tv Life After Lockup MSNBC January 9, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm PST
>> i'm going to show you what i'm made of. >> he's easily one of the most volatile inmates to ever appear on lock-up. but now, is it possible that he's discovered true love? >> we've been together four years. it's just something that happened. >> this man ranks among one of the most talk about inmates. but now, he's out of prison and
his tattooed eyeballs continue to false nate. another ex--inmate now attempts to harness the rage he's found behind bars. >> and for one young woman, life means coming to terms with the death of a devastate iing. >> and now, for the first time, she will watch the video of her father's final hours before his execution.
most of the inmate who is leave lock up, one of them, forgetting will be virtually impossible. though he is forever out of prison, he will carry an inescapable reminder of his days behind bars. we first met david when he was serving four years for credit card fraud in colorado. they each tattooed the whites of their eyes. >> i don't know if you ask why. the question is whooi not? >>. >> i told everybody this time, when i dwots out of parole, i'm done.
>> bolches has found love with his new girlfriend. and the most surprising change is his appearance on "lock-up" has made him a sensation. >> since i've gotten out of prison, i see somebody every single day that has asked about these eyes. >> i've had a couple people ask for autographs. i ain't no celebrity, you know what i mean? >> they're scared of you. >> we're constantly getting
stopped. >> oh, i saw you on tv. that's something i've gotten used to. >> every time we go out, you always get so much attention. >> every time? >> it does, it trips me out. >> isn't that driving you crazy? >> no, not at all. >> don't you know who i am? >> your first impression? >> i wasn't too impressioned. i had to look it up and i'm not sure i would do something like that, nor would i want my children to. but it's unique, for sure. he's grown on me. he's like a cupid. >> yeah, i get a lot of questions about it, really. >> he says he's been to the optometrist since leaving
prison. either way, he's sure of one thing. if he does color them again, it won't be in prison. >> what i've learned is there's a better life. it's great. j i got a really good job fixing and flipping houses. i was making roughly a thousand, fifteen hundred dollars a week. people that were buying these houses, they're, like, oh, you're that guy that's on fv. oh, that's awesome. >> the b ux lches would discover that for an ex-connell, success can be tenuous.
one dude who yeeed me money tried to set me up. all he news was i was the guy with the red eyes. the case against him was eventually dropped and the charges dismissed. but the damage had been done. >> sitting in jail caused me to lose my job, lose my car, lose the house i was staying in. it skauzed me to lose everything. i got out and had nothing. >> bulches does tattoo work.
just wait until it comes out. i can give it tons of sugar and then leave it with you all day. >> it's not his normal life that he's dealt with. it's something totally new. terrified, for sure. >> i just hope it's not like me at all. i'm bad. growing up, i was very, very bad. you name it illegally, i've probably done it. stealing car, breaking in houses, selling drugs. but, now, i've learned from that mistake. i didn't want my kid to be that bad kid. i don't want to be there so the kid won't have to do all of that stuff. >> planning to move to a smaum town in north earn colorado. >> so now we have to worry about somebody else or not.
