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Frank is an advocate for perhaps the most universally despised group in America: sex offenders.
Produced by Steven Jackson and Chloe Prasinos.
This episode is brought to you by:
The Affair from Showtime. Season 2 starts on October 4th.
Frank – Advocate
Just to set the stage for you… Mid-morning, blinds were closed, I grabbed an empty bottle and I headed down to the water store, because I knew I was going to be drinking some coffee, and I like good water. I had a client right after that, at ten o’clock; I was going to go straight to them, and I decided not to, I decided to come back and drop that bottle of water off first. Well, when I started up the street and got within eyesight of my front door, I saw it was open. I’m like, “I didn’t forget to shut that… Hm!” And there was an odd car parked in the driveway. So I start up into the house, up the steps, and I notice pieces of plaster on the ground. I notice that the doorjamb has been wildly jammed aside and broken. I head in towards the dining room, and there stands a tall, young man, well-built, and in his right hand was my framing hammer, and in his left hand was my sledgehammer.
I could see no pupils in his eyes, and immediately I thought, “This guy’s on drugs, probably meth.” That was David. And I said, “What the fuck is going on here? What the fuck is going on here?!” He turned towards me, while raising his right hand, with the hammer, and I knew that this was an attack starting, and he said, “What the fuck are you gonna do about it, you sick motherfucker?” And when he said ‘sick motherfucker’, that didn’t resonate with somebody who’s a robber. Why would they say that?
What was going through your head?
Get out of the way. Get that bottle up, because that hammer’s coming down, and BOOM! And then again, as I’m backing up, BOOM! And that’s, I guess, when the head of the hammer got stuck in the bottle, and that knocked it then out of my hand. It exploded, as I hit the railing with my back, and I went up and over, and down onto the ground behind me.
Fortunately, my head didn’t hit the curb, but the impact dazed me for a moment, and as I came around to a more conscious level, and started to get up to protect me and find that attacker and where the hell he was, I noticed the hammer was sitting next to me. Now I had a weapon. So I pick it up, looking for the attacker, and I see him coming around the bush as I’m backing up now, and then he starts again, and his comment is, “I’m gonna fuck you up, you pervert.” I believe that was his word, ‘pervert’. It’s like, okay, this has got to do something with my past.
His feet are now being kicked at me, and I’m blocking them, and holding the hammer, ready to strike. And right about here, I raised and said, “Hey, what the fuck are you doing?” And he looked at me, dazed and confused, like he really didn’t know what he was doing. Then I saw what had softened then become hard again, and that rage. And then the fist and feet again, and I backed up more. And again, I raised the hammer – this time even higher – and said, “Hey!” and he stopped. He pointed to his temple and said “Hit me”, really soft. “Hit me.” And then it got more intense, “Hit me!” and then more intense, “Hit me!!” and then “HIT ME!” – four times, and then he came at me again and this time I was able to get around and start to move out towards the street, instead of heading up into a dead end.
So you were running…?
I am backing up as fast as I can.
And you’re watching him at your back?
I am keeping my eye on him, and as… That second time I was considering laying him out, but I decided not to because at that moment, when I said, “Hey, what are you doing?” I saw a confused little kid, and it’s like, “Wait a minute… There’s something there.” I shouldn’t kill it, so I didn’t, and that’s when I saw a next-door neighbor, and I hailed his name, and at that point David had picked the sledgehammer back up and he was coming my way. I’m like, “Okay, this is dueling hammers. Here we go.” David turned and saw the neighbor and decided, “Okay, I’m getting out of here,” and he threw the sledgehammer at me, and unfortunately I was not able to dodge it completely, and it hit my left knee, directly head-on, but he got around to the side of his car, got in it and sped away. I was grateful to see him go.
Let me ask a question… Can we take a break?
Yes. You should ask it any moment.
Okay… Because this is kind of intense, so I kind of like to have a little tobacco. Would you like a warm-up on your coffee?
