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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 49

I am going to try and be positive today, but that emotion seems to be in high demand lately. I try daily to think of something to stay positive. To that end I was going to open my Bible. I prayed that God guide my hand to open it to a place that he would “speak” to me through his words. I know that many of you do not read the Bible not believe in Gold altogether, but I do and hope that you do not mind me talking today about the Bible. Well when I open my Bible to a ransom spot it opened onto the passages of Lamentation 3:14-66, I am no Bible scholar to know the Bible through and through. I put it to you to read what I read there. My blood ran cold as I read these words. I thought to myself that God could have seen into my heart to lead me here. I could have written these words myself. I call your attention to the verses of Lamentations 3:53-57…

They thought they had destroyed my life in the dungeon and cast a stone over it above me. The water ran down on my head; I said, I am gone. I called upon your name, O Lord, out of the depths of the mire of the dungeon. You heard my voice then: O hide not your ear now at my prayer for relief. You drew near on the day I called to You; You said, Fear not.


How can I not believe after this? Is it pure coincidence that I prayed for guidance and have been lead to that certain set of passages? I do not believe in a coincidence that big. I am sure that many of you will still doubt and that is your right/ I myself have faith that God is real. I do not prescribe to any organized religion, I am a Christian in the purest sense. The meaning of the term “Christian” is Christ-like, to be like Christ is important. I fail on that so many times in a day. I wish I could write to you that I am the epitome of Christianity, but I am not. I still pray to God for salvation and relief. I am confident that when I die I will be brought to the kingdom of Heaven, can each of you say the same? I once heard somewhere a good thing. It went something like this… If I am wrong and there is no God then I have wasted my time with prayer and hopefully a good example, but if you are wrong then you will go to Hell. Think about this for a moment. Wouldn’t it be better to pray for salvation? I do not wish to preach only to share with you my own thoughts on the topic of God.

Thank you.

42 days to live.

Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351



© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 48

I have been trying all day to no avail to not think about this day’s execution and mine in 43 days. I mean am I strong enough to face the death chamber if it comes down to it? I see men walk away from here but I never see them when that time comes. What must they think? Do their hearts beat so fierce that it threatens to burst from their chest? Each passing day beings me that much closer to the death chamber and I am beginning to wonder if I will have the strength to walk the last mile unaided.

These journal entries have helped me when I needed an outlet for my angst and when I just needed to vent, but they be of no help if I cannot save my life. Some people may think what I write it tripe or of a trivial nature, but those of you who read this are not the ones that are looking into that abyss. I guess that some of you may have a loved one here on the row, hell you may even be ones of the loved ones of one of the men who are currently on death watch with me and you may think that you are going through this with the, I have news for you, you have no idea what it is like to sit in this cage to know that one day they will come for you and tell you that this is the day you die. I do not mean to say that a part of you wont die that day, but I know what it is like to have to continue to live after someone you love dearly is taken from you. My brothers died and at the time I thought I couldn’t continue but soon I found laughter again. It may take a year or however long, but even the pain of that death will heal. I tell you that for those of us that are here it is not so east to heal that wound of death. So to those of you reading this and thinking what I write is really stupid or meaningless, I tell you that until you are facing what I am facing then how can you pass judgment onto me? What should I write about here? Should I instead write about the wonderful officer who comes to feed me? Maybe I should praise the state of Texas for the effortless east with which they keep the death machine running? Forgive an ignorant unschooled man for writing about his feelings instead of impressing upon those of you who would scoff at my writing. I must apologize to the rest of you who think that my writings are note a waste of cyberspace. Then again who can tell what any of you think? I have received almost nothing but good reviews from the people that read my journal. I cannot, though, help but think of the negative that I have gotten. I guess it is like the old adage of a few bad apples spoiling the bunch.

43 days to live

Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 47

We stand to lose yet another man tomorrow. Franklin Alix’s date with the execution chamber comes and I find myself wondering what will come of me?

I am sorry I just cannot do this right now.

Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 46

I have reached the halfway point in the journey; I couldn’t have made it to this point without you to support me. I must tell you all that I appreciate all that each and every one of you has done to make this journey as easy as possible for me. I know that I am the one going through it but in a way each of you has been here with me. You’ve seen me as men around me were murdered and when I lamented over feelings of abandonment. I still hold out hope for a stay of execution to prolong my life, but if this doesn’t happen, I know that I will have the support of you to see me through this time.

As I write these words to you, we prepare for yet another murder by the state of Texas on Tuesday March 30th. The man’s name is Franklin Alix and yet again I am the neighbor of the man to be murdered. I am not as close to him as I was to Joshua Maxwell, but still I wish to bring him to the attention of the world, by the time you read these words he will have been murdered by the state of Texas. Only proving that Texas’ voracious appetite for vengeance will never be sated. Not by Franklin’s death, not by mine nor by the murder of whoever it is that will replace me here on death watch. Until Texas is forced to re-evaluate the death penalty, the killings will continue. I hate to think of the poor victims that first had to suffer the tragic loss of the loved ones and be forced to endure the trials of the men that took that life. Then up to a decade later when they have most likely moved on and found a modicum of happiness once again, they are informed that they may come and witness the murder of the man that killed that loved one. Who would think this is a good idea? I certainly do not believe that by cutting open a wound again can be even remotely beneficial to anyone but most certainly not for those loved ones who must again be reminded that their loved one was brutally taken from them. Many have argued that ours is a more humane way to go, we are allowed those last moments to make our peace. We can have our loved ones make a farewell to us and then we are gently placed upon the table. Trapped down and poisoned in an attempt of humanity. What can be humane about making a man suffer for years under an unjust system that is designed solely for the purpose of killing? Then we must look at the political ramifications of the death penalty. My own case was only to enhance the political career of the DA. I find it very strange that one this, another election year; they have set my own execution date a mere day before that of my co-defendants. I cannot condone Billy’s actions on those two occasions when he decided to take those men’s lives, but I certainly can see the futility of putting him, not to mention ME, to death as a way of bringing closure to the victims families. We are only prolonging the pain and misery those deaths have already caused. Had the Hunt County DA’s office given the two of us a life sentence, no one would have been outraged. Then Billy and myself would have been in prison and the victims families would be able to heal their wounds knowing that neither of us posed a future threat to them or anyone else. I would have sought relief still for I truly do not believe that OI m responsible to the degree that Billy is, but that can no longer be argued legally by me as the state says that I received a fair and impartial trial. I can only wonder how this is true, but that is a rant for another day. I hope this isn’t too preachy for some of you. I close now.

44 days to live.

Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 45

I cannot find anything to write about today, but as several people have told me, I should just type and find out what I am able to bring out of the ether. I don’t want people to be put off by anything that I say, or even things I may not say at times like this. I have many letters to write today, I have been getting so many letters that it is now impossible to answer them all. I only have so many hours in the day, besides which we are only allowed to buy so many postage stamps per week and as it stands now, I use all of the ones I am able to buy plus more that other men can help me with. I only hope that the people that have not received a letter back from me will understand why I am unable to respond to their correspondence.

I am suffering from writer’s block. I apologize for not having anything to write about today.

45 days to live.

Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 44

I want to share yet another poem that I have written to express how I have been feeling here lately. I am not sure if it will be helpful to you who read these words or not, but either way I wish you to know how I see things on a daily basis, not just the good but also the things that make me just wish I could break down and cry.