his sense of humor seemed to always re-emerge. >> i got my shower in, so i'm good. >> how's your head? >> my head's fine. >> really? >> yeah. how's your head? >> two years after his release, gill says he never plans on returning to prison again. >> every single day i was there, i could have got killed. i learned that breaking the law is not worth anything to me. i'd rather stay out here and live a good, productive life. like, limon sucked. to have to watch my back every day to make sure someone wasn't coming up to stick me with a knife? like, i don't want to be there. it's a great feeling to know that i'm done with my prison sentence and i'm done with parole. i haven't been in trouble since i've been out, other than a
speeding ticket. >> since his release, there has been a major change in gill's life. >> i have a son. i dated his mother for a couple months. i told her the classic line, i have high blood pressure. don't worry, you won't get pregnant. my blood pressure wasn't that high. she got pregnant. my son? that is the best thing that's ever happened to me since becoming free. he's my reason for everything i do. >> gill split up with his son's mother but says he still strives to be a father, even though his status as an ex-con makes things difficult. >> still don't have a car, still don't have a job, don't have my own place, and this economy sucks. >> so gill returned to a part-time career that he had begun to explore prior to his incarceration, professional wrestling. >> let's go. >> who's the boss here? you think you're the boss? >> one of us happens to be a
celebrity. famous wrestler. >> hey, that's me. >> gill's close friend and sometimes tormenter is fellow wrestler rich garcia. >> big rich is the most obnoxious, heaviest mexican i have ever known in my life, and i love him for that. >> i've known michael for about three years, and it's a love-hate relationship. >> get that [ bleep ] -- >> shut up. [ bleep ] >> are you all right? guy, grow up! >> the [ bleep ] that he does pisses you off, and then there's times when he can just be the most loving teddy bear, you know, that anybody's ever met. >> whoo, i'm winded. >> gill also has a new girlfriend, tish birmingham. >> with her, i finally found out what true love is. i love you, baby. i trust her. i've never trusted any woman. >> tish is gill's biggest ringside fan for his wrestling matches, which usually take
place far away from the arenas featured in bigtime television wrestling. tonight's match is at a rented-out nightclub in denver. >> 10, 15 minutes, okay? >> okay. we do mexican wrestling shows. and since i'm white, i'm obviously going to be the bad guy. bud doobie is my wrestling character. it's a stoner character. i'm not a stoner. i don't smoke pot at all. most people that smoke marijuana are out there a little bit, and so that's why i'm bud doobie. i don't smoke weed, but i am the ayatollah of smoke-a-bowla. basically, what happens is i come out, pretend i'm stoned. i trip over the ropes, i laugh at things, i eat food during my match because i have the "munchies." >> bud doobie! >> bud doobie, he is a character. it fits michael gill to a "t." the crowd loves to hate him and he knows how to work the crowd to piss them off.
coming up, bud doobie takes to the ring. >> ah! >> and michael gill reflects on where bud ends and he begins. >> it's kind of hard to distinguish the real me and the character i play. >> and the woman who is about to become wife to one of "lockup's" most memorable inmates. >> i don't look at bobby as a killer. it's just something he did. it's not something he is. when we visited colorado's limon correctional facility to shoot our "extended stay" series, inmate michael gill told us about his altar ego. us about his altar ego. ♪ don't just eat. mangia!
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release, bud doobie was alive and well and wrestling in a denver nightclub. racist humor is a big part of the bud doobie character. >> why don't you get up and show me your green card? i like getting reactions out of people, whether it's good or bad. >> but gill admits, it's sometimes hard to tell where bud doobie ends and michael gill begins. i've had a problem since i've been in prison with racism. i'm not going to lie about it, there's a culture in prison and you learn to hate everyone but whites, and that's kind of followed me out here, even to this day. let me tell you something, when this is over, none of you are going to be here! you're all going down! >> michael, before he went to prison, he didn't have a racist bone in his body. for some reason, as he came out, he started having all these problems with my other wrestlers
of ethnicity. i had to sit down and say to mike, you have to reprogram yourself. you're not in prison anymore. >> i know i have to stop that, but it's a problem and i use it at the shows. shut your stupid mexican mouth! >> honestly, i don't believe he's genuinely racist. i just think that some of the things from prison kind of boiled over. ♪ oh say can you >> shut up! >> but it isn't only bud doobie's racism that is rooted in gill's past. >> i think wrestling is a release for my anger. obviously, the matches are predetermined, but when i slam someone, that's 100% real. losers! >> where do you think that the anger issues come from, michael? >> prison. >> at limon, gill frequently lost control of his temper. >> i ain't some [ bleep ] punk you're going to sit here and [ bleep ] over. you want to think it's funny about some [ bleep ] face! >> gill, gill --
>> i was always having to fight or i was in situations where, like, if you weren't an angry person, you were a weak person. the mentality follows me from prison to out here. sometimes i get so pissed off, i want to snap. >> lately, gill's anger has to do with making ends meet. his wrestler career doesn't fully support him, much less his son. >> i don't like the things that go on in this world. there's so much i need to do for myself and i cannot do it because there's no jobs and i don't have a car and i don't know how to begin to take care of those things, so i am pissed off. so, when i was at limon, i was adamant, i will never take a job for under a certain amount of money and i'm only going to do a certain type of job. what am i getting out to, a $10-an-hour job? african-americans make more than that. >> it doesn't matter. >> i don't have any goals.