I’m good on the coffee…
Let’s take a break… [voice fades out]
* * *
Hi, my name’s Frank, and I’m a registered citizen in the state of California, also known as a sex-offender. And I just wanna let you know that that’s not who I am, that’s something I did 35 years ago. It’s not who I am today, and so I don’t particularly care for that title. I will accept the title of a registered citizen right now, because that’s what I am – I’m a citizen and I’m required by law to register, because I had sexually offended in the past, and I am not able to get myself off of that registry in the state of California, because it is a lifetime registry. So I work with a group of individuals in order to change the laws so that people like me that have demonstrated they can be whole, healthy citizens can relieve themselves of this nightmare that is involved with being a registered citizen and/or sex offender.
The stocks were for humiliating somebody that had done something errant. They were done away with quite a while ago, but the registry is nothing but stocks, that hold somebody in shame. The punishment does not fit the crime. Lifetime registry in the cases of some of these registrants is just not warranted; it’s egregious. You have an 18-year-old that has a 17-year-old girlfriend, and the parents on the girl’s side get tweaked and they report it, he’s on the registry for life. You have a 16-year-old girl that takes a nude selfie and sends it to the boys, and the boy’s mother gets a hold of the phone and looks at it, and she now has been accused of creating and distributing child pornography, and she’s on the registry for life. You’re caught peeing on the side of the road or behind the sports bar? Registry for life. The point we’re trying to make with our organization is that one size does not fit all in these cases, and that they need to be looked at individually, and those that are severely errant and incapable of correcting their lifestyles, yes, they need to be watched; the public needs to know about them. But to shame and blame them all, and make them all look like these horrible incidents that you hear about, that’s not right either. Two wrongs don’t make a right. You know, it’s been okay to wrong the sex-offender; it’s been okay. Take their money, it’s okay. Abuse them, it’s okay. It’s not okay. You can’t just try to throw away a segment of society by legislating them out of existence.
The whole idea is prevention here. How do we keep children safe? How do we prevent abuse from happening? And typically it’s been ‘contain the red dots.’ Make their lives miserable, wind it down to where they’re not moving anywhere, they’re staying in their homes and staying away from people because they’re all broken, they’re gonna all do it again. Well, that hasn’t worked; the abuse rates have not come down. There are those that are so severely addicted to this action of having illegal sex with someone; for some reason, they’re attracted to that. They feel drawn to do that, that is their way of releasing, as in the definition of pedophile is someone who just can’t have sexual gratification unless it is with a child. Does it ever go away? For me, it did. For me, it did. That’s not a concern of mine. What is it like being a person like that? I don’t know. I would imagine that’s a nightmare, a huge nightmare. God… You know, I can’t imagine; I just can’t imagine that, because I know for me what it was like wanting to have relations more than I was having relations. I had a big drive, and it wasn’t always satisfied; I always wanted more. Age appropriate, but wanting more. That was a nightmare at a certain stage in my life, kind of around this stage when this happened.
So like in your 20s?
20s, big time. Raging testosterone, raging desire to do that. Becoming bored with one partner, wanting to move to another partner. It was just nothing but ego, tied to testosterone bump.
It sounds like you’re saying you were grateful to have your hand slapped, in a way…
I was, because then that started me re-examining everything that I was doing, including this insatiable need to go out and try to score women that would want to get together and do the happy dance; but it wasn’t fulfilling. It’s like, okay, this is not leading in the right direction. There is something beautiful about a young lady, especially when they’re walking around in string bikinis. Would I look? Do I desire to bed them down? No. Are there those that might? Yes, they might, and that’s a struggle. We need to give them an outlet for that.
Follow-up programs that are confidential, that aren’t going to land them back in jail for ten years for something they thought. That’s a tough sell to the general public because they’re under the impression that they should just be locked up and the key thrown away.
Similar to like a suicide prevention hotline.
Exactly. And intervention, at least by phone, could be provided, to hopefully stop the thoughts from becoming action.
And the person on the hotline is articulating to someone who’s having those thoughts the harm that that abuse could inflict?
