Thursday, December 3, 2015

I Once Was Lost

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By Louis Castro Perez

It´s around 5:00 p.m. and we have just pulled into some fenced-in yard…there is this 16 foot gate that is all around us…I´m told to get out of the car and am surrounded by some of the biggest human beings I have ever seen…six of them in all.  Each one of them are barking orders at me… “Get on your knees!!! Stand up!!! Strip out!!! Turn around!!! Get on your knees!!! At this point I´m just waiting for one of these dudes to put his hands on me.  All morning long I´ve had soooo many different emotions going through my mind…being scared…hungry…tired…pissed off…you name it…it was going through my mind.   Well, finally I see this man walking towards us and he´s spitting out orders too and I´m thinking that he too is talking to me…but he´s not. He´s yelling at all these dudes messing with me.  He tells me to stand up and put my clothes on and to follow him…so I do…un-hand cuffed…!!!

We make it to his office and the first thing I notice is that there are HUNDREDS of stacks of papers on many, many tables…this man tells me to have a seat and he sits in front of me and starts asking me all sorts of questions… “What´s your name?” “Where are you from?” “How old are you?” “Do you run with any gangs?” Are you racist?” And all along he is reading these questions from one sheet of paper…finally he asks me…”Do you see all those stacks of papers behind you?  Each stack is the crime file of each man here.  You see that some are smaller than others, but even the smallest one is more than 100 pages long.”  Then he held up the sheet of paper he was using with me and said, “You see this sheet of paper??? This one sheet of paper is your whole file…WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE???”

We get done with all the questions and I find out that this man is the Captain.  I´m now taken to a four man cell…it is now around 6:30 p.m. and I´ve missed dinner and am hungry as hell.  I´m put into this cell without any sheets…blankets…a mat…NOTHING…!!!  There are three floors in the wing I´m put in, it is still daylight, but I don´t hear or see anyone else…I´m thinking that I´m all alone…I´m not.  Once the sun goes down…I can see reflections off the windows in front of my cell and can now see men moving around everywhere…this wing is three stories high and holds 86 men.  The whole wall that is in front of all the cells is covered with TV´s and they are all on…and all on the same channel…but there is no sound…me not knowing how things worked…(never being in prison before) everyone had headphones that plugged into the wall to hear TV or radio.

I had neither…so I just sat there and watched the TV in quiet. Finally like around 10:00 p.m. all the TV´s were shut off…so being tired I just lay down on the steel bunk and tried to sleep…I´m not too sure what time it was but someone woke me up because they had all my sheets and mat and things…so I made my new bed and fell right to sleep again.

I´m awakened by this awful screeching sound and it is right in front of my cell…I sit up and notice this man dragging this long silver table right in front of my cell…I jump up and put my shoes on…turn my light on and yell at him…”What THE HELL ARE YOU DOING…!!!???”  The guy looks at me and says…”Hey…who are you?” Again…I say…”What are you doing…!!!???” The guy tells me…”Awe man…I´m fixin´to feed chow…”  I must have this look on my face because he then asks me…”Why?”  I told him that I thought he was dragging in the gunnery for me to be executed…HA!!HA!!HA!! Boy…did this dude have a good laugh on me. 

Hello everybody…my name is Louis Castro Perez…I have been on Texas Death Row for the past 17 years.  All this you have read here is the first 10 hours on Death Row…but wait…it gets better…HA!! HA!! HA!!

I had been in the county jail for the past year or so and these people do not feed you very well…the Unit that held Texas Death Row used to be the Ellis Unit – and old school unit where they fed and cooked their food right…I hadn´t had a good meal in a long time and when this dude that was dragging that long table in front of my cell was setting up for breakfast and once he was done.. I noticed that I was being housed in a section where there were men that were in need of medical attention…they were all able to come downstairs and fix their own trays of food…or only get their snacks if they wanted…?? WOW!!! I was fucking starving and the dude feeding asked me if I was hunger…!!??  WHAT!!!??? Hell yeah!!!  There was a huge pan of eggs…biscuits…ham…grits…gravy…butter…coffee…MY GOODNESS!!  This dude fixed me up a really nice tray, but I was watching how a lot of their men would only come and get their snacks…and not eat…??? 