I feel the need to tell you the unabashed truth rather than to fill you with falsehoods and candy-coasted truths that only serve to make you, the reader, feel good. That being said I will now write the poem…

A man thinking back over his past,
a writhing cloud of emotion clears.
Forty year old eyes look back
at a ten year old face.
Echoes from the past,
all he now hears.
Pushed from mother’s side,
discarded and unwanted,
into a twisted world he’s thrown.
Concrete and steel
all that a ten year olds eyes see,
to shape the only life
he’s ever known.
Raised in a cage, how did he ever
grow wings to fly?
It took thirteen to sentence him that
cold November night, when they told
him he must die


These are the thoughts that have been going through my head today. I cannot understand why I have been thrown away to die, especially when I feel that I have something to share with the world. I want to scream out that this is all so unfair, but who will listen to me? Who will actually stop the Texas killing machine from spewing me out when they have their way? I believe in justice, I truly do, but the death penalty has not been about justice, but about vengeance. Texas courts have been giving you, the public, vengeance for the crimes that have been committed, but will my death bring back those men that Billy Galloway killed? Will his death? I tell you that it will not, nor will it bring closure to the victim’s family. You may believe differently but think for a moment and you too will see that if something that happened twelve years ago is once more brought to light it only opens wounds that have scar tissue to bleed once more. How then is this closure? I have stated before, and will continue to scream, that if I could bring those two men back from the realm of death, I would. I do not have this power. My death will serve not justice, but vengeance. I do not think the families of the two slain men are the types to want vengeance, but if they are, then I will go to my death knowing that I personally did not harm those people that they loved. My life is counted in days and I know the truth of my actions and I find that I can bear that burden.

46 days to live.

Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 43

It is getting harder and harder to find the motivation to continue this life. I don’t mean to sound fatalistic about this, and I certainly do not want to gain support through sympathy but I choose not to lie about my feelings. My reason for these feelings today are the so-called clergy that finds its way on to the tiers of death row. How can these men call themselves servants of God while they support a system of death? To sit passively by is one thing; I have heard a story today that has me shaking my head.

I was told that a clergyman that has once been in the death chamber to lend a spiritual support to those men that were unlucky enough to find themselves in the death chamber, but on one occasion this man helped to strap a man to the gurney! I cannot find any evidence to support this claim, as the man who was to have done this has been released from employment at TDC.

They have yet another bastion of good will that asks if the man to be murdered would like to have a human touch as he is murdered, and if the man relents and acquiesces to having the man hold his ankle while the state murders him, the clergyman places his hand upon the condemned mans ankle and prays for that person while the state stops his heart. In practice this sounds very noble, but if the other story is true, how long before this new man will be willing to help the state by strapping a man to receive a lethal dose of poison? Can it be any wonder why I have so much trouble finding motivation to continue this life? When the servants of God turn into the servants of death rather than a savior, we have found yet another creature of oppression.

47 days to live. May tomorrow bring hope anew.

Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 42

Each day I have had to find a new source of strength and when I do find that source of strength I know that I can get through even the horrors I find here on death watch. I never meant to use this venue as a whine session; I at first only wished to show the public at large what a man who has been sentenced to die faces in his last days. I cannot say that it is a glamorous life by any stretch of the imagination. This is not some Hollyweird movie that glorifies or romanticizes the life of a killer. Besides which I am not a killer. Everyday I live among these men, I talk to them, I have grown close to a few, and I may even die among them but one thing that no one can ever get me to claim is the title of killer. I regret the deaths of the two men that sent me to this place and if possible I would resurrect them both to their loved ones and remain in prison, but unfortunately death cannot be healed, neither can it stop the next man from killing if he so desires.

I have survived on the most prolific death row in the world: I will not glorify this place, as it is not a place that has any redeeming qualities at all. Not so with the men who have found their way here. I will not say that each man here regrets his action or that there is remorse for what they did, but does this mean that he should be murdered> I just wonder at this way of thinking as a deterrent to crime. How many people have come through the doors since I got here? How many men stopped to think about the death penalty? I know that there are many who killed in the heat of passion and would never again raise a hand against another of there were given a life sentence, but no they are sent here to exist as a non-entity until their appeals run their course and the great Texas killing machine is oiled up to devour yet another man. Oh wait, yes now it is all clear to me, maybe the next murder by Texas, set for the 30th of March will be the one that Texas has waited for, the one that vindicates their blood lust all these year. I view Texas’ death penalty like an arrogant child who has been told that they cannot do something of course they will dig in their heels and kick and scream that it is their right to do as they wish. Where is the ‘parent’ to show the child that they are wrong? I thought that the US government was supposed to protect and serve us in the capacity of a parent figure. I fear what will become of us as a society if we continue to allow ourselves to remain parentless. Who will save us? I have nothing more for today.

Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 41

I have come to the realization that I am just one of those people that is destined to be abandoned again and again by the very people that have professed their love for me. It started when I was but ten years old my mother told them to take me away. I spent so many years wondering what was wrong with me and why my mother had me sent away. Then I met and fell in love with Nichole, she forced me away and while this is not strictly speaking “abandonment” the feelings were the same, I wonder to this day why she chose those other men over me, was not my love enough for her? What did those men give her emotionally that I was not able to give? You’d think I’d have learned not to allow my heard to bleed for another woman, but along came Samantha who came into my life soon after I was rejected by Stefania, to promise me forever, and by forever she meant until she found it necessary to carve out my heart to wear around her neck as a bauble. Then once more Stefania came into my life to tell me that she too would stand by my side until the sun burned out, and stupidly I believed her I find that I have not heard from her in quite some time. I do not understand what it is about me that has these women leaving me to my fate. Is the execution too hard for them to handle? Am I so loathsome a man that they want nothing to do with me? Do they find their feelings for me repugnant? How can I ever allow myself to feel love to another woman ever again? Is my desire for love so great that I believe in the idea of love more than the love itself?

I am not unlike most everyone else in that I too need and desire love from another. I have friends that love me and that have supported me since they first came into my life, I have now heard from two step-sisters that I do not know, one of whom I have met once years ago when I was first arrested on these charges, they both have sent me their love, but will they like so many in my life abandon me? I have so few people that have stood by me for this. I cannot tell you how many pen-friends over the years have just stopped writing with no explanation as to why they no longer wished to correspond with me. I cannot begin to tell you that when this happens I begin to believe that those twelve people were right and that I do not have any redeeming qualities about me. I am sorry if it seems as if all I am doing is whining and bitching about my poor life. But this is the way I feel today.

Most of you out there can relate to the feelings I have been describing here, have had someone that just left for no reason and left without caring what impact it had on you. I know that my own children have had those thoughts when they think of my own leaving. I would say to them that I am so sorry for putting them through that, and had I had it all to do over again I would most certainly not leave them without their father. I know that through this journal I have found supp0ort from many people who wish to see me get a stay or even better to get clemency and go on to live out my life even behind bars, but I ask now how many of you will remain to me if that does happen? Will you all fade as time goes by? Can I count on any of you to go through that life behind bars with me? I cannot expect it from each and every one of you, but to know that at least some of you will still be by my side if that comes about is enough for now.

49 days to live…


Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 40

I cannot say that I feel much better today than I did yesterday but I feel I owe it to all of you to write my feelings down even when all I am doing is lamenting about how life has been so cruel to me. I do not want anyone to think that is all I am doing with these journal entries. I feel that I am giving a true accounting of the life of a man on death watch.

I have run a gambit of emotions since finding that my date is May 12th and only because of the positive feedback am I continuing to write to you and feel as if I am doing something that may help someone decide that capital punishment is wrong. I know that there are people who fervently believe in the old adage “an eye for an eye”. Do these people purposely forget that the Bible also states that vengeance belongs to God? Convenient right? I know that the God that saved my soul will continue to love those people but can he not show them that to kill is wrong? Yes we all know that the first commandment is “Though shalt not kill” but I guess that Texans feel this does not mean them, for in their righteousness they continue to kill without regards for the Bible that they feel gives them that self same right. I did not mean to turn this into a religious talk. I just find it hard not to break down when I think of these people having what they call a “God given right” to kill me because they have the political power to do so.

