WATCH: Texas police are hypnotizing crime victims and using the ‘evidence’ to imprison people. By NowThis.
To learn more about police hypnosis in Texas, visit https://go.nowth.is/33evhWI
Innocent on Texas Death Row
WATCH: Texas police are hypnotizing crime victims and using the ‘evidence’ to imprison people. By NowThis.
To learn more about police hypnosis in Texas, visit https://go.nowth.is/33evhWI
The witness remembered the Volkswagen Beetle, its psychedelic flames visible in the twilight, and the white man with long hair who parked the garish thing on her quiet street that January morning in 1998.
But, when Farmers Branch police showed her a lineup, she couldn’t pick out the passenger.
She wanted to remember what he looked like to help catch her neighbor’s killers, the men who slithered under the garage door, shot the 64-year-old grandmother dead and ransacked her home. So a local policeman did something he’d never done before and would never do again.
The officer hypnotized her. [Read more on The Dallas News]
Breakfast: ½ pint of milk; 1 small apple; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 1 small piece of foodloaf.
Lunch: 1 peanut butter sandwich; 1 small beef sausage; 2 pieces of bread; 3 slices of canned pears.
Dinner: 1 piece bologna+cheese; 1 piece corn bread; 3 baby carrots.
Breakfast: ½ pint of milk; 1 piece coffee cake; 1 peanut butter sandwich.
Lunch: 1 small beef sausage; 1 small bundle cauliflower; 1 small bundle brocoli; 1 piece of bread.
Dinner: 1 peanut butter sandwich; 1 salami sandwich.
Breakfast: ½ pint of milk; 1 peanut butter sandwich,; 3 oz oatmeal in a cup; 6 prunes.
Lunch: 1 chicken patty; 1 biscuit; 6 baby carrots; 1 peanut butter sandwich.
Dinner: 1 corn dog; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 4 prunes.
Breakfast:1/2 pint of milk; 1 small piece foodloaf; 1 peanut butter sandwich
Lunch: 1 bologna +cheese sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 1 small orange.
Dinner: meat patty + cheese sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich
Breakfast: 1 biscuit; 4 oz oatmeal; 1 peanut butter sandwich
Lunch: chicken patty sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 6 prunes.
Dinner: 6 oz ground beef; 2 corn tortillas; 1 peanut butter sandwich
Breakfast: 1 small piece spice cake; ½ pint of milk; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 3 oz oatmeal
Lunch: Barbecue beef sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 6 prunes.
Dinner: pork patty, cheese sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich.
Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs; 1 spoiled pint of milk; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 1 handful raisins.
Lunch: 1 meat sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 1 handful raisins
Dinner: 6 oz potato meat mix; 1 tortilla flour; 1 biscuit; 1 peanut butter sandwich
Breakfast: ½ pint of milk; 1 biscuit; 4 oz rice; 1 piece coffee cake
Lunch: 2 biscuits; 1 chicken patty; 1 peanut butter sandwich
Dinner: 1 corn dog; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 1 handful raisins
Breakfast: 1 boiled egg; ½ pint of milk; 1 serving breakfast cereals; 1 penut butter sandwich.
Lunch: 1 tuna fish sandwich; 1 boiled egg; 1 peanut butter sandwich
Dinner: Salami + cheese sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 1 hanful raisins.
Breakfast: 1 foodloaf; 2 biscuits; ½ pint of milk
Lunch: 1 barbecue sandwich; 1 peanut sandwich; 6 prunes; 4 oz chocolate pudding
Dinner: 1 fish patty sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 6 miniature cookies.
Breakfast: 1 slice coffee cake; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 6 prunes
Lunch: 1 meat patty sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 1 small apple.
Dinner: 1 fish patty sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 1 biscuit.
Breakfast: 2 pancakes; 1 peanut butter sandwich; ½ pint of milk; 1 serving breakfast cereals.
Lunch: 1 chicken patty sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich, 4 baby carrots.
Dinner: 3 oz ground beef; 2 pieces of bread; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 4 baby carrots.
Journals from 6th to 9th August 2020
Thursday 6th August 2020_
We have been on medical quarantine lockdown for a month straight. A friend here mentioned that this lockdown has felt very long. I think that this is because of the absolute isolation we are enduring. I am really feeling it and I have grown disgusted with the attorneys who represent each death row prisoner. They seem to find it very acceptable to not have to spend more time visiting and communicating with their clients. Understand these devils are still actively trying to murder us all. That is very frustrating for me. The Court judge, prosecutors and appeal attorneys have gotten used to “chilling at home”, doing their work via Zoom, etc. And we are held “excommunicado” in this “New normal”. The tunnel is long and dark with no light to be seen and all anyone can do is continue to move forward. The number one danger are the people who work here, and who leave the unit daily to who knows where, then come back possibly infecting me with Covid-19. Many are unwilling to properly wear their masks, and they are the most dangerous devils of them all. Common sense tells us they do not wear a mask when not at work, seeing they are so reluctant to wear one when they are at work. That means they will be getting infected and in turn become super spreaders on Texas death row. Chilling to think of, but so real and true here.
