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

Poetry by Edward Hudak

Original short play written by Edward Hudak

(An older man is sitting in his living room with his ten year old grandson. They are talking aobut his grandson being bullied at school.)

Poppa: So, you don’t know what you should do? Is that what you’re saying to me, huh?

(Poppa is grieved, hurting for his grandson, but, doesn’t show his emotions to his grandson.)

Poppa: Hey Superman, well, there are a few ways to handle it, and I’m not telling you to do any of them, this is something you have to decide for yourself. (Beat)  You have to stand on your own two feet, Superman. (Pause) Let me ask you first, does the teachers know? (Beat) Is he being physical with you?

Superman: No, I don’t know. (Beat) Maybe, and no he hasn’t punched me or anything, so far, mostly horrible words, Poppa. Those words hurt me. (Beat) He has shoved me a couple of times.

(Poppa thinks to himself as he tries to hold back his anger from his grandson being bullied.)

Poppa: If I could, Superman, I would beat that boy’s behind in front of the whole school! (Beat) But, I can’t!

Superman: I wish you would, Poppa!

Poppa: (Laughs) Ha.ha.ha. That would be good, huh? (Beat) No, Poppa can’t do that. (Beat) Okay, well, and I’m not saying for you to do this, but you can fight him, although that’s not the best option. Superman, I hate bullies. Times have really changed, not like the old days.

(Poppa gives Superman a bear hug. After a short moment they break from the hug.)

Poppa: Well, you could ignore him, and don’t react and he may eventually stop his actions. (Beat) You can laugh at yourself when he does stuff; which could lighten the situation and he may stop. (Pause) You could get him by himself and just talk to him, like, “Hey, could you lighten up, dude? Is there something I can help you with?” There is no right or wrong answers here. You just have to follow your heart, Superman. You can’t go wrong there.

Superman: Thanks, Poppa! I’ll try to work this out.

Poppa: I could come to school with you and we could talk to this young man together. I’ll be standing right by your side. When you hurt, Poppa hurts. We are in this together.

(They hug again.)

Superman: I love you so much, Poppa.

Bully at School

Original short play written by Edward Hudak

(They break from the hug.)

Poppa: We’re a team. (Beat) I love you too, Superman.

Superman: Yeah!

(They exit stage left hand in hand.)

(Three months later, Poppa and his daughter, Superman’s mother enter stage right drinking cofffee as they walk to center stage.)

Mom: Hey, he was getting C’s and D’s three months ago. Now, he’s getting straight A’s!

(Poppa smiles from ear to ear.)

Poppa: Is that right?

Mom: Yes, Superman is really happy to go to school. It’s truly amazing. His transformation.

Poppa: That’s great. He’s a good kid. I’m proud of him.

Mom: So am I.

(Poppa and his daughter exit stage left drinking their coffee with all smiles.)

The end.

Dad’s Pain (PTSD)

Original short play written by Edward Hudak

(A son comes to his father at center stage, he is 10 years old.)

Son: Hey, Dad? What was it like over in Korea fighting on the front lines:

Dad: I don’t want to talk about it!!!!!

(The father steps forward, leaving his son behind as he speaks to the audience.)

Dad: (Self-talk-crying) I want to tell my son; talk about what happened in Korea. (Pause) Can’t get those images out of my head. Crawling up to that foxhole-body parts everywhere - the blood, so much pooling all around. - shutting my eyes; I knew those guys, just had a meal together last night. (Pause) Can’t tell my son that. Don’t want to even tell him about the Bronze Star/Purple Heart; don’t feel like a hero. Just saying - just saving Sarge’s life-getting that radio fixed, had to for the boys. (Beat) Damn, that sharpnel hurt like hell- got him some help. Those enemy voices, hearing those souynds right there could reach out and touch them, have to keep firing. (Pause) The nightterrors, cold sweats-can’t close my eyes; see them, hear them, they’re coming, back there-gotta get them before they get us. Maybe that’s why I snap-hate myself for doing this to my family-I love them-Help me! Oh God, help me!

(He falls on his knees in agony.)

A Wife’s Answer

Original short play written by Edward Hudak

( A women on stage, center stage and is sitting in a chair talking on the phone)

Wife: NO, Mom! (Pause) Yes, I know. I won’t give in; (Beat)
No; Yes, I hear you  (Pause) Yes, Mom! I know what he’s done,
Yes he did it to me again!  (Pause) Gotta go; Love Ya! (Beat)
Okay, bye!

(The women is sitting motionless after the call ends in deep thought  as she is sipping from a cup of coffee.)

(Then she begins to speak to herself.)

Wife: Why? I love him; Doesn’t he care about me: He’s the one that left. (Pause) Can’t do this again-timewith him. To hard, I need him here. Grandkids, he needs to be here for then. He knows, told me many times all the pain he caused us all, harm done. (Beat) Said he understands us, No, no more phone calls, no more visits, no money. I gotta keep my distance. (Deep thought) Maybe his letters, that’s it. (Beat) I still love him, dream crushed. (Cries) I miss, want his warm body, holding me0just being here.  (Pause) Can’t do it alone anymore. I deserve better, deserve more-this dungeon of emotions is tearing me apart. (Cries even more) I can’t - can’t look at his photo, can’t look into his eyesp-melt my wall.

(She tries to pull herself together from these waves of intense emotions.)

Wife: I gotta stay strong. Enough is enough.

