Prison 1975

Prison 1975

I remember one vision I was walking through the woods with some other people after we had tried to rob someone, we had left my car a ½ mile away from where we were and there was no reason to suspect a problem with the cars location. All at once I was completely caught off guard and saw exactly who and what waited at my car. I was in a highly aware state as we had just botched a robbery attempt, but there still was no reason to expect trouble at the car. The others with me would not believe me when I told them we could not go to car so we kept on and found out my vision was right. It was exactly as I had seen it. I did not believe the vision when I had it even though it was sooo real. Latter I came to believe that I connected with the universe to see what was happening as it happened even though there was no physical way to see.

Perhaps this is why I was where I was and with who I was, so I could experience this state of in-tuneness, through this period I was a observer, a follower, I had no original ideas or input, I just was along for the ride. I will try to explain who I was with and why. I had met two brothers who had a gang and were drug dealers as well as thieves. They never had intentions of working for a living. In my eyes of the time they were a good place to be an observer. I could fit in. they had money and drugs and were willing to share, they accepted me as I was, I was low on confidence and non-judgmental. I hated myself for various failures and blamed my parents and the unfairness of the world for my bad life. So one day when they told me they had a deal set up with a man who managed a jewelry store in a mall to steal the jewels I was all for it. After all we would not need weapons and no one could get hurt, it would only hurt the insurance company and I had always seen insurance companies as criminals in suits with the law on their side. So I jumped at the idea of a little pay back, hurting the real bad guys. I was to naïve and stupid to realize I was set up from beginning to take the fall. I was too full of altruistic ideas of justice. I was also trusting of people’s words, and way to low on self-confidence. As a child the idea of Robin Hood left a real impression on me. This is a thin justification but I truly believed in it at the time. I was less interested in getting rich than I was in hurting people or organizations that got rich of hard working people. This was not my first experience with the wrong side of the law. It was not a president setting experience. I will explain later about that. I saw this as a continuation of a road I had chosen. My mind was somewhat fogged by drink and drugs.

So everything went according to plan and we used my car and my four sets of overalls I had from my time at East Coast Aero Tech to go in the back door and tie up all the employees and rob the store. No one got hurt and we got away with it. Then when the jewels were taken to Road Island to the fence something went wrong and I ended up with only a little money, 1000 dollars out of 100,000 taken.

 Between the time we robbed the store and when I would get my share, I was completely broke and unemployed. It would be a couple of weeks till they could fence the jewels. These guys had a plan to rob a man who they had convinced me, screwed over a lot of people. He was a very bad man who had robbed many people of their savings and needed to be taught a lesson. According to the story he kept all his money in a safe at home and there were no alarms. All they needed me to do was walk up to the door while they worked their way around the back and ask to use phone because my car broke down. So we planned to leave my car in a parking lot near this place and walk to it. Then as they worked around through woods I would knock on door and get them to open it. Then they would jump guy and take his money and run. If all went right no one would get hurt. So we did this and when I knocked on door an old woman came out and I asked to use phone. Now at this time it is a little late to back out, then one of the guys I was with came running out of woods looking like a crazy lunatic, he even scared me and woman ran into house and locked door. I ran off as it was not going to work and we all ended up circling around in woods to get to car. This is when I had my epiphany, I could see cops all around my car and ready to arrest us. Then we walked out into back side of parking lot and half way across saw about a dozen cops waiting for us. We all ran but I got caught in woods and taken off to jail. I don’t think any others got caught. I told them I did not know anything about anything and told them I was only asking for phone when crazy people attacked. People I did not know. They charged me with attempted armed robbery and I got bail. At this time I figured they had nothing on me. I had no gun and was just asking to use phone. The guys I was with asked me why I did not break screen door and hold her, I asked them what we were doing robbing a old woman. I was defiantly not down with that.

 I went with a guy I had met, who actually was the guy that introduced me to these guys, to Virginia Beach to get out of the area for a while to let things cool off and have an alibi in case later questioned. Also I needed to have some time to think and figure out what I was doing and why. We had been in Virginia Beach for all of a day when while standing on the board-walk watching the girls walk by and smoking a joint this girl looked at me and I saw something special in her. I asked her if she wanted to get high and she did so we smoked and walked in broad daylight. This was a time when everyone smoked. After the sun went down she and I went back to my car and had sex for a couple of hours. I cannot believe I was so bold then but when I felt something it was all that mattered. We slept in the car and in the morning decided I wanted to go back to mass. So off we went. I felt in love and very happy. Nancy W. was the answer to all I had been wishing for. She was down to earth, beautiful, loved sex and into me. I did not know much about her, she was from North Carolina, hated her family as much as I did mine, and was up for adventure.

