Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice’s Prison-Assisted Death Matches – By Jason Renard Walker

Jason Renard Walker #1532092

Wayne Scott Unit

4 Jester Road

Richmond, TX 77406

The thought of being locked inside a small two-man cell to defend yourself against a homemade knife-wielding maniac should be a scary one.

Yet one’s fear, or lack thereof, can actually determine who walks out alive, or are the least butchered. Such occurrences become so common that prisoners normally fear missing a commissary spend more than they fear encounters with a death match.

During my more-than-14-year stay in various Texas prisons, I’ve had the misfortune to witness many in-cell death matches that often resulted in the victims dying. On several occasions the victims came out victorious. One of the victors being me for the second time, and the others, lucky ducks.

But the element that turns situations into death matches is the fact that, once the cell door closes, you are on your own. No guard or prisoner will, or can, save you. And in rare situations, their mutual agreement is what drew the match.

It seems that these times in particular, are the few times a cell door, which could let the victim out, “malfunctions”, or a guard just happens to take a hard nap while in earshot of the stranging. A prison-assisted death match.

And of course you know where I’m going with this in terms of being thrown to the Connally Unit. As the story goes…

Simultaneous Death Matches

As I observed an hours-long standoff between two shank-wielding inmates in one cell, right underneath me, in another cell, two inmates fought for their lives on the locked-down morning of Nov 10 2022. The sound of bodies slamming against the steel toilet, wall, and door, reminded me of what a death match sounds like.

“I didn’t tuck my tail” said one of the shank-wielding inmates, who’d happened upon a shank his cellmate hid. Then, after the sound of his cellmate dropping another, he jumped up off his bunk, back against the door, then held his position. “We was at a standoff for over an hour” he told others after he managed to get staff assistance and get out of the cell. “That fool was psyched out”, he concluded.

The hour or so delay was due to staff’s failure to do their periodical walkthroughs and wellness checks. Just as it took the same amount of time to get one of the fighters out, who hollered to the staffers responding to the standoff for help. But little if anything was done to prevent a recurrence. The two were moved to different cells on the same pod. No reports were filed.

I Survived Two Death Matches

Clements Unit’s Classification Committee staff, Major Alfreda Carreon, Julie Bristow, and possibly others intentionally reassigned me to a cell with a documented white supremacist, Mark Johnson, on Nov 12 2020. This was after I refused to live with another (Ben McAlpine).

Mark was under investigation for aiding and abetting an attempted murder on a guard who worked in the kitchen with them.

An hour or so later, he received a message from a kitchen worker. And a shank, although I didn’t see the shank at the time.

He tried to sneak and stab me, but I managed to disarm him and take the knife. He immediately admitted that speakers of a white supremacist ground sent him drugs, a shank, and a message on who I was and to kill me. He claimed it was coercion.

A guard named Amare happened to walk past. Mark flagged him down, and admitted that he and another white supremacist, Ben McAlpine, were ordered to kill me, and turned over the drugs and note as evidence. I held him at bay until I was removed from the cell, with the shank hidden. It was obvious he wasn’t conditioned for resistance, which is why he tried to surprise attack me, and folded after.

As a chain reaction, guards searched Ben’s cell and found a shank, notes sent to him with my name in them, and orders to kill me. They’d caught him in the middle of replying back, and confiscated those too.  Ben did admit that his recruitment into the group was motivation to take the order, but my refusal to live with him several weeks prior foiled the plan. 

Major Carreon and Bristow agreed that the situation wasn’t a threat to me, and attempted to have me housed where I’d just left. But I managed to get a message to outside supporters, who pressed the unit for answers. Up till that point, my incoming and outgoing mail was being intercepted by someone, besides magazines. 

Captain Miller responded, and was the one who told me about what they’d found in Ben’s cell, and what he’d said. I was questioned about Mark’s shank, but it was never found.

Shortly after exposure of this by Captain Miller, Major Carreon was demoted to an unranked guard and Bristow assigned elsewhere. Carreon quit weeks later. I was transferred to Michael Unit and quickly faced my second, and most bloody, death match.

On Jan 1 2021, a message was somehow sent from Clements to Michael Unit. A black inmate and a guard paid my cellmate to take on the challenge. I later learned that the guard was related to a guard at the Clements Unit, and this attempt had been arranged a week in advance, a follow up on the attempt the day before.

