Thursday, April 05, 2012

I’m Friends With A Murderer

Hi kiddies…. This is the waaaaay too overdue next installment of my 2 Truths and a Lie.

You remember what that is, right? I made 3 statements in that post. Two of them are true and the other one is a lie.

Well, I thought it was finally time to admit one of my “truths”.

I am friends with a murderer.

Let’s back up a bit.

About 15 years ago, I used to play this “play by mail” game. The details aren’t important, but all you need to know is that there was this game that thousands of people were playing at the same time. Once a week, you would send this company a list of orders you wanted your team to enact, and once they had everyone’s orders, a computer would process them all, and send you the results. Sexy, right?

Anyway, I used to enjoy it. It was a wargame, and I found pleasure each week in receiving my results in the mail (this was pretty much pre-internet) and seeing how my army of orcs and knights were laying waste to the other player’s cities.

Sometimes, I would form alliances with other players. When that happened, we would exchange email addresses so we could form strategies together.

One week, I agreed to ally with this particular player, and instead of sending me an email, I was surprised to find that he sent me a 3 page, hand-typed (by a typewriter!) letter. When I replied to him, I told him next time, just email me because communicating thru computer was so much easier.

But the next month, I once again got a type-written letter from him.

After a few months of this, I finally just asked him why he didn’t want to exchange emails, and I was shocked when he admitted to me that he was in prison and was only allowed to type letters.

That really threw me. His letters were always so eloquent and well-written. I had always pegged him for an eccentric scholar, not a criminal. After thinking about it for a bit, the only conclusion I could come to was that he must have been incarcerated for one thing…. Drugs. Somehow, he must have got caught with some pot or something, and was doing a few months in the pokey. It was the only thing that made sense to me.

After a few more months of correspondence, I finally got the nerve to write to him and ask him what he did to wind up in the slammer, and when he was getting out.

He wrote back to me quickly, and said that he would tell me, but he had to do it in a separate letter, since it was a long story.

THAT certainly got my suspicions up.

One month later, I received another letter by him. His opening sentence floored me.

“I have been in prison since 1978.”

And if the BEGINNING of his tale knocked me on my ass, I really hadn’t read ANYTHING yet.

His story was a long one, going on for many pages, but here’s the 10 cent version:

In 1972, he was living in Florida and at the age of 17, got married right out of high school. He joined the Navy but his wife had a problem with him being away for months on end, and they would fight about it often. They also both were alcoholics, so that undoubtedly made the fights worse.

He said one night when he was home on leave their fight got particularly nasty. She threatened to tell his C.O. about his drinking in order to get him dishonorably discharged. He said that between his rage, that he always had a problem with, and the drinking, he finally snapped and did ‘something’ to his wife.

He spared me the details, except to strongly imply that an axe was involved.

He said that after the incident, he was so horrified by what he had done, that he tried to cover his crime by setting his house on fire. Everything inside, including his wife, was burned to a cinder.

And apparently he DID get away with it. I guess the folks at C.S.I. in 1972 weren’t QUITE what they are nowadays.

He said he went back to the navy, and tried to live his life. But as the months turned to years, the guilt of what he had done kept gnawing at him. He began to see a priest for regular counseling, and, with his help, walked into a Florida police station in the summer of 1978 and turned himself in.

He’s been in jail ever since. The last time he wrote to me, he hoped that he would be granted a parole in 2008, 30 years after he first entered jail.

Needless to say, I was fucking FLOORED. I really didn’t know how to handle it. It felt kind of shitty to ask him to stop writing me after I ASKED him to tell me what he was in jail for, but of course it’s ALSO kind of shitty to murder your wife. Call me a rebel but I’m gonna publically take a stand on that.

So, I continued my correspondence with him, but admittedly I didn’t share too much about myself with him after that, pretty much sticking to only talking about the game.

And every year, up until a few years back anyway, he would send me a Christmas card, sent from the prison, wishing me and my family a wonderful and joyous holiday. I’m still not too sure how I feel about that.

Anyway, that’s my first truth.