We pretty much stayed stoned on the ride back to Massachusetts. We had sex a couple of times in this 15 hour ride. I had my friend drive so I and Nancy could occupy the back seat of my 1968 ford wagon. I remember telling my friend to be very careful of speeding and especially in the town of auburn mass. As that was the town we robed the jewelry store. I had a pistol under the seat I had gotten for self-protection. I had never bothered to get a license to have one, I felt it was wrong to need one. After all there is the second amendment, right? Massachusetts had put in a new law a year or so before that if you had an unlicensed hand gun it was a mandatory one year jail term. Well while I was otherwise occupied in the back seat my friend decided to go 60 mph in a 30 mph zone in the town of auburn mass. While there was a cop driving down the road, he actually passed the cop. Needless to say the cop pulled us over. I still don’t know if he did it on purpose or if he was just too stoned to notice. He asked me if we should try to out run him, now we are in my car registered to me, the cop obviously has already gotten the plate number and we are driving a ford wagon, so he thinks we can out run a police radio. I tell him to pull over and stop. I don’t have a driver’s license but he does, and he was driving. So we do the license registration thing and after running the paper work the cop asks me if he can search the car. Now I’m worried because of the gun under the seat, but I had had good luck with this kind of thing before so I figure he will get a warrant if I say no so I say sure go ahead hoping he will not look hard since I am cooperating. Well he found it and it is loaded, a big no no, so off to jail we go. At this point I figure I am going down for a gun charge but that is all. Well when I get to police station they start asking me about the robbery and where I was and tell me they know I did it. They show me the overalls that we used and I see a woman brought in and asked if she recognizes me. Now you need to know we buried the overalls in a swamp in a different town and we wore masks during the robbery. So I start putting two and two together and figure out something smells bad. I am no snitch and refuse to tell them anything, I don’t have any idea what they are talking about and I was in Virginia Beach. Now I am charged with possession of a hand gun and armed robbery even though I did not have any weapon when I did rob store. I am taken to county jail waiting on family to post bail and get out. While I am there I am very worried about Nancy. I told them many times that even though I was not admitting to anything she was completely innocent and did not have any knowledge of gun in car. While I was in county lockup my friend accused me of being a rat and even sucker punched me. Now I know I was being set up but I still do not know by whom. So I post bail and go to find guys I was with and ask what the f is going on.

As it works its way out Nancy is not charged with anything and I end up in prison with a straight 20 year jail term. Before we get there though I spend a few weeks not being able to find people I was involved with I go into hiding with Nancy and cannot decide what to do. I could go away and try to start new life somewhere with new name. But I don’t want to spend life looking over shoulder. Nancy cannot decide what she wants either, so we live with sister till one day police come to her door and she lets them in. I go away to jail. I plead guilty in the hopes of not going to Walpole. They have enough evidence against me that there is no advantage to a trail. Even though charges are for armed robbery and I never in my life hold a gun on anyone or use one in a crime, I figure it is a small point. The one exception is when I pointed a gun at my father years before, but that was completely different than using a gun in a crime.


 I was sent to concord state prison for processing. My father and mother came to visit me one time and as it happened this would be the last time I would see my father. He died while I was inside, Nancy came to see me one time before I went to concord and told me she was pregnant, I would never see her again and have never been able to track her down. After processing I was sent to Bridgwater state prison which is sort of something out of the middle ages. You have a bucket in cell to use for a toilet and no electricity. 4 x 8 cell. In am you are marched down to a recreation room with yard attached. There is one guard in between and you have run of area till night when you are marched to cell. Rec room has pool tables and electricity there is a shower and bathroom on other side of yard. To be honest I was a bit scared of what would happen to me if I stayed here. I had long hair and raggedy clothes. They did not provide prison clothes, you wore what you had. I befriended a guy that was similar to me a long hair. One day he set me up so I was standing with my back to door to yard, the next thing I know I have an arm around my neck pulling me back through door. Then six sets of hands holding on to me. I try to fight but too many and I lose the battle. They carry me across yard and through me into shower room. I guess I was supposed to get the idea to shower but I am scared and went to guard and tell him I want to be put in protective custody. This involves solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. It is hard and gives me time to think also I can shower without worry of rape. But this only last for a couple of months before they transfer me to other side of prison which is a state hospital. The hospital is for criminally insane people, the kitchen is run by regular prisoners like me. Here it was almost like being back in the navy. I was in a dorm room with four people and I had a job to do 8 hours a day. The room mates were lifers with murder convictions and I did not sleep well for a while. After a while I settled in and started running a couple of miles a day to stay in shape and working out in gym with the guys and studying martial arts as well as reading as much as I could. I was informed that there was a pre-release program at the VA hospital in Jamaica plain and I would qualify for it. So I applied. I was interviewed and reluctantly they accepted me. It seems my military service had benefits after all.

I was serving a twenty year sentence but I could qualify for parole in two years if I was deemed worthy. I did not expect to be found worthy but I figured maybe I could find out why I was living such a fucked up life. I had finally realized that it was my problem and I was doing something wrong. Up to this point I had blamed my parents and my family and circumstances and fate. But somewhere in the solitude of solitary confinement I had to accept it was me. My eyes were opened for the first time and I realized if i was the problem then I could find the problem and change it. To this day I still say the best thing that ever happened to me was going to prison. It was the intervention I needed. I only wish I could have it removed from my record. A person’s record never shows a person. It only shows one side.


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