tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC May 30, 2016 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT
due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. msnbc takes you behind the walls of america's most notorious prisons, into a world of chaos and danger. now the scenes you've never seen. "lockup: raw." "lockup's" interviews with some of the most notorious criminals behind bars have provided disturbing insights into what drives the horrific acts of violence. >> it's just like i snapped. >> he disrespected me. that's all it takes. >> i started having delusions. >> i started singing "the battle hymn of the republic." glory, glory hallelujah. >> i'm not going to live with punks. i'm not going to live with rats. i have nothing to lose.
you see my point? >> we filmed in dozens of maximum-security prisons across the country, interviewing some of america's most dangerous and deadly inmates. and it isn't until you really step back to kind of get a sense of where they're coming from and what they did, that you realize kind of the evil that exists across the table. nestled at the base of majestic glaciers, the small coastal town of seward, alaska, is known for more than just breathtaking, natural beauty. it's also home to the spring creek correctional facility. alaska's only maximum security prison. it's here that we encountered carl abuhl, one of the most memorable killers ever profiled on "lockup." it didn't take long for him to
make clear his opinions of some of his fellow inmates. >> all these inmates can say whatever they want to say. they're punks. and the people that are in control know they're punks. >> abuhl first came to spring creek in 2003 after he was convicted of murdering a co-worker. >> i caved his head in. i caved his head in totally. i think the biggest fragment of bone they found was about the size of a half dollar. i probably got a little out of hand later on. i kept on hanging out and beating on him some more. there was -- are you really interested in the gory stuff? i was interested in how the decomposition would be. it was pretty interesting. it was kind of twisted. >> the raw interview footage goes on to reveal, perhaps, the most grisly aspect of abuhl's crime. >> your whole sentence is what now? tell me. >> 70 years.
i got six months, too, for cruelty to animals. >> for what? >> cruelty to animals. >> what happened? >> i nuked the guy's cat that he had. the cat was too long. so, i nuked the cat. i actually intended to kill the cat. but i guess i didn't do a good enough job. >> how do you nuke a cat? >> i stuck him in the microwave and turned it on. and then i -- yeah. 2 1/2 minutes wasn't long enough. i had a valid reason. i didn't do it just for kicks. i did it because he was chewing on the dead guy. >> three years later, in august of 2004, abuhl killed again. this time the victim was his cellmate. >> the guy was doing life for killing his mom, which is disgusting. he was bragging about that. i killed mommy. and i'm getting out in 20 years. blah, blah, blah. okay, dude. and i sat here and listened to this garbage. and i have to listen to garbage. and i can't tell because if you tell, you're a [ bleep ] rat.
and then someone's going to call me a [ bleep ] rat. hey, dude, [ bleep ]. i'm going to put you in the ground. now what? >> while most of his fellow inmates infuriate him, abuhl wanted our female producer to know that he has nothing but respect for women and children. >> i have zero tolerance for certain behaviors in other men. they disrespect a woman, they try to take, you know, sexually, i'm going to put them in the ground. there's certain people and certain criteria. rape-os, child molesters. you can't cure them. there's no cure for them. so, you kill them. that's how you deal with the problem. there's no more problem then. >> abuhl went on to give us a graphic account of how he murdered his cellmate. >> he was talking about how he was going to strangle this lady. so, i tore up the sheet. and i wrapped it around his head. and i said, you know, you ain't doing nothing. you go say hi to mommy.
>> how did he die? >> he kept on breathing. i thought i was doing it wrong because i didn't have the appropriate garrote. a wire garrote. you can actually decapitate someone if y wrap it around their neck and yank on it. you'll actually decapitate them. but the sheet's kind of hard. and i think it was about five minutes of fighting around. and i finally brought it up and he hemorrhaged all over the place. that's when he stopped. then i shoved his handkerchief down his throat to shut him down. >> i'm the first guy that killed a man in this yard, i guess. they still run their mouth back here. they've got little punks running their mouths at me. >> moments after abuhl was placed back in his cell, he was in conflict with the inmate in the neighboring cell.
