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A Letter to Jodi – Guest Blog by Mama Via

February 25, 2015
Jodi:
In the next few days, you will learn your fate.  Whether it’s Death, or LWOP, really doesn’t matter to any of us, we’ve already accepted that the probability that you will never leave custody again, something I don’t believe you, yourself have accepted.  If you believe you will be out by Easter, or July 4th or Thanksgiving, you are incorrect.  Scott Peterson has been at San Quentin since 2004, and still hasn’t had his first appeal. (Editor’s note: He was formally sentenced and finally arrived at San Quentin March 17, 2005. If Jodi receives DP, she will be sentenced and arrive DR immediately.)
If you receive the death penalty, what will your new home be like? The unit containing death row is called the Lumley Unit. Inmates in the death row cell are locked inside 23 hours a day. Before their 23rd hour, they are put in shackles and walked to small cage-like enclosures for recreation.

Who are the other two women sharing your fate?

Let’s start with introducing Wendi Andriano.  Andriano and her husband managed the San Riva Apartments in Ahwatukee. Her husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Andriano was tired of caring for him, so she poisoned him. When that wasn’t working fast enough, she stabbed him and beat him to death with a bar stool.

Juan Martinez, the same man who is now trying to put you on death row, went after Wendi in 2004.  I’m sure you will both have a lot to talk about!

Next is Shawna Forde. She and her vigilante group burst into a home in southern Arizona, hoping to steal drug money to fund their anti-illegal immigrant activities. But there was no drug money, and she and her accomplices shot and killed a man and his 9-year-old daughter. Shawna has been on Death a Row since 2011.

If you receive death, you three women, all found guilty of terrible crimes, will all be awaiting your final punishment. All three of you will be in various stages of appealing your cases, but, honestly, Jodi, I wouldn’t give any of you a snowballs chance in hell of ever being released.  In fact, I wouldn’t give you much chance of gaining your “freedom” by being put to death, either!  The last woman executed in Arizona was Eva Dugan back in 1930.  poor thing, when she was hanged, the hangman made a mistake, and she was actually decapitated by the noose when she dropped through the trap door. Pity.

 

Other Useful information

The cell

  • 12 ft. by 7 ft. cell; 86 square feet
  • All solo cells
  • Bed built into wall (hard surface bed)
  • Blanket and pillow
  • Stainless steel toilet and sink
  • Shelving across one side of bed, which could be used as a desk
  • Small chair
  • Personal items can be displayed in the cell and there are two small and very thin windows
  • Allowed to buy a small radio or TV

Meals
Inmates are fed 19 meals a week, three meals a day Monday through Friday and only two meals a day on the weekend. Death row and maximum security inmates eat all of their meals in their cells. There is no cafeteria-style setting.

Life
Inmates on death row in Arizona have access to recreation three times a week for periods of two hours at a time. So if you are given the death penalty, you will get a total of six hours per week outside your cell. Just so you are aware, the outdoor recreation areas are pretty small — not much bigger than the cells — and you will spend this time alone. But on non-recreation days, inmates are limited to their cell and could spend up to 24 hours at a time in there. Other privileges allowed to prisoners are pretty basic:

  • No Internet
  • Books and commissary allowed for maximum security inmates
  • Library on site; Books can be requested
  • Interviews only done over the phone

Showers
Inmates are allowed to shower three times a week. Showers are next to the cells and inmates usually shower after their recreation periods. Inmates shower alone.

Contact with outside
Maximum security inmates get one 15-minute phone call per week and calls are made from the cell with a phone that is brought to the inmate. But all inmates are allowed to send and receive mail. All inmates are limited to one non-contact, two-hour visit per week, during which the inmate can only speak to the visitor through glass.

List of Things Not to Bring (or Won’t Ever Have)

I thought I would help you a bit, by making a list of things you shouldn’t bring, or won’t need, should you get the Death Penalty:
Try really hard to leave that cute little smirk of yours outside the gates.  It will only get you into trouble!  And that cute little laugh, like the one you gave Mr. Martinez during your first trial, when you were so proud of that little smart-elec answer to The Prosecutor?  I’d leave that outside the door too. Perryville is “big-girl prison”,  not like the slumber party you’ve had for the past several years.
So, say goodbye to hair dye, and all but basic makeup.
You won’t need jewelry, sexy underthings, or fancy Brazilian Wax treatments.
Don’t bother bringing your “1000 Places to See” book, it will only remind you of places you CANT go!
You won’t ever get another chance to hug the kitty too hard, or kick the dog, either.
And I’m kinda guessing that after throwing your parents under the bus, and calling your sister “dumb” that they won’t feel much inclination to drive all that way, just to video call from one building to another, or stare at you through glass.
You’ve basically received the last hug you’ll ever get from a family member, had the last bit of fun with a REAL man.
You won’t need your drivers license, you’ll never enjoy the thrill of owning a new car, or enjoying that “new car” smell.
Speaking of aromas; no perfume, the smell of home baked cookies, Thanksgiving Dinner, the aroma of the sea at sunrise, the wonderful aroma of a freshly bathed and powdered baby.
You’ll never get to show off that diamond ring, buy a wedding dress or plan a honeymoon.
Never take pride in the accomplishment of graduating from college.
Never hold your baby in your arms, or a grandchild either.
No shopping spree at Victoria’s Secret for you! No high heels, or sparkly dresses,,,no New Years Parties, or July 4th Fireworks.
No soaking up the sun poolside or beachside with or without your bikini.
If you think you’ve “aged” over the past year…wait till you get a year of Perryville on your CV!
Was it worth it Jodi?  Wouldn’t it have just been easier to “move along” and find someone else? I truly hope that you can find some remorse, not for the Alexander Family, not for your own family, but for yourself,
Many of us are angry because like a two year old, you chose to “break your toy” rather than let it go to another.  In a way, I pity you
There’s no one to blame except yourself?
MamaVia
What are the things that YOU would miss most at Perryville?

Sent from Out in Left Field

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A Smart Ass Guest Blog For Nurmi – By Schaeffer

February 24, 2015

 

Does anyone know how to get in touch with Nurmi?  I have written his closing argument.  (Since he has adopted an “I want to be like Juan” posture, he will refer to himself in the third person.)

