The Story Of Doc Beckett

My husband spent over 25 years in prison, where he got saved in 1985. I
can shorten his testimony if you would like to use it. — GG

The Early Years

My name is Robert ‘Doc’ Beckett. I came from a family of 5 boys, one
older and three younger. I was born in 1948 in Kentucky, but I never
lived there. My family and I moved to the Rio Grande Valley right after
I was born. My dad worked in the coal mines in West Virginia. It was
hard, dirty work, low pay and not much future for a growing family.
Early in 1949 we moved to the valley and Dad got a job as a body and
fender man in Donna and a little later he landed a job as a welder for
Sonoco in Starr Country. The eldest of 12 children on a West Virginia
farm, he was very responsible and hard working. My mom came from a
different background. Her dad, whom I never met, was a gangster who ran
shine and had some gambling joints. He also did 12 years in Alcatraz.
When he was released from prison and got off the train at Ashland, Ky.,
he was gunned down and killed. My Mom always suspected a close relative
did the shooting so that he could be in charge of all of my grandfather’s
gambling joints and the area he ran booze in.

Mom and I had a special relationship. Maybe because I was so different
from my brothers. They were normal boys, getting in a little trouble
here and there. But for me, Trouble was my first name, middle name and
last name. I loved to hear about my grandfather, and Mom would recount
stories of him before he went to prison. She would tell of how he got
his car shot up several times and my Dad would patch the bullet holes.
So from an early age, my desire was to become a gangster like my
granddad. The only story I remember about my Grandmom is that she made
shine in the bathtub. When I was little, I remember getting frequent
switchings from Grannie. But when I was growing up, liquor and booze
were legal, so I couldn’t figure out how I could become a gangster. A
popular TV show back in the 50’s was “The Untouchables.” I used to watch
it all the time and I guess I associated the gangsters with my granddad.
Never once did it dawn on me that the gangsters were always losing. I
loved the excitement of the Tommy guns and the violence.

When I was 4 years old my older brother shot me in the left eye with a BB
gun and I lost the sight of that eye. My mom didn’t know I was blind
for over a year. My brother and I came up with a good story about how my
eye got hurt. We told her that my brother poked me in the eye with a
stick, so she would not take our BB guns away. I remember her putting a
big ol’ steak on my black eye and I slept with it on my eye over night.
After about a year she finally found out that I had no sight in that eye
and she gave us a real spanking. She was a raging woman all that day
and a sight to behold, to say the least. She took my BB gun and my
younger brothers BB guns and twisted them around the clothesline pole.
She kept Everette’s, my older brother’s gun, to work Dad over with. I
remember it had gotten dark when Dad drove up in the driveway, after
having a few beers. I remember Dad giving Mom a loving greeting. Mom
was waiting for him out in the yard and because of the darkness, he
didn’t see the BB gun in her hand or the expression on her face. WHAM
— WHAM — WHAM was all we could hear and then the cries of my Dad.
He said “Betty, what’s wrong with you, woman, have you gone crazy or
what?” Mom, said, “What do you mean crazy? I’ll show you crazy! WHAM
— WHAM — WHAM By that time the words were flying between Mom and
Dad, and those words were of the spiciest nature. She said, “It’s all
your fault. It’s ALL your fault. I told you not to give the kids those
BB guns. Now we have a blind son. He’s been blind in one eye for a year
now and we didn’t even know it.” My Mom could cuss like a sailor. She
was not light tongued. On top of that she was an expert boxer and could
fight like any man, but Mom was a dirty fighter. Poor Dad had knots on
his head for at least a week. My mom took me to the doctor to see if
anything could be done to help my sight. She was informed that the eye
was permanently damaged and a tumor was found behind the bad eye and
shortly thereafter, an operation was performed to remove the tumor. We
had been living in Donna, TX, up until that time, but soon after the
operation, we moved to Rio Grande City, TX.

When my Mom was in Donna, she used to go to a church that my grandmom
referred to as a Pentecostal Holy Roller church. My grandmom used to
say, “Betty, you’ve really went and done it now. Those people are crazy,
rolling all over the floor.” When we moved to Rio Grande, my Mom no
longer went to any of the churches because the kind that she liked were
all in Spanish in Rio Grande. However, she did send us 3 boys (there
were 3 of us at this time) to church. We’d get dressed up and she’d give
us money for the offering. But my rascality corrupted my brothers. We’d
take the money for the offering and buy 22 shells. Before we’d get
dressed for church, we’d stick our regular clothes and our 22 rifles out
the bedroom window. We’d head off down the alley, like we were headed
for church, but we’d circle back and get our clothes and guns. Then we’d
beat it to the woods and go hunting. We knew that we had to be back by
12:00, so I’d steal one of my Dad’s watches to make sure we got back home
on time. After hunting, we’d dress back up in our church clothes and
come back home. When we got back, we’d ask Mom if we could go hunting.
She would be so pleased that we went to church that she gladly let us go.
So we got in two times of hunting in one day.

I started smoking cigarettes by the age of 6 and received many spankings
for this. I used to hang around a friend, Jerry. He was younger than
me, but he smoked cigarettes. He would steal packs of Buglar tobacco
from his Mom. It made us feel like John Wayne. We rolled ’em and smoked
’em quite often. We didn’t like smoking them, but it was the John Wayne
macho man image we admired. What can I say. We were dumb little kids.
By the time I started school at 7, my mom had already beat me so many
times from smoking that she was worn out. She used to use a buggy whip
on me. She’d chase me around the house and that buggy whip could always
catch me on the behind. I was given every kind of punishment that my Mom
could think of, but none of them worked. I’d get a spanking every day
when I came home from school because she could smell cigarette smoke on
me. Mom didn’t smoke and it was obvious to her that I was smoking.
Speaking to me didn’t work and beating me didn’t work. I was very strong
willed and defiant, even at a very young age. So finally she gave in.
She’d give me a quarter for lunch and a quarter for my cigarette habit.
This was so I wouldn’t steal money from Dad or Mom.

The beginning of my school years was really rough. My older brother
rescued me from several fights when I was in the first grade. By the
time I was in second grade, I was constantly fighting and I didn’t have
my older brother, Everett, to rescue me because he was in another school.
The population consisted of about 98% Hispanic and about 2% white.
Every time I’d hear guys saying the word ‘gringo’, I’d pop them in the
mouth. One guy got tired of getting popped in the mouth, so he took it
upon himself to teach me Spanish. He said, “Doc, I want to be your
friend and teach you Spanish so you’ll stop beating up on me.” He said,
“Gringo is not a bad word, so every time you hear the word ‘gringo’, it
doesn’t mean someone is talking bad about you. The first thing I want to
do is teach you all the bad words. If you hear ‘gringo’ with one of the
bad words, then you pop them in the mouth. But if you hear ‘gringo’
without once of these words, don’t worry about it. So he set about
teaching me all the bad words. After learning all the cuss words, my
vocabulary expanded little by little. By the time I was in 5th grade, I
could talk Spanish as good as the Mexicans could talk. I even have an
accent and sound like a Mexican when I talk English.

I started doing drugs when I was about 10 years old. I was a baseball
pitcher in Little League. An older friend of mine, J. R. started giving
me speed. He was around 15 years old and good at baseball. He didn’t
tell me they were drugs, but told me they were pep pills. When I asked
him what pep pills were, he told me they were like vitamins. My mom
used to make us take 3S Tonic. The stuff was terrible. So when this guy
gave me these pep pills, it was great. They did a lot more for me than
the 3S Tonic did and didn’t taste bad. After giving me those pills for
a couple of years, he started selling them to me for a quarter each.
This was no big deal, except that I had to start stealing from my mom and
dad in order to buy the pep pills.

My Mom and I were close and we shared a lot with each other. When I was
12 and in the 5th grade, I remember my Mom showing me how she could pick
locks and work any combination lock. She would sandpaper her fingertips,
so they would be real sensitive and be able to feel when the tumblers
fell into place. My Mom was a great teacher and I followed her
instructions to the tee. I began to practice on a combination safe we
had in our home. After some weeks, and much effort, lo and behold, I
finally opened the safe. Wow! There were a lot of little stacks of
money. I started stealing from those little stacks. I’d take one bill
from a stack on one day and then a couple of days later, I’d get another
bill from another stack. I was only caught because of my cousin. We
were at school and he asked me for a quarter and I gave him a five dollar
bill and told him to keep the change. After school, he left the change
in his pants and his Mom found it when she was going to wash his clothes.
She called my Mom the next day while I was at school and asked my Mom if
I was given that kind of money. My Mom checked the safe and found out
that there was $640 missing. She then called the principal and asked him
to send me home, but to please check out all my books and my locker to
see if perhaps there might be some of the money left there. The
principal gave me the spanking of my life and sent me home. But he also
warned me about the $640 that was missing and I knew I’d get a bigger
spanking once I got home. I walked home rubbing my behind, knowing that
I was in BIG trouble because I’d not only get another spanking from my
Mom, I’d get another from Dad when he got home. After much thought, I
decided to run away from home instead of facing the music. We lived
close by the Rio Grande River and there were some woods that were close
by the house. From the woods I could see the house and hear every thing
going on. Around dark, I could hear my family hollering up a storm for
me, but I wasn’t about to go home, because I knew what was waiting for
me. I slept in the woods over night. The next day when Mom left the
house, I ran home and stole some food and went back to the woods. By the
second night, I could hear my family calling me and threatening me with
big-time punishment. So on the third day I surrendered. I should never
have done that. The principal’s spanking seemed like a powder puff game.
First I got an unbelievable spanking from my Mom. When my Dad got home,
he had a one-by-four whittled out like the old board of education. It
had holes in the end of the paddle, so there would be no wind resistance
when it hit my behind. Each time it made contact, my body moved a heavy
hide-away sofa bed about 5 inches. My Dad only stopped because I reached
the wall and the sofa bed wouldn’t move any farther. You’ll never guess
what he told me. He said, “Son, I want you to know something. That hurt
me more than it did you.” I couldn’t sit down at school for a week.
Some of my teachers sent me to the principal’s office, but the principal
said it was OK because he knew what had happened.

I always tried to stay one step ahead of the paddling board. During the
first 6 weeks of my 5th grade activities, I found myself in a precarious
situation. We got report cards and my grades were terrible. My older
brother, around 14 at the time, was on the honor roll and his name was in
the local paper. He was studious and very smart. As far as I can
remember, he was always on the honor roll. I, on the other hand,
literally hated school. My highest grade was a C, so you can imagine
what was my lowest grade. It was not a pretty sight. My brother got
paid for making A’s and B’s and I wanted to get paid also. I devised a
system so that I could get paid for my A’s and B’s. My first report card
had to be taken home. My Mom, of course, was very disappointed, but
signed it. I never returned that report card to the teacher, but kept
it. I told the teacher that I had lost my report card, so she made out
another one for me to get signed. Now, I could still make poor grades,
but I had my “lost” report card and could give myself some B’s and even
an A to get paid. I’d never give myself enough A’s and B’s to get on the
honor roll and get in the paper. That would have blown my cover. Of
course, my Mom was impressed with my improvements and I got the money.