but since i've been out, since i've had a son, i will take any job for any wage because i'm no better than anyone else. why don't you go ahead and do a couple back rolls. >> though gill says he still struggles with anger, he knows how important it is to contain it. >> i know that if i lose control, i will lose my son. so i keep that in check. >> he doesn't drink anymore and i think he's really turned around and prioritized a lot better. >> i need to let go of my prison experiences and find more positive outlets instead of holding in all this negativity and sometimes exploding. i want to find a job and get a place that i can raise my son, so when he's 10, 12 years old, he can be proud of his daddy. and i want to provide for my girlfriend. my goals are to settle down and grow up and live life to the fullest and do positive.
>> and gill's friends say they're committed to helping him stay on track. >> michael has a good chance of staying out of jail if he has positive people behind him, me for one. >> i love you, bro. i love you like the sister i never had. >> [ bleep ] you. as long as i'm alive, michael gill will stay out of prison. coming up, one of "lockup's" most unforgettable inmates finds his soul mate. >> bobby asked me, he says, "i love you and i've never loved a woman as much as i love you and will you be my wife?" >> and later, a death row inmate places his final phone call to a "lockup" field producer. >> i get three hours to live. what's going through your mind? what's going through your mind? ome on. you know who i am. progressive insurance? uh, i save people an average of over $500 when they switch?
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close to us to do anything constructive. we can't read a novel because we can't have them. i can't play chess through the mail like we used to. >> it's segregation. it ain't meant to be nice. you ain't here because you were doing something correctional. >> when we returned to holman in 2007 for our "extended stay" series, we found gilbert exactly where we had left him, in ad seg, the administrative segregated housing unit where inmates are locked down 23 hours a day. it houses holman's most violent and destructive offenders, and it is where bobby ray gilbert has spent almost all of his 27 years in prison. >> i've got life without parole, i have two life sentences, two 99-year sentences, a 40-year sentence, a 20-year sentence and a 10-year sentence. yeah, i have anger issues. [ laughter ] >> gilbert's many convictions
include robbery, assault and two counts of murder, one of which was carried out against another inmate in prison. during our shoot, we would see his anger erupt again. [ bleep ] >> five minutes trying to do it the right way! i'm going to show you what i'm made of! >> but gilbert proved to be more than just a violent man. he also showed us a thoughtful, creative side. in the last interview we did with gilbert, he seemed resigned to his fate of spending the rest of his life most likely alone in a small cell. >> at this point, you just look back and realize that the best part of it's over with anyway. >> but five years later, we would discover that gilbert's appearances on "lockup" had opened up a new chapter in his life. she goes by the name of angel, preferring not to give her last name, and she is bobby ray gilbert's fiancee.
>> we've been together four years. it's just something that happened. i didn't set out for it to happen. it just did. >> the alabama department of corrections denied a request to interview gilbert, but angel told us the story of how she first became involved with gilbert shortly after seeing him on "lockup." angel had initially contacted another holman inmate featured on the series, sherman moore, who held the job of prison barber. it was moore who acted as match-maker. >> wrote to sherman and developed a friendship with sherman. >> it's like you pulled a flattop fade out of your head? >> is that what you want? >> but i also saw the segment on bobby and i inquired about bobby, you know, what kind of a person is he? >> i was telling them all about me drinking that bottle of scope up in west jefferson. >> sherman encouraged me to write to him.
