Season Three, Episode 01 – After Innocence

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PRODUCER: Hey, this is Mike from Everything is Stories. Thanks again for tuning in and thanks to everyone that’s reached out on our whereabouts. We know it’s been a while. As you may know, we usually dive right into our episodes and allow our listeners to form their own thoughts and opinions on the topics that we share with EIS.

And typically, we don’t give warnings before our episodes, but Greg’s story is different. This episode contains graphic scenes of extreme violence and topics relating to sexual assault of a child. So if there’s children in the room or you feel you’re sensitive to hearing these types of things, it might be best to skip this one.

GREG TORTI: This is where I catch the Gators. I tie the, I’ll tie my line off here and I’ll throw it out. And hang the bait off right here. And I’ll hang it about to right there. It’ll sit on this, I’ll hang it right over the water. And they’ll come up and get it. And I have ’em. It’s like a bull on the other end. I don’t keep ’em, I just like get ’em and take a picture. The lake that we went to, it’s one of the most beautiful lakes. You see ducks on it. There’s birds around. You hear crickets. You see butterflies everywhere.

It’s the most beautiful place in the world. But down, up under the water, it’s full of alligators and things like that. That’s where they take the alligators. It’s a alligator slew. And just like everybody on the surface. A lot of people, if things are beautiful and nice and everything. But then, up under the surface. If you dig down, you’re always gonna find something horrible, some bad stuff. And my life is no different.

What you see is that beautiful lake. You see– you look at me and you’re like, ah, this guy, he’s a great guy. Especially if I’m wearing a long sleeved shirt. You don’t see any tattoos or anything. I look clean cut. And then under the surface you see all the bad stuff. All the bad stuff in my life that has happened. It’s– I try to put it up in there, all up under something, and I don’t never want it to come out. I thought I had a secret that I couldn’t tell anybody.

That’s a lot for a child. I mean, I, I tell my boys every day, there’s nothing you can’t tell me. There’s nothing you can’t tell me ever. Something happens to you. You tell me immediately. There’s nothing you can’t tell me.

PRODUCER: You’re listening to Everything is Stories. This episode is called After Innocence.

GREG TORTI: My name is Greg Torti, I live in Ferris, Texas. About 20 minutes outside of Dallas. I love Ferris, Texas. As a matter of fact, Ferris, Texas is a great town. They shut the town down and they do things for the kids and the families. And it’s a family oriented town and I got a great family. We live outside of the town. Nobody bothers us. And I look forward to living out here a lot more. One of the reasons I love Texas, or all of the reasons I love Texas, nothing is fast here.

You get out into the counties and stuff. And you see the beautiful hillside, the lakes, the rivers, man, they’re, they’re beautiful. There’s so many things you, I can just walk in the woods and feel better. I like cows. I like horses, I like birds, frogs, rabbits, squirrels. I don’t care. I like that stuff. It’s peaceful cause it’s not human.

I love Texas. I hate the legal system. The people that make the rules need to have somebody make rules for them to go by. Man, this is my state, this is my country. It’s beautiful. Fix it. Fix it. We grew up in a poor neighborhood, so it was stacked with kids. So, I mean, we did everything from race bicycles to play tackle football. Cuz we all grew up a little different than most people. I stayed with my granny a lot and there was no air conditioner.

It had cement floors and old carpet. If this tells you anything, the washer was in the kitchen. The dryer was in my granny’s room. And my grandfather, he made a living out of the garage. He was a transmission mechanic. You get government assistance. You know, when I was young, we got government assistance. My mom and dad, when we needed it. It was poor white people, poor white trash. It was a bad neighborhood.

Most people wouldn’t go over there. It is just a lower class that aren’t bad people. It’s just, you know, the parents couldn’t make it. So that’s, you know, they gave ’em the best they had. Or their parents were drug addicts or alcoholics and they gave ’em what they gave them. My parents weren’t alcoholics, weren’t drug addicts. They just, some people can’t get a great job and some people can. And neither one of them had graduated school, so they were just, giving us what they could.

Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my granny and my papaw. My granny was a big influence on me. She couldn’t do no wrong and didn’t do no wrong. And she was tougher than any woman ever. She had a terrible life. She was passed from home to home, you know, beaten, raped. I grew up with my papaw as well. Her husband, he was a transmission mechanic. He had a shop on the property where they lived and he worked on everybody’s car.

And he is a tough guy. He’d been shot and stabbed, had his teeth knocked out. He had a few teeth left and he said he didn’t wanna look like a dumb ass, you know, he thought it looked stupid. So him and his buddy, they went in the garage and was drinking whiskey. And he took a grease rag and a pair of pliers and pulled the rest of them. We always lived by my granny, so I always jogged to her house or walked to her house. And it wasn’t never too far.