>> can we film him? what's going on? >> this is what they call cell warriors. they know they can't get at each other. so, they just try to stir each other up. >> [ bleep ]. >> [ bleep ]. >> abuhl is expected to serve out the rest of his sentence, if not his life, in the highly restrictive, single-person cells of spring creek's max unit. he left our crew with these words. >> i have redeeming qualities. i'm not some bully looking around to [ bleep ] somebody. i'm not that. i just want to be left alone. and that's all. and if that -- if i could give them that, i -- i don't know.
i try to think positive. there's always things getting worse. things can get worse. i hope they don't. when we traveled to riverbend maximum security institution in tennessee, we encountered a young inmate who was also driven to kill. and his story was absolutely chilling. >> i murdered my aunt with a butcher knife. i threw on a hockey mask, brown overalls and brown boots. >> why? >> i had bottled-up anger. i was mad at my mom for all my life for the way she treated me. i figured if i killed her instead -- her sister, i didn't want to kill my mom. i figured if i killed her sister, it would slowly kill her mentally, emotionally. >> luis ramon was 15 years old at the time of the murder. when we met him six years later, he told our producer he relates with two notorious and fictional movie killers.
>> i believe i become a killer like michael myers on "halloween" and jason voorhees on "friday the 13th." i'm just fascinated with the way they worked. i heard voices like jason voorhees. like one of my characters. they told me like how to kill people and when to do it. the devil. i was possessed by the devil for six years, with me for 17. the demon lives outside the window right now. jim, he lives outside my window. he's a demon. most of the time he just sings to me or hums. he aggravates me sometimes. and i can't sleep. >> when our producer noticed his scarred arms, she learned that sometimes ramon directs violence at himself, as well. >> what are those scars down here? >> i cut my vein open about three times. twice with a spoon and once with a razor blade, just watch the blood come out. i do it sometimes for the hell of it. it took 15 years of bottled anger to do what i did on the streets. if i keep it bottled up again, i
may end up doing it to somebody again. >> he's not going to get that chance anytime soon. ramon isn't eligible for parole until 2057. >> if i could go back in time, i would have escaped when i had the chance. or at least took out at least 30 people before i go. i would have had a little fun while i was out there. >> our interview ended with ramon's chilling outlook on his life. >> i figure that's what i was put on the earth for, to be a serial killer. that's my job. if i do get a chance to get out, maybe i wouldn't do that. since i ain't got no chance of getting out, i might as well just carry out my plan. >> which is? >> to kill as many people as i can before i die. >> i've been told i'm pretty hard-core. next, on "lockup: raw." >> i start to turn off the camera slowly, as i inch my way backwards out of the cell. >> "lockup" producer has a close call with one of the most
dangerous inmates in kentucky. >> i took a knife, stabbed him with it three or four times. and then i butchered him with it. what's it like to be in good hands? like finding new ways to be taken care of. home, car, life insurance obviously, ohhh... but with added touches you can't get everywhere else, like claim free rewards... or safe driving bonus checks. even a claim satisfaction guaranteeeeeeeeeee! in means protection plus unique extras only from an expert allstate agent. it's good to be in, good hands.
at virtually every prison we profiled, we met inmates who have spent the majority of their lives behind bars and are never getting out. in many cases, these lifers committed their crimes as teenagers, and with each passing decade, have slowly adjusted to the strict rules and rigorous demands of prison life. still, there are those inmates like alex bennett, at the kentucky state penitentiary, who don't always agree with or abide by the rules.
>> i'm a person that's been in the joint all my life. i've been told i'm pretty hard-core. and i need a certain type of environment. you got something you want to say to me now? we can get it on national tv here. do you? >> everything about alex's mannerisms, his appearance and the words that he spoke said convict. alex just embodied that. >> bennett was 54 years old when we met him and had spent 33 of those years behind bars for armed robbery, kidnapping and murder. >> the system today isn't like the system that i came into 36 years ago. the system today has the majority of their inmates programmed to do what they're told when they're told to do it. and so, they get to the point where they expect that from everybody. well, there's still a few old
dogs around, who like to do things their own way. >> bennett's way of doing things, however, has had horrifying results. after adapting to life in a single-person cell here, he was transferred to a lower security prison in 1998. he had more privileges there, but also had to share a cell. that's when things began to go very wrong. >> i'm not going to live with child molesters. i'm not going to live with punks. i'm not going to live with rats. i need my privacy. that's the most important thing to me. and i was determined to get that. and i got it. >> after his request to return to a single maximum security cell at kentucky state was denied, bennett took matters into his own hands and at the expense of his new cell mate. >> i took a knife. and i stabbed him with it three or four times, until he was dead.