50 days to live…

Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 39

Well just like that I plummeted from the heights. I received a letter today from the Texas Defenders Service telling me that they couldn’t help me because of a conflict of interest due to the fact that I still have one of the states lawyers working my case. I had asked these people to help me fire this attorney in order to avoid a conflict of interest, yet here I am with the very situation that tried to avoid in the first place. It is for this reason that I try to avoid hope when it comes to saving my life. It is so difficult not to have hope. But then when I do get even a modicum of that hope that my life will be saved, I am dashed to the rocks below. So as I write this my body lies broken and torn, how can I place my faith in anything now? I have always thought God would save me, but even my faith in him has started to falter and wane. I have one more place to set hope, but am so afraid of doing so. The greater the heights soared, the greater the fall.

That is all I wish to write today. 51 days to live.

Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 38

As these days pass I am finding it harder and harder to find things to write about. I feel I have expressed my angst and despair and my glimpses of happiness very well. I do not know how many times I can tell you that this place is full of people that are waiting to die and that the very air seems at times to be filled with fear until you too are filled with that self same fear. So I think that today I will attempt to lighten the mood by telling you about an infatuation that I have had for going on eleven years now.

The first time I heard the song “Hit Me Baby One More Time” I felt something stir within me, yes, I am talking about Britney Spears! All the men on death row that know me also know of this infatuation with Britney. I do not know what it is about her that has captivated me so. I DO believe she is one of the most physically perfect human beings I have ever seen in my life, but this goes deeper than the physical. I have read everything I can about her and some people here laughingly call me a stalker because of my obsession with her. I think that she is searching for someone to love her for her, not for her money or fame, but for her as her. When she married that guy Jason Alexander I truly think she married him because he saw her as her, not as the superstar. I am not sure why I have decided to tell you about this, maybe I am hoping that someone out there reading this knows her and will forward the information on. Hell a few years ago I sent to a lawyer firm a portrait I drew of her because they claimed that I would receive a personalized picture from Britney herself. I got nothing in return.

I am quite aware of the fact that this makes me look like a crazy person to many of you out there, but that is fine with me because I am who I am and have long ago stopped caring what other people thought of me. I do not claim that I do not want other people to like or even love me, but when it comes to what people think, I do not care, I feel we should accept people the way they are and not as we would like them to be. So I will die with my infatuation of the woman I find intriguing sexy and not to mention of the best pop singers of the generation. I feel she will be as big as Madonna was in the day. Crazy or not I hope this entry doesn’t change anyone’s mind about me and if it does, well I can do nothing about it. I just wanted to give the readers a glimpse into my head to try and know something personal about me that has nothing to do with my date and dying. I want to think of other things sometimes, things that help distract me from this. Listening to music helps me do that. I listen to my radio and one station in particular to hear a Britney song. I sign off for today…52 days to live.

Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 37

I have found inspiration in the guise of an old friend of mine. Last night when they passed out mail I received an assortment of letters. Some from established friends and a few of hem from new people writing to me as a result of this journal, and one from someone that I have not heard from since 1998! She was the friend of a girlfriend that I had back in 1988, Dawn was like a little sister to me. I always thought of her as such, and at one time even thought of taking our relationship to the next level. The only think that stopped me from doing so was that I knew it would lead to the ruination of our friendship. I valued her too much as a friend to subject her to that! I found out through her letter that my trial attorney lied to her telling her that I have no desire to have contact with her or anyone else from my life. I was so angry at his last night that I started to cuss out people around me due to this anger. I decided to lie on my bed and tine out everything around me, losing myself in the music (a local radio program plays speed metal on Thursday nights…PERFECT!) Then I got up to answer her letter, in answering it I relieved many of the times we spent together. She is a special person. She is the kind of person that would give you her last dollar if you needed it. Her letter has shown me that I will live; I may die in the physical sense, though my mortal remains pass on, I will live on through her but also through each of you. These thoughts have refueled me, as I am the phoenix rising from my own pyre. Though I am not yet dead, I feel that I have been reborn through her letter. Can anyone doubt the power of love? Yes Dawn loves me and I her, ours is a love build on friendship. She and I share much and I thank for now for this resurrection of sorts.

I am full of energy this morning! I only slept for like six hours and needed no prompting to force myself out of bed today. I have found yet another reason for fighting. I have found someone from my past and I wish could not have been gone from my life. I have been given a gift thought her letter. I hope my elation is coming through because for the first time in days I have found a smile and I sincerely hope that I do not love it ever again. I live in an atmosphere that breeds animosity and strife, so even in the best of times, which obviously this is NOT, is not conductive to tranquility. I say this only you allow you the reader to better understand the difficulty I find in keeping my spirits up. I can still feel the shadow touch of the melancholy I have just recently been released from awaiting me. I know that each day will be a struggle, but if I can summon a single smile then I have won. I still have those fears due to a lack of communication from the people I feel are supposed to help me, but I hope that I will now have a renewed source of strength. I dedicate this entry to Dawn Marie Sippert.


Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 36

I am sorry to you that must read my depressive state, but you wanted the truth right? Yeah I know that the truth seldom is what we believe it to be. Rarely is the truth gentle and kind. Care careful of what you wish because you just may get it?!? That is the truth. My truth today is that I have been struggling to maintain my good outlook on this whole situation.

I now spend each day wondering if my life will truly end in 55 days. I had thought that the man who was to help me would by now have gained me a stay. So as each day draws me closer with that date, my level of fear rises. I have attempted to put on a brave face, to face what may come without flinching but to tell you that I had no fear; I can no longer put up that pretense. I hope that tomorrow will show me something that will lend strength to me, but until then I am going to close, I apologize to all of you that are reading my words to get inspiration, as some days I am unable to muster enough words. I thank you for the support and continued prayers.

Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 35

I find myself attempting to stave off depression every day. Each day that I spend on death watch is becoming more of a challenge than the one before. When I first learned of my execution date I found that I would sleep bout three to four hours a night as I feared missing something, as time has gone by I have been sleeping in excess of twelve hours a night and finding it harder and harder to find the desire to get out of bed. Each day is a struggle that finds me apathetic as to whether or not I get up.

I believe that it is due to the fact that I have heard nothing on whether or not I will receive a stay of execution. I have written to people that are supposed to help people in my position to file those writs that your attorney will not file on your behalf, which may sound fantastical to some of you. You may think that the lawyers we have are those that you have seen in the movies or read about in books. Think John Grisham’s character in the book The Chamber and you will know what I mean. The truth of the matter is that our attorneys are for the most part men paid by the state to represent us. These men are given $25,000.00 to prepare out appeal. This may sound like a lot of money to most people, but if you take into consideration the amount of money it takes to hire an investigator to travel to places and interview potential witnesses and similar expenses then you will realize that the money is barely enough for a proper defensive appeal. Our bastions of legal defense are men and women who will do the bare minimum in presenting each client, of which many have several that they “represent”. I am scared now of what may come as a result of hem delaying to the point of my being executed. I want to scream at the top of my lungs and proclaim to the world that I fear this, but the thing is that I know that it would only be a futile effort on my part as I have come to feel incapable of helping myself. My faith in the legal representation is almost non-existent. There are the fears that keep me in my bed fighting with myself each day to even bother getting up. At times I feel like a leaf in a whirlwind, with as much chance of directing my fate.

I know that many of you have been writing on my behalf and that the journal has inspired some to help me, I think that if it weren’t for you out there I would curl into the fetal position and wait for my date. I must find the strength each day, and each day that I do get out and write and not just lie awaiting death is in itself a victory.

