[Names supplied to purchaser]. [Folk Books/Folk Art][Prison][Tattoo Art] Letters and Art From Prison. Oklahoma: 2008-2009. 19 handwritten letters (71 pages, approximately 20,000 words) and 12 poems/other handwritten expressions of affection on separate sheets in 22 mailing envelopes. 12 envelopes + five other sheets or cards with original illustrations mostly in colored pencil and some in ink. Generally very good plus or better. This is a collection of letters and artwork sent by a prisoner who killed a police officer when he was 14 years old in 1995. A child of Laotian immigrants, he was convicted of first degree murder in September 1996. The murder occurred after a car chase while he was on probation for burglary and driving a stolen car. Tried as an adult, he was sentenced to 40 years. His state supreme court overturned that conviction, ordered a new trial, and he was convicted again. He was given a longer prison sentence the second time because of his assault on a prison guard in the interim. The letters are to a young woman, herself an ex-con. The correspondence began in June 2008 when he was 27 years old. While much of his writing centers around grandiose expressions of love, he reveals some of his personality and history. He told her that his crime was “shooting at the police” while he was with a group of five others, and that he was charged because he was the youngest of the group. He explained that he was in gangs beginning at the age of 12 and that he presently led a gang called “Los Carnales Chingones” but he “may not want to go shoot someone for colors or sides, ” and also mentioned that there was an FBI file stating he was a prison gang leader. His most revealing passage was a short chronology of how he ended up where he was, “I grew up real fast in life, faster than the average cub. I don't blame no one for my mistakes, and I sure made many but I experienced and learned fast. Shoot I had to come to prison at the age of 15! Man or child. Shit prison ain't no joke for anyone. But yeah I was always living bigger than I was. I had and still do 'big dreams'. I always wanted the best in life and my family was immigrants from Laos so it was hard for my parents to make good money you know with no education and shit. So I did my part and became the dude of the crib when my aunt, uncle, mom'z and pop'z went to work. Hell I was the only dude anyway! Ha, but I looked out for my sisters and cousins. And I started moving trees around for my older sister's boyfriend at the time. So I always had bud, and friends, and my own dough at the age of 12. At the time I figured I'd be helping out my mom'z and Pop'z if I left and took care of myself. Well, I took that and try to be my own boss. Man just name the crime and if I didn't do it, I helped em do it. I thought it was a cool reputation I had in the hood! ” The correspondence includes 17 examples of his artwork. It's a mesmerizing explosion of tattoo art, its most common subject women, but also including a purple dragon, mermaids and dragonflies. Much of it is bright, crisp and vivid, simultaneously defying and confirming the ugliness of his life and surroundings. There are also a number of poems, as well as a few raps. By March of 2009, his pen pal was incarcerated again and he wrote to her at her correctional facility. The final piece of correspondence from our prisoner artist is from July, 2009, but the most recent letter from a prisoner to the recipient is postmarked December, 2010. Its envelope is also decorated with art, but her last name has changed. Enclosed in the envelope is a prisoner call list. She's on that list, listed as that different prisoner's wife. An intimate look into the life of a criminal, first incarcerated as a child. At times compelling, but also disturbing, and with artwork revealing that beauty can emerge from the most wretched of circumstances. This item is offered by Langdon Manor Books, LLC, antiquarian booksellers. Please do not hesitate to contact us for additional information and/or photos and we will respond promptly. We package our items carefully, ship daily, and have a no hassle returns policy--your satisfaction is guaranteed. We are members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) , the International League of Antiquarian Booksllers (ILAB) and the Independent Online Booksellers Association (IOBA) and adhere to their rules of ethics.