Die, My Darling: Letter From An Inmate

Posted on: June 6, 2013

Dear Sophie,

I want to start off by saying thank you for your letter. I don't really receive many visitors or phone calls these days, so it's always a treat to hear from a kind stranger now and then… even though I rarely ever respond. Perhaps you caught me on a good day.

I read your letter probably 50 times - not because you asked me anything that hasn't already been asked, but just because I like to think hard about things before I write them down. I've always been that way, though - even with talking. I think hard and I talk slow. I'm just going to go down and answer all your questions in the order that you wrote them.

My childhood: Well, as you probably already heard, my family didn't have much when I was growing up. We never stayed at one place for too long, and we moved to a different apartment almost every year. (The media and DA would use this as evidentiary support for my "instability".)My parents worked very hard to support my brother and me, but they both worked fairly low-paying jobs. To this day I take more pride in being the daughter of a school teacher who delivered pizzas on the weekends than if I were the daughter of a billionaire who sat on his ass all day. Myparents’ strength taught me not to feel sorry for people. They taught me the importance of manual labor and the pride that goes into earning a dollar. My mother's gambling problem resulted in me being excellent at maintaining my finances. I would save money to go on trips to different countries - I love traveling.

Was I abused as a child? Yes. I already know where you're going with this. "Maybe if she hadn't been abused, or maybe if her parents made more money, she wouldn't be in prison for murder." I'm not sure what to tell you. I murdered someone. And the fact that I was sexually abused as a child is just a coincidence. Some people like to use their trauma and abuse as an excuse for their own lack of common sense, but the truth is, I know what I did was a crime. It's not that I don't feel bad about it, it's simply something that needed to be done.

Yes, I always did have a fascination with sex crimes and serial killers and the psychology behind it all, which I'm sure is just me subconsciously playing "detective"; symbolically trying to put the pieces together for the illnesses of my family and why I fell victim to such an unfortunate crime as a child. It's true, my upbringing is extremely similar (and in some cases worse) to that of some of the famous serial killers of the last century. Unfortunately, I will be made a stereotype for this. "If you're abused as a child, you're going to end up killing people." It's not true. I always knew better. I guess there are just some people in this world who can't cut a break.

Did I really murder my husband? Well since you asked so nicely….

I'm just going to lay it all out there for you, Sophie. I'm not crazy. There were never any voices inmy head telling me to kill this person or that person. I never fantasized about killing anyone. I simply did what I needed to do because I wanted to survive.

The whiskey took him a few years before, and the man who used to be my husband had become a monster. He was cruel and physically violent towards me. There were more than several occasions when I believed, with every part of me, that he was going to kill me. I waited for him to kill me, until I couldn't wait anymore. My husband, the love of my life, would only return when the monster would go to sleep (pass out, rather). This was the only time he was at peace. This was the only time I was stronger than him. This was when I killed him.

It was painful. I had even thought that perhaps we could die together. He looked like the man I loved, but he wasn't. The man I loved was gone.

Why wasn't the hammer ever found? Well, first of all, yes - it was a hammer. But I don't know why it was never found and I couldn't tell you what happened to it.

How does it feel to murder someone?

I should disclose that nothing I could say will ever make you understand exactly what it's like to kill someone. Sometimes I actually have to remind myself of what I did. Murdering someone… it's interesting. Once it happens, you're no longer who you were. You become a different person. It's like you're reborn. I've read some creepy shit about men murdering women one after the other so that they could "cleanse" themselves and continue to start off on a clean slate with every dead body they racked up. That's not the kind of reborn I'm talking about. I mean, when you murder someone, you're kind of murdering yourself, too. You will never again be who you were. La mort n'a peut-être pas plus de secrets à nous révéler que la vie? Hm...

How do I feel now? Everyday is a bit of a waiting game. Before, I wouldn't have known what to do with myself, and I probably wouldn't have been able to handle it. I try not to think much, and I try not to feel much. I've made a couple of friends here, I study languages, and I enjoy reading. I lift weights, too.

Well, I hope this letter was helpful to you, and I hope you do well on your presentation. It sounds like a very interesting class. Have you written any other inmates? Perhaps I know them. Ha - bad joke.


P.S. - No, I hate Kerouac.

Photography by: Jaemin Riley
Written by: Rebecca Lee

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