Money was influential. I liked to “buy” people and play the big shot.
Sooner or later, I could ask a favor back and use the person I had made
‘friends’ with. I stole from stores and neighbors houses. One neighbor
kept a 45 pistol and his wallet under his mattress. I’d sneak into his
house (houses were unlocked in those days) while he and his wife were
asleep. I’d get on my hands and knees and crawl into the bedroom. My
face and his face were not more than a foot a part and I’d watch his face
for any movement that would give me a hint that he was waking up. The
adrenaline was really flowing and there’s no high, like an adrenaline
high. I’d only get one bill and would get anything from $1 to $50. It
wasn’t really the money, it was the adventure with the risk I was taking.

Around the beginning of the 8th grade, my Mom needed to get her mileage
warranty inspection for the station wagon. Dan my friend, who lived with
us, had his driver’s license. She asked us to take her car to McAllen to
be inspected and serviced. Outside of Mission, Tx, we were driving along
at about 85 mph and I decided to pass a big truck. I pulled out to pass
and my front tire ran off the narrow road, so I jerked it back. The car
flipped about 8 times and landed on it’s wheels. It was about 100 yards
off the highway and had knocked down many trees while flipping. As soon
as the car stopped rolling and while the dust was still flying, a man,
dressed in a black robe and sandals, who looked like a priest, was trying
to open my door, the driver’s side. He couldn’t get it open and walked
around to Dan’s side and with some effort, yanked it open and we both got
out. He asked us, “Are you boys OK?” I couldn’t believe that a priest
would be opening my door, out in the middle of no where. So I grabbed
his hand and shook it real hard because I didn’t think he was for real.
Dan also grabbed his hand and shook it real hard. He said, “You boys
sure messed this car up.” I said, “We sure did.” I started walking
around the car to see how bad it really was. The top was flat against
the top of the seats. By the time I got around to the other side of the
car, the man in the robe had disappeared. We looked all over the place
for him. People who stopped to see the wreck thought we were crazy
because we kept asking if they had seen the man in the robe who had
opened up the door. No one saw him. Even the police officer told us,
“Son, it’s OK, the ambulance will be here in a little while. There is no
man who opened up your car door. Just lay down over there and take it
easy.” Looking back, I believe the Lord spared my life. I had one more
bad auto accident and 3 motor cycle wrecks. Any one of those accidents
could have killed me.

The next day my Dad took off work and went to McAllen to see how bad the
station wagon had been wrecked. He couldn’t believe it had been totaled,
because Dan and I got out with only a few scratches. The previous day,
Dan and I were given a rental car to get home in. On his way home, after
a few beers, Dad plowed into the back of an old pick-up truck. The truck
was driving without lights and Dad hit it and knocked the older couple
from behind about 80 yards. That older couple had never moved so fast in
their lives. The couple was uninjured, but Dad was hospitalized with a
big slash across his forehead and over and on his eyelid. Because of the
stitches, my Dad’s right eye stayed open when he slept. This caused a
problem in later years. I’d have to make sure Dad was really asleep
before I tried to take money out of his wallet.

The next day I took the rental car to spring training football practice.
But I never ended up at the football practice because some friends and I
started drinking and ended up at Falcon Lake. When my Mom found us, we
were drunk as skunks, so she put me in the rental car and took me
straight to jail. This was my first taste of jail. My Mom said, “Lock
him up. Don’t let him out until I come back for him. He can have
visitors, but don’t let him go.” She told the jailer, “Don’t worry. I
will be back to get him.” Poor Mom. This enabled her to go up to visit
Dad at the hospital without worrying about me.

During Christmas vacation in the 8th grade, my Dad, older brother, and
Victor, a friend of our family, and I, went quail hunting. We had been
hunting since early morning and I had not killed any quail up to this
point. All of a sudden, 2 quail flew up and went about ? mile into a
field of buffalo grass. My Dad said, “We need to be careful in this
buffalo grass. There could be lots of snakes out here.” The grass was
up to our waists, and even though it was December, it was hot enough for
snakes to be out. The walking was slow because the grass was so high.
Me and my big mouth had to comment that I’d be looking more for snakes
than for quail. Right about the time that we should have flushed the
quail out — BINGO – a big 6 foot plus rattler got me. He had 18
rattles and he was as big around as the calf of my leg. I jumped around
hollering with him hanging on my leg and finally knocked him off with the
butt of my shot-gun. My brother ran up and shot the snake that was still
rattling and threw me down on the ground and cut into where both fangs
had bitten me. My Dad said, “I can’t suck the poison out, I have bad
teeth.” My brother said, “I can’t suck the poison out, I have cavities.”
Victor said, “I don’t know if I have bad teeth or not, but there’s
nobody left, so I’ll do it.” After the poison was sucked out, Victor ran
and stopped a pick-up that was driving by. They cut the fence and came
in and picked me up and took us back to our station wagon. They packed
me in ice from the waist down and we drove to the hospital. The bite
felt like a burning hot poker in my thigh and the burning sensation was
slowly creeping up my leg. On top of that, the ice was terribly
miserable. I kept asking if I was going to die. The doctors said the
cuts were worse than the bite and I stayed in the hospital a week –
mostly for the deep cuts my brother had inflicted upon me. For about a
month after that, I was very unpopular in school. The poison made the
skin tissue, where the two fang bites went in, rot and fall out. The
odor was obnoxious. I had two big holes about the size of a quarter in
my thigh. Even though I wasn’t aware, God spared my life again.

Also in the 8th grade, I smoked my first marijuana joint in the bathroom
at school and remember the principal almost caught us smoking. I went
into the bathroom to take care of business. Several guys that I knew
were standing around smoking on a cigarette. They said, “Hey Doc, you
want a hit?” I said, “Sure, man.” So I walked over to where they were
and took a big puff off the cigarette and blew the smoke out. One of the
guys said, “Hey, man, that’s not the way you smoke that. That’s
marijuana.” I said, “Hey man, I know how to smoke.” He said, “You got
to holllldddd it in man, if you want to get the effect from it.” Then I
heard a loud holler from outside. Here comes the principal! Everyone
ran. But I didn’t run. I just went ahead and started to take care of
the business that I went in there for. The principal came in. He stood
right next to me and hollered, “Who’s been smoking in my bathroom?”
There was a big cloud of smoke hanging low in the bathroom. I said, “I
don’t know. It was them guys over there.” He said, “Who was it?” I
said, “I don’t know man. I came into here to take care of business.” He
said, “If I ever catch you smoking in my bathroom, I’ll kick you out of
school.” I almost got suspended from school and stayed in trouble during
my school years. As far as teachers trying to help me, I can’t recall
any help. I was happy the way I was and wouldn’t have listened to
anyone. The only thing that interested me in school was sports. I was a
good ball player. I lied, cheated, and did whatever it took to get
through school.

The one thing I hated more than school was work. My dad used to punish
us by taking us to work on the weekends. I probably had to go with him a
couple of times a month. I learned many things – how to overhaul motors,
work on electrical things, plumbing, body and fender repair, pipe fitting
and welding work. Looking back, I know that Dad loved us because he
worked so hard and provided for all our needs. Dad hunted and fished
with us, but I never remember any words of affection coming from him.
Mom was mostly the disciplinarian on a day by day basis. However, I
remember 3 major spankings my Dad gave me. They were hum-dingers, to say
the least.

My Mom gave me many spankings for lying to her. When something went
wrong at the house, she’d call us in and look in our eyes (us boys) and
ask each one of us individually if we were guilty of that particular
offense. Most of the time I was guilty. She’d say, “Doc, I can see it
in your eyes. You’re the guilty one.” And Mom was always right. I set
out to perfect my lying and used to spend hours looking into a mirror in
my room, lying to myself to see why my Mom could tell I was lying. I’d
tell myself the biggest lies I could imagine, to see what my eyes would
do. I’d ask myself, “Doc, are you lying to me?” And I’d look straight
back into my reflection and say, “No Mom, I ain’t lying.” I got so good
at looking into my own eyes without blinking an eyelid, that I could lie
to Mom and not get caught. She’d say, because of her experience, “I
think you’re guilty, but I can’t tell for sure. So get out of here.” I
escaped a bunch of spankings by perfecting my lying abilities. This
greatly helped me in the future when I talked to police officers.

In 1965, on April Fool’s day, we were home early in the morning before
school started. My mom got a phone call from Dad, and he said that his
truck had broken down. Mom said, “Doc, would you like to skip school
today and go pick up your Dad?” Normally I would have jumped on the
opportunity to skip school. I asked, “Where is Dad and what happened to
him for him to need picking up?” She said, “His truck broke down. The
back wheels fell off and he needs to go get some parts.” I said, “Nooooo
thank you, Mom. I need to go to school today. I’m going to play jokes
on the kids at school today.” “She said, “O”, you get ready for school
and drop you off. Then I’ll go pick up Dad.” It was a real foggy day
when Mom dropped me off at school. When I got out of the car, I told
her, “You be careful driving out there to pick Dad up because of all this
fog.” She said, “Look who’s talkin’. You’ve recently had 2 accidents
and I’ve never had an accident in all my life.” So she with my youngest
brother, Rowdy, took off down the road. Rowdy had his 5th year birthday
the day before. Mom had dropped me off about an hour before school
started, in order to pick up Dad. I remember going to 1st and 2nd period
and playing silly jokes on the kids and teachers. Pulling chairs out
from under the kids, putting tacks in their chairs, things like that. It
was around 10:30, so when I heard my name called over the loud speaker,
it came as no surprise. I figured someone had snitched on me for one of
my jokes. Slowly I walked to the principal’s office, trying to figure
out who had been the snitch. I walked up to his desk and was looking
kind of cowardly when I said, “Yes sir, here I am.” He said, “Doc, I’ve
got some bad news for you.” I thought to myself, “Whenever you’re
called to the principal’s office, it’s always bad news.” At least that
was my experience. This time was no different. “Your Mom and little
brother were in a car wreck,” he said. I asked, “Are they alive or
dead?” He responded, “They are alive. They took them to the hospital.”
Then he said, “We are going to take you home and we are going to pick
up your younger brothers and take them home also. That way, when your
dad needs to find you, you’ll all be at home.” My English teacher also
went with us that day. She was the preacher’s wife. I should have
known by her coming along that there was something really wrong. When we
got home, my next door neighbor came running up to me and threw her arms
around me and said, “Lo ciento mucho Doc,” (I’m really sorry for you,
Doc) and I said, “Por que?” (Why?) “Don’t you know that your Mom and
little brother were killed in the car wreck?” she said. Boy, I went
completely insane with rage at that moment. Not really, but the devil
took control of my life at that point. I turned around and hit the
principal in the mouth and knocked him down. I jumped on him and
started to beat him. I felt betrayed and for some unknown reason (the
devil), took it out on him. I never knew such rage and hate and a desire
to kill as I did that day. I wanted to kill this guy and he was not
even to blame. My English teacher tried to get me off of the principal,
but with one arm I grabbed her blouse and threw her about 6-8 feet in the
air. She weighed around 185 pounds, so there was no way that I, as a
boy of 16, could throw 185 pounds through the air except by the power of
a demon. They finally got me off of the principal. Poor man, he was
not to blame.