Sure, sure. Not only to the victim, but dude, if you get caught, let me tell you what your life is gonna turn into. Try to get a job. You have a job right now? Try to keep that job. Oh, and you have a nice car? Oh, well, without a nice job, you’re probably not gonna be able to keep that car. A house? A girlfriend? You might as well kiss it goodbye. Oh, by the way, you can’t live in this city, or that city, or this city, or that city because they’ve got ordinances that ban you. If I had someone to talk about those errant thoughts that I was having, it would have never happened because I would have had someone that would be able to give me some idea of the harm it would cause to that person, and I had no framework of that. My framework came from what I had experienced as a kid, and the game of sex. It wasn’t abusive to me, I didn’t feel harmed. It was more like play.
You’re referring to when you were a kid?
When I was a kid.
So at 26 when the offense happened, did you still kind of have that…?
Well, I have to tell you that that experience happened in a very drunken state. How it got started, I’m not quite sure, but it got started. I wasn’t thinking enough the harm it would cause, because at the moment it wasn’t causing harm according to her.
So it was consensual?
I don’t want to say that, because she’s not sitting here and cannot say one way or the other, whether or not she was resistant or receptive.
But you perceived that she…
I perceived that it was receptive, and I can tell you that when she said, “Okay, I don’t wanna do this anymore,” it was over. It was not, “Oh, let’s keep going,” no. There were no threats, no violence, and I woke up the next morning going, “Oh, man… I shouldn’t have done that.”
Back in the ’70s, you could not pick up a men’s magazine without reading at least one story of the adolescent and the adult. It was pervasive. It was almost okay, strangely enough. It was being written about all the time. I guess that’s what made it okay for me to not listen to that voice that was saying, “This is wrong, don’t do this.” But I went ahead and did it anyway.
The day of my offense, it was a day that I had off. Because it was a day off, and because I was no longer enjoined to my first wife, who had left about six months prior, it was kind of a lonely space, so I filled a lot of that time with drinking. I headed over to the corner liquor store probably about ten in the morning to pick up some alcohol. Leaving that store, I heard someone call my name from an apartment that was across the street from that liquor store, and went over to chat. Inside there was two to three other guys, and they had a weights bench activity going on. Each one was taking turns pressing weights. My upper body strength is pretty good, so eventually I asked to try, and the weights they had on there were pretty light.
As the day progressed, the weights got heavier, and in-between, for libation, I would take a little of this Wild Turkey that I had purchased; a nice, bolstering shot. At some point I started having a little beer with that Wild Turkey as well, and the weights kept going up, and up, and up, and the day wore on and on, and at some point this young lady showed up. There was somehow… Some teasing got started, and that progressed.
What kind of teasing?
You know, those are kind of sketchy detail, and I just don’t want to go into the details of what happened, because that leads constantly down this road of talking about this incident, and that is just something I don’t want to do, because she’s not here. But it… Yeah, that’s how it got started, then I asked her, “Do you wanna continue doing this?” and she said, “Yes,” so I said, “Well, my house is little ways away.” She got permission from her parents and we walked over to my house. We spent maybe 15 minutes, maybe 20 in this touchy-feely interaction. At a point she said, “I’m done with this, I don’t wanna do this anymore,” and I said, “Okay.” I walked her back home, and that was it.
I went back home, and immediately started feeling a burden. As this was unfolding, inside me was that voice saying, “This is not right.” By the time I passed out that evening, that little voice was saying, “That was really wrong.” It’s a churning in the stomach, it’s an unrest in the chest that just says, “This was wrong. I should not have participated in this.” But I did. I felt it in my heart that I crossed the line. I should never have let that happen, but there was desire and alcohol that just, if anything, made it more exciting at the moment. I was addicted to that moment.
The day after the incident happened I was kind of walking aimlessly, and there was a church, and I wandered in. I sat alone, I don’t know for how long, to say I’m sorry. I just remembered that.
Two weeks later the parents showed up at my door. I was actually napping on the couch, still trying to stay numb because I just felt horrible about what had happened, it wouldn’t leave my brain alone. Knock on the door, I opened the door and it was her parents.
Did you know her and her parents?
