Texting With Charles

Inmates have cell phones and they’re texting, clicking “like” icons next to their favorite rodeo all-stars and reviewing products on Amazon that they totally didn’t buy. The Department of Corrections is like, “This is a huge problem” and then an inmate is like, “Can I borrow your phone for a second? I need to check this lottery ticket and if I win I’ll give you $150,000” and the Department of Corrections is all, “Slide to unlock good sir.”

Last year, one guard claimed he made $150,000 smuggling phones. He was fired but never charged with anything. Richard Subia, of California’s Department of Corrections, says smuggling cell phones to convicts isn’t a crime. “It’s very frustrating to me that we have people who work for our organization that are willing to risk the lives of their fellow employees,” he says. “It creates another risk for the employees and inmates in our facilities, as well as the public at large.”

The most notorious inmate caught with a cell phone is Charles Manson. He was caught with a flip phone back in March 2009, then again this past January with yet another cell. Prison officials say Manson called and texted numbers in Florida, New Jersey and British Columbia.
– http://www.npr.org/2011/02/08/133591495/calif-law-calls-for-stricter-prison-cell-phone-rules

David Berkowitz just asked me to the prom!

So, it’s probably time for me to come clean – every day around 4:30 in the afternoon my phone tri-tones and there’s a text message from Charles Manson waiting for me. I don’t know how he got my number. Maybe I’m one number off from Squeaky Fromme? Maybe he thought he was texting Dennis Wilson and got me instead. Regardless, he’s delightfully erudite, and will talk for hours about the environment, his favorite television show (Rizzoli and Isles), and the number of inmates he’s attempted to skin and live inside over the years. Our first conversation went a little something like this:

Charles Manson: 20thousnd sicopath dune buggies all look @ me like G.O.D.
John: Who is this?
Charles Manson: im your minds eye 3rd eye path way to I AM
John: Holy shit, is this Charles Manson?
Charles Manson: yup :D

Sometimes the playful side of Manson would come peeking out as if to say, “Hello, I’m a big ol’ bearded pixie, and I’m about to carve truth doctrines into your funny bone.”

John: How’s it going Charles? Today sucks, hope all is well with you.
Charles Manson: there ar 3 orientals with hachets comin over the hills
John: Oh my god, totally. Today this guy at my job was like ‘did you sign Gloria’s birthday card?’ and I was like, ‘No, I didn’t even see it’ and he said she already opened it. So pissed.
Charles Manson: WHO IS TH MAN ON THIS SET /.. WHO CONTRLS THE LITE ON THIS SET? CLARK GABLE? fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff
John: LOL I know!
Charles Manson: fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffarts

I was very careful to keep topics centered on Charles Manson’s favorite subject – the life and times of Charles Manson. Current movies, music or pretty much anything that happened after the Sharon Tate murders were off limits. He did know all the words to Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow” though, which I thought was strange. Also, he took chain letters VERY seriously, and was convinced that if he didn’t forward them to 5 friends, something terrible would happen to him and everyone he loved. And then, almost as quickly as our daily back-and-forth started, it was over. Our final conversation (while unbeknownst to me at the time) would be undeniably chilling…

Charles Manson: i’m a jackal sunspot, these walls dont contane me – coo coo ca who? coo coo ca YOU ;)
John: That’s pretty deep Charles. Something on your mind?
Charles Manson: i have x’d myself from ur wrld. l8r
John: All right, but don’t be a stranger Charles. Shine on you crazy diamond.
Charles Manson: FWD: FWD: Fwd:Send this message to 5 of your friends and you will have unbelieveble sex tonight! If you break this chain, you’ll never have multiple orgasm again!
John: You got it Charles. You got it.