My Mom and little brother, Rowdy, never knew what happened. They were
both decapitated when the car slid under the Hygeia milk truck. The top
of the station wagon was totally cut off. The motor traveled 400 feet
from the impact of the accident and it turned the 18-wheeler over on its
side. The 18-wheeler had been pulling from a farm and market road onto
FM 755, the road Mom was on. Because of the fog, Mom must have never
seen it.

I remember going out to the gravesites after we buried my mom and little
brother. Our insurance had paid for both their burials. I had gotten
drunk and high on drugs to cope with the devastation. That night, after
the burial, I cried all night long until the sun was coming up. I’d lie
on Mom’s grave and say, “Mom, I love you, Mom.” Then I’d lie on my
little brother’s grave and say, “I love you Rowdy.” He used to sleep
with me every night and he had just had his 5th birthday on March 31.
My mom was only 38 years old. All night I cried and told them I loved
them. I hadn’t told them that I loved them when they were alive and now
it was too late. Neither Mom nor Rowdy could hear me now and neither
could answer me. After that night, my heart became like stone. I said
to myself “I ain’t going to cry no more. I ain’t ever going to cry
again. This is a bunch of bull.” So I made a promise to myself not to
ever cry again for any reason. The two people who meant the most to me
were gone. My reasons for living had disappeared in one whack. I hated
myself and I hated my dad. I reasoned that I should have gone to pick up
my dad, so the accident was my fault. I also reasoned that Dad was to
blame because if he hadn’t called my mom to pick him up, she and Rowdy
would still be alive. I kept that promise about not crying and didn’t
shed a tear for the next 20 years.

People told us about the Hygeia truck driver. After the accident, he was
taken to the hospital. They said he was in a lot of remorse because of
the accident that killed my Mom and Rowdy. I remember there were 2
accident reports made. One at the time of the accident and another one
after the Hygia milk company insurance investigators came to town. The
driver of the truck had already said he was at fault. When the second
report was filed, it said my Mom was at fault. This change in reports
made me angry and I became very bitter. My thinking was that a bunch of
crooks were running our town, so I went down to the court house and told
the sheriff and his deputies that I was going to kill them one of these
days. They didn’t pay much attention to me because they reasoned that I
was talking out of the anguish from the death of my mom and brother. I
decided at that point that I was going to be a worse crook than they
were.

Drug Smuggling Days

My Dad had slowly built up a construction company before the accident.
It started out with just him, a one-man operation. He worked hard and
slowly added workers and equipment. By the time my Mom and brother got
killed, the construction business had about 25 people and had tractors,
backhoes, and other construction equipment. However, he lost the company
because of his heavy drinking. He sold off all of his equipment to drown
himself in alcohol. He had to start working out of town on any job he
could get and would come home on the weekend. This left me all alone
during the week and totally without supervision. My younger brothers had
been sent to live with relatives. It had to have been hard for them and
I lost contact with my brothers at this time. My older brother, Everett
had gone off to college and gotten married. He was living quite a
distance away in Kingsville, TX. Little, 13 years old, and Ricky, 7
years old, both went to live with my Grandmother in Donna, TX. I was the
only one who lived at home with my dad after Mom’s and Rowdy’s death.

I hardly went to school anymore. The principal called me into the office
and told me, “Doc, you’re not going to graduate. You’re a 1 ? credits
short.” I didn’t know what to do to earn those credits and I sure didn’t
want to come to summer school. So I went around telling all my teachers,
“Guess what! I’ll be back next year.” The first lady teacher I told
about coming back to school for another year, told me, “Doc, do you
remember the class you had with me? I never gave you credit for that
class. I’m going to talk to the principal and make sure you get your
credit.” Then I went and talked to the coach. “Hey, guess what, coach.
I’m going to be back next year, pitching hard as ever and doing my thing
for you.” He said, “Why Doc?” I said, “I’m a credit and ? short and the
principal said I’d be coming back next year.” He said, “Doc, do you
remember when you took health with me at 7:00 in the morning? I never
gave you credit for that class. I’m going to talk to the principal and
make sure you get your credit.” I never took either one of these
classes. But the principal called me in about 2 weeks later and told me
that I was going to graduate. The reason I was graduated is because they
didn’t want me back in school.

It was at this time that, unknown to me, my ‘friend’ got me strung out on
heroin. We used to smoke marijuana together. He’d come by my house and
I’d go by his house. One morning I woke up feeling like I had the flu.
I smoked one of my joints, but it didn’t do any thing for me. So I
thought I’d go see Joe to see if he had some better weed than I did. I
hopped on my motorcycle and rode over to his house. He was around back
on the porch shooting up heroin. I asked him if he had any good weed.
He said, “You know I have the same stuff you have.” I told him that I
felt like I had the flu this morning. He said, “What you need is a fix.”
I told him, “Man, I don’t do that stuff. Besides that, I’m scared of
needles.” He said, “Doc, you’re already strung out. You’ve been smoking
heroin for the last month.” I said, “What do you mean? I don’t do that
stuff!” He told me, “I lace all my joints with heroin every morning.”
He gave me one to try, and sure enough, my flu symptoms went away. After
much coaching, he got me to shoot up my first fix of heroin. It made me
sick and I threw up. But from that day on, I shot up every day. It got
so bad, that I’d shoot up about 15 grams of heroin a day. Many times I
have OD’ed, but God spared my life by sending a friend by at the right
time. I’ve been revived at least a hundred times from OD’ing on
different drugs.

I remember that drugs, mostly marijuana and LSD, became real popular in
1966 and 1967 around the time I graduated. In addition to drinking
heavily, I was using marijuana, cocaine, MDA, PCP, THC, LSD, peyote,
speed, downers, heroin and any thing else I could get my hands on. At
this time in my life I remember thinking that I’d never reach 21. Because
Dad worked out of town during the week, it was easy to party-down all
week long. Kids would come over to the house and stay there from Monday
through Friday. On Friday, whoever was there, would pitch in and help
clean the house so that it’d be clean by the time Dad came home for the
week-end. All the rest of the week you could cut marijuana smoke with a
knife and you’d stumble on beer cans as you walked through the house. At
this point, Dad was lost in his own world of alcohol, and I was no big
concern.

Soon after graduation from high school, I started smuggling drugs into
the U.S. from Mexico. Now my dreams were coming true. I was on my way
to being a big time bandit with lots of money and lots of friends to help
me spend it. Fast cars, fast women, and a fast life. Any thing that was
fast or dangerous, I liked it. A friend, Jimmy, who was about 10 years
older than me, and I would spend thousands of dollars going to Boy’s Town
in Mexico (a town of brothels and drugs). He’d drink and I’d drink and
do drugs. We both had more friends than we knew what to do with. Jimmy
came from a very influential family, so he always had money to throw away
and Jimmy knew how to throw it. But thanks be to Jesus, Jimmy is now
born again and uses his resources for the Kingdom of God.

Jimmy had a brother, Pat. He and I were about the same age and good
friends also. Pat was different from Jimmy. Pat and I worked together
in the beginning of my drug career. Pat was a ‘flower child’ of the
60’s. For a while, he and his girl friend lived in a TP in the woods in
Bastrope, Texas. Pat was non-violent and the only reason he put up with
me was because we became friends before I became violent. He was always
scared when I’d go to where he was staying because I always carried a
sawed off shotgun and a couple of pistols with me. He didn’t mind the
weed or other drugs I’d bring to him, but he didn’t like the heat I might
bring on him. Pat got saved around ’75 or ’76 and has been pastoring and
preaching the word of God in Canada for over 20 years.

My friends would often have needs, and I’d always be there to help them
out. I’d pay their rent, give them money for car payments, and give them
money to party on. But I did this for my own selfish gain. I knew that
sooner or later, I’d call on them for a favor and they’d be indebted to
me.

Drugs make you do insane things. I remember when me and four or five
other friends would sit around the house, play records, shoot up heroin,
smoke pot and play Russian roulette. I’d guess that I’ve pointed a
pistol at my head and pulled the trigger with a bullet in the cylinder
between 75 and a hundred times. I’ll never forget the day I almost died.
I had just shot up a big shot of dope and it was my turn to spin the
cylinder. I picked up the 357 magnum and gave it a spin. When the
cylinder stopped spinning, I cocked the gun and I heard a voice speak to
me. It said, “Don’t point the gun at your head. Point it at the lamp
and pull the trigger.” BANG! The lamp exploded. The bullet went
through lamp, the wall of the garage, the door in the living room and
missed my Dad by a couple of inches. He was laying down asleep on the
sofa at the time. Thank goodness he was drunk and asleep or he would
have been killed. Needless to say, we never played Russian roulette
after that day. It was only because of God’s very abundant grace that
none of us killed ourselves.

My life’s dream was fast becoming a reality. I had two shoot-outs with
the Feds in Rio Grande. One of the high-speed chases stemmed from a
friend of mine getting busted several weeks before. I had fronted him
some weed and he got busted at the border patrol check-point outside
Falfurrias. Unbeknown at the time to me, the authorities made a deal
with him to set me up. But I was tipped off by a girl who was going out
with a customs agents son. She called me on the phone and said, “Doc, on
Wednesday they are going to try to bust you. Someone that you sell drugs
to was busted. They drew a map to your house and said you’re name was
Doc. I saw the map. You’re the one they’re after. So beware on
Wednesday.” I said, “Thanks for the info, and I’ll be on the look-out.”
On Wednesday, Carol, a working partner, and I, were driving around in the
Valley just killing time. We had already told Dad that we’d be expecting
a call or visit with someone that day. We told him we’d either call him
or check back in with him later on. Around 6 PM we called Dad from
McAllen and asked if anyone had called or had come by. He told us that a
certain person had called and was waiting for me at the Holiday Inn in
McAllen. This set off an alarm in my head because the Holiday Inn of
McAllen, at this time, was a known drug-busting motel. There were
stories about the Holiday Inn and some drug busts they had had there. My
friend had never gone there before, but had always gone to my house.
This was suspicious. Carol said, “Doc, I wouldn’t do it if I were you.
It’s too dangerous. Sounds like a set-up to me.” I told her, “I’m gonna
do it. I have to find out if this is the guy that I was tipped off
about.” I went to the Holiday Inn. He had all my money from the
previous deal. That was a give-away because he had never before paid me
in full. He always owed me several thousand dollars. Not only did he
pay me in full for the past deal, but he also had money to buy 600 pounds
of marijuana. I took his money and told him that I’d see him in Rio
Grande at a certain time for the deal. However, he wanted me to deliver
at that same Holiday Inn. That set off all kinds of red lights. Going
back to Rio Grande, Carol kept telling me, “Don’t do it Doc! Don’t do
it! It’s a set-up. It’s too dangerous.” I told her, “I’ve got to find
out if he’s the snitch.” I dropped Carol off at my house and went across
the river to Mexico to score. I paid my connection and he put the drugs
on the US side of the river. My plans were to pick it up at a certain
time. I came back to the US and drove to the delivery area where I
loaded and picked up the weed. I drove from the river-bank and pulled
onto the highway with my headlights off. I pulled out in the middle of a
stretch of road that had two large curves. It gave me an opportunity to
see the traffic from both directions, so I’d be undetected as much as
possible. Not more than 30 seconds after I was on the highway, I looked
in the rear view mirror. Because of some background lights, I could tell
that a car was in back of me without any lights on also. So I knew what
time it was. PUNCH IT!!! This was the BUST. I turned on my lights and
put the pedal to the medal. When I went around the curve, there were 2
narc cars sitting in the road. Where they set up the road-block, there
was a little arroyo (a very small creek). A guardrail was at the curve.
The only room was between the narc car and the rail. It was a very small
shoulder and going 125+mph, I couldn’t tell if it’d be enough to get by.
But there was no choice and I sure wasn’t going to stop. The narcs in
back of the two cars saw that I wasn’t slowing down and had to jump out
of the way. How I did it, I don’t know, but my car sped through without
hitting either the narc car or the rail. The car following me hit his
brakes and didn’t try to follow. That gave me the advantage. However,
as I sped by, they fired several shots into my trunk, but I got away.
They tried to follow me, but being from the area, I knew all the back
roads and was able to out maneuver them. I went and stashed the weed in
a special stash place and made my way home through back roads. After
putting the car in the garage, I went inside the house and told my Dad
that the narcs might be coming. Poor Dad. He was beside himself. I
also needed a favor from him. I needed for him to use his body and
fender skills and patch up the bullet holes in my trunk. I told him and
Carol, “Whatever you do, don’t go outside of the house. So he went out
into the garage and started working. Mean while, I went in the weeds
behind the house with my guns, waiting for the narcs to show up. Within
a short time, the narcs drove by the house. They drove by real slow but
never stopped.