No, I didn’t. That’s the crazy thing. I had never met them, but I had seen them that evening. He made an accusation, and I said “Yes.”
What did he say?
He said, “My daughter told me that…” and I don’t remember the exact words he used, but “you had contact with her.” I’m not sure how he…
He must’ve been angry.
Well, he didn’t look it, and the wife was standing right behind him. But as soon as I said, “Yeah, that happened”, it was like a huge burden. Finally got to admit it. Well, I didn’t know that he had nunchucks in this back pocket, and they came out, and the flailing started. It was everything I could do to fend those blows off as best as possible, but when you’ve got two of those things going on in rapid fire, some of them you miss. But what I was feeling was that rage that I knew I would probably feel if it was my daughter. So I looked at him as being justified for his rage. Didn’t particularly care that it was causing pain, but that’s okay, he needed to get his rage out. It felt good that I had been honest. Immediately his wife ran over to my phone and jumped on the phone; I remember her saying, “You’d better get here quick or he’s going to kill him.” [Laughs]
Cops came, they gave them their version. Cops came over and said, “Did you do this?” and I said, “Yeah.” “Well, what did you do?” So I told them. Then we get to the police station, I’m under arrest, and a couple hours later they come back and say, “Well, we forgot to Mirandize you. Would you be willing to make that statement again?” So again, I could say yes. My attorney, that I contacted several hours later found out about it and he goes, “Oh… We could have gotten you off.” That’s not what I wanted to do. Here I was, holding on to this huge, ugly, dark secret. I’ve done something wrong, I feel like I’m broken. I feel like I’m not human because I’ve done this, and now I have to carry it. And, you know, who can you go and tell? No one. No one.
What’s the code, what’s on the books?
Lewd or lascivious acts with a minor under 14.
How old was she?
I don’t want to go into this, I just really don’t want to go into the details. Not until she’s sitting next to me some day and she can say, “Yes, that’s exactly what happened.” Because otherwise, as I begin to that, you know, first it starts with age, and then all of a sudden you’re hearing things that you would not believe. “Kids don’t do that…” So I don’t tell the story.
Frank, I gotta ask you something. I keep hearing what sounds like justification, and maybe it’s because it’s been 35 years, you’re tired of saying you’re sorry about it. I don’t know what it’s like, but there is this… You distance yourself from it, and it almost sounds like… I don’t know, I mean…
The reason I distance myself, I guess, is because it’s not who I am now. It’s what I did then. It’s not who I am now. It’s something I did do, yes; that’s a matter of record. It’s also a matter of record that it’s something I have not done for 36 years. Does that make me currently a sex-offender? In my mind, no. Now, is there is a propensity maybe for me to fall off the wagon, get super drunk and go out and do something like that again? I think that’s highly unlikely, but in this universe anything is possible.
You throw yourself in the same bag with juvenile offenders, or streakers, but that just wasn’t the nature of your crime and you are past the redemption line. You know, I’m not punishing, but it is different. I think that there are a lot of victims that will say, “When he says you won’t believe it’s because that implies that it was consensual.” Or, “1970s, the cultural zeitgeist was that it was okay”, and all these things, they can’t hear it. And sometimes I can’t hear it, and I get angry with you, Frank, because I feel like you’re lining up all the excuses that are to blame, where it was you that did it.
I should have said no. I should have said no, but I couldn’t muster that up. I just couldn’t muster it up. The excitement level was too high, so I participated. In my prurient, salacious interest. That was not right, and I take full responsibility for that. If in the things that I’ve said it has appeared to be trying to diminish the harm that might have been caused – and I do not know how much harm has been caused… I am hoping that she has had a full recovery, that is my hope. And I’m sorry for being evasive in regards to what the event was, but when I tell it from my recollection, it’s from my recollection, and as you pointed out earlier, I cannot speak for her. I really can’t. Maybe someday she will stand beside me, and she will tell the story, and then we’ll let you decide whether it denotes lifetime punishment.