I have 56 days to live; I will attempt to stave off the bleakness I have found encroaching upon me as of late. Thank you for listening to me rant. You have helped me just with your patience and giving me this venue.


Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Art by Lars Snow

Grinch 2' x 3" Acrylic
First Place in Christmas Door Decorating Contest


Red Skull Sunset
10.5" x 12 Acrylic


Raven Valknot
2' x 4' Acrylic on a Bedsheet




Lars Snow 750702 D-B-434
Coyote Ridge Corrections Center MSC
P.O. Box 769
Connell, WA 99326

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 34

I had a dream last night that I was in a giant building. The building so tall that its top floors reaching into the clouds. I stood on the roof looking down onto a street so far below me that it seemed to be a slow moving stream. The wind buffeting me and threatening to push me over the edge. I knew that I was still imprisoned on death row, but also knowing in the way of dreams that if I could find my way to street level I could gain my freedom. So I made my way through this elaborate building within my dream. Although the focus of the dream changed at every turn I made within the labyrinthian building, I knew that I must find that street exit. I found myself running through boiler-roomesque rooms, the steam rising as if I were in the bowels of hell and still could not find my way out. I ran through office spaces that I knew belonged to difference factions of the prison, secretarial pools where I stopped to discuss various topics that I knew were only a moment’s distraction from the great escape that I was attempting. But no matter how many floors I traversed, how many hallways that I walked, I never could find the doorway out. At one point I found myself staring at the much sought after exit only to be distracted from my goal by the allure of feminine contact, when I finally realized that I had finally found that elusive exit, I have gotten myself turned around and could not again find the exit to give me egress from this place I have found myself.

I am no psychoanalyst but I am sure the portent of the dream means that no matter what I try I will not be getting out of here. What truly bothers me of that I have no clue as to my fate here on death watch, Does the dream portent that I will search for the door only to be thwarted? Does it mean that I must remain in prison for the rest of my life? I wish I knew what the dream meant. No one could look forward to spending their life behind walls and steel bars, but when it is all you’ve really known then it is not that bad. I mean I wish to write a novel and if I am granted a life sentence I will fulfill this dream. If I am to be executed then I will leave behind the legacy of these journal entries. Either way I have written something that many people have found an interest in. I know that what I am about to say will sound so cliché but that doesn’t, or at least shouldn’t, take away from the statement, look within yourself and realize your dreams and then figure out the way those dreams can be made reality. Why wait until you’ve been handed a death sentence to figure out the things you could have done. I know that some people will argue that they don’t have enough time to do some of the things that they would like to do. When you are looking into the abyss you realize that time is a relative thing.

I close for now, but here is to those of you who are brave enough to embrace your dreams and make them become a reality.

Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 33

I have seen the worst possible face of humanity since coming to death row and also the best. How can this be you ask? Well let me relay a story that while not my own, is true. A man who has since been executed told this story that he entitled “What’s in the bag?” When he first arrived on the row he came to the old unit where death row was being housed. Well he came up to his new home what could only be described as drab, and believe me that by comparison the cell which I must exist is plus indeed! Well there he found himself in this empty cell with the noises of the cell hall echoing around him, he was scared and nervous. After all, these are the worst criminals that Texas’ system has. Then a man approached his cell front and asked the man his name. Not knowing what to say the man mumbled his name and then to his utter shock and amazement the other man leaned out to address the rest of the cell hall. “Hey we got a newbie here with nothing, anybody want to help him out?” Then the man disappeared as several men screamed out. The man was again alone with his thoughts. A short time later a brown paper bag was slid through the bars to the man, he had no idea who had slid the thing into his cell. For a long time he stared at the bag wondering what was the purpose of this bag? Then, as his curiosity got the better of him, he slid the bag closer with his foot to peel open the folded down top, inside were shampoo, soap and some food items. The man never found out who had given him such gifts, but on other occasions he was asked to give in return as other men would come to the row.

I have kept this story inside my head for years since reading it soon after the man had it published in some forum that I cannot remember. I have pulled this story out of memory when there have been times I needed to be reminded that not every man here with me is the monster that society would have you believe us to be. I would be the first to admit that there are men here that fit that description, but those who do not far out number those who do.

If a man is willing to change and repent should we not be given that chance? I have less than sixty days to live and I would hope that some of you out there that have adverse opinion about me and men like myself would look into your hearts and see that if it were one of the people that you loved in my place would you not want them to find help? I close on that thought for now.

Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 32

I have once more received emails from Tracey, and while many gave support there were comments that were less than inspiring. Rather than refute their views, I will allow them their opinion of me, and that which I am doing here. I again thank you that have shown me love and support for this struggle.

Today has been uneventful with one exception. We have had another addition to our little community. The man’s name is David Powell. Texas’ hunger for death cannot be sated. As I write again I have realized that my so-called attorney has not contacted me to tell me anything. I find myself wondering how this man can look at himself in his mirror? I mean I understand that he has a caseload of appeals, but should he be able to continue to represent so many, in a word he cannot! But I do not wish to fill pages with that because it truly is counter-productive to my state of mental health. What I would like to talk about today is the tour that came through here today. I found myself in the dayroom at the time that they came in, I saw that these people saw me as nothing but a rabid animal that might lash out and kill one of them given half a chance. This saddened me more than I can tell you. I try to allow those of society to have their own opinions and not to allow those opinions to reflect upon me, but I coupled those looks with the emails I received this evening and I was reminded of the fact that more people view me as such. I am judged by them simply for being here. Never mind the facts of my case; never mind that so long a time has passed since the crime was committed. I saw them look upon me as they would some exotic and most dangerous animal on display. So much for the humane side of humanity, as I believe it to be in moderation here at the Polunsky Unit. I cannot say that every individual I come across here feels this way. Today an officer told me that they have been keeping up with these writings! I cannot say who the officer is, but that individual knows to whom I refer and I thank that person for even a silent support. It has shown me that even those who warden this place, not all are a part of the draconian rule that governs this place. This one officer’s support counters these people whose adverse opinions have been voiced where I am able to read them. I will be back with something more tomorrow.

Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Note about Thomas

I would like to inform all of Thomas' friends and those that read this journal of a change in his situation. Someone has contacted the Polunsky Unit and reported on inmates participating as attorneys in each others defense. Thomas has now had a case filed against him and has been sent to Level 3.

Level 3 restrictions include no electrical devices such as his radio, no extra food from the commissary, only one visit per month and no special visits to name a few.

Inmates on Level 3 are severely restricted in what they can purchase in terms of stamps so please be patient over the next 3 or 4 months if you are expecting correspondence. Being so limited with stamps, he will not be able to write back to everyone for now. Thomas is still able to receive mail however, but given the situation there may be some delays. Please don't forget him and continue to write and support him, he needs it now more than ever as you can imagine how saddened he is at not being able to be there for Kevin. He did expect some negative feedback for allowing Kevin's Journal here as he has been getting that ever since he started his own journal.

Thank you everyone.
Tracey

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 31

I am feeling so depressed today and really do not feel like writing today, but as several people have told me I am writing about not feeling like writing. I now realize that a lot of people are reading my journal and I feel obligated to express even my feelings of not feeling the urge to write. I can tell you though where the depression has come from. My stepsister Jodi wrote to me and explained why she discontinued our relationship several years ago. She began to question what my co-defendants and I were doing in San Antonio, the city that is close to where my father lived at the time of the murders. She expressed her worry that I, or more likely my co-defendant Billy Galloway would confront my father and that her mother, my father’s wife would be killed and that if her daughter were there that she would be harmed, even killed! I felt as if I had been punched in the stomach when I read her words. I realize that she does not know me and so has no idea what I am capable of. If she had just come to me with her worries years ago she would have known that I am not capable of harming a child. She and I have missed out on years of a relationship that we could have built had she only come to me with this. I am deeply hurt by her accusations; I use this word because that is what it felt like to me. She is my family, even if by marriage, but I am not the kind of man who harms his own family, at least not physically. I am aware that my actions have caused many hurt feelings by my family, but just because I am on Death Row my own family has thought I could harm her daughter, is she any different than those that have sent me here? I told her not to bother writing me any more, I wish that Jodi and I could have built that relationship, but I do not want her to feel obligated to have one now that I am at death’s door. She can try my brother Sean, maybe they can find a bond, I just hope she doesn’t accuse him of a possible crime that she has no idea if he is capable of committing!