She was the go-to. You couldn’t tell Mom something, you couldn’t tell Dad something you couldn’t tell anybody. You went to Granny. If you were in trouble, you went to Granny. If you were happy, you went to Granny. If you were hungry, you went to Granny.

I think, you know, on both sides of my family is where it comes from. My attitude and my will strong will. Granny used to tell us all the time, you know, don’t be weak, be strong. And my papa, he would just tell you, you know, quit being a pussy. Quit crying. You know, he don’t wanna hear that shit.

You know what, growing up as a kid. All the way through grade school, I had straight A’s perfect grades. All that changed whenever all the bad stuff that happened to me. I was in sixth grade and I had my foot on the back of a guy’s chair. He was the leader of a gang. This guy, he turned around and didn’t say anything.

He was a– he was in boxing and stuff, and he hit me, wham. And I stood up and I picked up my desk and I hit him over the head with it. And I picked him up, threw him into the chalkboard. And then there was a girl named Ruth. She was sitting in her desk and she moved away from it and I picked it up and hit him with it and busted his head open. And I got suspended from school for that And I was so upset. I was so upset cause that’s the first time I ever got in trouble at school. I remember, I think I fought everybody in the neighborhood at least four or five times.

My granny would send me to the store to get a pack of cigarettes and we’d run to the store. They would be hanging around. They would jump you at the store and try to take whatever you had. And of course, you end up going home with a bloody lip. And I can’t tell you, my mother sat in the front yard in a lawn chair and watched me fight people when I was a kid. You know, make sure it was fair. I said, that’s just the way I grew up.

We grew up rough. When I tell you we grew up rough. We grew up rough. Our clothes were hand-me-downs. A lot of times we didn’t wear shoes. You know, cuz you’ll tear ’em up. I got suspended from school one time. I got this shirt from the thrift store and this guy saw it. I guess his family donated it, it was his shirt. I had it tucked in and he said there was a cigarette burn on the shirt and it was his shirt. And I was like, no, it’s not. And he was like, yeah it is.

And he untucked my shirt. And I ended up whooping him and got in trouble. Cuz it, you know, it was embarrassing. He’s telling everybody I was wearing hand-me-downs, which I was. But I mean, I don’t know if there’s a word for it or whatever. Crazy. But I was that. What you consider crazy and what I consider crazy are two different things. Like you would get mad– if you got mad at a guy, y’all start arguing.

I walk up and punch him in the face and then start kicking him in the head until he is unconscious. And then pick him up, throw him over a car, drag him through a parking lot. Something that shouldn’t be done. I just– it was way too much. I always did way too much.

I loved to fight when I was in high school and I was really good at football. I set, you know, records running and things. I run at 04:02 40 padded in high school, 4, 2, 9. I was smoking fast. But the other side of me was ghetto. I was from, the hood basically, and I like to fight. One time I got into it with the skin head. We had a brass knuckle fight. I got my teeth knocked out and I ended up giving him like 160 something facial stitches.

Well, one tooth knocked out and his ear was hanging off. It got ripped in blood everywhere. I got jumped by two girls and like eight guys. I like to fight. I like negative attention. They were busting beer bottles over my head. They were holding me, positive attention, I had cuts all over my face. Any attention I could get, my lip was busted open on two sides. I thought I got 45 minutes. He was a state wrestler. I’ve been hit with a baseball bat. We’d take a break.

Blood would squirt like five foot, and then we’d fight again, and we’d take a break and fight, and then it would splat. When I’d punch him and take a break and fight in the mirror. I had two black eyes, top lip, the sticking out really far. Cuts from the top of my head all the way down my stomach.

I’ve had just so many fights outside of prison before I went in. That night I went to my granny’s house. I was covered in blood. She woke up and she asked me, she said, are you okay? I said, yeah. She goes, did you win? I said, no. And she said, well, do you want something to eat? And I said, no. And she goes, okay, I see you in the morning. I said, okay. When I was in high school, yeah, I was probably, 15, 16, I started doing meth.

At the time, everyone around me sold drugs and everybody did drugs. They had nicer clothes and all that. And I wanted it, I wanted to have the girls, I wanted to have the drugs. I wanted to have the clothes, the cars. And I started doing the drugs and selling the drugs. And I wanted to be the big guy. I did more drugs than anybody. If you did, you know, two hits of acid. I did 12. If you did one line, I did three. At age 17, I got busted for delivery and possession of methamphetamine.

I got aggravated assault with a deadly weapon within intent to commit bodily harm. And I got a burglary of a motor vehicle charge. They sent me to a bootcamp. And bootcamp was a whole lot of discipline. A whole lot of discipline. And you’re gonna do what they say, they’re gonna scare you and all this, or you’re going to prison. I wasn’t messing up in there. But when I got out, I went right back to the same people. I mean, and a lot of that is my family. We were all doing bad, not my mother and father or sister and brother, but the rest of my family. We were all doing wrong.