Ladies and gentleman of the jury, it appears the State of Arizona, and especially that meanie Juan Martinez, want The Whore of Babble On and On and On (WOBO) to pay for the brutal murder of Travis Alexander, and this is wholly unacceptable.  After all, she only did “one bad thing.”  How bad can one thing be?  The world has always been against this poor woman, and despite her unshakable belief in her own intelligence and her own magnificent specialness, she struggles with many common concepts, such as responsibility, accountability, rules, and most especially, the truth.

Even though she struggles with the concepts of responsibility, accountability, rules, and most especially, the truth, she does have an encyclopaedic knowledge of fucking, and in fact, considers it her most charming quality and marketable skill.  She wholeheartedly believes it, and it alone, should serve as a life-sparing mitigating factor in your deliberations.  Allow me to explain.

Testimony from the defendant and several paid witnesses has clearly established she has only a passing acquaintance with the concepts of responsibility, accountability, rules, and most especially, the truth.  She has never had or done anything valuable or worthwhile in her entire life.  She has never had a career, only jobs any 16 year old could get, with employers who fired her for stealing from them or for not showing up — which, by the way, are completely persecutorial and unjustifiable actions.  She claims to have been an artist, a photographer, and a victim of domestic violence.  However,  it has become evident what she really means is she had a box of crayons and some tracing paper, the ability to scrawl an eight letter word (which she didn’t understand, but hey, she spelled it correctly) on a plain white t-shirt, a cell phone, and a propensity for taking selfies of herself fucking.

Hell, because she struggles so with the concepts of responsibility, accountability, rules, and most especially, the truth, she couldn’t even join a religion correctly.  She unwisely chose to convert to one of the most restrictive Western religions, while living in a city which is a stronghold of that faith.  Despite several instructional meetings with missionaries from The LDS Church, and constantly toting around and pretending to study both The Book of Mormon and The Bible, her interpretation of Church doctrine was, “fuck the brains out of a devout member, stalk, blackmail, and terrorize him, no need to bother with pesky things like the basic tenets of Mormonism or the ever popular 10 Commandments.”  Despite the fact that The Book of Mormon is excruciatingly clear on its foundational tenets, especially something called The Vow of Chastity — which anyone can tell by its use of the word “vow” is merely a general idea, open to individual interpretation — this poor woman thought it meant, “these are just a few suggestions, but they don’t apply to ‘special’ people, so if you are indeed ‘special’ do whatever the fuck you want.”  See how she can work “fucking” into anything?  That is talent.  Surely you can see that her lifelong struggle with the concepts of responsibility, accountability, rules, and most especially, the truth, struggles which also manifested themselves in her interpretation of what makes an artist, a photographer, and a victim, carried over into her interpretation of religious doctrine, doctrine which has stood for centuries and which is abundantly clear to anyone else, just not to her.

While she has had a lifelong struggle with the concepts of responsibility, accountability, rules, and most especially, the truth, WOBO has had one concept which she has clearly understood, and, with the exception of the tough spot in which she now finds herself, has stood her in good stead: she is a hell of a fuck.  She has always been able to fuck herself into and out of any situation.  However, she has now finally come upon a situation she cannot fuck her way out of, and it is just not fair.  Since she was able to fuck her way into Travis Alexander’s life, she should be able to fuck her way out of the consequences for murdering him.  Since the defendant has never accepted responsibility for anything she has ever done, it is unfair to make her start off with such a big thing.  Maybe, just maybe (but probably not), if she had any previous experience accepting responsibility for some small things, she could have worked her way up to accepting responsibility for first degree premeditated murder, with the death penalty as a very real option, but she hasn’t, so cut her some slack!  It has been her only currency in life, and now she is just supposed to come up with a new way to pay for her actions?  Like with her life?  Come on!  Surely you can see her ability to fuck is a mitigating factor!

On top of everything else, even though the defendant has always been able to fuck her way into and out of any situation, that strategy is just not working, especially with her lead counsel, and she is about at her wit’s end.  Her lead attorney has steadfastly refused to fuck her.  He will not fuck her with penile-vaginal penetration, penile-anal penetration, or even a quick blow job.  (To be fair, though, she couldn’t have found his dick with a 10 foot pole– no pun intended– well, maybe intended just a little bit — during the first eight years of their association.)   Since being arrested, she has successfully seduced her second chair counsel, her mitigation specialist, all the experts the defense has paraded her in front of, many inmates at the Estrella jail, and several members of the public, but it is just not working with her lead counsel.  She has been relentless in her efforts to manipulate him into any kind of sex, because she has no other coping skills (unless you count cold blooded murder).  He loves to talk dirty, which the defendant initially took as a good sign, but he just won’t give it up.  He refuses to fuck her, and for some unfathomable reason, the court refuses to accept that as a reasonable excuse to get him replaced with a more susceptible and willing-to-fuck new lead counsel, no matter how many times they have both petitioned for it.  However, since he really does love to talk dirty, repeatedly and wildly inappropriately, making it seem like it is a real issue even though nothing could be further from the truth, he did agree to proceed with a defense strategy based on the twin pillars of “fucking for fun and profit,” and “the son of a bitch had it coming because he would fuck me but he wouldn’t marry me, he wouldn’t even acknowledge I had been his girlfriend for a very brief time more than a year ago, and that is really chapping my ass all these years later, because damnit, I wrote in my diary I loved him over and over again!”

And of course, the prosecutor is completely contemptuous of the defendant.  He would not fall under her spell when she testified, he keeps tripping up her defense experts when they lie, he exposed her forged letter gambit before it ever really got off the ground, he obliterated her “perjury by affidavit” scam, and he refuses to bend the rules for the defendant, apparently because he just does not appreciate her magnificent specialness.  He keeps insisting she should not only accept responsibility for her crime, but pay for it, too.  It is flat out  unreasonable and just downright mean to make her start off with such a big thing.   Jeez!  Come on Mr. Martinez, give her a break!