As far as forgiving myself, the only way I can fully do that is to know that she is okay, and I guess maybe to hear from her that she forgives me; that would help complete it. Or that she doesn’t forgive me. I mean, it could be that way, too. I just don’t know.
* * *
Okay, well, Lifespring was an offering… These were programs for increasing your self-esteem, your self-awareness and your responsibility on the planet. They were considered to be cults, a religious right, they were all over these things about being demon-possessed and what not, but the very first thing, people were told: “This is a safe environment.”
I remember this… We were about three days into the program, about midway through the day, the trainers called out for us to select the partners, and we were going to do a dyad, one-on-one together. So we’re in this dyad, and this subject was given to us that we had to reveal to our dyad partner the worst thing we had ever done. “Oh god, what am I gonna say?” But being said it was a safe environment, I felt okay with letting her know. I simply said that I had molested a child. She held on to my hand, as if to say it’s okay, it’s okay. We were directed back into our chairs to be attentive to the front of the room and quiet, and I was speaking with her a little bit more and trying to lighten it up a little bit, and I was called out for being a disturbance. “Frank, what is so important that you can’t be quiet? Please come up here.” So I went up and he had me sit on his lap, and he said, “Okay, what is so important that you can’t be quiet? What is the worst thing that you’ve ever done?” Then I just… I looked at the young lady that I had told, she looked at me… I would now be a liar if I said anything less than what I had told her, so I told… Oh god, I told the crowd – the microphone was shoved in my face – “I molested a child.” And I do recall hearing a little bit of a reaction, and the fella says, “So how old was she?” And I said, “Well, she was pretty young.” He goes, “How much hair did she have on it?” and I said, “About as much as on your upper lip.” That’s as far as I remember, because things… I went to pieces, I went to pieces at a point. Everybody in the room came up and held me. I was not stoned to death, and that felt good because it was about, I would say, six months after I had gotten out of jail and returned to my home.
Then the next door neighbor I had opened up to, because Lifespring’s all about honesty, so I had opened up to the next door neighbor as they asked why I’d spent some time in jail. Well, that didn’t set well with him, and several nights later I was sitting out on the stoop and he came out with a 2×4 and attacked me. That pretty much told me at that point in time, “This is something you don’t tell people. They have bad reactions. Hm!” So I chose not to tell people.
I got done with my probation and began to build a life. I eventually met a nice woman, we married, we had a child together, I was raising a family, building a business, I came to this community, I wanted to be here, I loved being here, my community loved me, and I wanted to improve my life, and that of the life of my wife and my daughter, so that we can live in a space of love.
Then, in 1995, that all started to unravel, because I was placed back into the abyss. Megan’s Law was crafted by the U.S. Government, and the U.S. Government put it out to the states as a requirement that they have a list of all sex-offenders within their states.
On the internet, right?
On the internet, posted for public viewing. My life changed… First thing it was a couple of folks asking very vehemently about me being a sex-offender, and then the landlord that I’d been paying rent to for my very successful business cancelled his relationship and I then lost 90% of my business, and had to retreat into my home, and try to operate what was left from my home.
It was $100,000 a year, and went down to about $25,000 a year. Last year I brought home $9,000. It just keeps going down.
It used to be stressful to worry about where the money was coming from, or how am I going to make this month’s house payment. I’ve got lots of clients, and it’s whittled down over the years.
Do you think the ones that fell away, fell away because they learned about your past?
I do know, because I’ve had a couple of them call me up and say, “Oh, your services are no longer needed, because we saw you on TV.” “Oh, okay…”
When it came around to telling my daughter, my daughter said, “Oh dad, I’ve known.”
Really? How did your daughter know?
Someone in high-school… I mean, the news media here was relentless. Nightly, the news was saying, “Go to the Megan’s Law website, find out who the sex offenders are in your area. You gotta know.” Okay… And some people did, and they got back to my daughter… I told her that we needed to talk, and we actually sat right here. She sat in the chair there, and I sat on the couch here, and I told her that I had been convicted of a sexual offense, and I was on the registry. And if she had any questions, I was ready and able to answer every one she had. She basically said, “I don’t have any questions, dad.”