I used to think, what’s wrong with you? Even though I made myself do it. After I would be like that, I’d think, man, what’s wrong with you? Why are you acting so crazy? You need to tell somebody. I thought I had a secret that I couldn’t tell anybody. Tell my boys every day there’s nothing you can’t tell. Something happens. You tell me immediately. Nothing you can’t tell me.

I’ve been around the kid all his life. Been around her, you know, forever. We actually used to do drugs together and mess around. You know, sex, things like that during high school. I seen her off and on and as we got older, you see her every now and then. And she was dating my best friend at the time. Her kids and other people’s kids they would always come over. At one point me and her had a falling out. Her and another girl had took some money of mine.

It was years ago. We had words and stuff and, but I guess it was okay. A girl was throwing a pool party and we ended up going over there. There were, I can’t remember exactly how many people. I had a couple of guy friends. My girlfriend at the time, my best friend and his girlfriend. Which is the one that reported me 24 hours later. Her son, a couple other people showed up. And they’re drinking and there’s a lot of beer, and I think I drank one or two beers. I just wasn’t feeling good, you know, like the hangover feeling.

I decided I was hungry, and so I was going in the house. And the kid says he needs to use the bathroom. Well, the lady who pressed the charges on me, her son went to the bathroom and her boyfriend went. Which was my best friend. So you got 1, 2, 3 adults plus me and the kid there. Well the kid goes in the bathroom and he’s got diarrhea from whatever it was. I don’t know.

And I was in there eating. It was hot dogs and chicken fingers, I think. And the kids call him for somebody to wipe him. John has to go in there and wipe him. And I go in there with him and Donna was right there on the phone in the hallway. And Jolene, she was, I think she was in the same room right there in the living room where you could see. John told him to bend over so he could wipe him. And the kid bent over and I was eating the hotdog.

And when John wiped him, I hit him on his butt cheek. It’d been the left butt cheek. And I dropped it. I was like, look, look what fell out. You shit a hot dog. John was like, that’s gross, you know, quit that shit. So I throw it in the, in the trash basket. I think that’s where it was. And that was that there was no big deal, you know? That’s not the best joke. Okay. I mean, now that after 12 years it wasn’t fucking funny at all. But at the time it wasn’t no big deal.

It was no big deal like a coach giving a kid a good game. I didn’t insert nothing, didn’t do anything. It was one second and I stepped out. I’m going to the pool and the mother, she says you don’t fucking hit my kid. Don’t you ever hit my kid? She’s all drunk now. And she’s yelling and screaming, and I was like, bitch, who the fuck are you talking to? I didn’t hit your kids. You’re fucking crazy. Yeah, you hit my kid, blah, blah, blah.

Anyway, we were arguing and I pushed her. And then we get split up and I leave. She called the police like 24-27 hours later and decides to press charges on me. And two days later, CPS came out and they made their report. And it showed there was nothing, it was all clear. So they sent him to the doctor. And how fucked up is this? You give a kid a rape kit and then it shows all clear. Well, you just put that kid through that. Okay. I didn’t put him through nothing. You just put him through that. You put that in his head.

So he has to go get that. It shows all clear. And then I hear that she’s going through this. Man, this investigator called, she’s asking questions and I’m like, all right, well, I get my mom to take me up there. And we’re sitting there, the detective lady walks out. She says Gregory Torti, and I said, yes, ma’am. And she comes up to me and she says, stand up and put your hands behind your back. You’re under arrest for aggravated sexual assault of a child.

And I was like, nah, you got me fucked up. Hell no. And we started arguing. And they– there’s a little struggle and they cuffed me and they put me in the little room. And I sat in there and she took me out and she said before we even start, I’m gonna tell you right now, everything you tell me is gonna be a lie because I believe that child. I interviewed him and his mother, and then I interviewed him, and I know he wouldn’t lie.

So I told her she’s full of shit and I wasn’t lying and all that. And she told me I was a liar and my arrest was gonna stick. I didn’t know that they weren’t gonna investigate it. I was thinking, okay, they’re gonna figure this is stupid. You know, this is bullshit. This lady ain’t gonna gimme no slack. But once I’m able to go to Dallas and talk to an investigator, you know, it’s all gonna be over with. But nothing was investigated.

My ex and my mother was able to get a D W I attorney and I went to court with him. He never questioned or went over anything with any of my witnesses. And they were like, it’s open and shut, you know, it’s not a big deal. Next day I go to court and it’s totally different. I’m not getting my case dismissed. I’m going into a trial. You know, everybody’s showing up to testify. And you know, you’re already going into a situation where your adrenaline’s going.

