The Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla is notorious for riots, assaults, stabbings, and killings. So much blood has been spilled, that there is a section on the breezeway known as “blood alley”.
I was there for two years before I watched a man get stabbed three times in the neck.
It was a warm sunny day out in the five acre prison yard. I was walking the track, enjoying the weather. Troy comes up to me and says, “Keep an eye on Terry, he’s going down today.”
Troy is a shot caller (see: Prison Glossary) for the white boys. He’s not a violent man. Meaning, he doesn’t fight or commit acts of violence. He just controls the heroin. This gives him a high ranking within the prison hierarchy. He commits his violence by paying others to do his dirty work.
Today, the victim is Terry. A white boy who’s been down over ten years. He’s also in the dope game and ranks high in the prison hierarchy.
I know more than I should because both Troy and Terry were cellies of mine at different times.
As Terry walks past the phones, Troy says, “Hey brother, will you hold this phone for me?”
Terry says, “I sure will” as he takes the phone from Troy’s hand.
That’s the cue! Within seconds, a big strong hit-man had Terry pinned against the concrete wall. I was maybe fifteen feet away as I watched Terry get stabbed three times in the neck.
I thought I was going to see a beat-down. I had no idea I’d be watching an attempted murder.
The incident was an eye opener…to say the least. It showed me how fast people can turn on each other in here. Everyone involved all called each other “brother” at one point in time. Now they were trying to kill each other.