I will write more tomorrow.

Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 30

I once saw the stockyards of a local slaughterhouse where the cattle are off loaded into pens to await their turn on the kill floor. A herder comes out to force them into the chute that leads onto the kill floor where a faceless man shoots them in the head and then he awaits the next bovine with a passionless patience. Why should he have compassion for them when they are not worth his worry? After all why waste your emotion upon an unthinking entity, when another will be waiting to face their death as well.

When a man first comes to death row he is placed into the general population of other death row inmates and soon it is easy to forget that you have been sentenced to die here, then every once in a while your lawyer sends you the denial from the courts and for a brief time you think of your sentence, only to lose yourself in the distractions that have become your life in this place, before you realize is that life is turned into the date of your death. That was the day I became cattle. I was moved from the holding pens into the chute that leads to the kill floor, but unlike those mindless cattle, I intend to fight the faceless man who will push that button that will stop my heart. My “fight” is here with these words. I do not wish to be lead to my death on the kill floor with a passionless death at the end. I thought that being moved to death watch was the hard part, but it is not. I must watch each man leave and not come back. Once a man is on death watch they have fourteen cells on the section, as any of the sections on this building where death row inmates are housed, but they have two cells that are equipped with cameras where each man is moved when his date moves forward just like our cattle we are funneled into the chutes that leave us in a position to die. My cell is right next to one of these two cells. Joshua “Moe” Maxwell was in that cell but before his corpse was in the ground they moved another man into this cell. I feel like a man being tortured by having to sit and watch each of these men be led to their deaths. As much as I dreaded coming to death watch, I dread that cell even more.


Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 29

Today’s entry will be a poem I write recently. I had just found out that the Supreme Court had denied my case and I wad expected to receive a date any day. It was two weeks later that I was scheduled to die on May 12th. I hope the images I conjure with my words will not offend anyone. I merely wish to convey to you the feelings that came over me as I sat and contemplated what was to come next for me. I have always dabbled in poetry, I am not sure if I am any good at it, but then I would never have thought that so many people would read what I had to say here in this forum. I have been proven wrong on that account. Then again, it may turn some people away; I hope that it does not though. The poem is untitled.

As I sit in the death box and watch the sands of time fall,
how can I perceive of anything remotely resembling life?
With ghoulish glee those who warden my existence
strap others down to sink their venomous fangs in those prone forms.
Hearts flutter with fear and anxiety as each binding draws tight,
once a proud individual now reduced to quivering fear.
What comes next? Oblivion or eternal damnation,
Either way I must face the ferryman,
pay his toll and step to the bow as I watch reality fade
as the stench of the river Styx fills my head.
Breathe deeply of death as it is now “ALL”,
reduced to nothing,
my once life is but a passing memory.
Before me stand those gates, gold?
Now that I can see them clearly, I realize they are not tarnished gold,
but built of misery, pain and degradation.
To pass beyond their thresh-hold will test my sanity,
death’s embrace, cold and bitter,
yet to feel fear is better than emptiness.


I hope that you can see that my feelings sometimes run into the dark places where we seldom wish to go, but if you are honest with yourself you too will admit that you have visited those places within yourself. This does not mean that you are yourself “dark”, only that you are able to see that in those dark recesses of your mind you can sometimes find a little bit of light to guide you9 through and you can then appreciate that light a little better for having experienced that darkness. I truly hope that you can understand me better for having seen into one of my dark places.

I again thank those of you who sent letters. I have received more this evening. I enjoy reading them and as I have stated will try to answer them, I only ask your patience as I am writing more here in these last days than in all my years on the row. I can say honestly that it has helped focus my mind to fight to live! Thank you all.

Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 28

Tomorrow yet another man is to die. His name is Joshua “Moe” Maxwell. I want everyone to know these men I am being forced to become close to only to watch them fall, one by one, to the unrelenting and unremorseful state of Texas. It is stated that when a man is in trial that defendant so and so never showed an ounce of remorse as he sat and listened to the accounts of the brutal crime for which he has been accused, I ask then should not the state also show remorse for the killing of a man, no matter the crime he has been convicted of? Is the state of Texas exempt from remorse? I will not require an answer to that, as we all know the truth behind it. I however will speak now about Moe.

He has twenty-four hours to live, as I am writing this at 6.07pm. He seems upbeat for the most part. He is my neighbor and has chosen to spend a few hours right now writing to his children. He, like so many parents, has an unconditional love for and of his children. I have been privy to accounts of his last visits since Monday. He has a daughter who I call Jamie Lynn, because she has an uncanny resemblance to Britney Spears’ little sister, whom Moe seems to dote upon. His son seems to me to be a trooper and someone who is mature beyond his years, then again, this place ages everyone that is exposed to it. Moe is a more reserved person than Sleepy was and so chooses to spend this last day in reflection and not reliving the good and or bad times as did Sleepy. Each of us faces this in his own way, none id better nor worse. I cannot imagine what it is to know that when the sun sets tomorrow I will no longer breathe. I can only hope that when my time comes, whether it be in sixty odd days or sixty years, I will go one to the next live, or oblivion with even a modicum of the grace that I see from Moe.

I never really knew Moe until I came to death watch. I of course knew who he was and had a respect for him, not only because like myself he is from the north and has found himself on Texas’ death row but also because he always seemed to be an upstanding convict, which is not always the case. It is quite disconcerting how fast someone here on death watch can become close to another, I think it is the shared tragedy of this place or maybe that we are able to speak to others who are about to die and who understand what we are going through. We are unable to speak about certain things even with our closest friends and loved ones because we try to be strong for their benefit. I hope that Moe finds the peace he has been denied while on the row. I will remember him if he is taken from us tomorrow. I wish his family well. Please pray not only for him, but the family he leaves behind. He himself is not a religious man but that doesn’t mean he wont appreciate those prayers from those of you who are of the praying mindset, I will be praying myself tomorrow when the clock strikes the hour of six… 64 days to live.

Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 27

I received a letter from my mother, brother and sons last night. The one from my mother spoke of wishes for a visit, but lacking the funds to do so at this time. I think that she wants to wait and see what happens before spending the money to come, only to be forced to spend more money than she can afford to come back down in May. She hates coming here, when she lived here in Texas she would come as often as she could make herself. I wish she’s have come every week but can understand that seeing me in that box just reaffirms what I am here to die. I have caused her such pain by my actions, actions that have sent me to prison and away from her and my family.

The letters from my sons were as different as they are from one another. My oldest spoke of the May visit but not much else, he has so many anger issues at my leaving him without a father which I can understand as I too was in that unenviable position of growing up without a father. We tell ourselves that we are not going to repeat the sins of our fathers, well sometimes that is much easier said than done. The letter from my younger son was most inspiring to me. He told me a lie that was one of the most well intended lies I have ever been told. He told me that he had no regret at having to grow up without me there. I could love him for those words alone.