he's like, write him, angel. he said you might hit it off. he says you and her personalitywise are very similar. so i wrote bobby a letter because i just saw something more than what was shown. bobby breaking that window, pacing in the cage, you know, mad. >> so help me god they're going to transfer me! >> i saw more than the crazed psychopath. i saw a little bit more past that. >> i really didn't have what you'd call a childhood where you could, you know, be a kid, play, you know. humor and cutting up wasn't all looked upon too good. >> there was something more to him. i wanted to get to know him. >> angel received a response from gilbert almost immediately. >> "angel, so, i'm curious, why does an attractive woman with a busy lifestyle take the time out to write a guy in prison? aren't you worried that i'm going to bust out of here, hunt you down, harass you at work and
make obscene phone calls to you? thank you for the picture, angel, very nice. love that hair. you've got to be at least 7 feet tall, talk about kicking my ass, ha ha. don't be a stranger, angel. take care of yourself. with a smile, bobby g." >> when angel began her correspondence with gilbert, she was living in joliet, illinois. her son, niko, was only 15 at the time. >> at first, i was very worried about her emotional safety, because i wasn't sure how it would end up. >> but what had begun as just a pen pal relationship quickly became something more serious. >> on a sunday evening at 8:00 at night, my son brought me the phone, and he said there's a collect call on there, and i thought perhaps it was from sherman, and it was him. it was bobby. and i've communicated with him every day since. >> my mom, she was glowing, she
was happy, and it was really nice to see her like that. >> i started feeling something for bobby. i was falling in love with him, and it's an emotion that you can't control. it just happens. >> and after four months of calls and letters, angel decided to make the 700-mile trip from illinois to alabama, and she visited bobby for the first time. >> it was only three hours, and it was very special. he was sitting next to me, and i could see bobby out of the corner of my eye just grinning and staring at me. it was really cute. >> over the next few months, angel made the trip two more times, and on her third visit, gilbert had something special planned. >> bobby took my hand and he said, "i have nothing for you but this. i can't financially support you. all i can do is love you and be your friend and be there for you." i mean, i got tears coming down my eyes because i know what's
getting ready to happen. and bobby asked me, he says, "i love you and i've never loved a woman as much as i love you. and will you be my wife?" i mean, i'm crying, oh, yes! and i threw my arms around him, and that was it. >> angel quit her bartending job, packed up her teenage son and her life in illinois and moved to a small town in alabama where she would only be an hour's drive from the prison. she got a job as a bartender and built her life around visits to gilbert. >> you've got to be strong for it because it's not all fun and games. our visits, we laugh and just enjoy each other's time. but when they say visits are now over, you're leaving someone that you love there. and if you can't hang, you don't need to be involved with somebody who's got a life-without sentence, because life without parole in this
state? you ain't getting out. coming up -- >> this woman is just some crazy fan that saw him on tv, sent him money, and he ran a little game on her. >> angel finds engagement doesn't stop the competition for bobby ray's affections. and later, the "life after lockup" segment that goes beyond the death chamber. >> this is what my dad gave me before he was executed. check this out, bro. what's that, broheim? i switched to geico and got more. more savings on car insurance? yeah bro-fessor, and more. like renters insurance. more ways to save. nice, bro-tato chip. that's not all, bro-tein shake. geico has motorcycle and rv insurance, too. oh, that's a lot more. oh yeah, i'm all about more, teddy brosevelt.
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you can blow this whole prison up and kill everybody in it. >> despite bobby ray gilbert's history of violence, both in and out of prison, his fiancee, angel, says when she sees him, she sees a different side. >> i don't look at bobby as a killer. it's just something he did. it's not something he is. >> though gilbert is serving life without parole, angel still manages to find ways to include him in her daily home life. >> these are visiting pictures. people may think it's an obsession, which it's not. i can't see him physically, daily, like joe blow and his wife, you know. i see him on a picture. he's with me, but he's not with me physically. there's more to a relationship than sex. you've got to have trust, respect, good communication, companionship. i have all the above, but i just don't have the physical part. >> but angel wasn't the only
woman who has seen gilbert on "lockup," as she is often reminded when she searches his name on the internet. they come out of the woodwork, you know. these women come out of the woodwork, of all ages. just, i'm in love with you. i'm going to, you know, i want to have your love child, i want to marry you. [ laughter ] "i have found a new love. his name is bobby ray gilbert. his friends call him snake. he makes me laugh. he makes me feel good. he says the sweetest things. he is a total bad ass, my kind of man." >> angel says gilbert has used these women to his advantage, namely developing relationships so they will put money into his prison account to make purchases from the canteen. >> like a ballplayer plays baseball for the love of the game, bobby plays women for the love of the game, just like a chess game or a hand of texas