So in closing, let’s just review the life of the defendant.  She has had a lifelong struggle with the concepts of responsibility, accountability, rules, and most especially, the truth.  (Given her interpretation of the words victim and survivor, maybe she has trouble with the English language, also.  What the heck, just throw that in when you start deliberations.)  She is an inveterate liar, a master manipulator, irresponsible, juvenile, and a bitch, but she is one hell of a fuck.  While all these skills proved extremely successful in the outside world, and might in fact be beneficial in prison, too, how will she be able to maximize her potential if she is on death row?  To date, she has not had a great deal of luck with the men and women of the Arizona Department of Corrections.  They have insisted, quite unreasonably, that she has to follow the same rules and regulations as everyone else, that she is forbidden from smuggling contraband in and out of the jail, and they will probably be even more hard assed about things in Perryville, especially if she is on death row.

I ask you, ladies and gentleman of the jury, is it fair to execute a special someone with a long history of struggling with the concepts of responsibility, accountability, rules, and most especially, the truth?  She only did “one bad thing.”  As you can tell, as you no doubt picked up on during this trial, WOBO and all her sycophants believe strongly that if you just say something over and over, it makes it true.  So just keep saying to yourselves, “She is magnificent.  She is special.  She is magnificently special.  And boy can she fuck!”


LWOP 6 – Doing LWOP Outside the (NOT) AZ State Prison-Guest Blog by BWR

February 1, 2015

(Or, Aftermath)

Hi everyone, Good Luck to your Super Bowl Team! Associate Professor for Real Life for Felons, BlueWhiteRed here. I wanted to begin with this classic line, because it’s actually true, “I haven’t written lately because there has been nothing noteworthy to report.”

Last post regarding Visiting Susan at the (Not) AZ State Prison really did a number on me. I remember typing the ending and becoming angrier than I felt at the time. The word “selfish” kept rolling over and over in my mind then, and when I typed it. More so today. I’ve talked to Susan on the phone twice since I posted that chapter and she was THRILLED and wanted me to send her a copy. I got off the phone and told my wife that Susan really is the most one dimensional person I’ve ever known. And then Mrs. BWR and I talked for awhile about my waning support of Susan. So I’ve been back here, trying to figure out any other interesting tidbits about LWOP that a female inmate could possibly expect. And while I have been researching AZ specific policies, my wife made a very off the cuff remark that again, I was researching what’s in it for Jodi and yet I never speak much of the other side of the gate. And she’s right and it really has made me think. So apologies if you wanted to read about babies being born to women handcuffed to the gurney, or fights over shower time. I thank Kelly in advance for just letting me talk about the other group who has to do Life Without ANY Possibility for Parole, the victims. I do mean the actual victim(s) and, by extension, the loved ones, friends, etc. Of course, I do not consider myself a victim of Susan’s crime, even peripherally, just a shocked acquaintenance. I do not presume to know how a victim or inmate’s family feels. Just to be clear.

I didn’t know Susan’s victim or his family at all. I didn’t live in his town but the area is somewhat small. Also, at the time of the crime and subsequently, I have not lived in that state. Some of my family did and still does. But once I had read police reports, testimony, etc, I have known exactly where this occurred, and where all the families lived, etc. I can picture it, if you know what I mean.

I told you in the beginning I wouldn’t discuss identifying details about Susan and her case. Last post, I disclosed I believe she is guilty, and have thought so for years, once I got over the complete shock, dismay, denial (those 12 steps of Grief?). I don’t and really can’t discuss or ask her questions because the phones are recorded/observed and there wasn’t time in my 1 hour visit to ask probing questions. In her case, justice has been served. She just won’t ever accept that. That’s on her.

Where to start? I have continually made the comment that AZ is a lot more conservative than Susan’s state, so even though I find Susan’s LWOP very strict, I take a little comfort that Jodi will be more uncomfortable regardless of her fate, LWOP/DP. But Susan’s victim’s family, has not been given the same courtesies of the AZ Victim’s Rights Bills. Let’s call the victim Kenny Mitchell. The Mitchells have suffered greatly in the last 20 years or so. So has Susan’s family; I know this personally. But, in all fairness, when I write about a Victim, I mean Kenny Mitchell. Some podcast I listened to made another off the cuff remark that I really grabbed onto. She said, “When I speak of this crime, I always use the victim’s name (not the defendant). “ Most of the people in my in-person life do not know the name Travis Alexander. Even my VA Psych knew the name Jodi Arias. He said something like, “Isn’t she that girl who killed her ex-boyfriend?” He knew the most basic of information but didn’t even know Travis’ name. It made me think. Aileen Wuornos: Name any of her victims without looking. (I can’t). OK, how about Aaron Hernandez? (I fumble his victim’s name, but I basically get it right. I’m not proud that I have fumbled.) One more for my Canadian readers: Luke Magnotta? Who is his victim? I didn’t even come close on that one. And I followed the case. Shame on me, really.

Kenny Mitchell had 2 parents who loved him, 2 young siblings who adored him, a wife who saw the good from the “bad” about him. He was a personable guy who I would describe as the guy who always owes me a beer, always has a joke or a funny story, does a little pot, and TRIES. He had a couple of very young kids from different mothers, was mostly financially irresponsible for them and yet, I keep coming back to the word TRIED. He went to a local trade school a year before his death, became licensed in his field, and found he was in demand. It wasn’t fun or exciting work, but it (still) is a trade in high demand and I bet Kenny enjoyed not having to explain his minor scrapes with the law to the HR department. He was never convicted (or charged) with a felony, just fyi.

He was murdered.

He came from parents who, like mine, “pulled themselves up by their bootstraps.” In doing research, I have found that my opinions have been completely reversed. My family and upbringing is so much like Kenny and the Mitchells, yet we had a more Susan’s family-like life. I don’t know how to explain that. It just makes sense to me. When Kenny was killed, the police had ZERO direction other than he was, as I described above, the guy who probably owed you a beer, money, a joint or an explanation why he was sleeping with your wife. Since I have a wife, I can tell you this. If I found out Kenny was sleeping with my wife, I would punch him out, accept my punishment for assault, deal with my wife’s need to be with Kenny and move on. I still probably would like him a LITTLE. He just was that kind of guy.