And then of course I’m getting an adrenaline dump, I’m shaking. I’m thinking, wait, this isn’t right. And as the case starts going and I realize I’m fixing to get screwed over. My attorney, he didn’t ask any questions. I was writing down questions and hitting him on the shoulder with my elbow. I was like, Hey man, ask some questions, something.

And I look over and the grandmother’s been coaching the kid the whole time, shaking her head yes and no to the questions. I tell him, hey, you know, she’s coaching him. And he jumps up, objection, your Honor. And of course the judge knew it was happening and he is like, look, if you do it again, you know you’re gonna be escorted out. He admonishes her right there.

It’s on the transcripts. And then they get back to it and he, she starts doing it again and nothing’s ever said. They call all of my witnesses and everything they, and I’m thinking, okay, this is great. Everything’s going in my way, is what I’m thinking. Because there’s nothing against me except a mother saying something cuz the child said you did it, then I didn’t do it. I’m thinking, okay, you know, three grownups, two of ’em are women that are testifying for you.

Then they do the medical exam and she reads that. And of course it says all clear, there’s nothing. And the cps– you know, there was nothing. He’s saying that I stuck a hot dog in his butt. Okay, that’s impossible. I’d have to put him in a headlock, grease ’em up and everything. None of that can happen within two seconds. And I’m not capable of that anyway.

The judge asked me, do I have anything else I wanna say? And I told him, well, yeah, and this is stupid. You know? Right now thinking about it, I think I shouldn’t have said it. But I told him I would kill somebody before I would mess with a kid. And that didn’t mean nothing by it, but that, of course, that makes me sound horrible. But I would never mess with a child. I thought I had a secret that I couldn’t tell anybody.

After he adjourned to make his decision, he come back 15 minutes later, I think. They asked me to stand and they sentenced me. And I get sent to prison for a 12 year sentence. And I’m gonna do all of it cuz I’m not gonna tell ’em I did something that I didn’t do. I sit back down, I’m just like, fuck it. Everything went really slow from there. My heart was beating really fast. But it was like, I was floating and my head was ringing, and I don’t know if I’ve ever had a panic attack.

Maybe I was having one. I don’t know what that feeling was. It was like I could see myself right there, but everything was moving really slow. There was no evidence in my trial. None. None. Go through my transcripts, go through everything. Whenever they did the DNA test and it come back and they said, well, there’s no evidence to test. Okay, if you gimme aggravated sexual assault of a child. If it’s aggravated, I had to hold him down and do it.

And they said, well, no, it’s cuz of his age. Well, there was three adults there. Do you really think they wouldn’t tell on me. They’re my witnesses. The CPS said I didn’t do it. The doctor’s report shows I didn’t do it. The kids said, I didn’t do it. Then he said I did do it. Then he got in trouble for being coached in the courtroom by the grandmother. Then she kept coaching him after that. Then I get sentenced. I had to say goodbye to my mother and my granny.

And that would be the last time I see my granny. And I didn’t know it would be the last time, but it was. And they take me back to the back in a cell. And there’s a bunch of idiots in there waiting to go to court. And of course you can’t cry. You can’t show any emotion, which is stupid. But, what can you do? Now you’re helpless. They’ve already took everything away from you.

They, they’ll strip you from your– of your pride. They dehumanize you into court. They put me in this sex offender tank full of sex offenders. And they’re all asking questions and all this, and I really don’t wanna talk to ’em because I know what they are. Down the road they called me to go to prison. And that’s like the worst thing in the world. Man, if you’re a murderer, you’re a top of the food chain cuz you will kill somebody.

You don’t have– you’ve got a life sentence or 40, 60 years aggravated. You’re not getting out. You really don’t care. Then you got your aggravated assault with deadly weapons and strong armed robbers and you know, things like that. Those guys are right there up under ’em. Then you got people who are just pugilist that like to fight and rob stores, things like that. Just good time.

Then you got your DWIs. And your home invasion people that get you when you ain’t there. Shoplifters, things like that. But you got a rapist right above a pedophile. Then you got your pedophiles, and that’s about the hierarchy of a prison. They take you to diagnostics and over there the whole time you’re thinking I hope nobody sees my jacket. I hope nobody sees my file.

I hope nobody sees my file. Cuz you know, in prison everybody shows everybody’s stuff cuz they want you to get your ass kicked. I mean, the whole time there I was nervous and everything and they shipped me to Abilene. And when I got to Abilene, you’re getting butt naked in front of women and men.

