Tag Archives: Crime

Don’t Wear Flip-Flops in Española Because You Might Stub Your Toe and Catch AIDS

Española, NM – If I have a major pet peeve it’s wearing socks. Hate’em. Absolutely. Positively. Instead I wear flip-flops. The cheap Old Navy brand that sell for $2 a pair. Because they’re cheap they don’t last long and I end up buying several pair over the course of a summer. According to my projections, however, I’m going to save a little money on flip-flops this summer for a couple of reasons. First, I’ve been informed after three months of doing so that I’m not allowed to wear flip-flops to work. Apparently this is codified in the employee handbook or… Continue Reading

City of Broken Dreams

Española, NM – Stick around any place long enough you’ll begin to recognize those people and events that encapsulate its fundamental absurdity, moments that in your mind come to define a place and its people. My hometown of Madison, WI, is characterized by the cartoonish lunacy of otherwise normal people going out of their way to look and act weird. Philadelphia had its share of weirdos, but over all it was moments like glancing sideways to see some street urchin in the park shitting in full view of an indifferent public that captured essence of a city that refuses to… Continue Reading

Anxieties of a Drug Trafficker

Madison, WI – One recent afternoon at the Brass Ring – a billiards bar on Madison’s east side – “Buddy,” a Wisconsin-based marijuana trafficker, talked the pros and cons of his business. He suggested that a rash of heroin-related high jinks across Dane County over the last year has stifled its growth as authorities step-up their interdiction efforts. “Anytime you get into a period like this – and I’ve noticed waves of it happening in the past – people become a little more insular about who they work with,” he said, nursing a Bloody Mary. “There’s no new faces and… Continue Reading

The Miserable Life of Rajib Mitra

For those of you wondering what I’ve been up to in Madison, here’s a sampling. It’s an article I wrote for Isthmus newspaper about a guy who, after a series of misfortunes and unfornunate decisions, decided to check out of life. Enjoy! The first letter to Fundamental Pete’s Ass-Jammery arrived in late September, but sat in the WSUM studio’s mailbox for several weeks before the show’s host, Pete Hnilicka, got around to opening it. It was a response to a choose-your-own-adventure bit that the college radio talk show had recently aired. The adventure left off with Hnilicka and a co-host… Continue Reading

The Daily Dose of Indignities

Brent Delzer, 36, is currently serving a three-year federal prison sentence after pleading guilty in August to one count of conspiracy to traffic marijuana. “The Worst Summer Camp Ever” is a series of Delzer’s dispatches from the Federal Prison Camp in Duluth, Minnesota. The Feral Scribe interviewed Delzer on the eve of his surrender to federal marshals in September. That interview, which provides more details about his case, can be found here. Wow, it is really hard to stay motivated in this place. You’d think that, with all the time I have that I be cranking shit out no problem.… Continue Reading

The World’s First Modern Prison

Eastern State Penitentiary was the world's first modern prison. Its Gothic architecture was intended to scare prisoners and the public alike. Fairmount, Philadelphia – Eastern State Penitentiary was conceived in 1787, in the living room of Benjamin Franklin, a leading member of the Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons. The reformist group was appalled by conditions at the recently opened Walnut Street Jail, located behind Independence Hall, where guards sold liquor to inmates and often made women available. The reformers believed that a policy of strict solitary confinement would better encourage spiritual development. In 1790, the society convinced… Continue Reading

The People in My Day

Brent Delzer, 36, is currently serving a three-year federal prison sentence after pleading guilty in August to one count of conspiracy to traffic marijuana. “The Worst Summer Camp Ever” is a series of Delzer’s dispatches from the Federal Prison Camp in Duluth, Minnesota. The Feral Scribe interviewed Delzer on the eve of his surrender to federal marshals in September. That interview, which provides more details about his case, can be found here. Hello again from the frozen north. I wanted to start this installment with just a little more on my intentions and reasoning behind this series of articles. I… Continue Reading

Turning Bones into Art

Skeleton of Harry Raymond Eastlick, who suffered a progressive condition that turned tissue to bone. A few Sundays ago, I was at Philadelphia’s Mutter Museum viewing the Hyrtl Skull Collection, an ensemble of multi-ethnic craniums collected from throughout Central and Eastern Europe by Dr. Josef Hyrtl during the early 1800s. Hyrtl, a professor of anatomy at the University of Prague, believed that racial and intellectual traits could be determined by studying the cranial bone structures of various groups. The museum acquired Hyrtl’s 139 skulls, along with thirty-six placentas and six sets of genitals, in 1875. Beneath each skull is a… Continue Reading

Federal Inmates Ain’t All That

Brent Delzer, 36, is currently serving a three-year federal prison sentence after pleading guilty in August to one count of conspiracy to traffic marijuana. “The Worst Summer Camp Ever” is a series of Delzer’s dispatches from the Federal Prison Camp in Duluth, Minnesota. The Feral Scribe interviewed Delzer on the eve of his surrender to federal marshals in September. That interview, which provides more details about the case, can be found here. I was going to start this project some time ago. I had it all set in my brain on how I was going to do it and how… Continue Reading

The Perils of Low-Budget Motels

Meth Hearse found in Cookesville, Tennessee. For the budget road tripper, occasional stays in a fleabag motel are a given. They’re convenient, cheap and charming in their own special ways. I’ve stayed in my fair share of them. Some had mold beneath the peeling wall paper. One came with hair in the sink. In another, a used condom and wrapper laid rudely in the bathroom wastebasket. More than a few had cigarette burns in the carpet. Paying between $25 and $45 a room, it never was any surprise that these rooms didn’t sparkle or smell particularly well. The trick is… Continue Reading
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