My brother’s letter was the hardest to read. After our brother Richard was shot and killed my brother Sean became my best friend. Prior to Rich’s death, Sean and I could not be in the same room for more than a few moments without fighting either verbally or physically. Then when we became the closest of friends, I found that we are so much alike that it is scary at times. All three of us could have passed for triplets, so now in my late teens many people mistook us for twins. While I was serving my time for the robbery I wrote about a few days ago, Sean began an affair with Nicole my wife! The entire family hid this fact from me for quite some time. Now on the eve of my murder he wishes for my forgiveness. I find myself wanting to not forgive him, but in a very nasty letter written only moments before starting this journal entry, I gave him that forgiveness but I also gave him the full brunt of my anger.

All my life I have bottled up my anger and it has lead to some unfortunate incidents where I would scream at the smallest provocation, many times directing an over amount of anger at someone who frankly did not deserve such. This time though I decided to speak my mind and tell him that while he had the forgiveness for his betrayal he does not have my understanding. He has my anger. I want none of his false support. I have been on death row for almost a decade and he came to Texas once, only he did not come exclusively to see me. His girlfriend at that time had taken a strippers job in Galveston and well two birds with one stone. I find it morbidly humorous to see all the people that wish to wish me luck with my death when I struggled for some time without their help the entire time I have been here, now that I have a date, they are here for me! I could have used this support when I got here. My mother was here until the coming here became too much for her to bear, then she went back to South Dakota to be close to her grandchildren, who in my opinion needed her more than I did at the time.

I am of two minds now that I sit here writing this, should I make amends with Sean and die (if it comes to that) knowing that he and I are “good”? Or should I leave it like this? I went as far as to say that need not bother coming down here if it appears I will be murdered. I do not wish to look upon his or Nicole’s faces ever again. I have resigned myself to the fact that I cannot count upon certain people.

I will write again tomorrow.

May you all know peace with one another. Know that I am thankful for the letters I have received from some of you that have been following this. I also with you to know that I am trying to answer all of them but I have only so much time and am being run ragged here lately so if you have written and not by this time gotten a response it is NOT because I am indifferent, but have a lack of time. I continue to be grateful for any and all supporting words and for those of you who have written for clemency on my behalf. I ask this of you though, if each of you could ask one or two friends to also write something for me, I believe in my soul that you people have the power to change things. Even if you fail to change the governor’s mind and I am murdered, please do not give up hope, find another person here on the row who can be saved.


Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Robert Williams (PA) Audio Readings

Readings by Robert Williams aka Asafo Chuma Asafo





Robert Williams BH8660
SCI Huntingdon
1100 Pike Street
Huntingdon, PA 16654-1112


ABOUT ASAFO... A POEM
The first week of September is when I was supposed to show my face; 
Born a month late, they said October 3rd was my curse date
From day one I was gripped in the fist of hate; 
Struggling to make a narrow escape from a twisted fate
Wondering why circumstances had me waiting on the earth; 
til I learned I was the twin brother of destiny, but separated at birth
Left up to me to bear the weight of my worth
A hard task indeed, since even I couldn't seem to fathom me
Couldn't question my own conscience 'cause even that was snatched from me
With an identity baptised in pseudonyms that couldn't tell the half of me
Hell, my own DNA didn't even match with me
They say I got my father's frown and my mother's grin; 
Crazy thing is, I know neither her nor him
I guess that's why the line between Love & Hate is so thin
Given the blueprint on life but still didn't know where to begin
Then again, this could explain my aimless search for a trite glory; while chasing the same frivolous sin; as my Life's Story was written in one sentence; by the state's iniquitous pen....
TO BE CONTINUED... Asafo Chuma Asafo 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 26

I am still working to fix the trans-warp drive to enable me to return to Ramosia but in the mean time I have decided to study the local life forms I have come into contact with. I have built a crude blind that seems to have effectively foiled these primitive people that call themselves “Texans”. I have a rude understanding of their language. By Ramosian standards these people live no better than animals and as such are cruel and kind by turns, I feel they live more by instinct than any true form of higher understanding of what it is to be an intelligent and productive member of the universe at large, but as with so many primitive peoples we have come into contact with, there should always be hope that they’ll learn to become what we consider sophisticated. I have found however that they still practice capital punishment! I cannot fathom placing the stigma of death upon any crime. How can we as an intelligent race allow this to continue? I know that we are not to interfere, but I think that only applies to the military and since all of the military personnel were killed by the burst of radiation that damaged the trans-warp drive, I feel comfortable enough to attempt to change this vile and ultimately self defeating act of capital punishment…

Sorry people, I just felt like a bit of fantasy today to mix it up. I feel that the heavy and depressing topic of my impending death in a few short weeks is a bit much for me today. I will return tomorrow though.

I again wish to thank all the people who are reading this and lending me their support. I cannot begin to express the way I feel from learning that I can make a difference. I hope that I am alive to see the change but I feel that the struggle MUST go on. I know that there are those who will continue the fight, these are the staunch proponents against the death penalty, those are NOT the people to whom I direct my comment but to those of you who are really undecided. Think about my little foray into fantasy, what will people that consider themselves to be of higher intelligence think of us humans when they discover that we practice capital punishment upon another intelligent individual? I ask this because unbeknownst to most of you out there. Texas has a law, or maybe it is a federal law that states a mentally retarded person is exempt from being executed. Should we not attempt to also save those with even a modicum of intelligence? Who knows what these men, myself included, are capable of if given half the chance? Think about it.

Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 25

I am not sure exactly how the human mind works, but I have been hearing, as I believe we all have at one point or another, about the psychic capacity or potential I guess would be a better term. However we look at these things, at times we have all experienced this, you will be thinking of someone and they will call you. So I was writing about my miseries in yesterday’s journal and I went to sleep thinking that I had few people that truly cared whether or not I lived or died. Well I was awoken by the officer passing out the mail. I got in the mail an e-mail (JPay) letter from Thomas’ friend Tracey. She sent along the comments that some of you have made about this journal. I was moved to tears, and as any of you that been following my words know that I am not a person that cries easily. I am not a religious person, I prefer to think of myself as a spiritualist, I believe in the trinity and that I will go on to heaven if God forgives the sins I commit, but when I read that you people out there are not only listening to me but are actually willing to help me stay alive, I prayed a prayer of thanksgiving to God. I thank all of you that are willing to write letters to help save me. What can I say that will show my appreciation? I guess I could reply on simplicity and say, Thank you, thank you for caring, for loving another human whom you’ve never met, who has never claimed to be an angel, I have been many things but never that. Thank you I believe mostly for the trust and belief you have in my ability to contribute to society. You will, I hope, never find out what it feels like to be called utterly worthless, knowing full well that you can be a productive member of society. The fact that a small group of people almost a decade ago said exactly this to me has had an impact upon the way I look at myself. I mean sure I have tried to deny their assessment of me, but always there would be a small, almost insignificant voice that would whisper, “maybe…” To have my self worth affirmed by you is as great a gift for me as freedom, well okay, maybe not that much, but seriously it is a great thing to know that someone can see me as having potential again.

I close today with each of you on my mind and renewed hope in my fellow man. I mean if you guys are having faith in me, should I not too have some faith that there is a humane spirit with the state of Texas’ powers that be and I will be given a change to live. I will trade the prospect of death for even a life within the confines of prison. Who knows what a man, even one who must spend his days in a cage, is capable of? I could grow wings and fly chained to the earth as I am I too could soar through the ether. You people have given me new hope.

Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 24

I am really falling into a depressive state. It is not solely because of the date, though that certainly is a contributing factor. I never got the visit I was expecting from my mother and sons. I have been long periods without visits with them since coming to death row as they live in South Dakota and I am of course in Texas. Now however that I have this execution date I am feeling their absence keenly and I, as I stated previously am feeling abandoned once more. I can tell you though about one person who despite my stupidity has never abandoned me. This person had every right to go on about her life and forget about me. I decided to stop writing her because of Samantha. I foolishly wasted my time when in the end Samantha too abandoned me like most every person who I have placed my trust in. The person I am speaking of is a special person who has my heart, my trust, my loyalty and most important to me she has my respect. Her name is Stefania Silva and she lives in Italy. I want to tell the world that she is the single, most dedicated person in my life as far as the fight to save my life goes. Where is Samantha, you know the woman who claimed she would love me for eternity? I still love her and I will never deny my love for her. I love Stefania as well, my love for her though has taken longer to develop. I have known Stefi for longer than I knew Sammy J. I just feel that you have a right to know that even though my family and my so-called wife have left me to my fate, I have one person that has and shall remain as constant as the tides.

As I type this journal I have run the gambit of emotions and I am sure that before it is all said and done I will once more. I am sure that most every one of you that read these words may doubt what I am about to say, but please believe me when I tell you, because I wish to paint as accurate a picture of this place as possible I am sure that others in my position could and would use the space Thomas has allotted me to speak lies to ensure that the public at large would support their cause. I feel that those who wish to take an active role in the fight to save my life will do so, and lied will serve me not. That being said, the people here on death row are generally happy and at any given time you can hear laughter ring out of the cells that surround us. Most when they picture prison, they picture the dark and dank dungeons of yore, but this does not hold true in the modern world of gaols. No gone are the torture chambers and the black cell that would drive the inhabitant to mental instability, to be replaced by cells that by comparison are quite nice. I mean even though Texas doesn’t allow televisions to death row inmates we have radios and we are allowed to play games, There is laughter here, yes even here where we must face the death of men we have come to love as brothers, we can laugh.

I tell you all this only to illustrate that my depressive state is NOT normal for me. Any one who spends even a fraction of time with me will come to realize that I enjoy laughter to anger, sorrow or apathy. But I am finding it harder as each day passes to summon those smiles.

How many days to live?

Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 23

Well it is early in the AM and I am still hoping to get a visit today, this will be the last day of the week to get one. I am not going to dwell upon that though, as I woke this morning with a bit of hope and it is too early to allow that hope to die. I still have not heard from my attorney even to tell me that I have a date! Again though I refuse to dwell upon the negative today.

What I did not tell you yesterday was that I had my meeting with the representative from the Board of Pardons and Paroles. I was lead to believe that this person would speak with me and then based upon this interview make a recommendation to the board, but this is not the case at all. The lady who spoke with me only makes a report with no recommendation for or against my receiving clemency. I will be writing to the board to ask them to grant me clemency in the event that I do not get a stay of execution. I would ask that each of you that feels strongly about it write to the governor to ask for clemency for me. I understand that you do not know me except through these journal entries, I welcome any of you to write to me to get to know the man before you write anything. I only tell you that I have not too many days to live if I am not granted a stay so time is of the essence.

I am sorry but I do not have much to speak of today. I guess I could tell you of the daily life that faces a man on death watch as opposed to what it is like to be just another death row inmate. I am thinking that some of you may think that they are the same but you’d be wrong. For the first thing they have us all live on one section. There are 14 cells per section on any DR section, 6 sections per pod. Now once a man is moved to death watch he is no longer allowed to even have his prison issued ID because he no longer has an identity as far as the officials here see it. He is no longer able to recreate outside of his section. Normally we are allowed to rec on any section as long as that rec dayroom is available the given hours we request it. No “regular” DR inmates are allowed into this section. I feel like a leper from the Old Testament. We are isolated to such a degree that before long we even start to look upon ourselves as being different. You recall my first day over here, I spoke of these men as “them” now it is “we” and I associate with them and not with those others who have not shared in this. The officers also treat us differently, only they treat is like terminally ill men. I suppose in a way what we have is terminal.

I look at the world so much differently now. When you have mere days to live things take on a new meaning. I count my life in days rather than say, oh I’ll get to it something, I do it as soon as I think about it because time is so short. Another weird thing is that I don’t seem to sleep as I used to. I have not slept for more than a four hour period since getting my date. Time seems so important to me that I don’t wish to miss anything and I believe my subconscious has picked up on it. Things that a few months ago seemed so important to me have lost their appeal. I am focused upon the fight for my life that nothing else seems to matter any longer.

I leave you with this thought. Think about if you were told that you’d be dead in 70 days, how would you like to spend that time? I wish that you’d decide to love and be content. May your days be filled with happiness.



Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 22

Today is my birthday and I expected a visit with my mother and my sons, but they never came. I have not heard from my mom since before I told her that I had been scheduled an execution date.

I am not feeling like writing to you right now, but you have taken your time to read my thoughts in this difficult time and so I guess you are entitled to read the bad with the good and so I will tell you how I am feeling.

I feel abandoned all over again.

I have not told you about when my mother gave me away. I was ten years old and had been caught vandalizing a local store, namely spray painting something (I cannot remember what at this time) and this was just another example of my behavior and when the police brought me home to my mom she told them to keep me and she could no longer deal with me. I was taken to a family I had never met and told that I was to live with them now. I of course had other ideas and promptly left and hitch hiked the 30 miles home only to be told by my mother that I no longer lived there! I was sent to several different juvenile institutions for this. Now as I sit and write these words to you I feel like that ten-year-old boy with no family. We are not allowed phone calls here in Texas except for one every 90 days and I cannot make another call until April so I cant even call her to ask her why I am sitting here awaiting a visit that never came. I want to curl into a ball and cry but I know that this will not take away the pain of it not to mention that I have not cried in so long that I am not even sure that I have the ability to do so any longer. I don’t want to make it seem that I am without emotion, because I am not. I just cannot cry anymore. I have cried too often in the past that my tears are gone. I cannot even cry for myself when I want to so badly. I will stop here before I am too depressed to write coherently. Thank you for the ability to express these thoughts.


Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 21

I feel a little better today. To say that I have a “good” day while on death watch may shock some people, but this I would imagine just goes back to that indominitable spirit I spoke on a few days ago. I woke this morning feeling refreshed and ready to dace whatever Polunsky Unit had to throw at me. I have been thinking about my children and their possible visit tomorrow. To say that I am excited would be so an understatement! With thoughts of my children also comes thoughts of their mother, my first wife. I have spoken on Samantha a few times and thought I would share with you Nicole. As much as I love Samantha and wish she would come back to me, I love Nicole too.

When I first met Nicole she was still a child, NO! I am NOT a child molester! She was seventeen and living alone with a nine month old son. The first sight of her made my heart quicken. She is one of those women that just screams “sexy” I am not sure exactly what it is about her but she could walk into a room full of beautiful women and dominate that room. I cannot express properly her beauty. After dating her a month or so she had me wrapped around her finger. I would do ANYTHING she asked of me. In that short time I also fell in love with her son! I had never been a father before and that little boy stole my heart! We were happy to find out a few months into our relationship that she would have my son. For a few months we were the happiest family unit. Then we started to have problems. Nicole is a very jealous person and soon began to accuse me of cheating on her. I didn’t find out till later that she had cheated on me, and so her accusations were because she felt guilty of her own infidelities. I began to think that is I was to be blamed for something that I may as well reap the benefits of it. Hindsight… not too good an idea. Suffice it to say that we both became so paranoid that our relationship began to deteriorate until all we did was fight and recall who had hurt who the most. I went back to prison for stealing $25,000 in money orders to go to Vegas and party. Not the smartest thing I have ever done. Then again, how many men can claim to have superior thinking when it comes to women?

