Friday, January 25, 2008


When most people in free society, verses those convicted of a criminal offense, are asked to give a response to what the word "RESPECT" means, most responses are; showing reverence toward another; to show kindness; showing esteem toward another etc.

To the person that is incarcerated, it takes on a series of other meanings. Space; time; not discussing politics of ones' gang; mad dogging, etc. (These can also be interpreted as showing the lack of, or dis-respecting).

The bottom line is that this seven letter word can save one's self or get one killed depending how it is used. A person in the inside can actually be not guilty of committing an act, but to the one who feels dis-respected, it doesn't matter.

The reason that I am bringing this out, RESPECT or DISRESPECT is that in my humble opinion,
some of the prison gangs are coming apart because of it. In the beginning, when the gangs were starting out, there was a certain respect for those that had been around for a longer period of time than the "new inmates". This is one of the reasons that the term "Shot caller" came into existence. There was a respect for their word over others. Most of the "shot callers" were either older "veteranos" or wise for their ages. As time went on and these older inmates went to the federal prisons, died, or became informants the gangs had an influx of youngsters who did not want to take orders from "vietos" (old men) and started pushing their weight around and lost respect for them. Amongst themselves, they believed that they commanded respect when in fact, they in actuality receive little.

Because of this lack of respect, not only amongst themselves but from other gangs, this once the all powerful prison gang will collapse. Law enforcement has been battling them for half a century, but up to a few years ago it had some tough leadership, but now it is like an old friend of mine said back in 1972, "it is like a ship upon the sea, without a rudder".

Saturday, January 12, 2008


During the 1990's in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institutional Division, a food program was initiated to feed the inmates a high protein diet. For whatever reason, the program failed. There were stories of fraud etc. and it was done away with. Some of the inmates felt that they were being used as guinea pigs, and refused to consume this meal. Here is what one inmate decided to do about it.

"Joe Green", not his real name, decided to capture the attention of those in charge of this feeding program. Joe filled several envelopes with his feces and mailed it to them. Needless to say, the recipient's were not pleased at all.

All his mail was scrutinized after this.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Way back in 1972,the Brotherhood, just as did the Sicilian Mob, deny the existence of their respective groups. One difference was that as long as the Sicilian families married other families of Sicilian background there did not seem to be a problem. Once they started marrying outside their Sicilian groups, such as Genovese, Calabrese, things started to change. Members started telling the deep secrets of the mob.

This is not to say after awhile, even Sicilians got into the act.
The early members of the Mexican Mafia also stood their ground. Even when our first "turn-around," Carlos "Pie Face" Ortega told us about the inter-workings, the other members denied the existence. Those members knew, or felt that anyone who violated the eMe trust would be eliminated and their secrets would remain intact. When "Pie Face" testified against a fellow Mexican Mafia member, Gilbert Pedro "Shotgtun" Sanchez, there were several other members that said "Pie Face" did not know what he was talking about. "Pie Face" had been voted into the eMe some 6 years earlier. "Shotgun" was found not guilty and alot of people did not believe that such an organization such as the Mexican Mafia existed.

Another member, was Mike "Slim" Mulhern. After his arrest with the late Frank "Chivo" Buelna, Mike adamently refuted claims that such an organization existed. He also would later give it up. He testified against a high ranking member of the Hell's Angels. Then there was Michael "Acha" Ison. He was a major player from the San Francisco area. In a taped interview with Steve Mallory, he flatly denied the existence of the eMe. Yes, he too gave it up.

There are several other major "shot callers" such as Ramon "Mudo" Mendoza, Rene "Boxer" Enriquez, and others of lesser positions within the eMe that have turn against their fellow members. Some claim born again Christians, others for whatever they could get from the tax payer through the witness protection program, time off their sentence or what have you.

The bottom line is that when one has his back against the wall, and the price is right, most anyone will take what he feels will better fit his need.

Friday, January 4, 2008


Most people have heard the old adage, "A picture is worth a hundred words." Truer words were never spoken in the case of "Pete". For those of you who have spent time "behind the walls" you know what I am talking about. For those who have not, this maybe a lesson to learn.

Some of the best pencil drawings, and paintings that I have seen over the years have been done by inmates. A good example is look at the tattoos that most of the ex-con display, intentionally or not. Most of these two examples are done with some of the crudest tools that they themselves make or have other prison "genuis's" make. I have heard guard after guard, including myself say on ocassions, "this guy could make a lot of money if he would only put his mind to work on the streets instead of wasting away in here."

To get back to "Pete", we arrested him at his home back in the early 1970's. The other cops and I were busy being excited with finding pictures of other convicts, some on the run, some not. As we were about to leave his home, I noticed a small, maybe 10" X 14" painting hanging on the wall. I was facinated with it and asked him what it was about. He told us that it summed up his entire life. I can't remember all that was on it, but here are some of the features:
At the very top was a human skull which represented his pending death. Beneath it was a hypo syringe with a few drops of blood coming out. This represente his drug addiction to heroin. There were numbers, 1, 5, 10, that stood for the years he spent in prison. Two clowns, one smiling and the other crying. He said that it meant Smile now, cry later. It also had the Ace of Spades, which he said was the card of death. He said many times he felt like he was going to die of an overdose, or being killed by someone over a drug deal gone bad. He just recently died in an automobile accident...