and then i butchered him with it. i cut him up into little pieces, because, like i told the warden down there, you know, this is what i left you, you know. now you'll give me a transfer or one of y'all will be next. i meant what i said. i have a choice because i have nothing to lose. see my point? i don't have nothing to lose. usually, i hang out right here. this is my spot. i used to stay over there. but the child killers took it over. and they can have it. i don't argue with nobody about spots. i feel like the whole joint belongs to me since i killed to get here to get it. a whole lot of guys think that i'm an insane, psychopathic, you know, murderer. >> but later, bennett revealed that he did care what the "lockup" audience would think of him. >> deputy warden nancy doom took
me to meet alex in his cell so i could get a few extra shots of him. he was taking this long pull off a cigarette. and i could start to see the gears turning in alex's mind a little bit. and he said to me, why do you need all this footage? i just don't get it. why do you need all this footage about me? >> this don't make a whole lot of sense to me. >> what's that? >> just sitting here looking goofy. >> he was upset. it was like a switch. he went from being terribly cooperative to not being happy about the situation. and there was a really, really discernible shift in his demeanor. >> well, you know what i think? >> i'll just film you. whatever you were going to do. i just wanted to get shots of you in your cell. >> i'm thinking that y'all going to all these here prisons, talking to all these people such as myself, you know?
people who's never getting out. this thing ain't recording? >> i start to turn off the camera. and i stand up. and i begin reasoning with alex, slowly as i inch my way backwards, towards nancy, out of the cell. alex, it's important that we tell this story. we want to hear your voice. i don't know if i was getting through to alex. but i do know that i was getting closer to that entrance of that cell. and we turned and we started walking down the cell tier. we get to the entrance of the cell block. and nancy is white. and she says to me, i don't know if you realize how lucky you are right now. >> hale might have been lucky. and he made it out of kentucky state knowing alex bennett never will. but bennett has accepted that. >> i never think about the outside world anymore. never, ever. i don't dream about the outside world. i don't read about the outside world.
i'm 100% prison. i'm 100%, this is my life. prison is my life. and this is all i've got. and that's all i think about. coming up on "lockup: raw," a prolific prison killer reflects on his crimes on the inside. >> i stabbed him 36 times. i wanted to put so many holes in him that there was no chance that he could survive. i had a w. me too! call me tomorrow? i'm gonna send a vague text in a couple of days, that leaves you confused about my level of interest. i'll wait a full two days before responding. perfect! we're never gonna see each other again, will we? no-no. wouldn't it be great if everyone said what they meant? the citi double cash card does. it lets you earn double cash back. 1% when you buy and 1% as you pay. the citi double cash card. double means double. (mamost of the show. we missed (woman) and there's no way to restart it.
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these are places where the inmates are really kind of the true-life hannibal lectors. that require extra security, shackles, three or four correctional officers at a time. it really puts our crews on a one-on-one basis with some of the most dangerous inmates in america. and in many cases, the interview process has to happen through glass. >> such was the case when the "lockup" production team first encountered 38-year-old stephen hugueley at the brushy mountain correctional complex in eastern tennessee.
