Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • I was 23 when I met Sandy at Missouri State Penn.
    He was sort of a leader of the Lifers group.

    He had, I think, "life" plus
    three hundred and some years.
    I always thought it was funny
    you could have "life"...
    and years after that.
    Like after your death, your ghost would still be sitting in one of those cells serving out time.

    I heard Sandy was tough
    but he was really one of the sweetest guys I ever met.
    It was hard for me to imagine
    he shot his wife and her lover.

    That is, until I read his journal.
    I told him to write it
    and he'd send a few pages
    at a time.

    And I would read it.

    He had grown up in a whore house because that's where
    his mother worked.

    He was missing a few fingers because his grandmother
    had run over his hand with a lawnmower, ...

    So when he was fifteen
    he stole his brother-in-law's
    ID and went to Vietnam.
    He was in the Special Forces, which he explained to me,
    taught him the art of killing people in a variety of ways.

    He kept writing his journal pages.
    There was something awful
    he had to get out.
    I guess you could say
    I was his confessor.
    It was a horrendous process for him and he ...
    kept wanting to stop.
    I encouraged him on.

    Finally, when it was all out -
    the thing, that is, ....
    he was free.

    Despite his "Life" plus three hundred and some years.

    As for me, I knew then,
    that evil exists in the world,
    and the damage it does to a person's soul.

    I could tell you, for shock value,
    but no one
    should go through that
    in life - or on paper.

    When he came back
    to the U.S.,
    he was trained
    as a perfect killing machine.
    So when he came back
    to the wife he hoped would be his salvation,
    only to find her with another man,
    he did what he was trained to do.

    I'm not excusing it,
    no, ...
    I'm just saying,
    he had absolutely no filter.
    He was filled with
    and over-flowing with

    I burned his journal in a fireplace.
    Hoping that, like the phoenix,
    his life would rise anew
    out of the ashes.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.