He changed his name to Patler in 1960. Patler served in the United States. Marine Corps from 1958 to 1960, when he was discharged honorably on grounds of "unsuitability" after being arrested at a Nazi Party rally. Patler had been a captain in the American Nazi Party and the editor and cartoonist for the party"s magazine, Stormtrooper.
However, he was expelled from the Party in March 1967 for alleged "Bolshevik leanings" after disagreeing with Rockwell about some of the party"s policies.
Patler later described his relationship with Rockwell in very endearing terms, stating "I loved him like a father and he loved me like a son". In his last known letter to Rockwell, Patler wrote "I don"t think there are two people on earth who think and feel the same as we do.
. You are a very important part of my life.
I need you as much as you need medical Without you there is no future".
On August 25, 1967, George Lincoln Rockwell was shot and killed while getting into his car, which was parked in front of a self-service laundry at an Arlington, Virginia, shopping center. The weapon used in Rockwell"s killing was a 7.63mm Broomhandle Mauser pistol.
Patler was arrested half an hour later about a mile from the scene of the shooting.
Patler was convicted of first-degree murder on December 16, 1967 by an Arlington jury and subsequently sentenced to 20 years in prison by Arlington Circuit Court Judge Charles Russell. Patler was paroled from prison in 1975, after having served eight years of his sentence. After later violating his parole, he received an additional six-year sentence.