I mean, I look at my life, and what should I show? Should I be the loud guy that’s having folks over all the time to show that I’m normal? And then the neighborhood goes, “Oh, that guy parties all the time.” Or should I be quiet and keep a low key, and then “Oh, he’s the quiet guy.” I can’t fucking win. So I just ask folks not to hate.
This happened to a friend of mine in Alaska. He went into the grocery store, he’s picking up vegetables, and sure enough, some lady had seen him on the internet, and announces to the whole store that “There’s a sex-offender over by the vegetables!” It’s a fucking nightmare! And this can happen here, so I don’t go out much. And I’ve had that before, where I’ve walked in and people are like, “Don’t I know you from somewhere? Hm…” And what’s interesting is that people that I’ve had for friends for years, that never knew about this, when they found out about it, several of them were very upset with me because I hadn’t told them. They felt like that was some sort of dishonoring of our friendship. What, was I supposed to wear the Star of David on my forehead so everybody knows when I walk in the room? So I don’t make someone feel uncomfortable by not telling them?
Star of David’s maybe not the best…
That’s what they made the Jews wear…
I know, I follow your logic, but I still disagree with it.
I’m sorry. You know, some sort of mark indicating that…
The scarlet letter.
Yes, scarlet letter. That’s always there. One guy walked down the street, covered with tattoos, and chains, and leather, and I’m looking at this fella out the window and I’m going, “Well, that’s interesting… Never seen him around before.” Well, then he starts coming across the street, he stops right in front of my mailbox, whips his smartphone out and photographs the front of my house. What the fuck is that all about, really? Do I call the police? Hm… Cars that pull up and stop, and look, and point. Oh, interesting… I wonder what they’re talking about. How safe am I in the front yard?
During the attack, in the driveway, when I yelled, “Hey, what the fuck are you doing?” I saw him stop, and the mask of anger and rage had fallen off, and I saw this little kid standing there, confused. Who is this person that attacked me? Who is he? I knew what he was going to be facing as far as this track through the courts. I didn’t want to see a little kid beat, and in the day I had to go in and testify. At a point, the judge was looking one way, the DA was looking another way, and I had an opportunity to give him the prayer sign over the heart, with a quick smile, and he smiled back, and we were on the same page. He knew I was not there to fry him. He appreciated that. I believe that we can help restore folks quicker by loving them, than by hating them. And if I’m gonna advocate it, my gosh, I’d better be willing to do it.
I probably visited him at the county, probably seven or eight times before the judgment, and he was shipped off to Wasco. Then I visited him in Wasco, twice. That felt really weird, because I walked across the open prison grounds, with gun towers, and 20 ft high barbed wire fences with razor wire at the top… You know, I’m like, “Are they gonna let me out?” [Laughs] And as I pointed out to David, as I spoke to him in prison, “One day, when you get out, David, the one thing you won’t have to do is register.” Hm… Murderers don’t have to register; drunk drivers don’t have to register… If anybody is more of a threat and has the highest re-offense rate, it’s drunk drivers. They kill more people annually than sex-offenders have probably ever killed. Cumulatively. So who’s really the danger here?
I think public registry is totally invalid, it should never be done. We got rid of the stocks back in the 1700s, and that’s all the registry is, it’s a set of stocks to hold you up for ridicule. This is kind of how it started off in Nazi Germany with the Jews. First they were told they had to wear the tag, then they were told where they could live, then they were told where they could work… Hm. Then they were told they had to go to the shower. Hm. Interesting. This is what we stand against. We like creating bogeymen, and going after them. Right now, the bogeymen are sex-offenders. They’re hiding in dark places, ready to pounce at a moment’s notice.