when we met him, hugueley had already been in prison for more than 20 years and was scheduled to be executed the following month. >> shot my mother and threw her off a bridge. we had had problems for years. and it just finally reached a head. a girl that i had a date with called there. and when i answered the phone, my mother, she come out of her bedroom and started coming down the hallway. and she said -- screamed, is that another one of your little whores calling here? and it was just like i snapped. and i told the girl that i had a date with, i said, i'll be out there to get you in a little bit. i said, i'm fixing to kill this bitch. and i hung up the phone and i went and got a rifle and shot her. and then i carried her, dumped her in the river and went on my date. i felt a great deal of contempt
toward her because of the way she belittled my father and was constantly putting him down. and after a few years of that, it just made me to where i really didn't feel anything toward her. >> throughout the hour-long interview, hugueley rarely displayed emotion except when recalling how his mother broke the news of his father's death when he was only 12 years old. >> she hung up the phone. and she just turned around and said, ronnie's dead. they found him dead in his car. he committed suicide. i'll put you on a bus and send you to michigan for the funeral. and that was it. and that made me hate her. because from that day forward, i knew i was going to kill her eventually. >> hugueley was sentenced to life in prison for killing his
mother. but it wouldn't be the last time he would commit murder. five years later, while incarcerated at a different prison, he stabbed an inmate 67 times after the man and two friends allegedly threatened him. >> all three of them come up to my cell, which was a single cell. and i slaughtered him and went after them two. they took off running and hid. but i was going to kill them, all three. >> after receiving an additional life sentence for killing the inmate, 13 years later, hugueley murdered again. in this unedited footage, hugueley describes how and why he killed a prison counselor. >> the plan was to kill him, get the death penalty, use the state of tennessee's lethal injection as a means of suicide, since i didn't have the guts to do it myself. and then, in january, i killed
him. the first thing i did is i said, i want the death penalty. i want to be executed. and so, here we are. >> how did you kill him? >> i stabbed him 36 times. i wanted to put so many holes in him that there was no chance that he could survive. my philosophy has always been, if you put enough holes in them, they can't plug them all and the chances are, they're going to die. because i've seen people stabbed 17, 18 times and get up and walk away. >> that's really incredibly graphic and horrible. >> i agree. >> it's horrible. i mean i just -- >> i agree. i've never lost a minute of sleep over anything i've ever done. if somebody who commits premeditated, first-degree murder tells you they have remorse, they are a liar. it's impossible to commit premeditated first-degree murder and then turn around and say you
have remorse for it. how are you going to be remorseful about something you intended to do? >> hugueley was sentenced to death for killing the counselor and was transferred to tennessee's death row, located at the riverbend maximum security institution, more than 100 miles away. "lockup" cameras were there as hugueley left brushy mountain. >> my life fits in two bags. >> see you later. >> i look at death as a new beginning. i don't fear it because it's what i want. i'm the one that manipulated the system into giving me what i want. and it's more like me killing myself than it is them killing me. i get the same adrenaline rush
as it grows nearer. i get the same adrenaline rush that i would if i was killing somebody else. so, to me, it's no different. >> days after this footage was shot, hugueley reinstated his appeal of the death sentence, because the prison would not grant him a contact visit with his daughter. he was granted a stay of execution and returned to brushy mountain. next, on "lockup: raw." >> i don't know if you really want to run in here. >> we meet inmates whose time behind bars is a reign of terror. >> when they come up to my cell and say back up, turn around and be handcuffed, i say, [ bleep ] come on in here and get me. and later, "lockup" encounters two inmates at the same prison whose crimes share a shocking common element. >> i wasn't the same person who did that back then. you don't eat brains from someone's body if you're sane.
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due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. over the years, we profiled inmates who have committed extreme acts of violence, both in and out of prison. though we found there was a special breed of criminal mind whose violent and bizarre actions seemingly knows no end. >> you don't have to hold me. i know where i'm going. >> you got a lot of people around in here.
you ain't got to hold me back. >> when we first met ivory taylor at california's pelican bay state prison, he had to be flanked by two officers for his interview in a secure housing unit, or the shu. >> hi, guys. okay. you got it. look at our man right here. you got this rambo camera. who do you work for? >> msnbc. >> nbc? >> msnbc. >> tell us who you are. what's your name? >> they call me double life because i've got two life sentences, a life without the possibility of parole. and 25 to life. and they call me godzilla because i've got more points than anybody else in the prison system. i fight everybody. i'll fight anybody who will fight with me. and i've been in the hole 19 years straight. >> taylor spent all those years in the shu because of a list of violent infractions rivaling any inmate we've ever profiled on "lockup."
>> i've had my nose broke, hip broke, shoulder broke and foot broke, all in confrontations with the police, distractions, yard distractions, hospital distractions, shower distractions. anyplace you can get in a fight, i've gotten in a fight. >> when our crew later visited taylor's cell, he felt compelled to let the producer know that nobody is entirely safe around him. >> the last white cat came in here left out here with brain dead. two days on a life-support machine. i don't know if you really want to run in here. >> gradually, he became more comfortable and gave an impromptu show-and-tell about his cell. >> tell me about your cell. what have you got in here? >> nothing in here but water bowl, my medication, bar of soap, i save, put them all together and made one bar so i could do my laundry. that's what i was doing when you came in. >> what do you do with this butter right here? >> that's lubrication, concentration, stimulation, masturbation, you ain't hip to that, though, right? you got the real thing on the streets, right? that's what they use in here.