As I was drinking water, my cellmate tried to club me in the head with a fan motor welded to a stick. I blocked it with my hand and wrestled it away, yet I was still struck in the eye and suffered a busted palm. 

Two inmates outside the cell door stood guard in case I happened to pop the malfunctioned cell door open. They held free world icepicks in their waist. 

It wasn’t until the tides turned and my cellie lay unconscious, still receiving blows upside the head, that they screamed, hollered, and alerted guards.

My cellmate was sent to the hospital on a helicopter, I was taken to lockup. Most of my property vanished.

The Office of Inspectors General (OIG) took photos of my injuries and launched an investigation.

I initially received a disciplinary case but after a camera review, it was proven that I was attacked, the case vanished, and the OIG declined to file charges for attempted murder.

A Lesson Learned From the Past

Several that were unable to survive their death matches taught me a valuable lesson that would be critical in helping me survive the two I faced after witnessing theirs firsthand. 

Kenneth W. Johnson (Ramsey Unit 2018), Joseph Oguntodu (Allred Unit March 2019), Payaso (Clements Unit 2020) were all murdered in their cell as I either helplessly listened or watched. Several others died in my proximity. 

What all three had in common is that their cellmates were obviously mentally ill, and they were sound asleep before the attack. Two were serving life without parole for heinous capital murders, and were housed with short sentence prisoners that became their next victims.

Knowing that TDCJ has special coffers they use to pay out anticipated wrongful death lawsuits, tells me that they not only know the structural issues that will cause them, they’d rather buy out victims’ families than do something about it.

So I stay alert, keep my ego in check, and only live with those of my choice, not who staff choose for me. As I have survived several administrative attempts to silence me, with many more to come.

Dare to struggle, dare to win! All power to the people!

Herstory, Part 2 – by Dan Baker

It was due to the crusades that we saw the barbaric witch hunts between 1550 and 1650. As a result of men’s defeated pride this aggression was deflected onto women. The witch hunts caused widespread cruelty and suffering. Elderly women for the worst of it, facing torture and poverty. They were accused of making sexual deals with the devil.

Jacob Sprenger and Heinrich Kramer were two German clerics of the Dominican order who incited violence against women by publishing “Malleus Malificarum: On Witches Who Copulate With Devils”. They claimed that all women are stupid, saying that “She is more carnal than a man, as is clear from her many filthy carnal acts.” They claimed that “women’s intrinsically weaker nature” made them susceptible for demonic possession. These men were in positions of authority with influence over large populations. They believed that women’s sexual frustration and repressed desires for power made them vulnerable to the influence of devils.

Women were blamed for men’s sins and debauchery, their bodies being described as “dirty and contaminating”. This influence continues to the present, inspiring contempt for effeminate men and misogyny. Martin Luther, the German Protestant reformer, promoted marriage and called the home the center of the universe, but the Christian culture of fear surrounding sex continued. He said “The female sex, so very, very weak, joined by nature or rather by God to the other, perishes when cruelly separated.” These kinds of statements become self fulfilling prophecies in patriarchal hierarchies, where women must choose to be slaves in a house or die.

The reality of medieval sexual lifestyle is difficult to detail because of the hypocritical nature of the the church. It is known that there was an abundance of sexual activity in spite of the church’s strict rules against most forms of intimacy. There is documentation of priests seducing women during confession, affairs between nuns and priests, homosexual activity among believers, wealthy men keeping mistresses and harems, popular prostitution, common people making love wherever nature provided concealment, and extensive rape. But rape was rarely mentioned in writing, and rarely addressed by authorities. Celibacy was still the professed ideal at this time. This was not conducive to women’s happiness at all, then or now. Women were made to be anxious and ashamed of their bodies, which were policed by church and state forces.

It was only at the end of the 17th century that the idea of separating church and state began to take hold. This was due to The Enlightenment’s application of rational thought in the search for universal truth. Democracy, freedom and human rights began to be promoted. Several attempts were made to normalize the natural pleasures of sex, if only as a part of reproduction. “Aristotle’s Masterpiece”, a sexual guide, was published between 1680 and 1735, promoted the idea that women should feel pleasure during sexual intercourse, for the purpose of procreation: “Perform those rights nature and love requires, till you have quench’d each other’s am’rous fires.” Simultaneously Aphra Behn, a British libertine, playwright, novelist and outstanding person of that age, wrote erotic poems which praised women’s sexual satisfaction.