Last year a registrant and his wife lost their son in a car accident; they were distraught. He and the wife have for the past dozen years taken a cruise every year. So he, again, books a cruise. Two weeks out he gets a letter from Princess Cruise. Princess Cruise says, “Oh, we’ve discovered that you’re a registered sex-offender, and you will not be allowed on board the ship. By the way, we’re not refunding your money.” They thought they could get away with that. They are in violation of 24.6L in the Penal Code. Some angel, at some point in time, put this into the Penal Code regarding sex offenders, that you cannot discriminate against them in housing, jobs, travel. Well, they had broken the rules, and we had it in black and white. They’re a prime target, and that’s why I’ve got a license plate framed that says, “My other car is a cruise ship.” I wanna own a cruise liner and I’m gonna take every registrant on it, for a world cruise. Fuck you people! You think you can just fuck us? I don’t think so. We’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore. When you bully someone, you know what you get. Columbine. Hm…
When someone gets to the point where they don’t care if they live or die, you’ve got a major fucking problem. And that’s to the point registrants are at. I have talked to registrants that are ready to go ballistic. We’re Americans, we don’t put up with this crap. I take a pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all. I don’t take those words lightly. No, there isn’t a group that you single out and say, “No, you don’t get liberty and justice.” I’m sorry, that’s part of the Constitution. Registrants are forced to live under a fucking bridge in San Diego, by parole agents. “You live anywhere else other than under that bridge and I’ll violate you and send you back to prison, the last place a sex offender wants to go.” We have another one in Los Angeles. He has to spend a night on a fucking city bus! By order of his parole agent! I’m sorry, it gets my angry just talking about it. Can you imagine living that? Ooh, you’re setting yourself up for a big one! Don’t say I didn’t warn you to not be bullies.
It sounds a little like a threat.
It’s just reality. I don’t want it to sound like a threat, I want it to resonate. You fuck with people, you get 9/11. People don’t like bullies. You know, these people are beaten down. I’ve been there, where I laid on this couch for days on end, I never went outside. Those windows were closed, I never looked outside. It was a depressing place, and I have to say, there were times I was thinking, “I could check out. I could check out really easy. Suicide by cop… Why not? I go take out a few, they catch up with me, and just have them do it.” But then I snapped out of it. My daughter, she likes having me around, so I need to stick around. But there are others out there that don’t have daughters. They don’t have anything.
* * *
Can you tell us a little bit about what… You said we wouldn’t believe the whole story… Will you tell us that story? We can turn off our microphone.
Hm… This is interesting, because fear comes up now. Fear comes up, because then I’m gonna have to sit here and consciously remember, so that I can tell the story. Fear comes up of what you’re gonna think of me. Will I become more of a demon, or will I become more human? What do you think?
It’s something that I’ve been thinking about a lot, because I think when we first met I saw you in much simpler terms: you were a good guy who had done a bad thing. And as I’ve gotten to know you better, it’s become more complicated, and I guess I want to hear your truest version of what happened. I think the only reason to ask you to go through it again, and talk about it, is because it’s more true. That’s all that I can arrive at.
I feel kind of differently, I don’t know if I want to know.
Yes, I don’t know if I need to know the details of that night. I mean, we requested the court records and we read.
Did you get the sealed records?
Because there wasn’t much in court records.
No, there wasn’t.
Well, what I’m doing is I’m leaning right now to, okay…
Because I trust you guys that you’re investing so much time in trying to get a full and complete picture, that I owe it to you. That if you want to know, then I should be able to tell you, so you can say to yourself whether or not I’m the story you want to tell. And if I hold back and don’t tell you the story, you may not feel that I’m fully honest, and capable of being that way, and that’s calling to question everything I’ve said. It makes me very nervous. Do you mind if I have a little tobacco?
I do see it potentially being a problem. If somebody hears this and they’re upset with me, I do not want them to come and visit me again, and this might prompt that visit. I think I owe it to you guys.
I do wanna say… I don’t feel like you owe us anything. I don’t want it to seem like we’re pressuring you.
This is a relationship we’ve developed. We’re in a relationship. That’s hugely important. So for you to know that what I have spoken is the truth, then I need to tell the whole truth. So… But we’ll have to turn the recorders off.
Of course. Here we go…
Nick van der Kolk, Host & Director
Steven Jackson, Producer
Chloe Prasinos, Producer