you can't get whatever they sell on the streets, ky jelly. whatever that is. that's what that is. i use my butter to make impressions. they call salolograms. >> taylor was referring to the bizarre defiled letters he sends to prison officials, including theresa schwartz. >> a typical letter from double life taylor to me will be a five-paged scrolled letter with the second and third pages completely coated with semen and imprint of his penis on the third page. he's trying to get a reaction out of me. and i just answer whatever question he asks and send it back. >> taylor also wanted to get a reaction from any of his enemies who might one day see this interview. >> i got killing to do. you don't get the name double life godzilla for running your mouth. i got a big mouth. but i got a big heart to back it up. you tell them tv personality. i've got people i've got to have fertilizing bushes. i've got people that will come up short, six feet short. if they ever run up on me, i've got people chasing me.
it's going to be like that for a little while now. they would rather get aids than to get next to me. they would rather catch ebola than to get next to me. that's what i'm thinking. i'll see you when i see you. probably won't see you in a long time, huh? okey-doke. fleece johnson stirred up more than his share of trouble behind bars. johnson's first arrest was at the age of 15 for armed robbery. since then, he has spent more than 30 years behind bars. most of them within the stone ramparts of kentucky state penitentiary. >> this is like a gladiator school down here. you come down here, you're either going to fight or you're going to be somebody's punk. and it's thasimple. so, to survive in here, i had to fight. and so, we fought.
and i whooped their ass all around this prison. >> in this previously unaired interview footage, johnson recalls the legacy of violence he unleashed on officers during his time in kentucky's three-cell house, the hole. >> when they come up to my cell and said back up, turn around, be handcuffed, i said [ bleep ]. you come on in and get me. let's do it. when they come and fight me, they don't play. i done been shackled to the bed, no telling how many times. maced and -- i was maced so much, they said don't even mace him. because it don't even affect him. he's immune to it. they can shoot me with a taser gun or whatever because it's going to take more than that to calm me down a little, you know. when they come up with something new, they come to me and try it on me. see if it works. >> i definitely had the sense that fleece loved to have an audience.
he was a great storyteller. and he knew it. >> a lot of the officers that i fought, some of them quit. a whole bunch of them quit through me. i made them quit. >> one of those officers barely escaped with his life. >> when i took a five-gallon bucket of boiling water with bleach and salt and everything in it. and it was so hot. i took a spoon and as soon as i threw it in, it just curled up. that's how hot it was. and i threw it on him. just threw the whole bucket on him. >> what did he do that made you want to assault him? >> he disrespected me. that's all it takes. back then, that is all it took, just a simple disrespect. >> the c.o. survived. but the incident caused the state to institute hazard pay for its officers. and johnson received 15 years
tacked on to his sentence. it wasn't just ksp officers who experienced his wrath. he also took it out on his own cell. >> i say i've tore about 400 toilets out of the wall, tore them up. i tore up about 5,000 or 6,000 mattresses and probably 20,000-some sheets and blankets. and doors, i tore off the hinges and things like that. you're talking millions that they was -- that one man was costing the state, millions. and couldn't nobody break me, nobody. >> these days, fleece claims he is too old for the violence he used to commit. and the prison has even released him from segregation for good behavior. slowing down can't reduce the consequences of his actions. and they're beginning to weigh a little more heavily on his mind.
>> the most disturbing thing of it all is the day when it occurs to a person, in all the years that you fought, physical battles that you thought was right, good and just, is wrong. and to know that is a very hurting thing, because you look back over all the people you have hurted through your battles and it's -- it's just painful. and so, the only way to make good on it is to do something constructive and hope that it makes a difference somewhere. coming up on "lockup raw" -- >> i started singing "the battle hymn of the republic." glory, glory, hallelujah. i was wigged out completely at that time. >> two inmates kill when their minds turn on them. >> franky, franky, what are you doing? what are you doing?