Friday 7th August 2020
I have realized I need to write more about the day to day life and death row situation in my life on Texas death row now. No one knows who might get sick, who will live or who will die in this situation. So if something should happen to me, others will know how I was sacrificed. This morning, the commanding officer began showers, then at 8 am, they got the order to run recreation. I went to recreation in the day-room for the first time in a month. I wore my mask the entire 2 hours period. Apparently, they are only doing a 25% of the pod population recreation at a time. Instead of allowing all 6 sections (14 men per section) to get out of their cages and have recreation. Only 2 sections were given the opportunity for recreation. In 4 hours, the commanding officers were done with recreation and no one else went out. This does not make any sense we all are solitary single men, alone recreation, so why allow just 25% of death row prisoners to get out of their cells for recreation? We were given a regular “hot” meal this evening for dinner, which was much better than 2 sandwiches. At this point, the quantity of food we get is more important than quality of it. So we got a full tray of food and everyone was happy about that.
Saturday 8th August 2020.
Another Saturday and now it appears as if we are moving into a new phase of reality in life on Texas death row. I woke up to the guards running showers early this morning. But no recreation. We have learned that all of the prisoners who work on the building, in the kitchen and on the clean up crew etc. But they have been allowed back to work.
So it looks like we are having a rush to “open the unit”, selectively, meaning showers daily but absolutely no recreation 7 days a week.
We got a sack lunch breakfast but 2 regular hot tray meals for lunch and dinner. The prisoner kitchen workers are back. For your information, it costs less to give us regular meals than all them awful sandwich meals, so it works for them.
We have learned that “ecomm” is being allowed to be ordered by friends, family in the free world, again. We have been told that the next opportunity to get commissary will be a full spend, not limited to 15$. this means these people in charge are declaring that no new Covid-19 positive tests have come up. Interesting, when you think about the fact that no new testing has been done since the last go round, when 800 positives were found. Is it possible they are putting out alternative facts on the above?
Sunday 9th August 2020.
Here I am again listening to the news. The world continues to lose its mind. Today, 2 more sections went to recreation. Friday A and F sections had recreation. Today, B and E sections had recreation. It looks like they will skip a day or two, then let another two sections go to recreation. It will amount to us having a chance to recreate one time in a week. Am I supposed to be happy these devils let me out of my cage once a week? Forgive me if I am not! I know the trick when they take your meager privileges then give you half of them back, and you are supposed to be grateful. What they need give us back are our visits. If we have zero positive Covid-19 cases, then we should get visitation. Shouldn’t their alternative facts apply in our favor here as well? Haha. That is insanity. Today is cooler here and I am grateful. The allergy/ hay fever mess has gotten a lot better an I am super grateful for that. I can think a little better and I am trying to write as much as I can. I throw myself into that and I free myself in the process, because I am not here when I write letters to friends. I am there and right now, that is a very attractive place to be. Anywhere but in this hell hole, so I cannot wait to get back to it and in the process leave here!
July 22nd 2020
Breakfast : ½ pint milk, 1 peanut butter sandwich, 3 oz oatmeal, 6 prunes. Lunch: 1 chicken patty, 1 biscuit, 6 baby carrots, 1 peanut butter sandwich. Dinner: 1 corndog, 1 peanut butter sandwich, 4 prunes.
Here I am again pen in hand, trying to find a meaning in the insanity that swirls around us all. I am grateful for getting 9 hours or mostly uninterrupted sleep last night, which sets me up for a lot of work getting done. There is much to complain about and be unhappy about, and I do my best not to let that take control over me. Remember , when you cannot change the situation, treat it like small stuff and work with it, not against it. I got my brother Jim Ulrich on my visitors list and after 2 months I called him Monday night at 9 pm. I had been thinking of him and not heart from him so I rang , with 4 guards around me listening, so I guess we called. He needed that call and I am grateful I was able to do it. We get 2 “trys”, if the number you call is not answering, that is your first try. Gotta make it count and not crap out with my calls. I was grateful for that, no doubt. With 800 or more positive cases of Covid 19 at Polunsky, I do not think we will get visits for years. I think there devils will get accustomed to holding us all in complete isolation. So I do believe I will think about adding friends to my visitors list I can call instead of visit. Maybe that will be positive consistent occurrence in my life. Think is I cannot make it happen. But you can. Damn anyone who says complaining makes it worse. You think it is outrageous we are being starved (one corn dog! Really!), that we go months without any communication and no visit? Complain. Message Sheree on instagram at “FreeCharlesFlores” and ask her how and what to do!
Breakfast: ½ pint of milk, 1 piece foodloaf, 1 peanut butter sandwich. Lunch: 1 bologna/cheese sandwich, 1 peanut butter sandwich, 1 small orange. Dinner : 1 meat patty, cheese sandwich, 1 peanut butter sandwich.
Breakfast: 1 biscuit, 4 oz oatmeal, 1 peanut butter sandwich. Lunch: 1 chicken patty sandwich. Lunch: 1 chicken patty sandwich, 1 peanut butter sandwich, 6 prunes. Dinner: 6 oz groundbeef, 2 corn tortillas, 1 peanut butter sandwich.
So here I am again living day to day, more than ever. Today was shower day. I have decided I will go to shower because they clean them with bleach, and I hope my neighbor does not have Covid 19 and breathes some out to get me after he comes out and I go in. I make sure not to touch anything and my face with showering.
We were told that we’d get to submit our 15,00 $ commissary list and receive our purchases today but then they said it was canceled. Why? These jokers are doing nothing but sitting around and walking through the pod once an hour, maybe. No recreation. Meals are a paper-sack, they pass that mess out in 30 minutes and that’s it. The medical quarantine is on the 3 week we are allowed 15,00 $ commissary food purchases. They are starving us, an extra ramen noodle pack will help right now. Rumor is that last Friday or Saturday, the quarantine period started over when new Covid 19 tests were found. Like the month lockdown is not something I have just been tortured with! So, I have a request. Please call # 936-967-80-87 (00.1 prefix from France) wardens Dickens, Jackson, Perez and ask them why are we not allowed to buy food? We’re being starved, what’s going on? When am I/ We (Death row + AG-Seg) prisoners not allowed to call loved ones? General Population inmates get two 20 minutes calls FREE, every week. They get recreation Dayroom time, every other hour, why have I not had recreation in a month?
