New Years Day

Interview with a Murderer

It’s New Years Day and the world is hung over. Today seems like a good day to interview an inmate convicted of murder.

J How old are you Brian?
B Thirty-four

J How old were you when you were arrested?
B Nineteen. I can remember bein' on the bus goin' to prison. I was cryin' and some old-timer told me not to worry because I’d be lookin’ back on this day and thinkin’ it was all just a bad dream.

J You killed someone?
B Yeah.

J How?
B I shot him.

J Why?
B He was gonna stab my friend.

J Can you explain what happened?
B We were at a club called , and my friend – a big Mexican dude – got into an argument with a guy who he’d bought an ounce of crystal from. My friend was showin’ off in front of a bunch of women, and he hit the dude. The dude acted all cool at first, he backed off and said that everything was okay. Then he returned with a huge, buck knife and went for my friend, so I shot him.

J Were you drunk or on drugs?
B I was buzzed from drinkin’ a fifth of Jack Daniels. I wasn’t on drugs.

J What happened next?
B It was like...a…lucky shot. I used a .357 Magnum. A .357 Magnum makes a hole the size of a grapefruit if it hits someone. (Brian makes a fist.)

J What did you think when you looked at him and saw him dead with a massive head wound?
B I told myself that I had really fucked up. I regretted it immediately.

J How does it feel to kill a man?
B I had nightmares for months.

J In your dreams could you see him, his dead body, the hole in his head?
B As well as the nightmares, I couldn’t stop thinking about it for months. I replayed it over and over again.

J Are you still having nightmares?
B No.

J So you shot him in the club?
B Yeah.

In front of how many witnesses?
B Maybe forty.

J You killed someone in front of forty witnesses, in the State of Arizona and you didn’t get the death penalty, how come?
B I come from a good family. I was in college. I played football. The victim was a biker – a member of the Hell's Angels. He was a known drug dealer and always in trouble. He even had a one-hundred-thousand-dollar contract out on him. The police didn’t care too much about his death.

J How’d you know about the contract?
B My attorney told me. The prosecutor wanted to know if I’d killed him to collect the contract money.

J How much time did you get?
B Fifteen years.

J When do you get out?
B January.

J What’s the first thing that you want to do when you get out?
B Go to church.

J What else?
B Put flowers on the victim’s grave.

J Most inmates, when asked that question, say they want to get laid. Is sex a priority?
B No. I’ve been gettin' laid.

J In here?
B Yeah.

J With men or women?
B Women. Whiteshirts.

J What’s a whiteshirt?
B Kitchen workers who are contracted from outside.

J How many whiteshirts have you had sex with?
B Three.

J You had sex with them in the kitchen?
B In the freezer actually.

(We laugh)

J What does serving fifteen years feel like?
B Like a rollercoaster. Ups and downs. Its hardest around Christmas time and other holidays because that’s when I miss my family the most.

J Are you in a relationship with a woman?
B Nah. I learnt that relationships make your time harder on you. It’s best to be friends.

J Does killing a man make you view yourself differently?
B Yeah. I feel guilty because of what I did.

J I see. Can you describe what it feels like to be known as a convicted killer?
B Imagine the worst crime or thing that you ever done to a person in your entire life. How does that make you feel? Now imagine if everyone knew what you’d done. How would that make you feel? That’s what I have to live with every day of my life.

J What are you plans for when you get out?
B I’m gonna attend a culinary course.

J And then what?
B I’d like to get a job as a chef…ideally on a cruise ship or for a hotel company. I want to see the world, especially Greece, France and England. Some of the best chefs in the world are French.

That’s a good plan. No more sex in freezers though!

(We laugh)

J Thanks for the interview. Good luck out there.
B I’ll be alright.

(We shake hands)

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jon, thanks for a really frank interview, and I think that gun crimes such as Brians are because of the easy accessibility of guns in the US. Young men especially after drink and drugs will get into fights and if there are guns near by they will use them. Brian doesn't sound like a bad person and I think he is the victim of an insane violent society that allows its children to kill each other with guns. When will they bring in laws on gun control?
Jeanette, Merseyside