In the 18th century the most famous art of the era rebelled against the myth of women’s chastity. But at the same time the medias of this age expressed the dangers of male desire. “Pamela” and Clarissa”, written by Samuel Richardson, portrayed women as being subject to danger by men’s sexual aggression. There was still a large amount of racism and sexism throughout this time. The genders were seen to be as different as east and west, with the west representing the male civilization and the east symbolizing primitive women, according to post colonial theorist Gayatri Spituak. This can still be seen in the orientalization of the so-called exotic feminine.

At this time the idea that women were manipulative liars continued along with the returned focus on pleasure. They were seen as seductive and wily, and this idea continues today when women are called ‘tricks’. The reality was that women were forced into prostitution by poverty. The “luckier” women could become privileged courtesans to wealthy men. These sex symbols were highly visible in 18th century society. Their desperate lives depended on the whims of rich men. The descriptions of male fantasies, like John Cleland’s “Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure” do not reflect the reality. The name of the popular novel itself shows the male focus, on women’s backsides and the idea of a hill, or hierarchy. In this novel a young woman claws her way up the patriarchal pyramid with her seductive prowess.

Despite its warts the Enlightenment did create the space for a more open discussion of sex. Despite being intentionally ignored by history, women contributed immensely to intellectual progress as writers, often with male pseudonyms, as discovered by feminist herstorians Barbara Taylor and Sarah Knott. In England Mary Wollstonecraft provoked passionate discussion with her “Vindication of the Rights of Women” in 1792. She called out men who ruined women’s lives by refusing to provide equal levels of education for them. She targeted Jean-Jaques Rousseau’s philosophy of assuming it was “natural” for boys and girls to have different educations. In this system girls were taught to stay at home, modestly submit to their husbands and be perfect housewives. Wollstonecraft saw that this would only “degrade one half of the human species, and render women pleasing at the expense of every solid virtue”. Women at this time were still men’s property and subjected to sexual conquest by men who simultaneously demanded sexual labor and chastity.

At the end of the 18th century conservative forces again made sex taboo as populations began to visibly grow. This mindset continues today with the perpetuation of the Malthusian myth of overpopulation as an excuse for eco-fascism, ironically from the moralizing conservatives who ban abortion care for women. With the Industrial Revolution, and somewhat developed medical technology, mortality began to fall as fertility rose. The populations of England and Wales doubled near the beginning of the 19th century. Once again influential church leaders promoted repressive policies towards women when Thomas Malthus claimed that population growth would cause the end of civilization as we know it in his essay in 1798. Malthus called for even more chastity, moral restraint and self-denial, specifically for working class women, whom he saw as fundamentally inferior. He also advocated abolishing aid for the poor in order to kill them off.

All across Europe the policing of women’s bodies and sex continued into the 19th century. “Aristotle’s Masterpiece” and other erotic guides were banned. Social purity societies went to work to put an end to vices and ‘rescue’ prostitutes- mostly by making them into housewives, not by reforming the men who continue to demand sex work and chastity.

Laws designed to punish only women, such as the “Contagious Diseases Act”, passed in 1864, excused men but required the arrest of any women who was accused of being a prostitute. All such accused women were forced to submit to invasive examinations for venereal diseases- but not men. At this time masturbation was also condemned, and this culture of shame continues to cause repressed sexual tension to manifest itself in affairs and sex crimes. Birth control information was outlawed and all women were denied access to any sex education, leading to all kinds of mistakes and socially compromising situations. Alexandre Mayer of France, a leading physician at the time, claimed that women were mostly devoid of sexual sensations. He was not alone in this opinion, leading one to wonder if the sexual performance of so-called leading men is inversely proportional to their wealth and status. Men like this reduced women of this age to procreating machines. More recently Ben Shapiro broke the internet when he claimed that his wife didn’t get wet, and that women who did must have some kind of medical problem, in his response to Cardi B and Meghan Thee Stallion’s Wet Ass Pussy song. I imagine Mrs. Shapiro didn’t appreciate that unwanted publicity.