July 26th 2020
Breakfast: ½ pint stale milk, 3 oz oatmeal, 2 boiled eggs, 1 handful of raisins. Lunch: 1 meat sandwich, 1 peanut butter sandwich, 1 handful of raisins. Dinner: 6 oz meat/potato mix, 1 biscuit, 1 peanut butter sandwich.
Sometimes the week-end seems very long. A friend here mentioned this and it feels that way. I think the absolute isolation with no end in sight cause the seemingly never ending “night time” we endure. Before, there was a visit to look forward to, a meeting with my legal team in the weeks or months ahead. Now, there is nothing but darkness and that is not easy to deal with. So the unknown has a new and improved form to terrorize in. That is when we must develop and maintain tunnel vision. Keep healthy and as fit as possible through some kind of physical exercise. Then set that daily goal and work towards it. When you reach it you feel good. And do all you can to be a positive and good person. Helping others when you can, not allowing cynical, negative thoughts to overwhelm us. Meditate, pray and work towards manifesting what is right and good in your life. This is my plan. This is where faith comes in, where the absolute Good shall prevail over evil in your life and in the world. Hope is manufactured every day. Every day I get out of this bed and I gather myself and get to the business of creating hope. Setting goals and using the mindset of focusing on the immediate goal to create the reliable satisfaction. Even if we at this point in time cannot see light at the end of the tunnel, but we must have faith and know light exists. We just have get to it! Keep moving forward and never give up!
Breakfast: ½ pint milk, 1 biscuit, 4 oz rice, 1 piece of coffee cake. Lunch: 2 biscuits, 1 chicken patty, 1 peanut butter sandwich. Dinner: 1 corn-do, 1 peanut butter sandwich, 1 handful raisins.
Shower day today, I went to shave but I thought about in regards to possible Covid 19 exposure. I noticed some guys who would never miss a shower nor leave their cells. I understand but wonder where the line needs be drawn on possible exposure? Allergies are really acting upon me and have been during the past week. It seems like it’s very bad and I am not the only person who’s being affected. Not long ago, I heard about African Sahara dust and wonder if this dust has arrived in Texas late, like Covid 19? It’s not easy to write when I have a head full of wool but I will do my best. We were told that we “might” be allowed to go to commissary this coming Thursday, and spend an entire 15 $. That was supposed to have happened last week, but it didn’t. I hope you called and asked why not! I am in a cage, one of 500 cages they have here and I see no one to ask about such things. Not for days. I do believe the situations is out of control and they just got started with trying to deal with it. I remember when my friends would laugh at me here when I told them to buy extra coffee, ramen noodles, beans and rice because we’re going to get locked down! Nobody’s laughing anymore. So the wild roller coaster ride continues.
Journal_ Saturday 18th July 2020
Today the results of Covid 19 retesting began to come back and it is not good at all. The results are not yet in but so far, 400 or even more positive test have been found in the general population of Polunsky. I have a bad feeling about it this time. We have been on medical lockdown for 12 days days but the 14 periods starts over every time a positive test comes back. We’re screwed. There are units that have been on medical lockdown since March 2020, and I fear we have joined that number. I remain fairly certain that we will not have massive positive Covid 19 testing results on building 12 because we all in solitary confinement. There are 504 solitary confinement cells on building 12 and about 200 are used to house Texas death row. We’ve all been locked in our cells for 3 weeks now, so if there are positive cases among us, how is it happening?
Time will tell. I was hoping they could put out the flare up of Covid in the general population, but 400 or more cases and counting tells me that it’s out of control and really no way these devils can get it back under control. Everyone in general population will end up getting it, how will they prevent it? The question is : will we have it run through our numbers on building 12? All we can do is watch the slow motion train wreck and shake our heads in disbelief.
Sunday July 19th 2020
This morning I woke up to the guards walking around in full PPE gear (Personal protection Equipment): gown, face shield, goggles, N95 masks and gloves. The results are coming back from the Covid 19 tests on building 12 and the commanding officer on duty told us there were/are three positive tests on this pod. Everyone is going crazy, because there are more than a few positive Covid 19 test results on building 12.
Now they say there are 600 or more positive cases of Covid 19 in the general population and they have not yet gotten all the results from the test yet. The wheels have come off this thing here and who knows what will happen? It’s ironic, I expected this in March but it never came. I was 4 months early in my feeling that Covid 19 would get us. Just now, the commanding officer told 3 death row prisoners to pack their stuff and that they were moving. Today is Sunday, you never move on Sunday, unless something very unusual is happening. They are the guys who tested positive for Covid 19. The commanding officer just said it was 3 guys on this pod and now these 3 are being moved to quarantine.
One of the guys is downstairs from me. He never comes out of his cell though. The other two guys are in the next section, they are neighbors. How are these guys positive? They are not sick, so it is impossible to tell who is sick/positive and who is not when they show no obvious symptoms.
Monday 20th July 2020
Breakfast: ½ pint of milk; 1 small apple; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 1 small piece of food loaf.
Lunch: 1 peanut butter sandwich; 2 slices of bread; 1 small beef sausage; 3 slices of canned pears.
