In 1969 Bernie Matthews was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to 10 years. A serial escapee, prison authorities soon classified Matthews as an intractable prisoner and he was transferred to the Alcatraz of the NSW prison system at Grafton. There, life was a routine series of bashings and solitary confinement, and as the systematic brutality of Grafton became a political scandal, Matthews and other prisoners found themselves transferred to a fresh hell in 1975 - Katingal Special Security Unit inside Sydney's Long Bay Jail, Australia's first super-max prison.
A concrete bunker with no natural light or fresh air, Katingal replaced Grafton's bashings with sensory deprivation and psychological control. Suicide attempts and self-harm followed. One of the longest serving and surviving Katingal inmates, Matthews did not see daylight for two years, eight months.
Intractable is not only a shocking story of what it's like to do time but also a history of one of the great political scandals of the 70s from a unique perspective (Katingal was pulled down this year). It's also the eye-opening story of a man who managed to turn his life around in the worst of Australia's prisons to become a writer and prison activist.
The undercover investigation of a drug-addicted forgery ring targeting Las Vegas casinos and the investigation of an escaped federal prisoner, scamming travel agents out of tens of thousands of dollars. A massive sting operation in a Las Vegas sports book, a Hells Angel counterfeiter, and the investigation of an alcoholic, schizophrenic cross-dresser who repeatedly threatened to kill President Reagan. The investigation and arrest of the Boston Patriot, one of New Englands most prolific credit card fraud masters and a dopey drug smuggler turned counterfeiter who smoked one too many joints. The investigation of an identify theft suspect with a lengthy criminal record, who convinced the FBI he was someone else, and an investigation of a pipe bomb targeting President Clinton in a small Oregon town.
Riding horses and golfing with President Clinton and the day he made President Clinton scream out in pain. Conducting presidential security advances with a Hollywood movie producer turned Clinton advance man in Paris, France, and St. Petersburg, Russia. The most unusual assignment to buy President Bush a pickup truck. Fishing in the remote Alaskan wilderness with former president George H. W. Bush, camping and hiking with First Lady Laura Bush.
These are the unique stories only a Secret Service agent can tell.
Bobby Cummines was only 28 when he passed through the grim gates of Parkhurst, Britain’s Alcatraz, as a category-A prisoner with a host of crimes to his name. Joining the most notorious gangsters and criminals of the day – from the Krays, the Yorkshire Ripper and Charles Bronson, to high ranking members of the IRA – nothing could have prepared him for the brutal regime, violent convicts, vindictive screws and riots on the inside. It’s the story of Britain’s most hellish prison, from one of its hardest inmates.
In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty–nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.
But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence—full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty–seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty–four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015.
With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic thirty–year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.