When the sun came up I made my way into the house. A couple of friends
had come over around 7:00 to get high. About 8 o’clock in the morning,
the snitch showed up at the house and asked why I hadn’t delivered his
weed at the Holiday Inn. Boy, I was mad. Two of my friends, Bucky and
Critter, wanted to shoot this guy with a sawed off shotgun. The snitch
cried out “Please don’t kill me. Just let me go. I’ll never come back.
We thought he was probably wired and didn’t want the scene getting any
hotter. So we let him go. Bucky and Critter left. Carol and I checked
out my car and then we left and got about a quarter of a mile from the
house and 4 narc cars stopped us. Boy, were they mad! They looked at my
car. Of course, my Dad had expertly patched it. It was spray painted
and everything. They couldn’t find any drugs in my car or any bullet
holes in the car. One of the narcs said, “Doc, you better go get your
weed and get your butt out of town, because the next time I see you, I’m
going to blow your s _ _ _ away.” I said, “Hey punk, are you threatening
me?” He said, “Take it however you like it.” I told him “Next time I
see you, be ready, because you know I pack. When I see you out there on
the back roads, it’s open season. Hey, let’s me and you go over to the
rifle range and we’ll kick butt to see who’s a better man.” He said,
“Doc, you know I can’t do that.” Then I told him, “Then how in the world
are you going to shoot me, punk.”

I remember the first time they caught me and I couldn’t get out. The
police used 2 young girls, ages 15 and 16 to say that I had given them
drugs and that I had sexual relations with them. They arrested me for
statutory rape and furnishing drugs to minors. They then took me back
to my house and searched it and found heroin, marijuana, stolen weapons,
TNT, blasting caps, a detonator and wiring outside my house. They
charged me with possession of a bomb. I never had sex or any other
relationship with those two young girls, nor did I ever give them any
drugs. I never had these girls killed so that gave me the desire not to
give in when I was being beaten. However, I did give drugs to all the
guys that worked with me and I knew these girls hung around with some of
my friends. Well, before I could be taken to trial on these charges,
the girls were killed and they found them in the Rio Grande River. When
this happened, the police and Texas Rangers came into my cell. They
told me that I was going to sign a statement saying that I had had the
girls killed. I said, “No way I’ll sign anything.” They beat my head
against the walls and the bars of the cell and then dragged me out to the
interrogation room. There they asked me some questions and pushed a
paper in front of me and told me to sign that paper. I said, “What does
that paper say?” They said, “Doc, it says that you’re responsible for
having those girls killed.” I said “No way I’ll sign any paper saying
any thing because I don’t know what you’re talking about.” The Texas
Rangers would take me out daily and play the good guy, bad guy rolls and
try to get me to sign the paper and talk to me about the deaths of the
girls. I never said any thing and never signed any thing. I just took
my beatings and was sent back to my cell. These beatings enraged me and
caused me to hate the sheriff.

They then started investigating me for getting high while I was in jail,
but they couldn’t prove that either. Friends would bring me drugs. I
was on the fourth floor of the county courthouse where the cells were
located. At night, I’d whistle. Friends would come outside the window.
I had a sheet string with a sock tied on it with a bar of soap in the
sock to weight it down. This made for more accurate throwing and quicker
descent to where the friend was. He’d fill it with drugs and I’d quickly
pull it up in a matter of seconds. The other inmates in the jail looked
up to me because I had drugs and money while I was in jail.

While I was locked up, awaiting trial, my younger brother, ‘Little’, who
had just been kicked out of the army for selling drugs to an undercover
agent in Arizona, came back to Rio Grande and came to the window of my
jail cell. He asked me if there was anything he could do to help me. He
had had a promising career in the army and had come home on leave.
Because of my big bucks and extravagant living, I influenced my brother
to go astray. I told Little to go find Carole, my working partner and
part-time girl friend and get the money that she had that belonged to me.
It was from a drug deal and I needed that money to make bail. My bond
was $92,000 cash. I had $52,000 to put up, but needed the money Carol
had to spring me. My brother found Carol. However, neither came back
with the money. I had no idea at this time what happened to them. The
next time I heard from them was about a year later. I got a post card
from them in Estes Park, Colorado, asking me if I was still in jail. At
this time I vowed to kill my brother and Carol when I got out.

As for my trial, they took me to court 2 times in my county, but couldn’t
get a jury. Everyone that would come to be chosen for my jury would say
that I had a gang and they feared that they’d be killed or members of
their family would be killed. We finally got a change of venue to the
next county. The same thing happened in that county. No one wanted to
be on my jury because they said I had a gang that would kill them or
their family. While I was in this other county jail waiting for a trial,
there was a jailbreak and 3 guys came to investigate and found me still
there. They were really surprised. Shortly after this my lawyer got
me out of jail and all the charges were dropped. He told me that I was
not supposed to go back to my hometown of Rio Grande nor to Starr County.
If I did go back and the police saw me, they were going to kill me
because they didn’t want me in their town. I remember going to my
lawyer’s house, and I asked him if he had a gun. He said that he only
had an air weight 38 special. I told him that it was good enough. He
asked me what I wanted it for and I told him I was going back to Starr
County. Even though he thought I was crazy to go back to Starr County,
he asked me if I could get him any speed, specifically ‘black mollys’ and
he’d buy up to $100,000. He gave me the gun and $5,000 for expenses to
look for the mollys. So I went back to settle a score I had pending with
the Sheriff.

I went to Magdaleno’s house, a friend of mine, who was in the process of
getting stoned. “Que pasa Doc, when did you get out,” Magdaleno said.
I told him that I had just gotten out that morning. He said, “Do you
want to get high?” “Of course, dummy, why do you think I came over to
your house,” I told him. So we started to get high. We did some
heroin, redbirds (downers), some weed and some tequila. He asked me why
I was in Rio. I told him I had come to kill the sheriff. He said,
“I’ll go with you because I don’t like that whole family.” The sheriff’s
brother, a deputy, had broken some of Magdaleno’s ribs when the Texas
Rangers came to Rio Grande to break up the farm workers strike in 1966 or
1967.

Magdaleno was a ‘pistollero (gun-slinger). He was about 5′ 5″, weighed
about 150 pounds at the most, had an ace of diamonds, an ace of hearts,
an ace of clubs, and an ace of spades etched in gold on his 4 front
teeth. Magdaleno always packed (a gun). His past time was raising
fighting roosters and holding cock fights. He had killed four people in
beer joint fights up ’til that time. Years later at a fight in a beer
joint, Magdaleno shot and killed two of the sheriff’s nephews and was
beat to death with a brick by a 3rd nephew, after Magdaleno had been
wounded.

We went to the courthouse to look for the sheriff, and asked the
sheriff’s nephew if the sheriff was in. He told us that the Sheriff
wouldn’t be in until around 10:30. I told the nephew to tell the
Sheriff that I’d be back to see him about our unfinished business. When
I was in jail I had promised the Sheriff that when I got out I’d come and
kill him. He had asked me if I was threatening him and I told him that
it wasn’t a treat, but a promise. My friend and I went to a beer joint
to wait for 10:30. We were drinking a few beers and the time passed
faster than we thought, because about 1:00 PM a guy came in the beer
joint and said, “I just came from the courthouse and they told me that
the sheriff died of a heart attack.” “What did you say,” I asked. He
told us again that the sheriff had died of a heart attack. I paid for
beer for everyone and my friend and I went to the courthouse and asked
the sheriff’s nephew if the reports were true. Sure enough, he had died
some time earlier that day. So I didn’t get to kill him.

By this time, I heard that my brother Little and Carol were living in
Austin, Texas and smuggling drugs. So I went to Austin to take care of
business. They were living out in the country, but when I went to the
house, only Carol was home. I told her that I was looking for my
brother, to kill him, or maybe I’d just blow his knee cap off so he’d
remember me. Carol sweet-talked me out of doing anything to my brother
by taking all the responsibility of taking the money. She said, “Doc,
you fronted me the dope, so I’m the one who owes you for it. If you’ll
give me a chance, I’ll work for you and pay you back everything I owe
you.” That seemed better to me than putting a bullet in both of them.
On her very first drug trip for me, she had a car wreck. Her car ran off
a bridge in San Marcos, Texas and she was killed.

I started smuggling drugs big time at this point. The operation
supplied drugs to many different parts of the United States. My brother,
Little, other working associates and I were moving tons of marijuana
every week. I got busted in Austin, Texas with several hundred thousand
dollars. They took my money, my gun and my truck and beat me up. My
brother told me that I needed to leave town before I’d bring heat down on
all of them. I decided it was time for me to head south. I moved to
Acapulco, Mexico where I rented a house. As I learned the ropes in
Acapulco, I managed to put together a network of protection, including
about 25 of the officers in the police force, who got on my payroll. I
supplied them with Browning 9mm pistols and plenty of ammunition. They’d
bring drugs by my house almost daily and I’d buy it from them and stash
it in my closet. I really didn’t need their drugs and it was more
expensive than the drugs that I’d buy in the mountains. But it was a way
to keep them friendly, so I included that as part of my PR expenses.
These guys helped me several times, so they were well worth it. I was
down there having a good time getting high and making drug connections.
After I’d been there about 4 months, my brother Little came down and
asked me to do a deal for him. We got a little over 5 tons of marijuana
in a tandem truck that I had bought. We made it all the way to Reynosa,
Mexico. I had told Little not to make any phone calls because the phone
lines could be tapped. However, Little wasn’t so careful and made a
phone call that ended up getting us busted by the Mexican and American
Feds. He called a guy whose phone was tapped and gave all of the
information about the coming drug deal over the phone. We had a shoot
out with the Mexican Feds on November 21, 1973. I remember distinctly
the date because it was my 25th birthday. Happy birthday, Doc! I was
shot with a shotgun after my machine gun jammed. The pellets went in my
legs, hands, side, behind, and one in my ear. The blast knocked me down
and a Mexican Fed knocked me out with the butt of his gun. One pellet in
my ear and one in my side is still there as little reminders.