Dinner: 1 Piece of bologna and cheese; 1 piece of corn bread; 3 baby carrots.
Here I am and it’s evening time. We got showers today and at noon time I went to attorney phone call and had a good call with Gretchen. It’s ironic that when I got to phone call, I get stuck out at the visit room for an hour or two, like it used to be when we had visits. I’ve learned that had 5 positive Covid 19 tests on death row and over 40 in ag/seg, which is general population in solitary confinement, on about 50 total. That seems like a lot for 500 prisoners who are in complete isolation in single man cells. The guys who are positive on death row are now on pod A, section A, which is death watch. As soon as the trio was moved from my pod, the guard removed PPE and things went back to “normal”. I don’t feel normal though. I feel like we have crossed over into a new reality that might be around for a long time. We’re supposed to go to commissary and be allowed to spend 15$. That is an issue now because they are not providing an over abundance of food for us. It is still food in a paper sack and I have decided to keep a menu so other will know what we are being given to eat. Not sure when we’ll be given this opportunity, to buy a bit of extra food. In the meantime, I do my best to make it here.
Tuesday 21st July 2020
Breakfast: ½ pint milk; 1 piece of coffee cake; 1 peanut butter sandwich
Lunch: 1 small beef sausage; 1 slice of bread; 1 small bundle cauliflower; 1 small bundle brocoli.
Dinner : 1 salami sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich.
Last night, these devils were running phone calls. They were on Row 1, moving away from us so I have no idea when they might give me my opportunity to call someone. It’s 8 pm now and I do not see anyone going to phone call. The last time we were allowed to make a call was 22nd May, two months ago. I’m feeling pretty isolated right now. No calls, no visits, nothing, and no relief in sight, I don’t think. I have spent a good part of my day making origami. I have a few new figures I have learned how to make : a dolphin and a sea turtle. It felt good getting the hang of these new animals and now I have a different origami mobile to share. Sometimes I need something like that to keep my mind off the stress that swirls around me.
I was up until 3 am last night, listening to the radio and preparing some envelopes I want to mail out through the property officer, because I was hoping she would come through today, but no go. They put her on pod A, so who knows when might pick up property for mail out. That late night has me feeling slugging so I cam calling it a night early to be ready for the morning to hit it hard.
July 8, 2020 (« We gotta get out of here » by The Animals)
“Everything is going to be alright”
How should I not be glad to contemplate
The clouds beyond the dormer window
And a high tide reflected on the ceiling
There will be dying there will be dying
But there is no need to go into that
The poems flow from the hand unbidden
And the hidden source is the watchful heart
The sun rises in spite of everything
And the far cities are beautiful and bright
I lie here in a riot of sunlight
Watching the day break and the clouds flying
Everything is going to be alright
Today, Billy Wardlow was executed. Much is said about all the guys on death row but I’ll say this. None of us are the worst thing we have ever done. Innocent or guilty we are not the worst thing we have done in life. Are you?
Rest in peace and power Billy Joe Wardlow. You were the best of the best around this death camp. I’ll miss you brother.
July 10, 2020 (“Heavy metal” by Sammy Hagar)
“The depth of your struggle will determine the height of your success” Unknown
I had an attorney phone call today and while I was in the visitation room waiting for the appointed hour, I got to talking to someone out there. I learned that Willy Wardlow’s last wishes were for Dani to video the entire process of what these devils do with the murdered person’s body after they’ve achieved their evil deed. And I was with that 100%.
The reason why I want everybody in the USA and the world to SEE this unholy act – they murder you then put you in the Good Lord’s Church – is because they need to know what is being done in their name. I never want another legal revenge murder that is carried out to be nice and neat again. What is being done in the name of every citizen of this country needs to be brought to light. You need to witness your murderous government in action every time it happens.
This is why Billy Wardlow’s last request was to have this sacrilegious spectacle video recorded and posted so the whole world would see. He used this murder to shed light on what is happening to us – Texas Death row prisoners.
Times are changing, whether these devils like it or not, and I am part of that change.
July 11, 2020 (“I don’t know why” by Angela Streeny)
“We are all tramps, just some of us see stars” Oscar Wilde
Sometimes this building gets so quiet I can hear the metal doors opening and closing on the other side of the pod. When we’re on lockdown, it’s quiet like this and I enjoy it. Much better than mindless noise.
Today a different trio of CO’s (Correctional officers) worked in our pod and one guy has been on 11 building where general population prisoners are locked up temporarily. He said there are 13 prisoners over there with Covid-19. Very sick, fever, coughing, trouble breathing – all of that. Without a doubt it is here. This is a reality check for one like me sitting in this cage seeing nothing but these walls for months and years on end.
Then yesterday the CO working in the evening – 2nd shift said new positive cases of Covid-19 were found in GP. The 14 days began anew then. Each time we have a positive test result, we start the 14 day quarantine period anew.
More importantly these idiots brought Covid-19 in and now the situation intensifies. So far so good for me in my cage next week we’ll be allowed to buy correspondence and hygiene items from commissary. I’m grateful, I need postage.
The mantra is “Focused, fortified and forward marching” no matter what. Gotta make it out of this place.
July 12, 2020 (“3 lock-box” by Sammy Hagar)
“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up” – Nelson Mandela
Another Sunday evening and I think about the situation we now find ourselves in on Polunsky Unit. This is a very large prison, 2,200+ persons are confined here. The vast majority is general population (GP) as Texas death row is about 190 prisoners on 12 building. For the past 2-3 weeks we have consistently had positive Covid-19 test results among the CO’s that come and go on a daily basis. 2 weeks ago they did not have enough COs to run DR recreation but 2 days. This past Monday we were told that the staff shortage is so bad they were putting the entire unit on medical lockdown for 14 days.