I am sure you want me to discuss Susan and Kenny intersecting and motive but it’s not germane. This is about Kenny, not the crime. I hope you understand because I have declared that, from now on, I will type Travis Alexander more than Jodi Arias. I am probably done with this LWOP series because it now bothers me more than I imagined giving Susan any publicity at all.

It took the police years to connect the murder dots from Kenny to Susan. She just didn’t appear on their radar. There’s a saying, “If more than 1 person knows, then it ain’t a secret.” True dat. (My kids are cringing somewhere after I type things like that.) A lot happens in a year, post-crime. The Mitchells had hope. They had faith, both in God and in The System. They actually wondered about those connecting dots before anyone else did. Their faith kept them from dying a little each day, I daresay. Mr and Mrs Mitchell held onto each other, instead of a just as common response – push away in grief. They agonized telling Kenny’s younger siblings, who couldn’t understand how this could have been deliberately done. Still don’t, I wonder.

And Mrs. Mitchell got ANGRY. She joined a group (I can’t bear to type the Jodi T-Shirt word, although it would be correct) and forced changes in communications between the police, the State Attorneys and the Victim’s family. But she had to sit and wait out the investigative process, the phone that never seemed to ring, and, agonizingly, the arrest itself. That, from warrant to arrest was about 4 months, and the Mitchells were sworn to secrecy. Only Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell and the law enforcement agencies knew a warrant had been sworn out on Susan. I don’t think Susan’s attorney knew. I can’t imagine waiting 4 months for ANY kind of action, should a loved one of mine be killed.

My dad didn’t know the Mitchells personally but he described to me once that they were “Salt of the Earth” kinds of people. Just ordinary. middle class people who paid off their house in 20 years and worked hard and went to church on Sunday. Mr. Mitchell wasn’t one of those group kind of guys and, from reading his words and seeing his picture numerous times, probably wore out his teeth grinding them.

At trial, Mrs. Mitchell was ordered out of the courtroom because she was on the witness list. She had to sit at the hallway door and thankfully, members of her group sat with her. But sometimes she sat alone. Mr. Mitchell, the 2 kids, and Kenny’s wife were not witnesses, so could attend trial each day. It was a several month long trial. Thankfully, for the Mitchell’s grief, it was not televised and there was no Twitter (!) at the time. I say thankfully, because I am trying to think of their loss, not mine that I can’t go back and watch it on YouTube. I was overseas when the trial occurred, so read updates in the local newspaper online (which was in its infancy, too.) I will admit I was reading for Susan’s sake because, as I’ve said, she just was not someone I could remotely see being on trial for her life. This didn’t involve drugs/alcohol and it wasn’t a mistake. She did it. She murdered someone. So now, looking back, I wish I had been reading those articles with the Mitchells more in mind. I surely can read them now, but it’s not the same. For, during a trial, people tend to take sides. It’s ok to admit it, that’s human. Had I been living there, I would have attended and I would have sat on Susan’s side, even when the truth began creeping uncomfortably into my rational, “can’t deny THAT” side. I still hold shades of this being a terribly bad dream but when morning comes, it’s still there, in my face.

Or, more importantly, in theirs. Mrs. Mitchell has since passed away and I think about Travis’ grandmother. While Mrs. Mitchell died of a diagnosed disease, how much of her resistance was worn out post-murder? I can’t think about his Grandmother much; I don’t know her at all but when I see her picture with Travis, I am destroyed. I can just tell that Travis’ murder and the defendant’s completely unconscionable flowers/letter murdered her, too.

Because I can, I look at Kenny’s wife, his kids and siblings’ FB pages. His wife’s life is best described as a leaf in the wind. She has just ‘gone on’ but not with much direction. His siblings are young adults and, from FB anyway, seemingly adjusted and following the “normal” path of life. But they’ve been stained by Susan’s actions forever. In simplistic terms, it’s like when you hate the song, “Call Me, Maybe” (Son #1) and then hear it everywhere, all the time. These kids grew up wincing every time someone mentioned their brother, the case, or even just turning the TV on and Law & Order is on. It’s really agonizing to look at Kenny’s kids on FB. On Father’s Day, his youngest daughter posted a picture lying on top of his gravesite. I haven’t gone back to his kids’ pages since. It feels voyeuristic.

I feel like I’m leaving out chunks of other things I could write but for once, I want to ignore the usual subject and remember Kenny Mitchell. And Travis. And their families. And just say that my heart today, will be full of prayers for them. Whether LWOP or DP, the one thing on my True Crime Wish List is, the inmate should have to look at a picture of their victim(s) for the rest of their life. Because somehow, the victim isn’t as newsworthy as the inmate. How tragic.


LWOP 5 – Visiting Day at the (NOT) Arizona State Prison-Guest Blog by BWR

January 8, 2015

(or, EYES, EYES, EYES)

 Hi everyone, whatever your weather situation, Associate Professor of Real Life for Felons, BlueWhiteRed here.  Well, I made it through Wind Chill-gate 2015 (-3F lowest), but the three cars that wrecked onto my adjacent field, not so much. (They’re all ok although I have no idea why it happened since the roads are dry.  I think maybe a deer – would be likely.)

I decided to keep the TV off so I don’t get distracted and lose motivation about my super swell visit to my friend Susan’s Super Swell Home at the (NOT) AZ State Prison.  But I will disclaim that I’m listening to Juan’s incredible closing argument, so if I say something unintentionally humorous, you’ll know it’s because I reached the (paraphrasing), “…when you go to Pasadena, be careful if you go to Starbucks because you might meet up with (wait for it), a Gang of Screwdriver-Wielding ….SKATEBOARDERS!”  That line is almost as funny as during the mitigation close when he remarks what a great friend Stabby was for “adjusting” Ryan Burns.  Did you know English is Juan’s second language?  Mrs. BWR is from Argentina and same for her. I swear he/she make me appear to have the language skills of Tony Danza.