You know, all the guards. They’re standing there and they’re all talking shit to you. Shaving your head, making you get a shower, make you shave, make you cut your fingernails. Talking cash shit to you. Gonna whoop your ass in your face, you know, trying to scare you. And it works. After all that’s over with, you go to your wing, everybody starts asking you, what are you in here for? How much time you got? And you know, you make something up.

I started working out immediately. I meant literally immediately. I did my thousand pushups. I would do upside down pushups till I couldn’t do ’em anymore. And then I would go in my cell and I would do sit-ups and I would do crunches. I would shadow box. Just anything I could. I used to run miles all the time. I lifted heavy weight, did everything I could. I read books, read books, read books. So that I could be one step ahead of everybody.

And sometimes you’re not. You got another person that’s thinking just like you, and they’ve been doing it a lot longer, and they’re way ahead of you. And you get your ass whooped or you get out thought, you get tricked. You know, every fight in there has the potential to be a murder. When they find out what you’re in there for, it’s 20 hyenas on a zebra. They don’t care.

And they don’t care about consequences. There’s no consequences for somebody attacking a sex offender. That’s just how it is. Until they can break you down and take everything you got. Rape you. Whatever they want to do, they’re gonna do.

There was attempts on my life. I’ve seen a guy get his eyes poked out. I’ve had people hit me with a two by four when my back was turned in the furniture factory. I’ve seen somebody shock a zulu with a broomstick. They had to wrap my eye up for months I couldn’t see out of it. Get their head split open with steel paddles. I’ve been jumped.

Choked from behind while I was fighting another guy. I saw a guy get his nipple bit off. Everybody’s got black eyes and busted lips and bruises everywhere. And I seen an officer get stabbed. I’ve seen inmates get stabbed. Get their throat cut. Get beat with a broom while they’re asleep. I fought over a half inch of shampoo and we fought all over the day room naked. And I ended up having, you know, a couple black eyes and everything. And when it goes like that, there’s no winner.

People did try to kill me in there. In the chow hall would come through and they had a guy that was working me I guess. He would see me coming and that he would work me. You know, he would find out what I was getting and he would put a crushed glass in there. And I could taste it. Cuz mashed potatoes, usually you don’t chew.

But I did and I spit it in my hand and I was looking and it was a glass. People put broken razor blades in my coffee when I wasn’t looking. And hoping I would drink it. And actually caught it in my teeth, in my mouth, so I didn’t drink it. I don’t know who did it. And guys, I was in there over a decade.

It’s like a pack of animals. If they see something going on– well they start getting into your business and investigating behind your back and everything. And then you are gonna get attacked by more than one. That’s just how it is. You know, going into that world, coming from out here, it’s a whole different place. It’s a whole different ballgame.

I was starting to get really mean and not care about things. And it was making me crazy and angry. And what they do. You’re gonna be mean. You’re gonna do what you’re supposed to do, this and that. And if not, we’ll lock you up. I was becoming that. The whole time I’d been doing my legal work at the law library. And I got accepted for a DNA test and they did a DNA test on me.

And it come back there was no evidence at all to test. Wasn’t too much longer that they gave me parole. They told me if I signed a– basically saying I was guilty, I could go to a program and go home. And I told ’em, I’m not guilty, I didn’t do it, and I’m not gonna sign anything. And they said, don’t you wanna go home? I said, yeah. And they’re like, well just sign this.

You’re already guilty by the state, so who cares? And I told ’em I care. And they’re like, yeah, but that’s just dumb. Just sign it and go home. And I was like, no. So they shipped me off to this other unit in Huntsville. Well, I I get in this group and they start telling everything they did.

And I’m like, oh God, man, you motherfuckers are sick. This guy raped his daughter for five years, got five years prison. You know, this guy, he’s got a hundred different videos of children being molested. He got two years, state jail. These guys are getting all this little time and here I am, didn’t do nothing and I’m doing over 10 years.

The man that ran the place, he called me in his office and he goes, why are you here? Why are you in prison? He goes, that doesn’t make any sense. I said, cuz I’m poor and can’t afford an attorney. I come from a terrible neighborhood with a bad background. And he was like, well just breeze through this and go home, you know? Just do your thing and go home. I said, okay.

They let me out after 10 and a half years. It was about noon. My brother and his wife were there, and my wife was there. It was the happiest day and the scariest day and the saddest day of my life. I was happy that I was out. I was sad because I was fixin’ have to do all of this stuff.

And I was scared because I didn’t know anybody or anything. And I’m in a new town. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know anything. Cars changed. I was a baby. Clothes changed. I had to learn again. Hairs changed. I didn’t even know how to use a phone. Money’s changed TVs, flat screens. I was like, what the hell? You know everything moved faster, way faster. It’s like living in the country all your life and going to the city and, and seeing things for the first time.