According to Catherine Gallagher and Thomas Laqueur the 19th century was the first time that men and women were seen as opposites. Previously there was seen to be very little difference, with more in common, which is actually the case for genders and all peoples worldwide. Women were still seen as weaker versions of the male body at this time. In “Aristotle’s Masterpiece” it said: “For those that have the strictest searchers been, find women are but men turn’d outside in: and men, if they but cast their eyes about, may find they’re women with their inside out.”

But a change was finally coming.

While the sex lives of people were still policed the control officially came from the hands of the state and male scientists instead of the church. But these erudite men claimed that women were totally controlled by their menstruating bodies. Laqueur said “In a world in which science was increasingly viewed as providing insight into the fundamental truths of human creation… a biology of incommensurability became the means by which differences could be authoritatively represented.”

Legally women were seen as being physically unable to experience lust, and fundamentally weak and vulnerable. Unofficially they were blamed for their passions and punished for any attempts at ambition. But the claim continued that women were responsible for men’s sexual aggression, both for causing it and for managing it. Many first waved feminists called for chastity in response to these claims. Christabel Pankhurst called for “votes for women and chastity for men” in 1913. She was the leader of the Women’s Social and Political union. She turned this dynamic around, claiming that most men had sexual transmitted diseases.

So men and women were still very suspicious of love, it if was real at all. Romantic love was more and more associated with sex, and sexual passion was now viewed as the foundation of social life. In “Psychopathia Sexualis” Richard Krafft-Ebing wrote that “love unbridled is a volcano that burns down and lays waste all around it; it is an abyss that devours all- honor, substance and health.” We now know that healthy, consensual sex is a very healthy exercise among adults with basic education and contraception.

19th century academics who studied sex considered love to be directly related to the sexual instinct for reproduction. But they contradict themselves by documenting all kinds of non-reproductive sexual activity, insisting they were perverted, but focusing on them nonetheless. They claimed that anyone’s fundamental character could be determined by their sexual preferences, whether it was a fetish, homosexuality, masochism, transsexuality, or whatever. They said “Since upon the nature of sexual sensitivity the mental individuality in greater part depends.” It seems they just wanted an excuse to study sex in a society which generally forbid it.

Despite the activities of the ancient Athenians the 19th century continued to insist that desire was depraved and needed to be restrained by guilt. They claimed sex was natural but destructive. Just like the previous era they were very suspicious of any sexual happiness. A conservative season returned, bringing with it bans on premarital sex and unfulfilling sex within marriage, creating the perfect conditions for infidelity and unhappiness. One housewife in 1939 said “My husband accused me of being ‘cold’ but little knew the passionate longings I experienced if he had made love to me instead of using me… now, at 51, I feel the whole business is nature’s great joke of which we are the victims.”

Michel Foucault criticized the “Victorian twilight” that repressed natural sexual relationships, and further criticized the church and state for their impotent attempts to police sex- both for attempting to do so at all, and for then failing at that, creating a culture of hypocrisy. Foucault went on to demonstrate that by banning sex the authorities only managed to make it all that much more appealing!

Women who became pregnant outside of marriage, and women accused of prostitution, were still treated harshly at their most desperate hour. At the same time men were imprisoned for homosexuality, due to the mistaken belief that this would undermine civilization. This coming from a civilization based on Athenian aristocracy. The leaders of the time also continued to spread lies about the effects of masturbation. The reality is that negative effects are more likely to come from abstaining from masturbating.

Dan Baker 25765-509

FCI Memphis

PO Box 34550

Memphis, TN 38184

Which War? – by Dan Baker

Did you hear what’s going on with the war?

The War on Drugs, Class War or World War?

So much death, do you even care what it’s for?

You’re not built like me, you’ve never been to war.

It builds on the horizon, rolling thunder to the core.

Then the rotting bodies, constant shots – this is war.

Kids step on mines, can’t leave cuz too poor.

Like U$ ghettos spreading, Amerikkka wants war.

When it comes home you’ll realize it’s not sport.

Your family displaced and tortured – you wanted war.

Chemical fires, radioactive poison air, like spores.

Infection, dysentery, smallpox blankets are war.

Gut sick exhaustion, crawling through shit, festered sores.

Governments exist through constant wars.

Do you think the rich are really keeping score?

If we want it to end let there be one war:

The poor against the rulers, what guillotines are for!

We refuse to participate in their world war!

We’ll skip World War 3 and give them World War 4!

Global revolution while their troops are at war!

If we must fight we’ll mobilize the poor!

Take up arms – “No war but Class War!”