's when we moved to McLeod Bay."
The pair arrived in the tranquil setting in 2007, but quickly ran into trouble with their landlord, Vicki Reeves, and her then teenage son Michael Lenz.
According to a Tenancy Tribunal decision, Patterson wanted his peace - he claimed it had been "disturbed".
He battled with his landlord over what he called his "loss of quiet enjoyment".
Patterson and White left that home in Whangarei Heads for a small cottage on Mount Tiger Rd in about 2009.
"We lived there for maybe a year before he moved into where he was," White said.
The pair parted ways - White citing that Patterson's psychotic episodes were now frequent.
"He enjoyed his cars, we use to play cards and games, we bushwalked, we travelled, we went down to the South Island and travelled around there for a bit, but then he started to get really psycho and I thought 'this is the time for me to leave'."
She fled to be with her family in Queensland while he moved just a kilometre or so further along Mt Tiger Rd.
It was there that he hoped to find his quiet enjoyment - instead he become a "caged animal".
Patterson began running a property maintenance business from the home and started to buy and sell cars, he even bought a jet ski, and made house repairs for his landlord.
But Patterson and White stayed in touch, with nearly daily calls and emails.
"He liked to wear suits, he liked to drive around in nice cars, he liked to think he'd got out from the oppression he was raised in," White said.
But, she added, Patterson's correspondence became agitated - his landlord wasn't paying him for his labour on the property.
"I've since learned he had no money, he had no prospects of work," White said.
"If I'd had known he was in dire straits I would've given him money, but I didn't know."
A young couple also lived in a little flat on the property, which Patterson helped manage.
During a phone call White said to him: "Why in the hell can't you just find somewhere that's quiet and move there?"
Patterson replied: "I'm sick of being rejected, everywhere I go I get rejected and I've had it from the time I first went to school, I've been rejected by everybody."
Patterson's thoughts drifted deeper into a doomsday mentality.
White said he had sought help from doctors and psychiatrists during his life for "all sorts of things", but in the last year or so had started to build his armoury.
"He told me he had semi-automatics and a big (shotgun), I'm not much of a gun person, I was wondering how in the hell he was getting them?"
The Herald earlier revealed that he was using TradeMe to sell accessories for military weapons right up to the day of his death.
This week, 61-year-old Michael John Hayes was also charged with supplying military-style semi-automatic weapons to Patterson.
Some of the firearms allegedly included a Mossburg 12-gauge shotgun, Gevarm .22 calibre rifle, an AK-47 replica semi-automatic rifle, a Saiga 12-gauge shotgun, and a 7.62 calibre rifle with various rounds of magazines.
"He told me what he was doing," White said.
"He rang me and said, 'you've got to put some food aside, you've got to store water and get organised because the world's going to end'."
White said she had never phoned police prior to the shooting, believing Patterson was suffering from another one of his pyschotic episodes.
She felt she was restricted by how much she could help him from overseas, and repeated several times during the interview that police must have known of Patterson's violent past and that he was armed.
Patterson had also built something of a shooting tower in his backyard for target practice.
White said Patterson mentioned that police came to view it, but he just laughed it off "because they just went away".
Following a series of questions by the Herald, police confirmed an officer had visited Patterson's home in June over concerns about an illegal structure.
However, after talking with Patterson, who had no firearms licence, the officer was satisfied it was a tenancy matter that required no further police action.
"I knew he had guns," White said. "When he started buying guns I thought, 'this is not going to end well'."
White asked whether Patterson was considering moving out, but again she didn't consider phoning police.
Property managers Wendy and Natanya Campbell were visiting - and Patterson was writing about them in emails to White.
"The new owner has sicked the letting agent on to me with the hardly disguised intention of driving me out of here ... I don't know how I kept my cool," Patterson wrote in an email on July 1, obtained by the Weekend Herald.
He further said: "The 2 of them even sent the cops here to find a 'building' here he saw on google earth. I asked the cops if they get paid extra for their 'building inspector' work?
They're all around the bend! Absolutely insane. It's a strange feeling knowing I'm the sanest person (or so it seems)."
More visits and more emails followed, with Patterson telling White he told the property managers, "I've got guns, I will shoot you if you don't leave me alone".
"They've been at me again, I'm just boarding up, I'm storing my food, and I'm storing water and they're going to come out of the cities and they're going to attack'," Patterson told White.
Patterson's emails showed he was becoming increasingly agitated and was worried about eviction.
"He wasn't moving out until after his lease was up," White said.
"They were pushing him and pushing him, he rang me (in the weeks prior to the shooting) and he said, 'I warned them, I told them to leave me alone or I'd kill them'."
On the morning of July 26 Patterson rang White.
"I've shot [them]," Patterson uttered in a "cold" voice.
"They're dead on the front lawn. I told them, they wouldn't leave me alone, they kept harassing me - I told them I'd shoot them. I have," he continued.
White said she'd never heard him so calm.
"He said, 'you're my last phone call, I'm ringing you to tell you I love you and I'm saying goodbye'."
Patterson told White he wouldn't be alive much longer, but did not mention he was going to set the house on fire, or was planning to take his own life.
"The last thing he said to me was, 'I can hear the sirens, the police are coming, I've got to go'.
"If he'd rung me earlier I might have been able to talk him out of it," she said.
Shocked that Patterson had carried out his threats, White said she phoned police and offered to help in any way she could.
"I really feel sorry for the ladies, [they] left the four little children, that's terrible.
"They should've believed him, they shouldn't have gone there on their own, they should've taken the police with them."
White questioned why neighbours, who have told the Herald they heard guns going off constantly, didn't inform police.
"That was something someone else should know about, there wasn't much I could do from over here."
Patterson is survived by two adult children, both believed to be in their 20s, living in Auckland with their mother.
"Look I love the man, I still love the man, I'll always love him," White said.
She was visited by police on Thursday after the New Zealand Police earlier rang her and wanted to set up a meeting with a detective from Interpol in Australia.
Patterson's badly burned remains were recovered from the charred wreck of his rented Mount Tiger Rd, after it went up in flames following a firefight with heavily armed police.
It is still unknown exactly how the 55-year-old died.
"He wasn't remorseful at all, in his brain he was thoroughly justified," White said.