Right after the Journey to the Gurney 1.0 failed in May 2013, I flew to one of my younger-lands, Not AZ, to attend my niece’s high school graduation.  Side note: she was the Valedictorian. Her mom, my sister, was 8th in her high school class, so I had to rub it in to Sis that her kid beat her!  Susan’s prison is about an hour away so I told my sister I wanted to go see her.  She raised her eyebrows like I suspect most of you do with this whole situation I’m in and gave me the, “Whatever, just fill the car back up” response.  (My niece, probably not a future Trial Watcher, but a great kid and wisecracker, thought it kind of cool.)  And let’s be straight with each other, you’re GLAD I went to report back the scouting trip. You’re welcome, it only involved a TSA-worthy cavity search.

Til this point, Susan and I had been writing for a good number of years but hadn’t spoken to each other on the phone.  I had been really reticent (See, Stabby, I may have dirt under my finger nails, but *I* know how to spell and use $5 words, too.) to give her my phone number.  My family was a little too.  (see my previous post about phone calls from the State Prison).  She can have 12 visitors on her approved visiting list, so she-her ? I can’t think of the word but each unit has kind of an administrator type – and I were sending forms/verifications back and forth through the mail to get this visit approved.  Because I was coming from out of state, I would be approved for 2 hours instead of 1, which we both were happy about.

To give you some idea how tenuous ($10 word) this visiting situation can be, let me give you some insight.  All prisoners have a number.  Susan’s prison does an odd/even system.  Her number ends in an even number, so she has certain days of the week for visitors.  Since Saturday was an “even” day, I could come from 0800-1030.  Even coming from out of state, this whole visit was subject to change at anytime, for any reason, including:

Susan gets in trouble (this has happened a couple of times to her: mostly she says the trigger words and off to the padded room she goes (I’ll address another time)

Sickness (the flu breaking out, for example)

Security (this happens a LOT – an inmate is out of their zone, or a potential weapon is being located, unscheduled Lock Downs are occurring to spring surprise inspections, etc. )

Parole Hearings (this is usually scheduled and visible on the website)

There is a State website specifically for her prison and thankfully, it is kept up in a timely fashion, but again, I could be driving there and when Big Bertha decides to put Tiny in a headlock, this could be all for naught. ($2.50 word, ok I’ll stop).  I barely slept the night before; I was extremely nervous as I had only been a visitor to military prison (by visitor, I mean going in an official capacity), which is very black/white and uniform.  Although I was a brother to the civilian prison staff, which usually comes from the military, I knew civilian bureaucracy can be run with an unpredictable playbook.  So I knew I should leave Sis’ around 0530 to allow for traffic (a 24/7 delight), finding the prison (not too hard) and most importantly, allowing enough time to find the right parking area.  Once parked, I’d need to ensure I wasn’t taking anything unauthorized into the prison, check in, go through 2 security checks and wait for her to come to the visiting building/room.  I’m sure you’ve had an airport experience that made you inconvenienced and uptight.  Multiply that by 20, and that’s a GOOD visit to your State Prison.  All this for an 0800 visit, one hour away.

I found her exit and the prison compound easily and then my stomach started flip-flopping.  I take Ritalin, and did that morning because I wanted to stay focused and not waste 2 hours blabbing on about something.  But it was making my heart pound like I had 2 cups of coffee (I don’t drink coffee; love the smell, hate the taste.)  I turned onto the main road and encountered checkpoint #1.  I made sure I wore a short sleeve shirt because it was nice and warm that day and, I have a nice Navy tattoo on my forearm. Again, most guards are hired after military service; I was hedging my bets I’d be let in without too much BS by a bored Saturday morning guard.  Predictably, he saw it and brightened up, “Hi, Chief, who are you seeing today?” (I was/am a Chief Petty Officer). I gave him Susan’s name and number and he said, “Even number, right?”  He must have been Army, the genius he was, haha.  He asked for my license, the car’s papers and then directed me to the last row from the building to park.  You know, right by the barbed wire topped fence.  I thanked him and did.

I was so glad I actually read all of the Visiting Day website, because it is really well done and thorough. I knew there would be lockers right before the metal detector, to leave keys, etc.  EVERYTHING is considered a potential weapon.  Think about what you take with you or Ladies, what’s in your purse?  That box of Tic-Tacs?  Yep, break apart that plastic and you have a shank (an improvised Stabby Special).  Your brush?  Same-o.  I had nothing on me except my ID and the car keys. And 1 quarter to rent a locker.  I locked up my meager belongings and went to the movie theatre designed check in window. You know, with one of those cut slots in the glass between us. I gave Susan’s name/number and my ID. I swear the guard’s buddy behind her rolled his eyes.  Susan is a pain in the ass in there.  They call people like her a Jailhouse Lawyer.  I anticipate this for Stabby, except all the prisoners will love her.  Susan can’t hide that what she’s fighting for, rule-wise is really all about her.  Stabby can hide that and make her bunkies  feel like she’s looking out for them.  Susan is selfish.  Stabby is a Psychopath. Her expert, Dr. Goofball even said so a few weeks ago.  Oopsie!

I was directed to sit and wait (you know, like Stabby Sentencing 2.0). It was already 0800 and I was getting uptight but knew not to say a word.  When you go to the doc and the waiting room has a sign that says, “If you haven’t been called back after 20 minutes, please let us know,” you DON’T do that at State Prison. Any State Prison.  They have all the power and remember that.  Thankfully, I was raised right.  Around 0815, they called me up (I was the only one there after a pitiful Grandmother with her inmate daughter’s little boy went back. Wonder how that kid will turn out.)  and I approached a metal detector.  I knew I wouldn’t set it off but still I clenched my butt cheeks.  I had even taken my watch off, and it’s mostly rubber.  I had even taken my wedding ring off, please don’t tell Mrs. BWR.  Seriously.  After the detector, I was wanded by a very serious looking guard (they’re all called CO’s or Corrections Officers, but I’m too lazy to put on the caps lock or type those words out.)  I swear she was going to ask me to squat and cough but after a tense 2 minutes, I was GTG (military term: Good To Go).  I stood by a sliding solid steel door beyond their window and waited.  Zonk, Zonk, Zonk went a horn and it slid open in front of me.  I had to wait for it to retract completely to the side before I could move off the yellow line. I then could see I was going to be locked temporarily into a holding area with another solid door forward and glass to the side.  A guard sitting in an Air Traffic Control type enclosure watched me from the other side of the glass. I swear, folks, I thought I was going to crap my pants about 5 times in the 10ish minutes it took me to get back to the room from Checkpoint Charlie.  And I am squeaky clean with nothing to worry about.  I stepped forward, and the door slowly slid closed behind me. I was instructed over a PA system NOT TO MOVE.  Like I was going to.  I felt I was in boot camp again and snapped right into, “I will tell you when to move. I will tell you when to shit.  And you will, maggot!”  Once the door clanged and locked behind me, Door #2 with no Caryl Meryl (some of you will get that joke) slowly started sliding open in front of me.  When it did, I began to see Susan sitting at a high school cafeteria table in front of me. I was so relieved to have survived Boot Camp Prison that I smiled too much, I’m sure.  She smiled back at me and waved. I didn’t lift my arm; I was afraid they were going to pick me up by my arms, legs dangling and haul my ass back to my sister’s Volvo SUV. I told you she was smart, btw.  I swear, guys, I’m not embellishing this; it was scary.  A women’s prison was scaring me. YEP.  BTW, it’s staffed with both males and females – only the strip searches are female-female.  Same over at the men’s prisons.