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because my eyes are everything. due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. ♪ the wabash valley correctional facility in indiana houses a large number of inmates who are or were considered mentally ill at the time of their crimes. >> come back here. >> when "lockup" visited there, we met two such inmates. they killed after their own minds turned on them. and their murders took on
dimensions that were not only shocking, they were unimaginable. >> my name is howard franklin street jr. i'm 38 years old. i've been down since 1993 for shooting my mom. >> during our first day of shooting at wabash, our "lockup" crew met frank street, an inmate housed in the prison's residential treatment unit. at the time of the interview, street was experiencing involuntary tremors due to his medication. >> i started having delusions that people were out to hurt me. and i had this video cassette tape of a party and showed people hurting me, you know. and i showed it to my parents, ain't nothing to it. i thought you guys were crazy. they were thinking sane, they were sane. i was the crazy one. >> a short time later, street's delusions got the better of him. >> i loaded up my dad's 30/30. because i thought these people were after me. my parents came home and said franky, what are you doing? what are you doing? my mom reached up for the gun and she was freaking out. i was freaking out, too. i shot her right in the head with the 30/30.
>> even more shocking and disturbing than frank street shooting his mother in the head is what he did after he killed her. and we'll warn you, what you're about to hear is extremely graphic. >> i became delusional. i sang and sang. and i heard this voice that said you've got to eat some of her brains for her to become part of you. >> street had been diagnosed as having advanced schizophrenia and at the time of our interview was regularly receiving medication and counseling in the residential treatment unit. >> i should have been in a mental hospital. it's been 13 years. i've been to all these psychiatrists and i've learned to deal with it. i feel that the -- i feel that i've done the time. especially when i'm not -- i wasn't a sane person who did that back then. you don't eat brains from someone's body if you're sane. >> many of the murderers we've interviewed show little or no remorse for their crimes. street is tormented by his.
>> it's horrible. i -- i've come to terms with myself that i'm sure someday i'm going to kill myself. i've decided to do that. and that way i can go be with my mom. i'm not as bad as i used to be. i'm not acting real crazy or nothing. i'm not really crazy acting no more. got some new socks. that's what everybody's socks are looking like, like that. that's all i have to say. >> in the wake of interviewing frank street and hearing the graphic details surrounding his mother's murder, the "lockup" team never imagined we'd encounter another inmate at
wabash with a similar story. then, we were introduced to 47-year-old joseph garner. >> i've been down 9 1/2 years, have 22 1/2 more to go. i've been -- my crime is murder. and i cannibalized during the process. >> garner killed his father on christmas eve 1995. at the time, he believed his dad was preventing the second coming of christ. again, we'll warn you, his account of the murder is extremely graphic. >> i eventually told him to sit in the chair and not to move. and i started singing "the battle hymn of the republic." glory, glory, hallelujah. i told him they're coming. do you hear them? i was wigged out completely at that time. he must have got scared. and he jumped up and tried to push me aside and i thought he was attacking me. i stabbed him in the back. he took about three steps. i tackled him from behind, somehow got behind him and slit his throat.
and i remember him saying please don't kill me. that's when i realized, oh, my god. what am i doing? >> our producer later described her interview with garner as exhausting as he often took the conversation on bizarre tangents. >> each and every nanosecond, moment, impulse second, whatever the latest measurement of time is. repressed freudian alien who had snowballed emotionally and was repressed with drugs and alcohol. and witnessed by 10,000 people at a country hoedown concert in detroit. >> it was another 30 minutes before our producer could bring him back to the details of his crime. what he told us was both shocking and disturbing. >> open up my -- i pulled his brain out and took a bite out of it. >> like frank street, garner was housed in the residential treatment unit. but it was clear that not only does he still struggle with what he did, he worries about what he
still might do. >> it's heinous. if i had -- i believe in an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. if i had my way, i believe they should take my life.even though there were extenuating circumstances that were both mitigating and aggravating, that my judge was very pointed to point out, i still think having crossed that line, it's therefore that much easier to go back across. there's less inhibition to take another life now, especially even my own. i've threatened that several times. next on "lockup: raw" -- >> a swastika is a very powerful symbol. i have a lot of them. >> a self-proclaimed white supremacist inmate provides one of the most shocking epilogues in the history of "lockup." what's it like to be in good hands? man, it's like pure power at your finger tips. like the power to earn allstate reward points,
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advised. >> oh, [ bleep ]. of all the memorable inmates interviewed on "lockup" one made such a visually shocking impression he stands alone in the history of the series. of all the memorable inmates >> when you look at curtis with the tattoos all over his face, he's really physically intimidating. >> curtis allgier. c-u-r-t-i-s, allgier, a-l-l-g-i-e-r. >> here's this terrifying looking guy. and i was put at ease when i realized he was actually kind of soft spoken. >> i'm here for burglary, forgery and escape. and i have 1 to 15. i expireate in 2016. >> when we first met curtis allgier at utah state prison's maximum security unit, it didn't take long for tattoos to become the focus of the interview.