The whole time I was in prison, all I thought about was coming home and being a family again. Then in May of ’98 I got my wish, but soon again Nicole and I were fighting. This time though it was over her ongoing relationship with another man that she had been dating while I was in the Penn. Well now after all this time in prison again I still love her in my own way, she was my soul mate and when I see my sons I see her face in them, I still dream of her as I did when we were married. I guess it is true that love never really dies.


Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 20

I have seen the first man on death watch die today. The subdued attitude that one would have thought to be here yesterday is here today in full force. I know what my own thought is but what are the others thinking? For the first time since coming to death row I feel like that was me dying today, maybe because I have a date in a few short days has a lot to do with it. I mean, man… I just cannot write about this today I am sorry for those of you who are reading this. I guess that there will be times in the days to come where I am unable to summon words to express the immensity of this place.


Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351

© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga - DAY 19

Today’s date is March 1st 2010, the only reason I even mention the date is to make a point about the indomitability of the human spirit. Tomorrow, a man is going to be murdered by the state of Texas, his name is Michael Sigala. On an occasion such as this it would seem that the atmosphere here would be a somber one, but that is not the case. These men are laughing and remembering the good times they have shared. I too have shared some of the times I remember with Sleepy (as he is known to us that know him). We make bonds here that are able to transcend racial and class lines. We are not unlike soldiers who have seen combat and come out alive. Yes there are horrific crimes that have been committed by men on the row. I do not wish to overlook these crimes and certainly not lose sight of the fact that the victims in each crime did not deserve their fate, but should we now be allowed to be murdered too? Yes the crimes are horrific and we deserve prison, but that is not the point that I wish you to see, tonight when you sit around your dinner table look at the members of your family and suppose one of them will be dead in less than 24 hours, do you think you could summon smiles and laughter? Would you instead break down into tears? Yes, death is a matter of sorrow, but for some reason we here, where death is the matter of the course, we instead look upon the good rather than the bad.

There are three more murders planned for the month of March. I have known many men that have been murdered since I came to death row, but this death is closer to me since I am days away from my own death. Each of us must face the uncertainty of death, it is how we choose to deal with it that shows the indominable spirit. I have been thinking all day today of the men who have sat in this cell to look into the abyss. Some of them were friends of mine. The one who stands prominent on that list is Clifford Kimmel aka “Woody”. I met Woody days after coming to death row and we soon became friends. I considered him like a brother. His is the ONLY picture of another inmate that I have in my possession. He was executed and a small part of me died with him. Since coming to death watch I got out Woody’s picture and hung it on my wall to remember him better. He is smiling with his wife Becky, whom he married while on death row. We can and do find love even under these conditions, Woody’s character was one what would amaze many who did not know him. Any who knew him would have said that he was a kind and caring person who would give the shirt off his back to someone in need. His downfall however was drugs, he allowed drugs to cloud his mind until he killed to possess them. That is a common occurrence, sad as that is, but once he cleaned his system of those poisons he regretted what he had done. He admitted to his crime unlike many here who claim their innocence even in the face of the evidence against them. Woody showed me that a man can commit a horrible crime and then come to regret his actions. If a man such as that regrets, shouldn’t he have been given a chance to be redeemed by society? Did he fail them or did society turn its back upon him? I do not have the wisdom to answer that question. Who among us does?

I was not able to talk to Woody as I am able to Sleepy on the eve of his murder. I consider Sleepy a friend and hope him a life after this one, whatever that may be. There are, counting myself, ten men left after tomorrow on death watch, we have become a close knit little community due to the shared experience of looking into the abyss, was it not Dante who said “When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back”? Well here I am staring and I have not felt anything staring back, yet. I feel though that as long as I am able to produce a smile then I have beat the reaper and even in my own death I will find solace and maybe even a modicum of peace.

So now I must leave you to whatever pleasure you are able to enjoy today, but please remember that here we fight not only to survive but more importantly to live.

Thank you every one of you who has taken your time to maybe give me a chance at redemption.

73 days to go.

Kevin Varga 999368
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351

© Copyright 2010 by Kevin Varga and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Another Admin note

I would like to apologise to everyone for the change of dates to Kevin's entries. Kevin sends me his entries titled Day 15, Day 16 etc with no actual date on them. The first entry was preceded with a note from Thomas and I used an incorrect date to start with. The next entry (Day 19) Kevin mentions the date which is why I have changed the dates. I have calculated backwards and checked that the current dates are correct.

I would also like to mention that Thomas has decided not to post here for the time being to allow Kevin's entries the spotlight they deserve, he will be making posts on Facebook (see list of links).

Tracey

Admin Note

Several people have asked if it is too late to write clemency letters for Kevin and some guidelines on how to write a letter and what to put in such a letter.

It is not too late to write a letter, and we request that you please do so. Here are some helpful guidelines:

It is important to remember the following when writing a clemency letter:

  • Always reference that neither your letter, nor clemency excuses the crime, nor does it minimize the pain or suffering of the victim's family and friends.

  • Always write in a respectful, non-belligerent tone.

Before you write, read the points below. This is advice from a former member of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles on what constitutes an effective clemency letter.

The key thing is to remember is that the goal of your letter is to request a reduction of sentence. This letter is not the time to rail against the inequalities and injustices of this system - doing so will render your letter less effective.

How to write an effective clemency letter

THINGS TO REMEMBER

All of the members of the Parole Board will invariably believe that the judicial system is essentially fair and just. Therefore, they believe that the inmate has received a fair trial and is guilty.

When writing your letter, it does not matter whether you agree with this or not: This is what the Parole Board members believe and it is the context in which they will make their decision.

The members of the Parole Board are appointed by the Office of the Governor. They will almost invariably reflect the views of the Governor.

Most members of the Parole Board are not attorneys, so they generally are not going to consider the legal problems of a case. They view clemency letters essentially as pleas for mercy, they will need overwhelmingly good reasons to grant that mercy.

The bulk of your letter should focus on these points:

Emphasize the inmates humanity. If the Parole Board members are going to consider clemency, they need to be able to see the inmate as a human being and not as a criminal. One thing you can do is stress that the inmate is a parent with children.(Such things as this)

The Parole Board want evidence that the person whom you are requesting clemency has changed for the better. It would be good to note that the inmate has taken advantage of having spiritual advisors naming who they might be.

The Parole Board members will take in account a person's criminal history. People with extensive criminal histories have no chance at clemency. If no felonies or no violent offences in their background, highlight this in your letter.


THINGS TO AVOID

Your letter might briefly mention the following things, but you should generally avoid them, and the focus of your letter should NOT be on these issues:

The facts of the case. Unless there are extraordinary circumstances, the members of the Parole Board are not going to want to be weighing merits of the case or the guilt or innocence of the inmate. It would not be out of line however to discuss perception of the facts.


Avoid personal attacks on the people who have been involved in the case. Again, unless there are extraordinary circumstances, the members of the Parole Board are going to be inclined to believe in the integrity of the process and the people who are a part of the process.


Basic Guideline to keep in mind:

  • 60 lines or less (not over long)
  • Nothing negative or belligerent toward Board, individuals in case or society or this governmental system
  • POSITIVE THINGS ONLY

For some background on Kevin, in Kevin's own words. Please see THIS entry

Please send a copy of your letter to:

Robin Norris
Attorney at Law
2408 Fir Street
El Paso, TX, 79925

Fax: (915) 590-9992


Governor Rick Perry
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428

Fax: (512) 463-1849


Board of Pardons and Paroles
Executive Clemency Section
General Counsel’s Office
8610 Shoal Creek Blvd
Austin, TX 78757

Fax: (512) 467-0945

Chair: Rissie Owens
Jose Aliseda, Jr.
Charles Aycock
Conrith Davis
Jackie DeNoyelles
Linda Garcia
Juanita M. Gonzalez



Tracey