tv Lockup Raw MSNBC December 3, 2016 2:00am-2:31am PST
msnbc takes you behind the walls of the most notorious prisons into a world of chaos and danger. now the scenes you've never seen. "lock up raw." prisons usually aren't associated with churches. but over the years on "lock up" we filmed almost every type of religion there is and yet still on a satandard cell search, few
things are sacred. >> they'll still hide dope in it and weapons in it. you'll find raiser blades and dope in the bindings. everybody finds god in prison and this is where he's at. come on in. >> we've met inmates that seem very devout even as they grapple with the realities of their crimes. >> it was in the middle of central california that we heard the sounds of the muslim call to prayer eminating at kern valley state prison. they explain to our crew how their religious practices aren't hindered by prison bars. >> we do prayers and begin our day like that. >> talk to me about why this cellar looks so different from the other cells we been in.
>> we have to be clean. so we keep our cell clean and organized. islam is islam. in here or street is the same. >> but they had more in common than religion. >> my sentence is life without possible of parole. >> i'm charge would murder first degree. so as far as details, life without possibility. same thing. >> in here for heat of passion. i caught my wife with somebody and -- >> and? >> killed her. i'm not proud, i regret every single minute of it. >> what was the charge? the conviction? >> it is heat of passion. >> he told us he took responsibility for his actions but during the course of the interview it seems as though he left the door open a little crack to say i'm not sure. >> lot of people say i can justify according to the bible or quran if your spouse is cheating on somebody, you have a right.
god tells a certain way it is but we are human beings. we are given choice right from wrong. what i did, i can't justify what i did. she had a mother. she was somebody's daughter. she had a father. the worst part is i have a daughter with my wife and she don't have not just a mother but the father what i did. i live with that every day. >> born in pakistan but raised in wyoming, he told us his religion made him a victim as well. >> during the trial i was in september 11th so it was not a one case like mine anybody got sentenced like i did because i'm from pakistan. i'm muslim. but i'm a firm believer whatever i have coming, nobody can stop it. nobody can benefit me or hire me without his permission. i believe when leaves fall from the tree, it doesn't fall
without his will. so every day what i do, what i don't it's been written in my book. ♪ won't you take my hand >> he's not the only spouse killer we've met who sees the hand of god at work in their lives. our crew first noticed sinthia rupal while she was singing in the gospel choir that north carolina institute for women. >> i've been convicted of first degree murder and my sentence is life in prison without parole. >> but the real surprise came when she told us of her life before prison. the mother of two used to make her living on the other side of bars. >> there's not too many people in here who used to be a correctional officer for the same state they've been incarcerated in. having been an officer i can understand the reason behind a
lot of the silly rules and procedures we go through. and so it's easier to take some of the humiliations we have to go through. >> ruple offered no excuses for her fall from corrections officer to inmate. >> i'm convicted of first degree murder and it was in the death of my husband. we've been married 22 1/2 years. he was a good man. my husband did not abuse me. he did not deserve what i did to him. it's horrendous. there's no excuse for what i did. i know that life is a merciful sentence for what i've done. my husband was clinically depressed. when he would be off his medication, in a depressive state, he was not an easy man to live with. hard to please. and yes, there was another man involved at that time and my husband knew about that. but he didn't -- i guess he
didn't really see the danger in that. here he was being so difficult to please and here was this other man who at least told me i'm just a goddess, i walk on water and everything i do is right. >> she believed her background in law enforcement would allow her to pull off the perfect murder. >> it happened on saturday and i was arrested monday morning. it was pretty fast. i guess it was pretty obvious too. and i tried so desperately to convince people i was innocent. i had tried to make it look like a suicide. my husband had been suicidal. he had a history of being suicidal and so i figure that would be the easiest way. >> how did you do that? >> oh -- >> i mean, how did he die? >> i shot him. i shot him. wish i could go back.