Prison Years

I woke up in jail and had been beaten by the Mexican Feds.

For the next 4 days, I was interrogated by the Mexican Federales. These
guys were special Federales sent from Mexico City to stop the drug
trafficking here on the border. Their boss was Salvador Del Toro
Rosales, who was a big shot from Mexico City. To my understanding, the
guys who worked for him were the worst sort of guys and had been
prisoners themselves. But only through alliance with Salvador, did they
obtain their conditional freedom and had to do his dirty work to keep
that freedom. They picked Little, JD, and me up to transport us to Nuevo
Laredo, Mexico to the interrogation area. We were all handcuffed and
taken into a room. They asked in Spanish, “Who’s Doc Beckett?” Of
course, no one answered. I had another identification, so they didn’t
know I was Doc. My brother, Little, had his real ID with his name, Fred
D. Beckett. So they assumed that the “D” stood for Doc. They started
slapping him up side the head and pulling out his beard. When I saw that
I said, “Hey man, leave him alone. I’m Doc Beckett.” That said, “Oh
yea?” They left my brother and JD alone from then on. They took me into
a room by myself with about 5 federales. The first mistake they made was
to take off my handcuffs. I was standing there and one of them punched
me. All hell broke lose. It was a free for all. I always loved
fighting, especially when there was more than one person I was fighting
against. These guys beat up themselves more than they beat me. We were
all kicking, hitting, and biting each other. But since there were more
of them, they finally subdued me. The handcuffs went back on and were
never removed until I got to the La Loma prison. After being
re-handcuffed, they asked “Are you going to sign a statement saying you
killed those Mexican girls (those 2 girls in Rio Grande).” I said, “You
guys are crazy. I haven’t killed no girls, especially Mexican girls.”
They said, “The American Federales told us that you killed 2 Mexican
girls and they want you to sign a statement saying that you killed them.”
I said, “I didn’t kill ’em and I’m not signing a statement.” At that
point I tried to explain to them that I was in jail when those girls were
killed, but they wouldn’t believe me. They said, “We have ways to get
you to sign. And you will sign.” They beat me the worse I’d ever been
beaten in my life. They used the chicharra (cattle prod) and electric
shock on me also. They would throw water on me and touch the electric
wire to different parts of my body. The only thing that I was willing to
admit to on a paper was that the marijuana belonged to me and that Little
and JD didn’t have anything to do with it. I even admitted who sold the
marijuana to me. He was a Mexican revolutionary, Lucio Caba?as` and they
didn’t want any part with him. I said, “Hey, I’ll even take you to right
where he lives right in the mountains of Atoya De Alvares”. Lucio was
known for his bank robbing escapades in Acapulco and the many people he
had killed. So they settled for a mere confession of marijuana
trafficking, possession of illegal weapons, and a shoot-out with Mexican
authorities.

They sent us to La Loma prison. In lock-up I found out the truth about
our bust. That’s when I first found out that my brother, Little, had
made a phone call that got us busted. If it had not been for the people
in the cell with us, I would have beat him to death. From the handcuffs
and beatings, I didn’t have feelings in my hands for about 4 or 5 months.
They were swollen up, but I kicked him and got in some good punches on
him. I received a 9 year and 3 month sentence for Little’s stupidity.
We stayed at the La Loma prison about 4 months.

They shipped us from La Loma in Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico to Matamoros,
Mexico. My brother went free after doing a total of about 5 months and
his friend, JD, after a few years. By giving the right authorities the
proper amount of money, Little was able to buy his freedom for about
$20,000 and JDs sentence was reduced. After Little was released from the
prison he was supposed to come back with money and get me out. However,
when he got out he went to some friends of mine that were dealing drugs
and asked them to help get me out of the Mexican prison. They fronted
him lots of dope so he could make money to get me out. Little screwed me
again. Not only did he not come back to get me out of prison, but he
didn’t even pay the people who fronted him the dope. He and his new girl
friend went to Canada and got married. My anger toward my brother was so
intense that I wanted him to die a very slow death and I wanted the
pleasure of doing the killing.

When we got to Matamoros, we were strung out on heroin. They only had
marijuana in Matamoros and that was very hard to come by. Not only was
I using drugs, but I started dealing drugs in that prison. I met a
friend, Martin, who had an uncle who would help him. I knew people on
the outside of the prison walls who could supply small amounts of drugs.
They were willing to drop off the drugs at the uncle’s house. The uncle,
in turn, would package it up, throw it over the prison fence, and we
would retrieve it. With the drug dealing, I was able to live
comfortably, as much as possible, in the Mexican prison in Matamoros.

I got into lots of fights and I stabbed lots of people. I was stabbed
around 30 times and I stabbed at least 20 different people. Of those
20, two ended up dying. After about 2 weeks we had a prison riot and
over threw the system there. The wardens run their individual prisons
pretty much the way they want to, without very much outside interference.
They have hand picked men who are call Capataz’s. These men do the
warden’s bidding and asks no questions. In return, the Capataz’s get
many kinds of favors. The reason for this riot, was because the
Capataz’s who were running the prison for the warden, were abusing their
authority and taking gross advantage of a lot of poor people. So we
decided to overthrow all the Capataz’s at the same time. There were 2
capataz’s for each cell, that contain about 100 people each. There were
also 2 ‘capataz’s generales’. So there were a total of 8 capataz’s, plus
2 capataz’s generales, making a total of 10.

After 3 days of tear gas and being washed down by the fire department,
the warden came in and asked us what we wanted. They said that they
wanted me to be the Capataz General. This was the main guy to run the
place under and for the warden. He came to me and said, “One thing you
must know. I don’t want any drugs in my prison.” Wow! I was the guy
getting the drugs into the prison and he said he wanted no drugs in
there. I agreed to what he wanted. Of course, I never honored that
agreement.

I used to take everyone’s drugs away from them. They would be waiting
for someone to pass by in their car and throw something over the fence.
They’d throw a pound of weed or some pills into the rec yard. I’d walk
up and grab the package. Of course the guy would complain and say that
it was his. I’d take out my Buck knife and tell him that it was now
mine and ask him if he wanted to try to take it back. Seldom would I
get challenged. If it were weed, I’d keep about 3/4 of whatever came in
and give 1/4 to the warden. I had all of the guards on one shift
working for me. They would bring booze, drugs, and anything I wanted.
Even though one shift was working with me, the other shift was trying to
bust me.

One time some guys got one of my balls of marijuana that came in. There
were 100 cigarettes in the ball. They only kept 25 of them and sent
back 75. They said they were waiting for someone to bring them some and
when that happened, they would pay me back. These guys were a gang of 9
thugs who were worthless. They all had the same charge from the street
and they came to prison thinking they were going to run something in
there. They had killed some guy and raped his girl friend. The day
after they took my marijuana, a friend and I went out to the rec yard.
We started stabbing all of these 9 guys. One dropped dead and another
ran. My friend dropped also after a while. I had this one guy down
with my foot on his chest and was going to slit his throat. I had
already stabbed him 4 or 5 times. I drew my hand back to slit his
throat and he said “Please don’t kill me for my mother’s sake”. Because
I had lost my mom, it touched my heart, so I didn’t kill him. I saw 4
or 5 other guys that I wanted to stab, so I let him live. This almost
cost me my life about 6 to 8 months later. I ran after the rest of the
gang and I stabbed them one by one. I chased 3 of them and they all
threw their knives out of the prison and raised their hands in surrender,
but I chose to stab them anyway. I saw 2 of them trying to get the
guard to let them in, but the guard wouldn’t. I ran up to them and they
started climbing the bars of the door, and I stabbed them until they fell
at my feet. The guard asked me if there were anymore and I said, “Not
standing.” I went and picked up my friend and carried him to the door.
I told the guard to open the door and call an ambulance for my friend.
He told me to give him my knife. I refused, so they took me to lock-up.
The warden came up there and told me to give him my knife and I’d be
allowed to come out. I refused again, so I stayed in lock-up for about
6 months.

During the time of my lock-up, I was in about a 6 X 5 foot cell. I had a
floor with a poop-hole in it. No bed, no mattress, no sheet, nothing
except the clothes I wore. However, people in lock-up were allowed a
newspaper. It was the most important and cherished item in lock-up. I
used my cowboy boots for a pillow. The people I had stabbed were in
other cells close by and were out to get me. They made it very hard to
sleep. Day and night I was harassed. They would throw poop through the
bars. That’s one of the reasons the newspaper was so important. I
weaved the paper through the bars on the cell door to prevent the poop
from coming through. Then they’d take their precious allotted water and
throw it on the newspaper, so it would get wet and soggy and the poop
could get through. It was a constant battle. I had to pick up their
poop and throw it back at them. Their poop and water throwing verses my
trying to keep a shield up to keep the poop out of the cell was a
constant battle.

This prison had a severe rat problem. We had to put coke bottles in
between each bar of the door so we could know when a rat got in the cell.
These rats were as big as possums and they could bite a plug out of you.
So when they would knock a coke bottle over, I’d jump up and beat them
with my cowboy boots. I beat to death several while in lock-up. After
about 6 months, the warden released me back into the general population.

While in lock-up, Martin sent a ‘cara vaca’. They are double crosses
with angels at the bottom that are ‘blessed’ by a powerful warlock or
witch and are used to ward off attacks by any smaller powerful warlocks
or witches. One of the men’s mother that I had killed was a witch. My
friend Martin wanted to help protect me. The ‘cara vaca’ was a beautiful
gold cross with lots of intricate designs on it, but unknown to me, there
was a power behind the cross that was evil. When I got out of lock-up, I
started using that evil power for my own benefit.

After I was released from lock-up, I used the cross to blind some guards
who would go out and walk on the rec yard to check for any foreign object
that could have been thrown into the prison overnight. On two different
occasions , Martin’s uncle wrapped a kilo of marijuana in a ball shape,
about as big as a volleyball, with a net wrapped around the outside. We
made a bow and arrow out of a wooden hanger and moni-filament line with a
treble hook. We’d whittle the arrow out of cedar. Martin’s uncle would
throw the ball over the fence and most of the time, it’d fall on a cement
volleyball court and we could easily retrieve it with our bow and arrows.
However, there were times when Martin’s uncle would throw it over and it
would to the side of the cement count and into the short grass. When
that happened, we couldn’t retrieve it with our bow and arrow. We had
tried, but we busted all our arrows and lost our hooks. That’s when I
had to use the ‘cara vaca’ cross. I’d speak to the cross and command it
to blind those guards eyes from seeing the big ball of marijuana and
influence them so they’d come to my cell first and let us out on the rec
yard first. Twice there was a kilo ball of marijuana in plain sight and
once 5 guards walked by it and the other time 3 guards walked by it
without even seeing it. Both times they came and opened my cell so we
could go out and get it. I had a suspicion that they had left it out
there to see who was going to claim it and then bust me after I picked it
up. But that was not the case. I walked out, picked it up, walked over
to the window and passed it in to a friend of mine. No one ever saw
anything. I could also talk with people without using words. I’d talk
to them by just looking at them in their eyes and concentrating and
they’d receive my command and do what I wanted them to do.