>> tell me a little about your tattoos, what some of them mean, when you got them. >> i've been getting tattoos since i was 13 years old. my whole family tattoos. that's what i do on the streets. i'm a tattoo artist. certain ones have meaning. my wife's name across my forehead. that's how much i love my lady. and other ones are my political beliefs. >> allgier's political beliefs have to do with his near life-long affiliation with the skinheads. >> my whole family was skinheads. i was raised that way. i was born and raised into it. my dad, my uncle, all my cousins, all my family. being a skinhead is a way of life. it's preserving your race. it's being proud of who you are and wanting to better that. swastika is a very powerful symbol. i wear it as a symbol of pride of who i am. i have a lot of them. >> allgier gave a more detailed account of his tattoos in this previously unaired footage. >> what's the most painful area
of your body to tattoo? >> it's a toss-up between the toe, behind the leg and the lip. the lip, you have nerves. same as your toes. all your nerves end there. i was thinking, man, it won't hurt that bad. don't look at me at my tattoos and say, oh, my god. that guy is a felon or a white supremacist. i'm proud of who i am. and i'm proud to have my family be who we are. but i'm not a bad person because i have tattoos. being a white supremacist is not a bad thing. >> and according to allgier, being a white supremacist doesn't mean that he belongs to one of utah state's white supremacist prison gangs. >> you've got sackensaw, forthright, k.b., and those dudes aren't white supremacists. they're not part of a white supremacist. they were started by people who were rats and p.c. cases. >> the interesting thing about curtis was he claims he's not in a gang. he's not a gang member.
he's just a white supremacist, a skinhead. and he thought there was a really, really severe difference. >> i'm no part of them. i have never been a part of them nor will i ever be a part of them. those dudes, in my mind, are weak and lame. they're not white supremacists, nor will they ever be. >> and at that point, one of the officers leaned into my ear and said if you use that, he is going to get attacked. he is going to get stabbed. >> while inmates like allgier are completely aware that talking about gangs could put them in peril, it is a risk they have taken time and time again when interviewed on "lockup." >> we knew theoretically that sound bite might put him in danger, but we also knew on the other hand how important it was to curtis that that distinction be made. that's the choice we went with. >> finally, allgier spoke about the wife and two children he left behind on the outside. >> if i couldn't look at pictures of my wife, my family,
my kids, it does a lot to look at them because if you ain't got something to look at and you ain't looking at something positive, then you're either going to stay in here longer or when you get out you'll just be right back. to me, i look at that and think, wow, they need me out there. i need to quit doing the lifestyle i've been doing and doing what i've been doing. >> two years after this interview, however, curtis allgier would make the worst decision of his life, one that virtually guarantees he will die in prison. >> the suspect was able to get the guard's weapon away from him and at least one shot was fired. >> on june 25th, 2007, during a visit to an area hospital, allgier allegedly disarmed, shot and killed the correctional officer escorting him. >> curtis called me and told me that he had killed a cop, that he had escaped. i asked him what had happened. he told me that he was sorry, that he loved me and he kept saying, i'm sorry, i love you.
>> after fleeing the hospital, he was taken back into custody 45 minutes later at a fast food restaurant. >> i remember thinking, curtis was in for burglary, forgery, escape. he was going to do less than 15 years. curtis was going home. and now he's never going to go home. >> it's not cool to be here. and living this lifestyle, it will screw up your life. i can't tell him don't do it because i've done it. but i can tell him that this isn't the way to go. you're not going to gain from coming here. you lose everything.
due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. msnbc takes you behind the walls of america's most notorious prisons into a world of chaos and danger. now, the scenes you've never seen. "lockup: raw." over the years, lockup crews have ventured inside some of america's most dangerous maximum security prisons. and they've all encountered one absolute certainty. >> we film in extreme environments. most people would never want to step inside a maximum security prison, yet we send our crews inside some of the most dangerous facilities in america. >> [ bleep ], [ bleep ]. >> yeah, i love pain!