Once Door #2 clanged and locked, ANOTHER control tower (with no glass) guard told me to go to the table.  There were about 20 “couples” there (10 inmates/10 visitors) and Susan sitting by herself.  I walked over, DO NOT RUN ANYWHERE, and we were allowed to meet halfway at the end of the table to BRIEFLY hug. I wasn’t about to give her the Welcome Home Hug, because I will say, in violation of my original rules, I think she’s guilty, period, and now she has to pay the Piper.  We took our seats across from each other and I got a good, long look at someone I hadn’t seen in 20+ years.  Bizarre.  She was  a very pretty girl/woman when I knew her and the best word I can tell you is HARD.  Lots of deep wrinkles and a little grey.  (PS – we have only been platonic, so it’s not like she was my Pinup Gal back then. We just knew each other.)  NO TOUCHING at the table – not like I was going to hold her hand but man, everything is dictated to you.  She had on yellow scrubs, no makeup, no jewelry (no watch, necklace, even a religious type one – choke hazard.)

We sat in stupid grin (mine from nerves) silence for a few seconds and then we started with the usual pleasantries, how was your trip here, how is your sister, how was her family, blah blah blah.  I talked about worrying the visit would be cancelled, or I’d blow a flat tire, etc.  I asked her if she thought this would be cancelled and she said she was worried, too.  Things got a little easier to talk but I was so aware I was staring at her in utter shock that the last time I had seen her she was wearing a business suit, appropriate makeup and was very pretty.  She has a post graduate degree and very smart. My dad had a term for who she was now. A Bowling Alley Waitress.  She never smoked but she looked and sounded like she was a 3 pack smoker for 100 years.  Rough.  How far she has fallen, kept going through my mind.

I was acutely aware of the ATC guard sitting in a raised platform and the strolling guards walking around, making sure we weren’t slipping each other sketches of Dior ads to replenish her “irrevocable” trust.  I can’t stress to you how much your movements are directed.  When in doubt, DON’T.  We started an easy conversation and without my watch, the time really flew by.  I finally got to the point where, when she was discussing her possible habeas corpus appeal with outright optimism, I asked, “Can I ask you something nicely?  How are you SO SURE you’re going to be released/paroled (from LWOP habeas appeal)?”  She took it fine and said she felt her Defense Team had about 5 solid grounds and I faked it and said, “Oh, ok.”  I have read her direct appeal and her petition for certiorari (review) to the US Supreme Court and folks, they turned her down for good, solid, law based and decisive reasons.  Did I mention she’s not in AZ?  No JSS on the Court of Appeals or US Supreme Court.

I was smart enough to not ask details, because anything overheard can be used against you in a court of law.  I tried looking behind her and watch the other inmates in various colored scrubs (see my earlier post about Holiday Shopping at the State Prison, where I discuss color definitions.) interacting with their visitors.  There was a play area to one side for inmates to play and interact with very young children.  I thought of my 2 sons and the thought of not letting them fall asleep against my chest while I’m reading broke my heart.  That’s when I started getting pissed off that most of these inmates…..are selfish and got there for making choices that benefitted THEM.  I looked back at Susan and really, I thought of money I’ve sent her, the cost to me, emotionally and energy/time wise with this visit  and my kids wondering how I can keep interacting with a convicted felon, and suddenly she starting annoying the shit out of me.  I realized the conversation had been me, me, me and what can you do for me for the previous 10 minutes or so.

“_________!” the ATC guard bellowed (Susan’s last name).  I swear I jumped in my cafeteria style stool and snapped back to reality.  “Time’s up!”  She flashed in anger at the guard and said to me that had only been an hour and we were approved for 2 hours.  But she didn’t say anything to the guard and I knew to shut up and move on.  And frankly, I was ready to leave, my thoughts were so jumbled and I wanted to get back to my nice, loving, non felonious ($3.50 word) sister and family.  I told her it was useless to fight City Hall, as she well should know, and we got up, hugged a second or 2 longer than we should and I lied and told her I would see her again.  I really don’t think so.  She sat back down and watched me until Door #2 clanged and locked behind me.

I drove back to Sis’ and showered and shuddered.


NOT LWOP 5 – Visiting Day At The (NOT Arizona) State Prison / Guest Blog By BlueWhiteRed.

January 7, 2015

(Or, I need to talk about me)

ETA: We have a Two-fer tonight – check out Kelly’s post from the RBMD School of Economics!!!

Hi everyone, Associate Professor of Real Life for Felons, BWR here.  I’m trying to keep warm here so apologies in advance if my finger shaking ruins the read. More on that in a minute.  I’d like to say Happy New Year and wish you all the best possible road in 2015.  I never thought I would be doing this when 2014 began, so I’m proof positive that your road can divert. I just had to be open to it and get over my fear of posting.

I thank you in advance for letting me kind of ramble about Real Life for Non Felons. First, as always, thank you to Kelly for letting me drive the Queen’s Keyboard.  Thank you all for reading, asking for more and giving me something to think about besides myself and things that keep me up all night.  This late (for the East Coast USA) post is my personal gift to the “3rd Shift” of the World, the Pacific and west time/date zones.  I worked 3rd Shift for years and we got the shaft from anything that happened during the day.  So you probably get to read first.  You’re welcome.