Then we hear the guards who work in the GP kitchen were all on quarantine. They were positive with Covid 19. And they infected the prisoner kitchen workers. Now these prisoners are sick, very sick. More and more GP prisoners are coming down sick and it is very serious. These guys are living on top of each other and are on quarantine but can’t social distance. So what do they do? And these are the prisoners who come back and do the slave labor in TDCJ, cleaning and physical labor, while a CO “supervises” them. So now we have 2 possible Covid-19 infection dangers. The COs who come and go and the GP prisoners who got infected by guards in GP because they work with COs. Not sure what will happen but the goal is to stay safe and healthy!
June 25, 2020 (“So into you” by Fabulous) “If you think you can win, you can win. Faith is necessary to victory” William Hazlitt
This morning I had an attorney phone call.
I suppose I am expected to feel relief and be grateful. And I think I do when I think of the relief my family and friends have. For me personally? Not so much. I think I can’t get past the fact that I, the brown-skinned person who’s maintained his innocence from the start, have to deal with this. And the white skinned confessed murderer who committed the crime I’m on Texas death row for is FREE on parole.
Being a victim of a criminal justice system that intentionally has institutional racism built into it for 22 years and counting has affected me in ways that I am unable to comprehend. And these traumas have changed me in ways that I can never undo.
That’s just the fact of the situation.
One thing for sure I am not satisfied with just having the pressure removed. I will not be satisfied until I am forever free and far away from here.
June 26, 2020 (“You’re no good” by Linda Rondstadt.) “Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.” John Lennon
I’ve been pushing myself hard these past few weeks as I have developed tunnel vision keeping my eyes on my goal and not letting anyone or anything to knock me off track.
Today I was up at 5:30 am for my turn at recreation. At 6 am I am put in the day room and I’m not in there 15 minutes when the guard gets a call saying No rec! Showers only. The whole time I’m thinking I could be asleep right now. So I get my shower and get right back in bed. It’s pretty quiet so I go right back to sleep. I sleep for a few hours and it’s funny I have this thought, “You’re going to get an attorney phone call”, about FOUR times. And sure enough, at 12:30pm, the guards are at my door, “Attorney phone call!” I’m waiting on the “message”, “You’re going home, wake up!” to come on any day now! Ha ha!
Anyway, it’s who I knew it would be and it seems that for the foreseeable future we have made it through the storm and are sailing in calmer waters and I’m grateful and now, back to my grind and tunnel vision. Got a lot to do and that’s a good thing and today I started my day twice and am on that right now. Doing what I need to do not what I want to do. It feels good and there’s some sun shining through the clouds on me.
June 27, 2020 (“Damn’ Good”, by David Lee Roth)
“The only thing that is worse than not being free is not remembering when you were free. That would be the saddest thing of all.” – Leonard Peltier
I have a love-hate relationship with the memories of when I was once free. I hate them so much that I have for years intentionally not thought of them. I love them so much that when I do take them out of the box I keep them locked up in they hurt. They make me want to cry. So my way of dealing with them is to not think of them.
Today I was moved to write an essay about my memories of being free. I talked about my friend named Justin Cody Prather. He was a good dude and was always down for whatever and was not a snitch. For better or worse, he learnt that from me. Folks can say whatever about Cody – but he was down and wouldn’t tell it! We were best friends for years until incarceration began to separate us. First him, then me and here I sit. I remember Cody telling me about his dad who rode a Harley-Davidson and was from West-Virginia, I think! It’s been more than 30 years. His dad died young in his 40’s and had passed when we became friends.
In 2016, I learnt that my friend Cody had passed away in his sleep. Like his father he was gone way too young. I remember when “Damn’ Good” was released, me and Cody would jam to it in that El Camino. I loved that song the first time I heard it. Who knew me and Cody were living those Damn’ Good Times then.
June 28, 2020 (“Long long time” by Linda Ronstadt)
“Not where I breathe but where I love, I live.” St Robert Southwell
Another Sunday morning and I listen to “Blues Brunch with Nuri Nuri” and man, that brotha knows his blues. Got the tunes rocking, had a full nite’s sleep and I am hitting this thing at 100% I hit my floor and got 30 minutes of exercise (non-stop) in. And a lit bit of meditation in before my turn for shower. Someone I know told me to stop biting people and I said Okay. To keep from allowing my “Battle Mode” from bleeding other relationships, I gotta exercise-burn that mess up and out of me. I can get it down about half way and then I am able to control it. But it’s NOT easy. Not by a long shot but I manage and you already know – I was built for this.
That sad cloud that I had following me around for a year has finally gone away. That feels sooo good. I was wondering how long it would last… And I am grateful I am back to 100% again. At full strength I am capable of manifesting all my dreams into reality. Don’t believe me? Just watch.
It’s pretty crazy here lack of staff means no recreation, the past couple of days rumors of positive Covid-19 case on the unit abound, some are true. No more phone calls as the TDCJ emergency order has expired. So no visits, no calls, no meetings/visits with my legal team and I am supposed to be happy about it. Looks like I need to exercise some more cause here it comes again!