Once I received a 15 to 20 pound package. The American Counsel appointee
in Brownsville, who’s in charge of bringing mail and packages to the
prisoners in the Matamoros prison, brought a medium sized box in to the
wardens’ office. When I went to pick it up, the warden asked me to open
it. It was filled with brownies, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal
cookies, and pecan cookies. Boy, did they look delicious. The warden’s,
assistant warden’s and several guards eyes bugged out at the assortment
of goodies. I offered them some and they all jumped at the opportunity
and took handfuls. Then I took the box back to my cell and my friends
and I started munching out. Under a couple of layers of cookies was a
letter. It was from Margaret and Mary Jane. Mary Jane was a super good
baker. The only problem was that she baked with marijuana. This time
was no exception. I thought “Oh no, this is not good.” The letter
stated that there ‘were 4 ounces of weed cooked off in all the goodies.
So enjoy and get high!’

About an hour after that, one of the guys who had eaten some of the
cookies and was a close friend of the warden, came to talk to me. He
said the warden and the assistant warden were in the infirmary, and the
head guard had already been taken to the hospital by an ambulance,
thinking he was having a heart attack. With this information, we munched
up, as quickly as possible, all the goodies, not leaving one crumb as
evidence. Boy, we were ‘flyin’ high’. To my surprise, nothing happened
that night and I wasn’t questioned about the goodies until the next day.

Early in the morning, I got called out to the warden’s office. He said,
“No more packages. I know those cookies were loaded.” I said, “What do
you mean? We ate them all up and nothing happened to us.” He said, “I
don’t know what they were loaded with, but you can’t have any more
packages. Period.”

It was during this time that Margaret, from Austin, started visiting me.
I had dealt some drugs to her. In Mexico, the authorities allow conjugal
visits. This resulted in a precious little blond haired, blue eyed girl.
This girl friend kept up these visits until I got out.

In 1976, not too long after this, I was almost killed by the guy that I
had let live by not cutting his throat. He was supposed to stay in
lock-up until he was sent to another prison, but some people that were
there paid some money to have me killed. These were some big time drug
dealers that owed me some money from the street. I told them I was
going to do something real bad to them if they didn’t pay. So this guy
stabbed me about 12 to 14 times. I finally wrestled his shank, a prison
made knife, from his hand, and was about to kill him when a guard put his
gun to my head and said that if I stabbed him, he would shoot me.
Needless to say, this guy escaped again. They took me to the hospital
and patched me up and brought me right back to prison.

My brother Little, and my youngest brother, Ricky, heard that I had been
killed in this prison stabbing in Matamoras, so they came and asked the
warden for my body. The warden told them, “I don’t know about giving you
his body, because he’s still using it right now, but I will let you talk
to him.” When I was called out for the visit, I saw Little and this
other guy with him. I didn’t even know that the other guy was my
youngest brother Ricky. I hadn’t seen Ricky in 6 or 7 years. If I could
have gotten my hands on Little’s neck, I would have strangled him. I
told Ricky, “Ricky, don’t hang around with this dirty sob, because he’ll
have you in prison in no time.” Sure enough, within 6 months, I heard
that Ricky had been sent to prison for stealing a car. I dreamed and
lived thinking about torturing Little. It gave me the incentive in that
Mexican prison to live. This was the last time I saw my 2 brothers. My
family had given up on me a long time ago.

While I was there in Matamoros, my friend, Pat, heard through the grape
vine that I was still in prison in Mexico. He had been the one who first
opened the door for me to become a smuggler. I received a letter from
him telling me about Jesus. He said, “Doc, all these years I’ve been
telling you that drugs were the way, money was the way, free love was the
way, but I want you to know that JESUS is the REAL WAY.” He gave me the
scripture in John 14 (6), “I am the way, the truth and the light. No man
cometh unto the Father but by me.” It made me really mad. Witchcraft
and things of the occult were all around me and controlled me. This
letter about Jesus was like a slap in the face. I figured he went off
the deep end and had lost it. I was betrayed again. Pat had turned into
a religious freak.

In 1977, I was sent to another prison in Mexico City called Santa Marta
Acatila. I played baseball for the Lt. Warden. He would furnish me
with drugs to pitch baseball for him. I was good at pitching. I
believe I won over 20 games and lost only 1 and one tie. It was there
that my ‘cara vaca’ medallion was stolen. While pitching, I got hit with
a line drive in the jaw. It popped my jaw and we thought it was broken.
All that happened was that some slick people from off the street who were
playing against us lifted the ‘cara vaca’. Because of my pitching
skills, they wanted me to stay there and finish out my time, but some
people from Washington, D.C. signed me up for a prisoner exchange. They
made a verbal promise to me that I’d be released on mandatory supervision
as soon as I got to San Diego, California.

I was sent to La Masa Prison in Tijuana Bajo, California in 1978. While
there, things were really bad. People inside the prison had guns. I
remember the warden & assistant warden and some head guards were gunned
down with an M-2 machine gun. The Army and Feds came in and found lots
of automatics, revolvers and thousands of homemade knives.

I was shipped to San Diego, California. It was there that I was awaiting
my parole hearing for my release. All the inmates that came back on the
prisoner exchange had been released except 3 others and me. I waited for
3 weeks, thinking that I’d get my hearing by then, then filled out a
request and asked them why I hadn’t had my parole hearing. They told me
that I was not eligible for mandatory supervision or parole because of
sentencing legalities. So the deal they made in Mexico was null and void.

I was sent to El Reno, OK. It seemed that the people from Washington
had lied to me just to get me back in the US in prison. I had been
sentenced to a federal offense of 9 years and 3 months for trafficking
drugs, possessing illegal weapons, and resisting arrest. I received a
state offense for killing the two men of 4 years and 8 months. The
charge was ‘muerta en rina provocado en defensa propia’, or ‘death in a
provoked fight in self defense.’ For a $5,000 fee, the judge in
Matamoras let both sentences run concurrently. U. S. policy did not
allow those charges to run concurrently. After a few months, much paper
work, phone calls, and several trips to Matamoros by my girl friend,
Margaret, the mess was all straightened out. They allowed the Mexican
judge’s ruling to stand.

I was finally released when the NY Yankees were playing the LA Dodgers.
It was the last game of the series and Reggie Jackson hit three home runs
to win the game for me. My girl friend Margaret, the one who had
visited me while I was in the Mexican prison, picked me up in El Reno and
she had an ounce of speed. She said that a friend had sent it. Half
was for me and half was for her. Well, that night we bet which team
would win and I took the Yankee’s. She lost the bet. By morning time,
she wanted me to give her a little, but I wouldn’t budge. No way! It
was all mine. So you can see that relationship was not going to work
out. We were together for a few months and split. Margaret stayed in
Oklahoma.

I went to Texas and got arrested again in 1979 in George West for
possession of speed, cocaine, weed, 2 pistols, a sawed off shotgun and a
bullet proof vest. While I was in George West this guy named Lurch was
put on my side of the jail. One side was for drunks and young
offenders, the other side was for bad guys who had been in prison or had
bad charges against them. This guy had killed his brother-in-law. He
would cry and say, “Doc, I didn’t do it on purpose. I love his sister,
my wife.” What had happened was that they were hunting and when they
were getting in the car, the gun went off and shot the guy in the head.
This guy would read his Bible daily, out loud, and I’d listen. He’d
read for over an hour every day. I don’t ever remember him praying, but
he sure was good at reading his grandma’s Bible that she had sent in.
The only thing I knew about the Bible up to this point was that those
little Gideon Bibles were really good smoking paper for rolling marijuana
joints. While I had been in El Reno, I don’t know how many of those
bibles I smoked up. But this was the first time I actually starting
reading a Bible. When Lurch would go to sleep, I’d read his Bible on my
own. That was the only thing he had to read. One day he asked me if I
knew someone who could make his bond for him. I asked him if he had any
money and he said yes, so I called one of my ol’ lawyers up and he came
and got him out. When he was leaving, he said, “Doc, I’ll go buy you a
bible and bring it back to you.” I said “Sure, I’ll see you later.
Good luck.” I have heard a thousand times when guys get out they always
say they’ll write, send you some money or visit you. They never do.
Very seldom do family members write to prisoners, much less guys who get
out. However, within an hour of when he left he was back, bringing me my
very own bible. I read it from cover to cover several times and enjoyed
the stories. I even started talking to God and He answered some of my
prayers. I’d say, “Hey, man, I don’t even know if you’re up there. I
don’t even know if there is a God, but if you’re real, I need some help.”
I didn’t realize how much help God had given me from that simple prayer.
But when I went to court, I ended up with 6 years instead of the 25 that
they were offering me.

It was while at George West County jail in 1979 that I heard that my
brother, Little, and Margaret, who had visited me in the Mexican prison,
got together. He was now in prison in La Loma prison in Mexico for drug
smuggling charges. Now she was going to see Little. When she had
visited me, all I talked about was what I was going to do to Little. I’m
sure she gave him an ear full. So much for love affairs. Later, I heard
that Little had been released from La Loma and he, Margaret, and my
daughter had moved to another state. I’ve not heard from him since.

After George West, I was sent to the Retrieve Unit in Angleton, Texas to
do my 6 year sentence. Prison life is tough. Men are willing to die for
nothing. You work hard all day and you play hard all night. I’ve seen a
man killed in the dayroom over a soap opera. I’ve also seen the BT’s
(building tenders) and the Turn-Key’s could kill people on command.
While I was on the unit, the BT’s came to me and told me that I couldn’t
run a store. I told the guy, “I ain’t running no store. I’m just
loaning this stuff to my friends.” He said, “I’m the only one who runs a
store here and if I catch you loaning to your friends again, you’ll
answer to me for it.” I told him, “Hey punk, you better check who you’re
talking to. I give to whoever I want to and you can’t stop me.” He
never came back to my cell. I figured he must have gone and talked to
the major who had my Mexico rap sheet. For the next 3 years, I never had
any more problems. I worked hard and kept my nose clean.

At this prison, I read my bible, went to church and bible studies. I
even got baptized one Sunday when the Chaplain was feeling good. My
problem was that they were not preaching or teaching the new birth: “Ye
must be born again.” So I was just going though the motions. I
remember when I was getting short. I told God how it was going to be
when I got out. I said, “God, I am going to live my life the way I want
to. I won’t do drugs, but I am going to collect money.” I had lots of
friends who had fronted drugs to people and could not collect their
money. I can just see God laughing up a storm.