Next sorry I haven’t been LWOP-ing for awhile.  Tonight, I told Kelly I would post and I beg her forgiveness that the post I planned about picnicking at the State Prison on Visiting Day is just not there.  I am so sickened by the terrorist shootings in Paris (below) and have been swamped from the holidays, which I actually looked forward to this year and Algebra from Son #2, which kicked my time and energy.  But let me assure you, *I* am your go-to should you need to solve:

3(a-6) = 4(b+3)

Don’t try to solve it, I totally just made that up.

Where I live does not have dangerous wind chills and I always believe misery is just as bad for you as mine is to me.  So no ragging on me for being a wussy about what some of you take for granted.  You get what you pay for, and I paid for pretty skies, hot summers and very little precipitation.  Our current temperature is 18F, and the wind is 20mph.  You can calculate the wind chill in mph.  Anyway, I’m fuming because every county for a 50 mile radius has a 2 hour delay Thursday morning. We use a school bus system for our entire state’s system, and, of course, our district will be per normal schedule.  It will be about 8F when Son #1 goes out to the bus at 0630, with winds still around 20mph.  Anywhere, that is dangerous in my book.  Not every parent has the time or vehicle to drive their child to school and it just sucks to be us right now.  So, in summary, as I Tweeted earlier (@RealBWR), “Our school Superintendant must be Sometimes JSS, and I’m Juan Martinez.”

The disgusting horror at Charlie Hebdo, the Paris newspaper, today’s target of terrorism has, again, given me Writer’s Block tonight.  12 dead after 3 terrorists stormed the newspaper known for exercising freedom of the press and publishing a cartoon of the Islamic State Leader this morning.  I’m literally sitting here shaking my head.  I think Kelly would say something like, “Get over it, Fuckers.” (The terrorist and whomever gives them warm and fuzzies)  So, if you’re seeing, “Je Suis Charlie” (#JeSuisCharlie), that’s French for “I am Charlie” and, as of this writing, had 70,000 Tweets with that hashtag.  Indeed.

Shoutout tonight to my childhood best friend from 4th grade, who spent most of last night reading the entire blog.  “Brilliant” was the feedback.  I had to humbly state that the brilliant blogs were Kelly’s…

For a great update on the Mess that is the Journey to the Gurney in Hot Mess, Arizona, I recommend Friend of This Blog, Christine Beswick’s (@bychristinebswk) articles Examiner.com.  Meaty, easy to follow updates, thank you as always, Christine.

My co-Administrator when Kelly gets new heart plumbing in the next month, Paul A. Saunders, Jr (@The13thJurorMD), a juror on the Marissa DeVault DP case also in Hot Mess, AZ but with a Always On Judge, gives amazing perspectives on this trial.  He attends the trial and I recommend you follow him and read his terrific book, “Brain Damage: A Juror’s Tale – The Hammer Killing Trial”, available on amazon.com.  I read it in one sitting, not because it’s short but because I attended the Evelyn Wood speed reading class, haha.  No, it was that riveting. Remember my first post about also being a DP juror?  That was the Cliff Notes version.  Paul makes you read the whole book.  Kudos.

I am off from Mr. Mom duties tomorrow because, again, my kids have to go to fucking freezing school tomorrow. I will post about the Visit tomorrow before noon ET, promise.  Then you can follow Live Tweeting (HOPE!) from the motion from the media to get Stabby’s Super Sekrit Testiphony released.

Ok, so again, thanks for letting me get some of my stuff out there to chew on; my therapist at the VA told me this morning how happy he was that I was talking about my issues; it’s my version of journaling. Gosh, I hate that fucking word, journaling.  And “O, Holy Night”, which used to be my favorite Christmas song.  The Stain of Stabby spreads far from the reach of Tide and bleach.

This is a record for public use of the word “Fuck”. Thanks, Kels, I never thought a Canadian civilian could clean up my American Sailor Mouth.

Stay tuned and stay warm.


Life Without Parole – A Different Story – 4 (Guest Blog By BWR)

December 21, 2014

Kansas v. Dana Chandler

First of all, Kelly is under the weather, so until further notice, Paul (@the 13JurorMD) and I (@realBWR) will be attempting to prevent you guys from going into withdrawal. I know I speak for Paul when I say that Kelly has a special gift I don’t have, and want her to know that, this Christmas, she has given me more meaningful gifts of life than I imagined a year ago. Kelly, I am praying for you and that you feel comforted by the worldwide family you now have. We are separated only by physical distance so the emotional distance is nonexistent. We all only want you to be up to writing this blog when you can. Semper Ad Meliora (“Always Towards Good Things.”)

This doesn’t exactly count as Sick F-ck Saturday. I was at my Son #1 High School holiday concert and, during intermissions/changes of choirs, got to thinking about what to write next. If you’ll forgive me, I’d like to write about 2 cases very similar to Stabby’s. Some of you may have heard of it via local coverage, “Snapped” or the like. One thing I daresay you haven’t heard is the aftermath. And that is, ultimately what I want to “sting” at the end. No peeking, stay with me to the end!

I would like to start with Dana Chandler first. Dana Chandler was a Colorado divorced woman in her 40’s. She had a teenage daughter, Hailey, and a Son, Justin. The ex-husband, Mike Cisco, moved to Kansas. He, unfortunately, clashed with daughter Hailey, which went unresolved at the time of his death. He met and fell in love with a woman named Karla Harkness after the tumultuous divorce was finalized. He was awarded sole custody of both minor children.

Dana, hearing of their marriage plans (sound familiar), became enraged. Her 2 children, now of adult age, didn’t think twice of their mother’s weekend plans. The evidence shows:
– She filled gas cans necessary to leave Colorado to Kansas and exit without a trace.
– She shut off her cell phone, making her untraceable.
– She told authorities she went camping in the Rocky Mountains, although the entrance had surveillance cameras recording front and back license plates. Hers were not recorded.
– Her landline went unanswered.
– The TV program 48 Hours hired 2 retired NYPD Homicide detectives, who strongly suspected Dana.