July 2nd 2020 (“Little by Little” by Robert Plant)
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there” – Teddy Roosevelt
I was once told that the reason I am so organized and obsessive about having my things in their proper place is because I have so little control over my live so I am really serious about what I can control here. I plan tomorrow’s activities today. When I want to go to recreation in the morning, I will be in bed by 11PM so I can be up at 5 am and feel rested. Every other day, 5 days a week I go out to rec’ at about 6AM – or I am part of the “1st round” of rec’s the guards put out in the 6 day rooms and 4 outside rec yards. The guards begin 1st shift at 5:30 am, come through asking everyone if they are going to rec? By 6am we are in the day room. I like going out early, when I plan it right, I get rec, a shower and a day’s worth of writing or whatever work I need to do.
Last night I was in bed by 11PM and up at 5AM this morning. Early bird gets the worm and all of that. When the guard comes through she asks me, “Are you showering?” I reply, “Yes after I go to rec!” She then says no rec’s, showers only, not enough guards showed up. I think prison guards are like roofers! They don’t like to work and on pay day they give it hell drinking beer and partying then won’t show up for work the next day. Hell they’re still drunk the next morning. Guess what yesterday was for these devils? Payday! So I exercised in my cell and here I sit wishing I could get out of it.
July 3, 2020 (“Mercury” by The Steve Miller Band)
“Love and Trust, in the space between what’s said and what’s heard in our life, can make all the difference in the world.” Fred Rogers
Today, I’ve done something I enjoy very much. That is to take a day to catch up and read the different magazines and newspapers I receive here. Often times during the week, especially Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I focus hard on my correspondence and get lots of reply letters written. This is Independence Day week-end-4th of July. I’m sure we’ll have a mail holiday – just what we need! Probably not get any mail Monday. We’ll see.
It’s no surprise that the roofers – I mean the guards did not show up so no recreation again for us. I am not happy about it but there’s nothing we can do about it. I said that to a friend today – the only thing that will happen is we’ll end up in trouble and on Level III. So I’d rather exercise in my cell and get that frustration out like that. So far so good! When things in our life occur that we have no control over we have to accept it and run with it. No matter how much we want to make THEM feel our pain. All that will do is land you in a cell with nothing in it covered in Gas. So I’ll pass!
I’ll enjoy the day instead. We got old school music vs. new school all weekend on the Box Radio Station so I’ll jam instead. For your information, I’m always team old school!
July 4th 2020 (“If trouble was money” by Albert Collins)
“It does not require many words to speak the truth” Chief Joseph
So today is our Independence Day and on Texas death row we celebrated with being denied recreation – AGAIN. I am grateful for my being able to shower. You have to be thankful for something. We were given baked chicken for lunch and I took my leg and thigh and used it in making some chicken/rice/beans tacos. That’s how a Latino celebrates the 4th of July!
Somewhere right now, some of my kinsmen are in a backyard; music going and cold beer in hand as the Barbecue is cooking. The 4th is always a day off from work and this is how they will spend the day. Mexicano/Tejano musica going, children running around chasing the dogs around the yard. Family and friends coming and going, as they drink plenty of beer. Budweiser, Bud Lite, or Miller Lite are the favs, ice cold out of a cooler. Hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, ribs, steaks, all kinds of food is being cooked.
I don’t know why I’ve been thinking about what my life was like before Texas death row now but I have! I notice it isn’t as painful as it used to be. Not sure but it’s been on my mind a lot especially during the holidays. I continue to do my part trying to get back to the free world I left so long ago. I might be on the long way back – as long as on my way!
July 5, 2020 (“Blues Power-live” by Albert King)
“The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes” – Frank Lloyd Wright
Sundays always find me listening to “Blues Brunch with Nuri Nuri” on kpft.org. He is amazing like usual sharing so many great blues songs. I slept late till 9AM after realizing when I don’t get enough sleep I am not at my best. It’s 8 hours for me and I am in top form like today. It only took me 50 years to figure that out! Got my exercise and spiritual practice done and here I am with pen in my hand. I have come to really love the blues. I had a friend names Bill Dillworth who was a mechanic and once, many moons ago had a shop next to my dad’s roofing and construction business. Bill was a Mopar guy – he owned Chrysler/Dodges and he had some nice rides. We became friends. I was 20-something and Bill was 40 something and Bill loved the blues. I knew nothing about it but one week he invited me and my girl to go out with him and his girl to a live blues club. And we went. I only remember it was in east Dallas and Bill drove. We got there in the early evening and we had drinks and the music began. It was amazing. That was one of my best live music experiences ever.
Only now do I understand how wonderful the blues is and enjoy it every weekend. When I am out of this dump I’ll be sure to see a lot more blues played live!
TEXAS DEATH ROW MEMORIES June 27, 2020
“To truly understand the « good old days » you need to have lived them, if only for an afternoon.” Will Brantley
This morning I began my day with the usual here in this 60 foot square cage that I have lived the last 22 years in, confined in solitary confinement on Texas death row. I managed to get about 8 hours of sleep and was not woken up 4-5 times during that period. I think it was just 1-2 times so I feel good. The routine is get up, wash up, have some coffee, clean my cell, exercise, spiritual practice and the day is up and running. While having coffee, I picked up a magazine that came in the mail last night called “D Magazine”. It’s a magazine about Dallas, Texas, where I call home.
While having coffee and flipping through the pages I came to an article titled “Memories of the Grill”. In the article, there were 4 people, featured with their memories of grilling food over coals, what we call in Texas Barbecue (bbq).
For a Texas boy little me, bbq is connected to so many of my memories and good times. It was bbq, beer and music. As I read this article, I had a tidal wave of memories of the good old days, when I was young and thought I would live forever. When living was working all week to get into the weekend and meet up with friends and have a good time. It did not include life and death situations.
