Wednesday, April 05, 2006

All the girls want to know / Who's the cutest boy on death row? 

Image hosted by Photobucket.comI am in temporarily in charge of prison reference requests. Actually, we’re supposed to call the program “reference by mail,” but the only non prisoner letter we’ve received in 5 years was written, in fine Spencerian script, by some octogenarian Canadian looking for a sympathetic publisher for his memoirs. Usually I would consider this to be a godsend, an endless supply of fascinating material to satisfy my louche curiosity (and that of the readers of this blog, you little devils), but I just discovered that a prisoner that I’ve been corresponding with is a man who committed such a notorious, sickening crime that he had to change his name because of multiple death threats, which is why I didn’t recognize him at first. Through a series of letters he requested information on where to locate books, articles and information about the made for TV movie of his crime, for what purposes I’m not sure. Was he such an egomaniacal narcissist that he wanted to collect every scrap of news about him, or, even worse, did he want to gather all of this to gloat and to stimulate himself? In any case, once I discovered with whom I had been corresponding, I got thoroughly creeped out. I thought I had developed a strong stomach from my days at the Sheriff’s Office but apparently not, because I was really disturbed by the situation, and wondered what kind of professionally ethical commitment I owed to the patron, who is not even local. I consulted a colleague who had worked in prison librarianship back in California, and she advised to just be very bureaucratic and slow and to pass if off to the reference department at the state library if I became too uncomfortable with the work.

My colleague told me that when she was librarian back in California that she used to visit the city jail near the library on one of her rounds, and one of her patrons was none other than Richard Ramirez, the Night Stalker. Whenever she would wheel the book cart down the corridor on he rounds he would pull out his penis, which she said was about 10 inches long, and start slowly stroking it. She would throw his items at him – mostly Heavy Metal magazines and books on (surprise!) other serial killers – and get the hell out of there before a Multiple Miggs type situation befell her. She said that the guard reported that he spent most of his time lolling on his cot surrounded by stacks of love letters from women. It must take a lady with a very special psychology to throw herself at a serial killer. I wonder if they knew that surviving victims reported that his breath was so putrid that it made them gag.

It reminds me of that Kids in the Hall skit, where the teenage ‘girls’ at a slumber party are all arguing over mug shots about who’s the cutest killer on death row. “No! He’s dreamier…”

The transcript.

Another patron in prison was a hulking but handsome African American man who impressed and intrigued her with his noble, calm presence. She asked what he was in for, and was told her he was a gay hustler who had ripped out one of his client’s heart through his back with his bare hands. The guard said, “Vietnam Vet. Short fuse. I think the john stepped on his feet, which he took as a sign of disrespect.”

My colleague had a page to assist her, a middle aged woman who was a devout Christian. She considered her prison work her ‘good work,’ and she would try to strike up friendships with some of the prisoners so she could minister to them on the sly. At the prison she befriended a young, angelic man. They exchanged letters, and he would make her little drawings of animals and sunsets that she would hang up at work. She finally asked one of the prison guards what he was in for. He replied, "Killing little boys and burying them in the sand at the beach." She sallowed and quit prison work shortly thereafter.

seriously Foxy, your week is soudning pretty effed up.

It could be worse. It could be raining.

Thank God we had a reprieve today.
It sounds like your colleague's page had never heard of Total Depravity
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