The crime:
Mike and Karen went gambling the night of July 6, 2001. Enraged with jealously over the impending wedding, Dana drove from Colorado (sound familiar?) and hid in their Topeka, Kansas bedroom closet drinking several bottles of wine. She was a chain-smoker, and went outside to repeatedly to smoke and discard the butts. Finally, she heard them come home. She hid in the master bedroom closet. Once asleep, she came out of the closet and shot them both 10-12 times. She left the wine bottles in the closet and the butts outside.

In light of not being detected by by the Ranger Station at the Rocky Mountain entrance, something of note was: there were rampant wildfires present when she should have been. Yet, she never mentioned them. Her daughter Hailey, convinced her mother was culpable, tape recorded their calls, to no avail. The case went cold.

10 years later, Dana moved near her sister in Oklahoma. A new District Attorney (DA) was sworn in at Topeka, KS. He was convinced Dana was responsible. They went over every piece of her story and the limited evidence. The lack of her mention of the wildfires, her explanation of the gas cans for “a helpless couple” and, filling them up when her trip was complete were one thing. The fact that she traveled from Topeka to Denver not in the linear, horizontally logistical manner, but literally in a square method, added to her lack of credibility. Ironically, one leg straight north from Topeka went over a body of water, which gave her ample opportunity to discard the gun, bloody clothes. She was out of phone range for approximately 24 hours. Sound Familiar x 3?

10 years almost to the day later, on July 25, 2011, she was arrested in Oklahoma (living with her sister) later was convicted and sentenced to, according to Her Honor – Judge Nancy Parrish, according to the Topeka Journal, to the maximum of 50 years, consecutive for each murder.

Why this case? I *honestly* think Stabby got her Eistein-y idea about going off the radar from Dana’s caper.

Edit note: Can you imagine if she had left a palm print in the closet?!

Next I will write about a similar, “If I can’t you, no other female will…..”


LWOP 3 – Guest Blog by BlueWhiteRed

December 10, 2014

 

Doing LWOP 3 – Ho, Ho, Hmmmm…..

Hi everyone, Associate Professor of Real Life for Felons, BWR here. I don’t know if I will type this correctly, adeieiwhslsiw, because I’m still cracking up over Kelly’s Lowered Expectations. OMG, each post is funnier than the last! Brava, Queen of Meanville!

Thanks, as always for reading, and Kelly, for letting me share the air space with you. I was going to jump right in and talk to you about “shopping” at the (Name) State Prison, but got the mail first. In it was a $1,000 USD check from some loan company. It’s all MINE, “just in time for holiday shopping!” At 33% APR interest. Ho, Ho, Hmmmm.

How Inmates Get Da Money — Until about last year, Susan only could receive money in her commissary account from people (12 or 15, I can’t remember) on her approved visiting list. That way the prison could ensure she wasn’t being funded by a released felon (unless they’re related, rolled eyes), or ISIS, I guess. Anyway, that changed and now anyone with the exception of above can put money in her account. A 3rd party (there seems to be quite the capitalism via the State Prison system, no comment from me, other than ALWAYS a fee.) has a website. It doesn’t cover every single state, but many. You establish a username and password, then her state, then prison, then number. Once done, you can either set up regular payments via credit/debit card or a one-time deposit. She gets a receipt when the COs deliver such documents (and feel like it) so she knows her balance. It also states the sender’s name from the credit/debit card, so no anonymous donations. You can also download a Prison-specific form, fill it out and put a money order in. Then send via snail mail to the Department of Corrections, located at the state capitol. When the COs get the money order receipt, (and feel like it) they hand to her. I’m not “debasing” the COs, just providing Susan’s feedback on the couple of times I’ve sent money.

So, what can a prisoner buy? (I’ll cover what she can receive another time.) They must buy everything not provided at reception (the absolute basics, scrubs (color specific like on an aircraft carrier, only in her case, they’re yellow for being Level 4 security status. (Only Death Row and newly admitted capital LWOP prisoners are Level 5 and wear red.) She’ll never wear another color again, because LWOP is always LWOP.) (Sorry for all the ()s, by the way.), bras (2), underwear/socks, toiletries, a jacket, hat and gloves. If she were indigent, they would be provided for free. She buys all replacements and a variety of items from the commissary. I looked up the order form and thought you’d be interested to see the variety my former state tax dollars helped subsidize, and cost to her. (each price does not include the usual too-high State Sales Tax):

*(For Kelly) Poptarts (Choc. Chip or Cookies & Crème) ( box) $3.18
*Donuts, Powdered (up to 5) $2.60 each
*(For Stabby) Sketch Pad (up to 5) $.69 each (bargain?!)
*Stool Softener (1) $3.90
*(For PV) Dreamsickle Cookies (Kosher, up to 5) $1.16
*Love You Card (up to 5) $1.15
*Mascara (up to 2 and wonder if AZ allows?!) $1.42

I know there are things like CDs and players, small TVs (there are no “public” ones), and DS game players/cartridges but I couldn’t find that list. I do know they are marked up 40% from outside retail. So maybe they increase their profit margin by under-pricing the Love You cards and overpricing the “toys”.

They are not allowed to trade, buy for someone else and of course, no refunds. The no trade/buy for someone else rules are to keep things like loan sharking and Power Differences (thanks, ALV for that phrase), etc., happening. They can buy 8 items per order. She can send things like the cards out. All envelopes are pre-stamped directly to the envelope to prevent contraband from being placed underneath. I guess no hair samples for DNA testing are sent out that way.

I hope you find this information interesting and wonder how much holiday shopping Susan will do for herself or send out (limited). Ho, Ho, Hmm…..

PS. There’s no one wearing a blue vest selling gas cans at the State Prison.

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Behind The Words... With Kim

Examining the minds and actions of female killers

Varmt News Network

It's the Internet.

Just Da Truth!

musings of a dangerous mind

peskyvarmt

Just another WordPress.com site

Asleep in Left Field-My Life

4 out of 5 Friends recommend this WordPress.com site

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(Totally fictional) Drama Queen Stories

CALLS FOR JUSTICE

sometimes, there are monsters walking amongst us