Wednesday, March 09, 2005

To my friend, the serial killer

So I have this daily book that I follow religiously. Each day it gives me something that will supposedly change my life. Many of them have in some way or another alterted the world around me. I'll post more of the things I have to do each day as time goes on, but today I want to share one task in particular.

I once had to a letter to a mass I did. I wrote Robert Lee Yate, aka "The Spokane Serial Killer." He was convicted for killing 14+ people. Here's what I wrote:

Mr. Robert Lee Yates, Jr.
AKA “The Spokane Serial Killer”
c/o Washington State Penitentiary
1313 N. 13th
Walla Walla, WA 99362

13 January 2005

Dear Bob,

I have decided to do something that I have never done before. Today I have decided to write a mass murderer. I have never had any correspondence with a convicted serial killer. I suppose it could be perceived as an act of irreverence toward the magnitude of crimes you have committed. However, I look at as a way to lend to you some reading, and to me the chance to say I’ve actually written a serial killer. That’s a story I can tell the rest of my life.

So here it goes: My name is Matt and I live in Olympia, WA. I was going to school in Spokane during your heyday, and was still there when you were caught. That was big news. In a way I was somewhat relieved. No longer did we citizens of Spokane have to dodge dark alleys and lurking corners in fear of being nabbed by the “Spokane Serial Killer” as you were dubbed. Not that we truly lived in that fear. After all, nobody ever thinks it could happen to them.

Alas, now the news media could also cease their relentless reporting on your activities and whereabouts. I don’t think we should glorify those situations any more than they warrant. Heavens, I wonder if those reports gave you any feelings of celebrity. Or do you usually not watch the news because of the bad press you get?

Here’s what I often wonder when it comes to those who mingle in your circles. Did you ever think you would get caught? Usually when one takes such adverse risks it’s because they believe the odds are in their favor. Or maybe you were so wrapped up in your illicit activities that you never considered the idea of being caught or not caught.

You are most certainly what they call on the inside a “lifer” now, aren’t you? (I had a buddy go to prison and he let me in on some of your prison lingo). Now that you have been forced into giving up your occupation of murdering people, have you found a new activity there? If I were given a life sentence to prison, I think I would take of whittling. On second thought, no I wouldn’t. I bet they don’t issue you a Swiss Army Knife® with your prisoner starter kit, do they?

Okay, so what about cards? In the movies those swank prisoners always play cards and they are pretty darn good. Not to mention Texas Hold ‘Em is a popular thing right now. I don’t know if you get cable in there, but Celebrity Poker is a cool program on the Bravo channel. Could you imagine if you ever got out (let’s only pretend) and they let you on Celebrity Poker (because, let’s face it, villain though you are, celebrity is in your title) after you have been mastering Poker all these years? Man, you’d clean up. But you’d have to donate all your winnings to your favorite charities and as a mass murderer, I don’t know if you are required to have any.

Well, that about does it for me. I don’t want to go on too much more – that would be too much for a letter to someone I don’t know beyond the media. If you ever get bored, I suppose you could right me back. However, I would hope you keep any creepy thoughts to yourself. Keep it G-rated, Bob.

Stay out of trouble.



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