(She looks up to the heavens.)

Wife: Oh God, I know this is the right answer. It has to be.

(The women stands up and exits stage left.)

The end.

Smart Communications/PADOC
Edward Hudak B10265
SCI Phoenix
PO Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL 33733

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.

Art and Poetry by David Bohm

Cell Diagram

Autumnal Wind (Version1)
By David Bohm

Eating an apple beneath the trees,
Enjoying its sweet juicy crispness.
A wind with an unexpected cold edge bows,
As if to wash away any remnant of the summer’s oppressive heat,
And warning of the freeze that’s on its way.
It carries the sharp, distinct scent of burning leaves, source unseen. 
As the wind chases the leaves along the ground
And moves them to dance on their branches,
Their soft rustling whispers reach my ear, asking me to look up. 
My eye is met with a riotous circus of colors-
Green, yellow, orange, red and brown.
Shimmering and alive on a blue and white background. ‘S sweet juicy cri
Some think that the death of summer has arrived- 
But it’s the season I feel the most alive. 

Autumnal Wind (Version 2)
By David Bohm

Beneath the trees, an apple’s sweet juicy crispness.
A cold edge blows, cutting the remains of summer heat.
It carries the distinct scent of burning leaves, source unseen. 
And chases the leaves along the ground-moves them to dance on branches. 
Their rustling whispers beg attention.
Above , a riotous circus of color: green, yellow, orange, red and brown,
Shimmering on a blue and white background. 
Summer has died, but I feel more alive. 

Autumnal Wind (Version 3)
By David Bohm

As an apple beneath the trees, sweet and juicy.
A crisp, cold edge cuts the remains of summer heat, 
The air carries the scent of burning leaves.
The wind chases them along the ground-they dance on branches, rustle for attention.
Above, a circus of color shimmering on a blue and white background.
Summer has died, but I feel more alive. 

Divine Search (Version 1)
By David Bohm

Your creation is all I know,
Yet you remain unknown and unknowable. 
Everywhere I look, I see your work.
Searching, I only find your ubiquitous absence-
No tag, label, samp, fingerprint, nor trace. 
Could the Supreme Artist not sign His work?
Or is it that the masterpiece and the signature are one and the same?

Divine Search (Version 2)
By David Bohm

Creation is all I know,
Yet you remain unknown.
Everywhere I look, I see your work.
searching , I only find your ubiquitous absence-
No tag, label, stamp, fingerp[rint, nor trace.
Can the Artist not sign his work?
Is the masterpiece and signature one and the same?

A World Left Behind
By David Bohm

I hold this powerful potential in my hand and wonder.
Such a simple device to convey so much.
The lead laid down from the end of this harmless little barrel 
has been the opening shot of many conflicts.
Some say that its predecessor is mightier than a sword. If so, how mighty is this?
Its relatives: a reed, a feather, chalk, a stick of charcoal, a finger in the dust. 
Once a conflict is over, it serves both sides still; recording actions, agreements, apologies and history - real or distorted, witnessed or assumed. 
It’s a mass-produced wand, working magic in a skilled hand-crafting love spells, weaving illusions, and displaying the contents of one’s heart and mind for the enjoyment of others. 
It’s a wooden key opening doors of imagination 
This inverted rocket, leaving gray graphite contrails in its wake, takes followers on the pilot’s flight. 
Giving tours through space and time.”to the left, you’ll see the past; 
to the right, the future unfolds…”
Through the curves and lines it makes, the swirls and angles, it leads people on a journey-creating worlds and leaving the world behind. 

Haiku in Main Yard
By David Bohm

Haiku in main yard.
What inspiration is there?
Amazingly much.

Surrounded by fence,
But our minds are not captive-
Our souls are still free. 

Green woods all around. 
It would be nice to walk there-
At most, we may look.

A bug crawls along.
Does it know how slow it is?
Does it wish to fly?

Looking up at clouds,
What would a could think about?
Clouds look down on us.

Rain starts coming down.
Shelter cannot be found.
We will all get wet.
Winds blow free out there.
We cannot get out of here. 
The wind comes to us.

The sun is shining,
Photons destroy the shadows;
Dark gives way to light. 

I just have a spoon;
You have brought too much ice cream.

Smart Communications/ PA DOC
David Bohm MP8137
SCI Phoenix
P.O. Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL 33733

David was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 1976. He spent his early years on a small family farm in rural PA and moved to the Poconos at age ten.  He has called that area home since. At age 18 he joined the army and was a medic for four years.  After that he returned to the Poconos and hopped jobs every couple of years.  He was arrested in 2015 and is serving 17-34 year sentence.  During his time in prison he has taken carpentry, plumbing electrical, masonry, green technology, accounting (bookkeeping), money smart (financial planning), therapeutic art, instructional art, different creative writing workshops, was part of a short-lived attempt to start an institutional newsletter, a poetry writing group Let’s Circle Up: Restorative Justice, and has taught himself origami.

Art by Derek Posey

Derek Posey 842746
P.O. Box 97
McAlester, OK 74502

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.

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.

Art by Thomas Overton

Thomas Overton 911193
Union Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 1000
Raiford, FL 32083
My name is Thomas Overton, I am have been on death row in Florida now for over 20 years. I enjoy doing artwork to pass my time. I have always had an adventurous spirit. I lived in the Florida Keys before my incarceration and enjoyed boating, scuba diving, and the beautiful warm weather.