>> she told us she regrets the past but she's also moving on. >> i still face the consequences of what i did but i don't go around with that guilt anymore. yes, i'm guilty but god has forgiven me. >> but she told us her religious conversion wasn't easy. >> we had these ladies come in and do a little bible study. i hated them. they come in with their cheery little faces smiling and telling me everything will be all right. everything will be all right. jesus will fix it. i'm like you don't know what you're talking about. maybe the biggest problem you got is you may burn the dinnerer or have an over due parking ticket. i was facing the death penalty at that point and finally, if you just leave me alone. i don't want to hear it and don't ask me to talk.
that's how i was. >> eventually she joined the bible study and found the connection with several of the other participants. they too killed their husbands or boyfriends. >> it helps me knowing that i have sisters i can lean on, someone i can talk to, someone i can share these things with because in here you got to be careful who you share things with. >> coming up on "lock up raw." >> i hate to say it but murder is a respected crime here. >> i shot him three times and the other police was still down so i shot. he gets a lot of compliments.
he wears his army hat, walks around with his army shirt looking all nice. and then people just say, "thank you for serving our country" and i'm like, that's my dad. male vo: no one deserves a warmer welcome home. that's why we're hiring 10,000 members of the military community by the end of 2017. i'm very proud of him. male vo: comcast. over the years on lock up we've learned two things about
convicted killers, one they can come from any part of society and two, they assume a place of honor on the inmate hierarchy. >> probably the most respected inmates are your men serving life sentences for murder and all the way town to armed robbery, then burglary, grand theft, grand robbery. >> i'm not a thief, i'm a killer. >> murder is a respected crime in here by a lot of these if mates and they don't bother me. >> we met him where he was serving two life sentences for murder and attempted murder. 11 years earlier reefland opened fire at the factory where he worked. >> i was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and i didn't know it at the time and my family was trying to get me committed and i refused to go to a mental health
place because i was afraid they were going to take my guns because once they found me mentally incompetent and i wouldn't be able to have them anymore. and i imagined my wife had been kidnapped, raped, tortured and killed by these guys at work and thought i'd take vengeance into my own hands and that's what i did. i shot two employees in the head and also shot two in the leg. >> reefland's symptoms have been treated with medication for several years and he now works in another factory, the metal shop on prison grounds. >> here you are back in a work environment and your fellow workers, did they know what your crime was? >> i would imagine some were a little leery, scared. i know it seems i got a lot of respect in work and the yard
because of my crimes. >> he's not the only convicted murderer who sees fear behind respect. the toughest inmate might be james t.-bone taylor. he's serving a double life sentence for killing two police officers in 1991. >> it made me feel like big man on campus but it wasn't because they respected me who i was. >> he was involved in gang related activity on both sides of the wall since he was a teenager in east st. louis. he earned his nickname t bone. >> it was hard to get a knife so i had made a knife out of bone, out of t bone steak. and i had sharpened it down and was going to stab a guy with it and before i could they bust me with it and see it in my hands
so they took it and the name just stuck. guys in the penitentiary called me t-bone. >> but it was his d zier to reach the hierarchy on the outside that led him to commit the murders. when police arrived to shut it down, taylor grabbed one of the officer's pistols. >> i shot the man three times, right? everybody broke and run. and the other police, he was still down so i ran over there and then i shot him three times. it wasn't because i was on no drugs or alcohol. i wasn't impaired. >> and afterwards? >> trying to get away. there wasn't no remorse or nothing. after i did it and -- i wasn't even thinking about turning myself in or nothing like that. i hid for about five or six days
in the corn fields, right. before they caught me, right. they did me a life sentence, discharndi discharged by death. >> he was transferred to various prisons due to his gang activity and predatory behavior. shortly afterwards, he chose to participate in a victim impact program but it wasn't out of remorse. he was hoping it would earn him a transfer back to his favorite prison. >> first i was going to use it to get back to fort mouse. i want to play a game. i wanted to go back. >> but his participation in the program required him to meet the sister of one of the officers he murdered. >> i was scared, you know. we have the illusion that they're going to come and cuss at us and call us all kinds of names and all that. and i'm sitting down and i'm