I went to the store and cashed my check and they gave me a hundred dollars bill. And it had color on it and everything. And I was looking at it and I told the guy if he was trying to play a joke or something. And he was– they were like, what are you talking about? I was like, man, this isn’t real. You’re trying to gimme counterfeit money. Cuz it had color on it.

And people were behind me, were looking at me and, and I told her I was the lady behind me I was like, look, they’re trying to give me fake money. And she was like, no, that’s real. And I’d ask her, are you sure? And she was like, yeah. I mean, it was embarrassing, people were looking at me. So I got my money and left. And went and told my wife and she said, oh, it’s okay. You know, it’s okay. It’s real money.

When I got out, I had 72 hours to register as a sex offender, and it took 72 hours for me to do it because I wasn’t gonna do it. You have to go to your county. So I went– I called and made an appointment, and I went to the county. Once you get there, you talk to a sheriff. And they take your picture and they ask you if you got kids about your wife, about your automobile, about your house, about your education.

Scars, marks, tattoos, color of hair, eyes, everything. Then they give you a blue card that says you’re a sex offender, that you have to present every time. If you get pulled over by a police officer or security guard, anybody, any form of law, you have to show that. I had to make a map of where I was gonna go and it had to be okayed and it had to be verified.

And if they decided they didn’t like it, then I had to change it. And I couldn’t go nowhere. Couldn’t go through any school zones after school’s zones, nothing. I had to skirt ’em. Anytime I grow up a beard, I have to go get a picture took. A thick beard, if I change drastically. My son has some friends, sometimes they come over. And I don’t let ’em come in the house or I’ll leave the house and I’ll be gone all day.

Just cuz I don’t want anybody thinking anything or saying I did something. If I’m not there, then I didn’t do it. I go to my son’s soccer game and you know, my son’s name is on the roster, and he has my last name, and I sit there and look at the other parents and they’re all on their phones and everything. And I’m thinking which one of these people are gonna look me up? Which one of ’em are gonna look me up?

This day and age, they want to know who they’re talking to. So they wanna look you up. And not only do they do that, they’ll be nice to your face and then they’ll talk shit behind your back. Oh my God, I can’t believe he did that. We gotta pull our kid from this, we gotta do this, we gotta do that. Then go ahead. Just don’t say nothing to my son.

Every year I have to get a brand new license. And it’s humiliating, you know, dehumanizing, degrading. You go down there and. You’re standing in line and you fill out this piece of paper and you know it’s the wrong one cuz you’re renewing your license. And they’re like, well, why do you have to renew your license every year? And I’m like, I just have to.

Well why? So you hand ’em the blue, oh, you’re a sex offender. Well you got a hundred people in there. They’re all, you know, like, well, what the hell? You know? And then they’d take my picture and they’re like, why do you have to get it done every year? So I gotta tell this person now. And I show them and they’re like, oh, okay. Then you take your new license over to the sheriff and you present that to him.

You present him insurance and a paycheck stub and let them see all that. Once you’re done there, your whole fricking is ruined. By the way, that’s your birthday, or it’s right around your birthday. Has to be right in that area. So my birthday’s the shittiest day of the year every year. My dad was tough, you know, he was just that guy. My uncles, my grandparents, tough.

I mean, he had shot a few times and stabbed. I grew up rougher than most people you’ll ever meet. You didn’t cry about things. You kept things to yourself. They lived off of a code of the old West. You got mental problems. Well, keep it to yourself. You don’t need medicine. So I just, I kept those things to myself. And I was basically homicidal, suicidal.

I didn’t care. I did things that would, that you could kill me or I. Kill you. I, I jumped off bridges, you know, a hundred foot into the Trinity River, off of the highway. In the middle of the night I would jump on the top of a car going down the freeway and jump on the back of an 18 wheeler and climb up it and on top. Things like that. I don’t know how to explain it, but I developed that from what happened to me when I was a kid.

At about nine years old, I was with a church group and my mom and dad had gave me some money to buy fishing stuff. To go fishing with this church group. We all went into the Walmart and I guess they did a head count and thought that I was in the bus or they had the proper headcount. So they left.

When I come out, I started walking cuz it was straight down the boardwalk to where we were camping at. So I started walking and a man pulls up in a Camaro. He tells me it’s kind of chilly. You need a ride. And I told him no. And he’s like, yeah, come on, hop in. I’ll give you a ride. I said, no. And so he pulled up a little bit and he hopped out and he is leaned up against his car and he pulled a gun out and he said, get the fuck in the car.

I got into the car. And he run around he got in, he locked the door and he hits me. And he’s telling me everything– he’s gonna kill me and this and that. And I’m gonna do what he says. And I said, okay. So he raped me in the car. He made me give him a blowjob and all that. And you know, I don’t know. I’m a kid. I don’t know what the fuck to do. And he’s driving and he goes to a hotel.