When I was 16 years old, me and my family moved from West Texas to the Dallas area – a suburb called Irving, Tx. The move was not easy for me and I had problems adjusting and for the first 2 years of living in Irving, I really did not make any friends. Instead, I hung around my dope head elder brothers, which was about the last thing I needed to do because all I learned how to do is be a dope head like them!
Anyway, when I was 18 years old, I met my first true friend in Irving. He lived across the street to a new house we had moved to and his name was Cody. He was a “skater/stoner”, meaning he had long hair and liked to party and rode a skate board. Cody was 16 years old when we met. We immediately became best friends, he was cool and we got along well.
I was the new guy in town and Cody had grown up in Irving. He knew everybody and we always had something to do, some party to attend, some place to go: concerts, fairs you name it. And I had the ride.
When I was 18 my Dad bought me a 1972 El Camino hot rod. He didn’t know about the hot rod part he had no clue what he put in my hands but I did and it was our ride. And El Camino is made by Chevrolet and it its half Car/Chevelle and half pick-up truck! It had a bed in the back and in a word it was cool! Not to mention it had a hot rod 350 c.i. V-8 motor that was more to less indestructible. And when we did break it we could fix it.
Our big thing was to go cruising on Friday nights in Irving. There was a specific street all the young kids drove around in a big circle going slow checking out the girls (or guys!) talking to friends and having a good time. At midnight we’d hit the free way and drive down to Loop12 and Northwest Highway which was one spot where the young people would street-race their cars. Me and Cody were notorious in that El Camino, it was fast, I was tough, he knew everybody and you couldn’t tell us nothing! We thought we’d live forever, you know?
And in the early 1990’s, the street races were an event where several hundreds, sometimes a thousand plus people would come together at and have a big party centered around cars racing in a straight line. It was like what you have seen in the movies and it was a young person’s dream!
Me and Cody would stay out there until 4-5 am when people would start leaving because we’d been partying all night and we would reluctantly get in the El Camino, hit the freeway again and drive back to Irving and somehow some way we’d made it back home in one piece. We did this every week-end Friday night and Saturday nights; you wanted to know where we were – it was the street races. Along with everybody else that we knew.
Now, I’m not saying it was right or glorifying it, I’m telling you that was what we did back in the gap.
Sunday morning would come and we’d sleep till maybe 11am and then we’d be back up again. He’d be in his house and I’d be at my house where I lived with my parents and it was already understood what we did on Sundays. We were loading up my American Pitbull terriers in the El Camino, grabbing the cooler and heading to Lake Grapevine to bbq! This involved going into Mom’s pantry and taking a can of corn, a can of ranch style beans and 4-5 large potatoes.
When I came out of the house Cody would usually be sitting on the porch of his house smoking a cigarette and he’d walk over to the drive way because he knew what we were going to do. Get the large cooler, the plastic milk crate that had the bbq stuff out the garage and throw it in the back of the ride and get the dogs.
When we moved from Midland to Irving, we brought Kelly with us. She was a yellow/blonde rednosed Pitbull dog that was large for the breed, a little taller than my knee and weighed about 60 lbs – all muscle. We bred Kelly with a friend’s Pitbull and I ended up keeping one of the puppies and his name was Spike.
Kelly was a great dog, but Spike was special. He was a buckskin – the color of a deer and 4 black socks on his feet and he had a dark purple nose, he weighed 50 lbs, every ounce muscle. He was very beautiful and could have been a model for the breed. And super smart! Both dogs were obedience trained, me and Cody were always working with these dogs.
He’d go into the backyard of our house and it was like they knew what day it was, they would be ready to go. I’d open the gate and tell them go on! Get in the truck and both would run and leap into the back of the bed ready to go. Dogs love riding in cars and trucks, they live for it! I’d grab their spike collars and leather leashes and we were ready to go.
We’d fire up the El Camino and hit the road. This excursion required us to stop at the supermarket before we left Irving. We’d stop at the closest supermarket and Cody would stay in the truck with the dogs while I would go in and walk straight into the meat department of the store. I would usually buy a large brisket, but sometimes I’d grab some pork chops, or chicken leg/thigh quarters. I’d grab some fresh tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, a bag of charcoal and off we’d go.
The next stop would be back up on Northwest Highway at the Racetrack where we’d gas up the El Camino and get beer. Usually a case of Budweiser and 2 bags of ice which would go into the cooler with the meat and other food items.
Then we’d hit the freeway again and take the ride to Grapevine, Texas, where Grapevine Lake is at. Now the El Camino always has a stereo in it and we’re talking 30 years ago so it was cassette tapes and Cody always had 2-3 in his pocket, heavy metal stuff. Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax. We’d rock down the road, hauling ass in a hurry to get to the lake.
The drive would take maybe 30 minutes and when we’d finally make it to the lake, we had a specific spot we went to where all the bikers would congregate. On a good day, when you’d driven into the sate park area of the lake, you’d see maybe 50-75 chromed out Harley Davidsons parked all in a line. We’d be in a hurry because we wanted one of the covered tables which had a bbq grill built into the cement slab. You’d get there after noon and you’d be out of luck! All the tables/grills would be taken. But we’d always have one and we’d pull the truck into the little area and unload the stuff we’d brought with us. We’d get the dogs out but keep them on their long 8-foot leashes because other dogs and people would be running around and we did not want any static from someone if one of their dogs got bitten by ours.