The officer serving the trays asked the dude if that was all that he was eating..??  The dude said yes…so the officer told the dude to wrap it up and clean up…The dude looked at me and said…”Hey man…you still hungry?”  “HELL, YEAH!!!”  So he told me to give him my bowl…but I had just gotten there that night and did not have a thing to my name…so he went off and came back with a bowl and two cups.  “What do you want?” he asked me… “Shit…just hook me up bro…!!”

This man stacked a mountain of eggs over some biscuits…then poured gravy all over that…filled one of the cups with grits and butter and filled the other with coffee…I almost started crying it was soooooo good…!!!

Well…after I had my fill…I fell right back to sleep…I woke up when I heard all the other men leaving the section…I didn´t know where they were going but they were all going somewhere…(later I found out that they were all going to rec)  But now…I was wide awake…and I noticed that the officers would walk by my cell every 10 minutes or so…AND MAAAAN…I … had to use the bathroom!!!!  But I had never in my life used the bathroom in front of ANYONE and here I am in an open cell for all the world to see…so I timed the officers (so I thought) walking around and when he walked by…I sat to take care of my business.  I´m sitting there and see five men walk up to my cell…a sargent, a captain, two officers and two men that I later found out were doctors.  They just stood there watching me take a crap and said… “We need to take you to get evaluated.”  I made mention that I was taking a shit…HA!! HA!! HA!!  Sooo…I finally told them, “Look, I just need to clean myself if you don´t mind?”  One of them says to me, “Go right ahead…take care of your business!!” And they stood their and watched.

Well…I´m taken to talk to the quacks…I guess they saw that I wasn´t crazy so they let me go back to my cell…NOW…I´m sitting there alone and this really pretty woman officer walks up to my cell and says, “Hi…do you want to take a shower?”  “Are you new here..?? You Know I´m going to have to cuff you right…or can I trust you to just walk to the shower??”

I say yes to all her questions and I´m taken to the shower…on Death Row…you shower alone…you eat alone…you do everything alone.  Being in the county jail there was no hot water…here in this unit there was two spigots…one hot…one cold…I´m put into the shower cage…I turn my back to this officer and undress.  I begin showering…and it is wonderful…that hot water felt sooo damn good on my body…as I was turning to wash my back…I see the woman officer standing there watching me and I try as fast as I can to cover myself, but she just says… “so…where are you from?”…HA!! HA!! HA!!!  Like we were at some bar or something.

You know, my friends…I hope that some of you that are reading this…that you never have to go through any of this…to me…it´s funny now because of all the things I´ve seen in these past 17 years…but it sure wasn´t funny at the time. Thank all of you who take the time to read this…I did this for my friend Dina…I wish you could have seen both the looks of sadness and the laugh we had when I told her about this…HA!! HA!!! Priceless..!!! HA!! HA!!  God bless you all!!!

My name is Louis Castro Perez…Innocent man on Texas Death Row…fighting the good fight. 


Big Lou

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Louis Perez 999328
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


Bill Pelke said...

God bless you and your family

Anonymous said...

Interesting story - I would be curious to hear more detail, things that occurred in the coming months, how your perspective changed, how you are doing now, etc. I didn't see any other articles posted, so if this is your first, glad you took the time to send something in. It's always good to hear different people's views from what has got to be one of the worst places on earth.

Christine Burbank said...

God Bless Him and I always read the information by every cell mate or person on death row such sweetness humor in the midst of horror situation.

sasmedj said...

I enjoyed your story so much. Please write again. God Bless you.

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested to know more about your case. Why are you in the county jail after 17 years on death row? That must be a good thing?

Simone said...

God bless you and all your loved ones!

That Awesome Writer said...

Polunsky unit is DR

Lloyd M. said...

God Bless you Louis! Stay strong..all of this will turn out OK.

Lloyd M. said...

God Bless you and your family, Louis. There are many of us here on the outside who know who you are and are praying for justice for you. Please stay strong! From Canada..

Janice G said...

Please write more.