His wallet was sitting up in the console and when he got out to get me out, he’d come around the other side and I grabbed his wallet. He pulls me by my hair into the hotel room. He raped me three or four more times and made me do all kinds of stuff that I haven’t talked about. Then he takes me out and puts me back in the car and throws me out right there on the boardwalk by the beach.

Well, I use the bathroom all over myself. So I was washing off and a sheriff comes up and he tells me they were looking for me. I didn’t tell him anything. They took me back to the camp. The next day, all everybody went fishing and I had to stay there. And when everybody left, I had a bottle of travel Pert. And I used that shampoo and I washed myself over and over and over again.

And I didn’t really have anything to do with anybody. The whole trip back just sat there thinking, you know, what the fuck? How do I live past this? Now I look at it, I know something snapped inside me. Every man in my life that I’ve ever known, I didn’t want to have anything to do with after that. Everything that was nice in me was gone. I wasn’t a little boy no more. I didn’t trust anyone.

And you know, for years I thought, man, I should have just let him shoot me. I should have just let him shoot me. Well, that’s not right. But I didn’t have nobody to tell me that it wasn’t right. I always thought to myself, well, you’ve gotta do something about it. You’ve gotta lift weights. You’ve gotta start boxing. You’ve gotta start karate. You gotta do all this. You’ve gotta get meaner. You’ve gotta be crazier than anyone.

Meaner than anyone faster than anyone. You gotta out think people. You gotta be smarter. All my life, I tried to do that. I had his wallet for years. I used to keep it up under my dresser. You know, a teenager, you hide dirty magazines or whatever from your mom. You try to hide ’em in the best place. I hid the wallet up under the dresser and after couch surfing and moving as a teen going from here to there with all my stuff, somehow I’ve lost it.

But I never thought about turning him in. I was gonna kill him. I kept his wallet cause I was gonna kill him. I wish he was dead right now and I don’t care who knows it. His name is, he lives in Webster, Texas. He’s raped two kids and got five years sentenced in TDC.

I believe I was 17 or 18 when I told my mother. We were arguing really, really bad and I’m probably coming off of drugs. And she goes, why do you act like that? She’s screaming at me. What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with you? And I told her, you wanna know what’s fucking wrong with me? And she was like, yeah. I said, you really want to know?

She said, yeah. So I told her and she started crying. And she had told my dad, and it hurt him real bad too. They explained to my sister and brother why I went from being a good kid to the way I was. Which was probably rough on everybody. But I felt better that I told somebody I really did. And then I started telling other people. I tell ’em, well, you know what happened to me when I was a kid? And they’re like, what?

These are my friends that I grew up with. Nobody knew. And so I told them and they were like, man, that fucking, that explains a lot dude. When I was 33 years old, I’d been out seven months, eight months. They finally, after me requesting them, gave me a polygraph. They bring Sissy and Marla Williams, and she’s like super good. You know, you can’t beat her.

And they’re telling me, I’ve heard all these horror stories about her and I’m thinking, well, I really don’t give a fuck cuz I ain’t lying. So she gives me the test the first time and she turns the machine off and she says is there anything you want to tell me? And I, I got mad. I said, you know what, take this shit off. I fucking, I know I knew you were gonna fucking get me.

She goes, no, no, no. I need to know if you, you’re gonna change anything you’re gonna say. I said, no. She goes, are you sure? I said, yeah. So she says, I’m gonna do the test again. I said, okay. So she did it again and asked the questions in a different form. And after she did that, she turns it off. She goes, okay. Last chance. Is there anything you want to tell me? And I was pissed.

I was like, what the fuck you mean? I said, nah, I ain’t got nothing I want to tell you. She goes, okay, I’m gonna give it to you again. So I took it again, and at the end of it, she turned it off and she didn’t say nothing to me. She starts taking everything off of me and she says what are you plan to gain if you would’ve passed? And I said, fuck you, I’m done. I knew it.

I was yelling at her. I knew you fucking didn’t. She goes, no, no, no. She calmed down. She goes, you passed. Now, I started crying. She said, I’ve been doing this however many years, 20 years or whatever. And you’re like the fourth person that has passed this test or whatever. And I started crying and, she’s like, the other ones started crying too.

I felt elated. I felt really great. I wanted to come home and tell my mother and father. I did as a matter of fact, I called everybody. I was like, man, I passed. I think something good’s gonna happen outta this. I passed, I passed and and I went and told them hey, look, I passed. I’m not going fucking back. I’m not going to your counseling. I’m not doing this. I’m not doing that.

