Chapter 1 - A Life of Violence, Crime, and Drugs

My hair was very long toward the end of the 1960's. I wore an earring and a ring in my nose. I carried a crowbar and a meat cleaver, but later found a gun to be more practical. I used all kinds of drugs including LSD, speed, psilocybin, marijuana, hashish and alcohol. I rode around with a motorcycle club and wore the same dirty clothes month after month.

I became involved in all kinds of crime. One day I might be making arrangements for a prostitute to turn a trick so I could have my cut of the money. The next day I might be planning to steal something or selling something that was stolen or selling drugs. It really didn't matter much to me what it was as long as I profited by it. I would hurt anyone that got in my way, even my own family. In fact I had grown so cold in my heart and so far from God that it would have been very easy to take someone's life. The truth is I planned on it on more then one occasion. However I had already been behind bars too many times. Not being certain I would get away with ending anybody's life, (without ending up in prison) it prevented me from carrying out the evil that was in my heart.

Once when I was living in Rockford, Illinois and needed to settle a score with a man in Chicago I took three friends and drove south. When I found the neighborhood I wanted it seemed the streets were totally empty. We pulled into a gas station to get better directions and realized it was closed like everything else. We had decided to use the phone in front of the station when it seemed as if every cop in Chicago pulled into the station at the same time. They were in no mood for playing games as they tore our car apart. They searched me at least three times. They found my gun of course, but this seemed like such overkill that I couldn't understand it. If we had been listening to the radio we might have heard there was a race riot in progress.

Well, well, can you just imagine that? The Chicago police had caught four armed white boys who had come to their fair city for a short visit during a race riot. There was no point in even trying to talk to them. We were in a police wagon with an overweight cop and a shotgun (he had the shotgun) before we realized what was going on anyway.

I seriously doubt Cook County jail has ever been more overcrowded. It took them forever to process that many prisoners. I was beginning to think we would never be fed. I believe it must have been when they were doing the paper work that Chicago's finest began to realize they had been a little over zealous. (Don't misunderstand; I'm not trying to be critical as I probably would have done the same in their position.)

We had after all broken no laws by attempting to use a public pay telephone. They had no legal right to search us or our car. What this all boiled down to is this. If the police turn up a gun during an "Illegal search and seizure" it is a simple matter to have the evidence suppressed. No weapon, no charges, Simple as that.

As it dawned on someone that we would eventually walk away from these charges a decision must have been made "to teach us a lesson". They used holding cells where prisoners can be held temporarily while processing the paper work or whatever. These cells might have been made for 30 or 40 prisoners but now were bursting with 75 or more. During race riots at least, the cells would be segregated. The Chicago police department placed the four of us in an all black cell (No, I'm not trying to say it was painted black).

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