Needless to say, I didn’t stay out long this time. I was released and I
went to a friend’s house and he told me that his cousin needed some money
collected. The cousin said I could have 33% of what I collected. If I
collected more money than what was owed, I could have all of that also.
So I thought it was a good deal. This guy had some people in San
Antonio, Austin and Dallas, TX. I decided to take George, a trusted
friend with me to help. The cousin took George and I to each one of
these places. He showed us where they lived, worked, drank, and
gambled. He showed us pictures of these guys and their families. We
went back to Rio Grande and the cousin asked us which one we wanted to
start with. We said we would take the guy in San Antonio because he was
the closest. The cousin had an apartment in San Antonio so all three of
us went up there together. It took a few days to find this guy, but we
did. We came over to the cousins apartment and told him that we found
him. He asked where and I said at the dice game. So he said to go for
it. So George and I dressed up like Texas Rangers, with the badge and
all. We had wigs, cowboy hats, and about 8 pairs of handcuffs each. I
even had a fake mustache. I had a 9 mm pistol and M-16 and George had a
357 mag. Just before we left, the cousin gave George a fix of coke and
asked me if I’d like one. They had been doing coke all day. Up to this
point I was clean, but I said, “Yea, might as well.” I tried to shoot
up the cocaine, but I heard a little voice saying, “What about your
promise?” My vein rolled from side to side and felt harder than it had
ever felt before. I heard that little voice again, “What about your
promise?” Still I couldn’t get that needle in my arm. The little voice
said again “What about your promise?” Maybe it was a dull needle, so I
tried again. The voice said again, “What about the promise you made?”
Finally I got the needle in my vein and I didn’t hear that voice any
more. I shot up the coke.

We went to the dice game and kicked the door in. We busted through and
shouted, “TEXAS RANGERS. Up against the wall, scum bags! You’re all
busted for illegal gambling.” We kicked several around and handled some
roughly. We took all the money that was on the tables, handcuffed the
guy we were after and pushed him out the door to take him to his house to
collect more money. While we were taking him to his house, someone
called the police. The guy I was working for, the cousin, should have at
least told us that the guy we were collecting from had 2 sons on the San
Antonio police force. When we drove up in this guys drive-way, about 10
police cars drove up right in back of us. They jumped out of their cars
and started popping caps. The only thing we could do was either have a
shoot out with the San Antonio police department or run for it. We chose
to run. I busted right through a red-wood fence in the back yard and
didn’t even try to jump it. You should have seen me running by a canal
in the waist high grass. I threw pistols, rifles, wigs, gloves, and
knives as I ran. I thought I made a good run, but obviously I ran too
slow because a police dog caught up with me and arrested me. Can you
believe it? Arrested by a police dog. The dog was a big German Shepherd
and he clamped down on my thigh. I hit him with my fist as hard as I
could in the top of his head. Big mistake. He clamped down even harder.
A few seconds later a police officer arrived and made the dog loose me
and let me go. So within a mere 2 hours from shooting up that cocaine,
they threw George and me in the jail cell for aggravated robbery and
aggravated kidnapping. I heard that little voice again. It said, “I
thought you weren’t going to shoot up any more drugs.” I said “OH NO,
NOT YOU AGAIN!” I knew I had messed up. I always wondered after that
if I had not shot up the coke, if things would have gone well. I really
didn’t see anything wrong with being a money collector. If you owe, you
pay. If you don’t pay, the bill collector has the right to visit your
home. So, at that point, I felt I was an honest working man, trying to
make an honest buck.

I was sentenced within the 120 days that is allotted for a speedy trial.
They had given me a green horn lawyer who had never dealt with a felony
case. The first time I talked to him, he said, “Robert, I want you to
know that I’m not qualified to fight this case. You need a very good
trial lawyer. The only experience I have had is that I plea bargained a
misdemeanor case.” He tried his best to get removed from my case, but
the judge would not permit it. Tried by jury, I was convicted of
aggravated robbery for 35 years and aggravated kidnapping for 30 years to
run concurrently.

I was sent to the Eastham Unit in Texas in 1984. In those days, it was
known as ‘the end of the line’ for hard-core convicts. During this time,
TDC was rockin’ and rollin’. Drugs and killings all around. The TS
(Texas Syndicate) and the MM (Mexican Mafia) were fighting over control
of the prison along with other rival gangs. A man could get killed for
no reason at all. Life was cheap in prison.

In 1985, on September 12th, at this same unit, I had sweet-talked my
girlfriend, Becky, into bringing me some drugs into the prison. I said
sweetly, “Babe, I love you a whole bunch!” Becky said, “What do you want
now?” I said, “I don’t want any thing. I just want you to know that I
love you a whole bunch.” “Doc, I know you better than that. You’re
after something. What is it?” Defensively I said, “Babe, I really love
you.” She said, “Doc, what do I have to do now?” I said, “What about
bringing me some drugs.” Becky replied, “You KNOW I’m already on
probation from bringing you drugs last time and I ain’t going to do it.”
So I said, “Oh, you must not love me then.” She said, “If I didn’t love
you I wouldn’t be coming to visit you.” I said, “You must not love me
too much or you’d bring me some drugs.” She said, “I can’t. You know
I’m on probation and I could go to prison.” I said, “Becky, you don’t
have to bring it into prison. The only thing you have to do is throw it
out at a special place and a trustee will pick it up. Do you think you
can do that?” “OK OK, I’ll do it. But I don’t think it’s a good idea”,
replied Becky.

She was caught at the front gate with the drugs in her car at the
check-point. Already on 10 years probation for previously bringing me
drugs in the county jail at San Marcos in 1983, while I was there on a
parole violation, she was in big trouble. They called me into the
warden’s office and cussed me out and tried to make me go off on the
warden. But I wouldn’t do it. They took my girlfriend to the county
jail and the warden said I’d never see her again. He said he was going
to bury me at the Eastham Unit. They took me to lock-up, a 9 X 5 foot
area with wire mesh all over the entrance.

Born Again

I started walking back and forth, smoking my camel short cigarettes. I
decided to talk to God. I smoked and walked back and forth, kind of
looking up to where I thought God might be. I said “God, I don’t know
you from the man in the moon. My problem is, I really don’t know if you
even exist. And if you do exist, you have no reason to listen to me or
answer me because all I’ve ever done is cussed you and lied to you.
But, if you are for real, I need some help. But I need a God that has
power. If you have power and are willing to use it for me and do what I
need, then I’ll serve you for the rest of my life. But if you don’t do
what I need done, then the deal is off!” I heard this one guy say to
another one, “Hey, did they put someone in there with him?” And my
neighbor said, “No, he’s crazy and he’s talking to himself.” It took me
about 2 hours talking with God. I told Him that He had to get my girl
friend out of jail, and keep her from coming to prison. Both of these
things are impossible in the natural world. When someone is on parole
or probation, they get a blue warrant and they won’t give you any bond.
But, blessed be the name of the Lord, we don’t have to depend on the
natural; we depend on the supernatural God of the entire universe and His
precious son Jesus, who died for all of our sins. It took me about 2
hours to make that deal with God. By the end of 3 days, I was released
from lock-up and had 3 letters waiting for me. One of the letters was
from my girl friend. She told me that she had only been in jail for
about 2 hours and they let her go on a PR bond. I went to my dorm and
asked a friend of mine if they had church tonight. He said he thought
there would be a service but wanted to know why was I asking. I told
him I didn’t know, and that I just had to go. He decided to come with
me. He probably thought we were going there to get high or something.
We went. The singing was wonderful. Though I don’t remember what the
preacher said, it seemed as though it was directed right to me. When
the preaching was over, a lady came out and asked some questions. She
asked if anyone wanted prayer or if anyone wanted to give his life to
Jesus. I told my friend to let me out of the aisle. He asked me why,
and I told him I didn’t know. I went down to the altar and I knelt down
there like all of the rest. I was watching the lady, so when she came
to me she asked me, “What do you want son?” I told her I didn’t know.
She said, “Do you want prayer or to be saved?” I said, “I think so, I
think that is what I need.” She prayed a simple prayer with me. I
don’t remember specifically what she said, but I remember asking Jesus to
forgive me and to come into my heart. It was a simple prayer, but boy,
what results can come from a simple prayer! I broke in a million
pieces. A ton of bricks was lifted off my back. I cried for the first
time since my mom and little brother had been killed in the car wreck.
It had been 20 years. The fact was that I couldn’t stop crying. It
wasn’t a gentle cry, but from the depth of my being came great racking
sobs. Everyone had left the church except my friend, who was still in
the pew. My friend thought I had cracked and finally lost it and he was
saying crazy things, trying to get me to go back to the cell with him.
Finally he gave up and left also. When I got up, that 15th day of
September, 1985, I was a new creature in Christ and Christ Jesus was in
me. Old things had passed away, behold all had been made new. But the
devil was going to try me some more.

At that time I had no idea what had happened in my life. I just knew I
wasn’t the same person that went into the church. I started going to
church and Bible studies and the chaplain explained to me about the new
birth and what was expected of me. It was a slow process. God began to
deal with my sins one by one and I was learning how to pray and hear the
voice of God.

The first thing God dealt with me about is forgiveness. I had 10 people
on a black list that I wanted to kill. God said, “Doc, you’ve got to
forgive them.” I said, “Wait one minute, this was not in the deal!”
He said, “THIS IS THE DEAL, you forgive them or I can’t forgive you.” I
said, “I can’t do it.” He responded by saying, “By yourself you can’t,
but with me you can.” I said, “I can’t. Do you know what they have
done to me?” The Lord replied, “I know what they have done and I know
what you have done. When I put them on my scale and weigh them, you
come out way ahead. All your sins have been forgiven. What they’ve
done to you isn’t anything.” I still wanted to kill them. My brother,
Little, was number 1 on my list. God said, “You pray for them and ask me
to forgive them, and you forgive them for what they’ve done to you.” So
I prayed for several months this silly little prayer. I’d even have
outbursts of anger and I’d say to God, “At least let me shoot them in the
leg so they can remember me.” He’d say, “No, forgive totally like I
forgive you.” After about 4 or 5 months praying this prayer, one night
I knelt down to pray and I just truly started asking God’s blessings on
these people. The hatred was gone and had been replaced by love.
Thank you Jesus! I wrote a letter to Little and sent it by way of a
mutual friend. Even though I have never heard from him, Jesus has
replaced my hatred towards him with plenty of love.

After Jesus came into my heart, Becky stopped visiting. She didn’t want
to know any thing about Jesus and she didn’t like the new Doc. But God
really blessed me. Even though Becky was not a Christian, her Mom,
Bobbie, was a Christian. Bobbie heard that I had been born again and
started writing to me, to encourage me in my Christian walk. None of my
family members would have any thing to do with me, but God gave me
Bobbie, who became my second Mom. Bobbie and her husband, Herb, wrote
letters and came and visited me every other week, just to share the love
of Jesus. When I paroled from prison, I paroled to Bobbie’s house. I
was only there less than a month when Herb passed away and went to be
with Jesus. You should have seen the expression on Herb’s face. It was
indescribable. Bobbie and I were the only ones who got to share in that
blessed experience of his homecoming to Jesus. Bobbie has now been my
Mom longer than the amount of time I had my real Mom and I love her
dearly. The Lord couldn’t have blessed me with a more loving and Godly
Mom. Thank you Jesus!!!

