“Letters Noir”— A Letter from Prison

July 24, 2013

My Loving Wife,

Today I had a troubling thought process. I was watching a show on The History Channel about serial killers, and (of course) they did a segment about the BTK killer, Dennis Rader. It was interesting because he’s from Wichita and I’ve personally seen him (through the window of his cell), but one thing about the show kind of got to me a little.

As the show was narrating about him, describing his crimes, it showed a brief clip of him walking in shackles, wearing a red prison jumpsuit, walking between buildings in the R.D.U. Unit of the El Dorado Correctional Facility. I saw that, took a deep breath, and realized something: I walked that exact same sidewalk, wearing an identical red jumpsuit, being escorted across the compound numerous times during my seven weeks in R.D.U.

I couldn’t help but think, am I somehow on the same level as him? Have I just been kidding myself? Am I a much worse person than I think of myself? I saw on the news today that a woman from Kansas last week received less prison time than I did, and she killed her own baby.

Am I really that bad of a person? I mean, I know that there are people in this world (whether they know me personally or not) who will forever hate and despise me for what I’ve done, no matter how different I am when I’m released and no matter what positive things I do with my life once I’m out. And one of the most bothersome things about that is the fact that many of the people condemning me for my past are the same people who call themselves “Christians” and claim to believe in things like repentance and forgiveness. Yet, they will still look down their righteous holier-than-thou noses at me. Then again, maybe they’re right. Perhaps I really am that bad of a person. But I try not to think so. I know you don’t think so, and I believe God doesn’t think so either. Perhaps that is all that should matter.

Oh, if only it was…




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