And I’m not doing your sex offender bullshit. I could pay $25,-30,000 and I can get my name took off the six offender registry and everything. But that ain’t what I’m trying to do, and it’s not what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna get my case overturned. I don’t care about the money. I told my wife, I said, you can have every frickin’ penny. I don’t want nothing but a four wheeler.

People. I grew up with everybody, you know, oh man, I, I want to win the lottery. I want this. I want. Man, I won the lottery when I met my wife. When I had my son, I won it again. And then when I had my other son, I won it again. I won the lottery three times. How many people you know got a fully functional, healthy family that loves you and cares about you?

You know, when I come home and I see my son run out to the end of the driveway– to see a child run with joy and a smile on his face is like a deer leaping. And he’s running to my truck and he is like, daddy. Man, that erases all the bad you ever had. Cuz he’s that little boy that you weren’t able to be.

I get up about 4:00 AM every morning. It doesn’t matter what day it is, Monday through Sunday. I make a pot of coffee. I make breakfast, watch the news, and I’m out the door by about five o’clock. And these days, I have a dump truck now, so I go to my job. My life is like my truck out there. I’m picking up things you know that nobody wants, and I’m dumping them.

And then I’m picking up things and I’m helping people build foundations and I’m helping ’em build roads. It’s the same way with me. My truck carries a load, you know, and I carry the same load. I get home and I go to bed about nine o’clock every night. Every night that I lay down my mind races. I’m not one person that falls asleep easy. I think about everything from my case to my grandmother, to my kids, to my future, to my kids’ future.

And my wife, am I doing enough for her? I mean, things like that. It’s aggravating when you know you can do more, but you’re held back. I think my family deserves a lot more than I can give them with this X on my back. I have flashbacks all the time.

All the time. I can wake up in the middle of the night and jerk and just freak out for a minute and I’ll have to look around and I’m like, okay. Cuz sometimes I wake up and I don’t know where I’m at. It’s terrible. I got PTSD no doubt.

I got my whole life stripped away. If you’ve never had everything took away from you. Completely everything. I didn’t have clothes, I didn’t have nothing. Man, they took my hair. They took everything away from me. The judge, when he sentenced me, that was when they started taking, when I got out, they were still taking.

And you know, I’m mad. I’m not mad at the kid that said I did something because his mother told him to say it. I’m mad at the man right now. Cuz this is that many years later that hasn’t came forward and said I lied. I did what my mom said to do. I mean, you could have came forward any time you knew it was a lie. I mean, you’ve had people talk to you, they supposedly believe in Jesus and all this crap.

And if you do come forward, ain’t that what God said? Be honest. I’m being honest. I didn’t do shit to him. Let him come forward and say, yeah, he hit me on the butt. He didn’t try to do nothing to me. I’m not mad at you if you do that. But if you hold it in and lie, then well, if you believe in hell, then that’s where you’re going.

And she knew I didn’t do nothing. She’s just real vindictive. She deserves to go through every day that I went through on a supermax prison with a bad rap. I don’t know if I told you guys about the dream I had when I was gone. It was a vivid dream. I pulled up to my mother’s house and she had a driveway that was really sloped. I put my car in park and I ran in cuz she was having a plumbing problem.

And I turned the sink on and the water just shot up to the ceiling and I was like, oh my God. Oh my God. And I run out to my car, but it it’s rolling down the driveway. And it hits this Volkswagen across the street and flips it up into this guy’s yard. And I’m like, oh my God.

So I go over to his door and I have to tell him what happened. And his door’s open, you know, he is got a glass screen door and I knock on it. And he comes to the door smiling and he says, can I help you? And I said, oh my gosh. I said, ma’am, I’m so sorry. I guess I didn’t put the car in park like I thought I did.

And it rolled down and it hit your car and it flipped it up into your yard and all that. And he looks at me and he smiles. And he says, well, it could be worse. And then I woke up. So, I mean, things can always be worse.

I’ve, I seen a video of a man shielding his child in Iraq as he was getting murdered. Things can be so much worse. I mean, we’re not even a third world country and we think this is bad. But all you gotta do is just take a look around the world and things are way worse. So what happened to me? You know, it’s a hiccup in life. But it doesn’t have to be. I don’t have to stay there.

Right now we’re over off of Malloy Bridge Road in Dallas County, the edge of Dallas County and Ellis County. And it’s a little creek that runs through the woods. It’s full of alligator and fish and everything else. This is my solace. This is my getaway. Whenever I’m aggravated, it’s only 10 minutes from the house. I can come out here and fish and I can be in nature and I can see things that nobody else sees.

You have to get out to see the things that I see. And you have to pay attention. You can’t just sit out here and see something if you’re not looking for it. There’s all kinds of things right now. We could see. If we just hang out for a little while and we’re quiet, everything will go back to normal.