Then God started working on my tongue. I used to cuss in two languages,
English and Spanish. God spoke to me and said, “Doc, you need to clean
up your mouth.” I thought someone was speaking out loud to me. I was
praying, kneeling down between 2 bunks that were no more than 18 inches
apart. When I heard this voice, I turned to the guy next to me who was
typing a writ. I said, “Carl, did you say something to me? He said,
“No.” I went back to praying and heard the voice again. “Doc, you need
to clean up your filthy mouth.” I turned again to my neighbor and asked,
“Carl, are you sure you didn’t say any thing?” He said, “Doc, I used to
like you better when you were smoking dope and getting high. Now you’re
talking to yourself and hearing voices.” He made the crazy sign and went
on typing. I knew that I couldn’t ask him any more about the voice. I
heard the voice every time I prayed. After several months of hearing the
voice, I got up, kind of mad and said, “If my mouth is so filthy, I need
some help with it.” God said, “I thought you’d never ask Me”. I said,
“If you’ll make me aware of every cuss word, I’ll ask for your
forgiveness.” The Holy Spirit made me aware of every cuss word. I’d
cuss, cuss, cuss, then out loud I’d raise my hand and say “Forgive me
Lord, forgive me, Lord, forgive me Lord.” However many cuss words I’d
say, then I’d raise my hand and ask for forgiveness that many times. It
took 3 or 4 months to get my tongue under control.

I remember standing around the rec yard while waiting my turn to play
handball. I heard all the guys around me cussing up a storm. Filthy
mouths. I thought to myself: “Boy, these people sure have filthy
mouths.” The Lord spoke to me and said, “Doc, you’ve now reached a point
that I can use you. Read your Bible and start doing Bible studies.

God dealt with my sins one at a time. I hung on to them only as long as
I wanted to. When I’d ask God to help, He would give me the ability to
overcome them. “He whom the Son makes free, is free indeed.”

In 1987 I was shipped to Ramsey !. We had full gospel businessmen’s
fellowship and people would get up and share their testimony. I wanted
so badly to share my testimony about what God had done in my life. When
I’d get up to speak, all I could do was cry. After a few times of trying
to give my testimony and not being able to talk, only cry, I remember
several times when the guy standing in back of me would ask if he could
go first because I cried too much. And it wasn’t little crying, but
great big sobs. Just to think that I had been the macho man of the macho
men. But finally, the Lord loosened my tongue and enabled me to speak
and tell what great and mighty things he had done in my life. The guys
still wanted to go ahead of me. Now, when I got up there, I ran my head
too much telling about my wonderful Jesus.

While I was in prison, the Lord permitted me to go to college and get two
degrees. Both of my degrees have honor certificates with them. This is
only to glorify God. I have an AA degree with honors, which I received
in 1986 or 1987 and a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in 1991.
This is a far cry from my early school days. I also have 15 hours
towards my Masters degree. I doubt very seriously if I’ll ever use what
I learned in college. The Lord spoke to me and said, “You wanted to get
those degrees, so I let you. Now I want you to forget all that trash and
study my word.”

When I got saved on Sept. 15th, 1985, prison took on a new face. Even
though I was in physical bondage, I had never been so free in my life.
It stopped being a prison and turned into a Bible college. I started
doing Bible studies from everyone who would send out free studies and
studied for several years. We had a video ministry and the Lord
permitted me to be in charge of obtaining the videos. There are many
wonderful ministries that will send free videos and books to inmates.
They will send any thing they have available. I thank the Lord Jesus for
touching the hearts of those people that are in charge of those
ministries for feeding the flock of Jesus Christ that is behind bars.

Then the Lord told me that He wanted me to start sharing right where I
was at and not to wait until I got out of prison to serve him. So I
started a letter writing ministry in 1987 to share with other people in
county jails and prisons what I was learning. That ministry was called
Faith Ministry. God anointed my writing to minister to the needs of
those I was writing to.

It was through this ministry that I met my beautiful wife, G.G. She was
going weekly to minister to women inmates in the county jail in Angleton,
Texas. One of the women shared with her one of my letters and we started
writing letters to each other about Jesus in 1989. We continued writing
and she started visiting me in 1995. I got out of prison January 30,
1997 and we got married June 13, 1997. But, before I left prison, God
spoke to me about her. He said, “Doc, you can choose anyone of my
daughters when you get out, but the real blessing for your life is with
the one that I have brought to you. Also know this: she is my daughter
before she is your wife and you better treat her with the utmost
respect.” I said “Yes Sir! Dad, I am going to take the one you brought
me.” Faith Ministry continued for 2 years after I got out of prison.

During my last 2 years in prison at the B. M. Moore prison in Overton, I
was the Chaplain’s Clerk. Tim Culver was the chaplain and was the first
ex-con to be hired by CCA and worked under the TDC covering, as a full
time chaplain. He had done 12 years in Federal prisons for drug related
crimes. Because I was in charge of the video services on the Ramsey Unit
and because I had all the addresses and connections, Tim allowed me to
develop the video services of B. M. Moore, which was a brand new unit. I
also ordered books, tapes, and Bibles and I was in charge of setting up
the religious services. My prayers now were, “Don’t let me get out of
prison until I am ready to stay out and never come back to prison, except
to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and share my testimony.

“In 1996 Tim developed cancer and the CCA had to hire another chaplain,
Carlos Escalera. Because of working with Tim, I was able to show Carlos
the ropes. Carlos and I are friends to this day. However, in Sept. of
1997, Tim went home to be with Jesus. I was released from prison on
January 30, 1997 (Tim’s birthday) after having done almost 13 years of
this 35 year sentence.

When I got out Jesus was going before me, making my crooked ways
straight. He provided a loving home in a stable environment at Bobbie’s
house. One requirement of my parole was to have daily telephone contact
with my parole officer and 2 personal visits each week for the first 6
months. All of my parole officers have been wonderful people and most of
them have been Christian. I remember a prayer that I prayed while still
in prison. I prayed “Lord, give me a Christian parole officer so we can
work together or give me a heathen so I can win him to the Lord.”

There were a lot of changes in society since I had been locked up.
Seemed like things were going faster. There were more people. Seemed
like there were freeways all over the place. I couldn’t find my way
around because things had built up. Fashions had changed. Someone gave
me a pair of shorts. Those shorts were so comfortable and I really
enjoyed wearing them as much as possible. They were the kind that had a
draw string in them. I’d wear them around the house, playing basketball
in the backyard, and even going to HEB to buy Blue Bell ice cream. One
day I was relaxing in the living room and Bobbie’s son, Jimmy. came up
and handed me a pair of shorts. He said, “”Doc, you can wear these. You
need to stop wearing those things you have on because those are
underwear.” I told Jimmy, “Jimmy, I have underwear under these things.
They’re shorts!.” He said, “No, Doc, they’re underwear.” Needless to
say, I never wore those ‘shorts’ again, except in private.

Working was also a big adjustment. I had worked long and hard hours in
the fields in prison. I went to work on an organic vegetable farm that
was run by a Christian brother. The hours were long and the pay was
short, especially after Uncle Sam got into my pockets. I was not used to
a paying job or taxes. All the changes I experienced were made easy
because of the presence of Jesus. The Bible says, “But with God, all
things are possible”.

After about 2 years of being free, God told me that I needed to seek
forgiveness, in person, from the people who were on my black list and
still alive. I knew God was leading me, so I was willing to do my part.
I had no idea what the outcome would be, but thank you Jesus, for working
it all out. The first one I went to see was John. He is a judge who
used to be the county attorney when I was a real bad guy. I had no idea
that he was a judge now and when I approached his office and saw the sign
over the door, I had thoughts about turning around and leaving the
courthouse. But the Holy Spirit said, “I am with you. Go for it.” I
went into his office and got permission to speak to him. When he called
me into his office, with arms wide open, he said, “How are you doing,
Doc?” I said, “John, I’ve come to ask you to forgive me and to apologize
for being such a trouble maker.” He said, “Doc, I have need of asking
you to forgive me and to apologize to you.” I told him, “John, you were
just doing your job, and I was making it hard for you. Please forgive
me.” We talked for over an hour and by the time I left his office, he
was born again. Praise the Lord!

Then I went to see the man who used to be the district attorney, who was
now practicing law on his own. His name is Randall. I walked into his
office and he said, “How are you doing Doc?! I ain’t seen you in a long
time!” I said, “Randall, I come to ask you to forgive me and I want to
apologize for being such a rotten neighbor.” He said, “Oh, it’s OK Doc.”
I said, “No, Randall. It wasn’t OK. Please forgive me.” I told him
about what Jesus had done in my life. He said, “Doc, if Jesus can change
you, I need that Jesus too.” Before I left Randall’s office, he was born
again. We hugged each other and he invited me to come by his house any
time I wanted and that he’d like me to talk to his sons and daughters.
Now this is not to glorify Doc Beckett in any way whatsoever. It is to
glorify the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.

I would like to acknowledge that living a sinful life leads only to heart
breaks. I have two precious daughters that I have never been a part of
their lives. One of my daughters was born in ’70 and the other was made
while I was in prison in Mexico. I have never had any kind of
relationship with my daughters because I was too busy thinking of my own
self and my sinful desires. You never know what you’ve missed until you
have lived through all of it. I pray for my daughters daily that God
will save them and be a father that I never was. And maybe one of these
days I’ll get to see them, if not here on the earth them maybe in heaven.

My wife and I now have a new ministry called Warriors of Worship. I have
seen thousands of young and old people come to know Jesus as Lord through
the born again experience. We go to prisons, county jails, boot camps,
schools and back in the barrios to win people for Jesus. We have a
vision of God’s outpouring in this area, from Brownsville to Laredo, on
both sides of the border. We have already staked it out and claimed it
in the name of Jesus. Each steak has Joshua 1:3 and Jesus Christ on
them. We have served the devil with his eviction notice. Please pray
for all ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ in this area.

I want to thank the Lord Jesus for letting me go to prison. If I had not
gone, I’d surely be burning in hell right now. Since Sept. 15th, 1985, I
was set free, even though I was not released until 1997. The life that I
now live is so much better than any thing that I had experienced while l
lived for the devil. The most wonderful years of my life started in 1985
and they’re getting better every day. I’d like to encourage everyone to
pick up their cross and follow Jesus because without Jesus, we have
absolutely nothing. Thank you Jesus for changing my life!!!

I have done over 25 years in prison, but Jesus set me free and now I work
for Him. I am 52 years old, so you can see almost half of my life was
spent in prison. When I got out, over half of my life was behind bars.

His Bondslave,

Doc Beckett

What do YOU think?

comments

About Michael Fackerell

The Christian faith is about Jesus. He came to save the lost. About Jesus Christ, Bible teaching, Testimonies, Salvation, Prayer, Faith, Networking.

Comments

  1. isaac molina says:

    I was so blessed to meet Brother Doc and to have the opportunity to meet His wife. I LOVE THEM and i would love to come and see them again.

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