hold 'em. he's a master at it. this woman is just some crazy fan that saw him on tv, sent him money, and he ran a little game on her. if you're going to be one of these skanks out there, one of these crazy women that see him on tv, oh, he's a total bad ass, and you know, i'm going to change his life, or you know, have a flower garden in his honor or whatever, that's great. open your wallet up to him and, you know, he'll bleed you dry. >> at the same time, angel sends bobby money as well. >> the money i give bobby per week goes on his inmate account so he could, you know, buy himself some groceries. he eats with it. >> how are you so positive and sure you're not part of his game? >> because i'm me, because i'm special. i know who i am and what i am to bobby gilbert, and i'm not game and i'm not a trick and i'm not
something to hustle, unlike the rest of these people out there. >> gilbert told us he is looking forward to the wedding but must be released from ad seg before the couple can be granted permission to be married. and even though angel has resigned to the fact that gilbert will never leave prison, that doesn't stop her from imagining a more idyllic home life. >> i daydream about simple things, what it would be like just to make bobby a breakfast plate and bring it to him or tell him, get it yourself, i ain't your maid. i love everything about him. i love his temperament, i love his personality, i love his intelligence, his wit, his sense of humor. i love everything about him. i wouldn't change anything about him outside of one thing, and that would be his freedom. and i sincerely mean that from the bottom of my heart. >> there are many things lindsay
christmas would change about another inmate featured on "lockup," but now it's too late for that. >> this is what my dad gave me before he was executed. someone he was good friends with in prison had made this for my dad to give to us, and my brother got one as well. and i believe this is made out of toilet paper, which is really neat. and it has the date at the bottom. december of '09. that's when my dad passed away. >> lindsay's dad was eric wrinkles, an inmate we met on death row during our shoots at indiana state prison. we were with him when the final appeal of his death sentence was denied. >> what are your thoughts about all this? >> first you're a little -- i mean, even though you expected it, it's a little bit of a surprise. like i said, even though you expect it. but other than that, i mean, it is what it is.
it's like having cancer and know you've only got so long to live. you start getting rid of possessions, making sure you've got a will written up, you know, tying up loose ends. >> anything you want to say to anybody? >> not at this time, no. >> nothing? >> no. >> 15 years earlier, wrinkles was convicted of three murders. his wife, deborah, had recently left him and taken lindsay and her brother, seth, to live with her brother, tony, and his wife, natalie. shortly after midnight, wrinkles arrived at the house dressed in full camouflage. >> and had paint across his face, two marks on each side of, like, paint. it was like a rambo look. >> wrinkles first cut the phone lines, then kicked through the back door. 13-year-old lindsay was awoken by gunshots and witnessed her father murder her mother. >> i was saying, "please," you know, "please don't kill mom."
and she was laying in the hallway and blood was coming out of her mouth. and before i had saw that, i looked in the room beside and my uncle tony was laying face down. i knew he was probably dead. >> it was lindsay who ran to a neighbor's house to call 911. but by then, her mother, uncle and aunt were already dead. >> i really couldn't fathom what was to come of our life. >> today lindsay lives in a small rural town on the florida panhandle with her husband, two young children and a menagerie of pets. >> sometimes i like to just come and sit outside and just look around. it's our own little sanctuary. >> but the past never fades away. lindsay still cherishes memories of her mother. >> i like this picture because my mom looked more like this one before she passed away. >> lindsay's husband, blake, is
a corrections officer at a florida state prison. they've been married for six years. >> i never thought i'm going to marry someone that works at a prison. it just turned out that way. just knowing things about prison life i guess helps me to know what my dad had to face every day. and this one was when he had first went to prison. >> how did you feel when you was in there? >> i was hurt and sad that my dad was in prison, but then i was angry because i felt alone. >> she thought about how her dad was in prison and the rough life she had. i would ask her about it and she would come out more and more, and she finally came out and told me the whole thing and i was hoping that i could help her through it. >> and this is me with my uncle tommy when i was very little. makes me miss him. he was my favorite uncle. i always wish that i could have
a normal life. >> during the 13 years wrinkles was on death row, lindsay had very little contact with him. >> some of the letters that he would write were not nice. this is a letter that my dad had wrote me. "lindsay, for the life of me, i very little contact with him. >> some of the letters that he would write were not nice. this is a letter that my dad had wrote me. lindsay, for the life of me, i can't fathom why you are now so damn hateful and disrespectful to me. did i, a, beat you, b, molest you, or, c, pimp you out? if not, how was i so mean to you? think about it, eric. >> i kind of felt bad for lindsay when i read it because that was someone that she loves. that was her dad, and i know she -- even though she distanced herself from him, she still loved him because that was her dad.