One interesting side note: During the course of the game, I learned that one of the people that we were at war with in the game, was ALSO in inmate at the same prison as my ‘friend’. My buddy wrote me a few times asking me if we could back off attacking this other guy for a while, because he had been giving my friend dirty looks in the cafeteria and he was concerned about there being some bad blood.

THAT was ALL I needed to hear. The last thing I wanted was for this dude to get shanked in the fucking shower one day because I had sent my dragons to attack this guy’s castle.

So, let that be a lesson to you all. Never tell people your mailing address until you’ve first asked them if they’ve ever had a full cavity search.


Happy Mommy said...

Thank goodness you followed up on "2 Truths and a Lie!" I've been wondering if you were ever going to unveil the mystery.

Also? That sounds like it was probably a pretty fun game. I'm sorry I missed out on it.

Slyde said...

chalk the delay up to my extreme laziness...

and it was a fun game. actually, it IS. i think they still run it. Wanna play with me?

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Fucking creepy, dude! I can't say I have befriended an axe murderer.

Slyde said...

NOW you have!


Verdant Earl said...

Phew! I thought you were gonna tell, um, you know...that OTHER story you promised to never repeat. Remember, I'm watching you...

Slyde said...

is that why you are always outside my house in a storm wearing a rain slicker?

Verdant Earl said...

Actually, I was inside your house in a storm wearing a rain slicker. Didn't want the blood to stain my silk pajamas.

Anonymous said...

no. way.

Bruce Johnson said...

I was so hoping this was about Earl.....(I have always had my suspicions....)

sybil law said...

Awww - I hope you sent the murderer a Christmas card.
That's kinda sad - I mean, he DID turn himself in, afterall.

elizabeth said...

"THAT was ALL I needed to hear. The last thing I wanted was for this dude to get shanked in the fucking shower one day because I had sent my dragons to attack this guy’s castle."

I've been laughing for 5 minutes straight. Why is this so funny to me? Shit. I used to dress up in Medieval clothes and go to events where knights battled to the death. We were all geeks. That's why I like us. (still laughing)

Mrs. Hall said...

huh. well. there ya go.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Wow. Do you still live at the same address? I would be worried that your "friend" would come looking for you when he got out. It's a heck of a lot easier to be cordial when you are corresponding via letters.

Slyde said...

earl: that was YOU? that explains alot.

paula: way.

lotus: oh, dont worry. Earls done stuff that makes this story look like a day at the library...

sybil: isnt it? We should let ALL murderers free who admit it!

liz: wait, YOU did the Ren Fair stuff? i would never have guess it. Do you have any pics of you in a corset?

Holly: Yup, there i go.

Candy: nope, but my mother in law still lives there. Should i be concerned, or happy?

Chantel said...

Frankly, this ENTHRALLED me! Most facinating thing I have read all damn day! My first husband was a convicted felon and I met him as a penpal while he was in prison. No shit. But THAT is another tale, my friend...

"Never tell people your mailing address until you’ve first asked them if they’ve ever had a full cavity search." If I'm ever on a dating site again, I'm listing this as a requirement.

Radioactive Tori said...

Wow! I know a murderer too. When I was in college it is possible that I hung out with some sketchy people. At one point, we went over to some guy's house. He seemed nice enough. A few days later it was all over the news that he had walked into a fast food place and shot like 7 people. At first I didn't know it was the same guy, since I only had met him a few times and only knew his first name. Then they showed a picture on tv and I was shocked that I had been at his house. Crazy!

It seems like your guy had a lot of remorse though, and actually you have to give him credit for turning himself in, right?

Anonymous said...

Being an Italian I'm going to plead the 5th here as to whether or not I may or may not know any murders. ;)

This is just Cah-reepy!

Thanks for stopping by lit'l corner of the asylum and commenting. I'm now stalking you "bloggee style." ;)

Yvonne said...

Wow! Now I don't feel as bad about the guy that contacted me on a dating site and listed his residence as: Huntsville State Prison! lol That's really creepy what happened to you!