scared. i'm truly scared and she said why you killed my brother? i didn't have no reason. he said did you kill him because he was the police and i said nope. and i said what if i killed your mother and that tore me up and we broke down. we cried. sincerely, we cried. she said i hate you. i wish you was dead. and it was hard for me because all this time i been the one that was been in control and she took that control and i couldn't attack her or nothing like that, you know what i mean? that wasn't even in my mind but i didn't have control of the situation. she took control of the situation. she asked me should i be forgiven and i said no. she said i'm going to forgive you. everything that i perceive that made me the big dog, she just
took all that from me, you know what i mean. she made me real humble, you know what i mean? and i'm saying we hugged. when she left, knowing i killed this woman's brother and people don't do that, right. people don't just do that. >> taylor found it hard to shrug off the emotions stirred up by the visit. >> because i was brought up if you murder people will get ov. i was a hard and violent person. but now that i see a whole different side of me, this is how it go. people don't forget, people don't forgive all the time. and you have to live with this your whole life. >> coming up. >> we not looking for pity. what we looking for is an understanding that we know we did wrong. >> t-bone's past. xw
of the most respected inmates among inmates at iowa's animosa state penitentiary for being a two-time cop killer. but when a survivor of one of his victims forgave him, he claims to have grown a conscience. in response he and other inmates were inspired to start a group they call "save" seriously acknowledging victim's emotions. >> not enough attention is paid towards the victim. this gives guys a chance to come and find out why they have the behaviors that they have. >> our cameras rolled as inmates involved in the program met with families of victims. >> our past action implied we had no regard for human life. today we go what it is to see,
hear and feel the insanity we caused. we not looking for pity. what we looking for is an understanding that we know we did wrong. >> well, it effects me in a sense because i know the impact in these later years what i done and i don't do this to think i'm going to get out because i'm not. but it give me a sense of understanding, a sense of responsibility for my own actions. >> the day was especially personal for one other inmate as well. >> i been in for nearly 20 years. the victim's mom and step dad are here. i want to thank them very much for coming. >> he murdered hid girlfriend when he was just 18 years old. through the program, he was first confronted by his victim's mother and step father several years earlier. >> i was a mess. jenny had been gone eight years and i was still barely functioning and i was full of
anger and full of pain. and my other children were suffering. >> i had numerous rekerring dreams, nightmares that i had a lot of anger and i wanted to definitely take it out on him. >> the meeting lasted five hours. >> we brought with us, do you remember pictures of your guys when you were dating and i also had this photograph of jenny dead on the emergency room table and i remember we kind of pulled out the nice pictures and mark was smiling and talking about them and then pulled out this other picture and i know that mark, you didn't want to look at it and i was so angry i just wanted to keep shoveing it in front of your face. >> i was the one the police took and shoved into a little cell for several hours. i let mark know about that. i didn't do it but i was the one
they thought did it and you did this to me plus i lost jenny that day. >> hard. every time i see these guys it's really hard because you're always thinking i did something that completely damaged them that will never go away ever for any of us. >> and i remember i said to you i want to hear you say that you killed jenny and i realized how hard that was for you but you did it. you didn't try and act like i didn't do it or it was your fault. but i had to know. did jenny suffer and from what mark told me i believe that it was very quick. and so that has given me a peace. >> when i walked out of there i was probably 80 pounds lighter and i never, since that day have ever had that same recuring dream. i don't think about mark the way
i did and it was a great release. >> you guys are so great. >> while the save program has helped eliminate the nightmares, it can't reverse the past for the vikctims, nor the future fo these convicted killers. in iowa, first degree murder means life without parole. on our last day at animosa, we ran into t-bone taylor as he was moving to a new cell. as he unpacked he talked about his own mortality and the place where somebody his sentence will end. >> ain't nobody going to take my body, right? when i do die. so my plans is i'll let the institution bury me up on the hill. i didn't even have a staff say that they will come and tend to my grave site for me. >> so you'll stay in anamosa forever?