>> so i responded to his letter. it says, eric, i don't have problems. you do. you put yourself on death row. you killed mom, tony, and natalie and had no remorse. they meant the most to me, and you took them away. i will never forgive you for taking my family, and neither will they. this will be the last time i ever talk to you. >> but years later, lindsay would change her mind. coming up, lindsay's final visit with her father the day before his execution. >> i just want to tell them both i love them. >> and the never before released audio recording of eric wrinkles' last phone call mere hours before his death, when he reached out to a "lockup" field producer. >> just kind of strange to think you're not going to have to do the normal things that you do every day, you know? three spreadsheets later,
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on the day before eric wrinkles was to be executed at indiana state prison, he received a visit from several relatives, including his son, seth, and his daughter, lindsay, who at age 13 had witnessed wrinkles murder her mother. this never before seen video was shot by another family member. it was the first time in six years that lindsay had seen her father. >> i don't want there to be guilt of me not saying what i need to say because after he's gone, he's gone. i can't go back and say anything if i wanted to. and i thought and prayed about it for a long time. i told my husband, this is what i need to do. i need to make amends with my dad. >> even though you're in here, you've still done what you can do to live life to the fullest and help people, and you've --
>> i appreciate that. >> and that i know you'll go to heaven. >> it has been two years since that visit, and wrinkles' execution, but this is the first time that lindsay has watched the video even though it had been in her possession the entire time. >> seeing my dad kiss me and hug me was weird because i couldn't remember the last time that it happened. >> december 10 hundredth, 2009 with my kids, lindsay and seth. got an hour or so left. just want to tell them both i love 'em and miss 'em. >> when i saw him, he apologized for everything. and i think that's what i needed.
>> hours before her father was executed, lindsay decided to leave indiana and make the long drive home to florida. >> i didn't want to see him die, and so i left. i didn't want to hear anything else about it. i didn't want to see it. i was just ready to go back to my family. >> but later that evening, just three hours before he would walk into the execution chamber, wrinkles would talk to one last person outside the prison walls. he placed a phone call to "lockup" field producer susan carney. >> i stayed in touch with eric after we finished our extended stay shoot because we decided we were going to document the last few months of his life. we did a series of recorded phone conversations, and our last conversation took place the night of his execution. >> i guess three hours to live. what's going through your mind? >> it's kind of surreal. other than that, i'm not really thinking about it, you know.
i tell you the truth, i think sometimes i deserve to die, and sometimes i don't. it just depends on the day. so, you know, it's time to go. i hope my kids will be okay. >> in a lot of my prior conversations with eric, he was often very angry and defensive about the night of the murders. he was not willing to take responsibility for his role. >> i don't feel like dealing with it. i don't want to think about it. i don't want to do any of that [ bleep ]. >> in our very last conversation, he seemed almost peaceful, like he was ready to accept his death. you think about what you're going to miss? >> well, i mean all the little things. be able to walk out a door, see the sky, see a tree, you know, walk in the grass, that stuff. it's all those little things that when you come down to it that are worth while and, you know, that's it. i was just thinking, you know, there's not going to be anymore brushing my teeth, getting up out of bed, going outside, or any of that stuff. it's just kind of strange to think that you're not going to have to do the normal things that you do every day, you know?
it seems weird. what am i going to do? you know, i'm trying to keep myself busy, what am i going to do tomorrow? i don't know. so, you know, it's kind of strange to think that, but that's what's going through my mind now. it's weird. >> though lindsay had been through the trauma of losing one parent to murder and the other to execution, she's decided to use the past not as a burden but as a guide post. >> the past has helped me because i look back and say i'm not going to do this. i'm not going to be like this. i'm going to make a better life for myself and for my kids.
due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. in this jail, man, it's like you've got to be strong. you've got to be mentally strong, you've got to be physically strong. >> i said, if you touch my foot we're going to have a problem. he proceeded to touch my foot. >> a lunchtime dispute turns violent. >> it was really a bully situation. like what you would see on a special. >> another inmate learns crime doesn't pay. and jail isn't free.