Cody was always the DJ, he’d open the doors of the El Camino and crank the stereo up rocking out, he really loved Metallica’s “Ride the Lightning” and to this day every time I hear a song off that album I think of these times and my old friend. We’d be 3 beers in by now and he’d usually roll one and we’d smoke it and I’d throw the charcoal on the grill, spray it with lighter fluid that was part of our lake bbq supplies and after 10 minutes of soaking, light it up. The fire would be big and bright and the flames would get the grill clean and as the coals burned down, I would ready the food – I was the cook. I’ve always been a cook! Haha! It would usually go like this – I’d take the aluminum foil and lay out 2 pieces about 2 ft long and about 2 foot square and open the brisket and lay it on the foil. I’d sprinkle season salt on it, chop up the green bell pepper, onions into slices along with the tomatoes and lay them all over the large slab of meat. I’d then warp the brisket back up and make sure it was sealed real good and have it ready to go. I’d get the potatoes and wrap them in foil as well and throw them in the coals which would end up being baked potatoes! Then throw the foil wrapped brisket on the grill and let it cook.
While the food cooked itself, we’d drink about 6 beers each, smoke a few more sticks maybe and sit on the tailgate of the El Camino and watch the people go by. All sorts would be out, older couples that were probably hippies back in their heyday, bikers, and chicks galore! Haha! We we’d of course have the dogs up there with us and this is where Spike would shine. He was gorgeous and I have yet to see a pretty girl walk by him and not want to pet him and get to know him – a perfect conversation starter! Haha! Of course the friends we’d see at the street races would show up and we’d have a bunch of friends out there too. Maybe my brothers would show up, or some weeks we’d all go out to the lake together. Those were the days. So we’d have good music going, cold beer to drink and great friends to chat with, it would be great. In 4-5 hours that food would be more than ready. And after you drink 6-8 cold beers, you are hungry! Haha!
We’d take the cans of beans and corn and put a dent in the side and set them on the grill maybe 30 minutes before it was time to eat along with a long loaf of butter French garlic bread that was in a foil-like bag I’d get at the supermarket too. By the time the beans and corn were hot and the dent in the side had popped out, the bread would be hot and ready to eat. And we’d pull everything off and dig in. The brisket would be perfect soft and tender with the veggies on top to eat it with. The potatoes were perfect, crunchy peel and soft hot inside that would melt the butter and the bread! It was perfect no doubt. We’d eat until we could eat no more, as would the dogs. And for me that was the good old days… And in a flash all of that came back to me as I read the article in this magazine, for me nothing could be better!
Charles D. FLORES #999299
Polunsky Unit, Texas death row
June 27, 2020
TEXAS DEATH ROW NEWS – JUNE 1st 2020.
“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
Recently I read about an orca named Talequah who gave birth last summer. Talequah’s pod of killer whales was endangered and her newborn was their hope for the future. But the calf lived less than an hour. In a show of grief that was watched by people around the world, Talequah pushed her dead calf through the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean for seventeen days before letting her go.
When I read about Talequah and her terrible loss, I was deeply moved because I understand on a gut wrenching level what it’s like to suffer such heart-breaking loss that you can’t find a way to let go. When I lost my mother last year, that loss brought home the realization that with her being gone, so was my father, home and the dream of getting back in time to devote my life to caring for them. Like Talequah’s calf, my everything was gone and nothing would ever bring them back. When you find yourself in that situation, it’s impossible to let go. Impossible to stop thinking about all you’ve lost. Because all that me and my beloved family had shared is now gone forever.
As I look back on those days, weeks and months of heartbreak in my life, I know what got me through it. It was the actions of those who loved me and cared about my well being. All of those who ran to me and lifted me off the ground and shared with me gracious words of love, kindness and reaffirming their friendship with me. True friends who cried with me, who held my hand and allowed their heart to break with mine. Because when you are dealing with such epic losses nothing will “make it better”. And those fair weathered friends, both old and new, flew the situation to distract themselves with whatever their privilege allowed them. Because being human is hard, and it’s extremely difficult.
“The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand at a time of comfort and convenience, but where they stand at challenge and controversy.”—Martin Luther King Jr.
I have come to understand that through grief and suffering in the experience we call life, it’s human nature for us to lament, to be moved to express our pain and sorrow. It is the price we pay for loving someone so much that it feels like losing them will kill you. I often thought about why I went through such extreme long suffering but found no answers – it was just part of life and something we all experience sooner or later.
Then, my hypnosis appeal was denied by the Texas court of criminal appeals (CCA). When I got the news that we had lost and would have to move forward with Plan B, it took me about 5 minutes for me to shake off the loss, and ACCEPT the fact that for whatever reason, it just wasn’t time for me to go free. We’re far from the end with regards to exhausting legal appeals, what this means to me in real time is I will be here for four or five more years, and I’ve accepted that.
As I come to this point of acceptance in my life I realized why I was put through such extreme pain, heartache and long suffering – my parents dying, losing home and our dream, one of my best friends abandoning me – all of that. In an instant I knew that I was put through that to be able to stand tall and keep pushing forward when this loss hit me. Because this is one of the biggest losses I can experience. And I’ll tell you something it was blow, a hard body blow no doubt but I’ve reached a place of such strength that the loss of my hypnosis appeal did not even cause me to break my stride. It’s full speed ahead now more than ever. And the reason I was able to absorb such a blow and keep moving was because of the extreme losses I experienced these past two years.
Dedicated to the Struggle for Life and Justice and Peace for All!
Charles D. Flores No. 99299
Texas death row
June 1st 2020