If anyone is wondering the bad side to the "what if", I give you this article, snagged from canoe.ca:
SAN DIEGO (AP) — An ex-convict has pleaded guilty to killing his prison pen pal, encasing the body in cement and living off the victim’s savings and credit cards.
Thomas Jeffrey Brooks faces up to life in prison after pleading guilty Thursday in San Diego to first-degree murder.
Prosecutors say Brooks and 80-year-old Edward Andrews became pen pals while Brooks was in a Victorville prison. They say Brooks met the victim after he was released.
Authorities say Brooks killed Andrews and that he and an accomplice encased Andrews’ body in a concrete orb that was the centerpiece of a rock garden in the San Diego backyard of Brooks’ landlord.
Prosecutors say Brooks withdrew about $24,000 from the victim’s accounts and made $108,000 in phony check deposits over eight months.
Outside of a random, possibly one in a couple million chance - would you? These are people who's families may have abandoned them, that are dealing with a lot from day to day.
Then there's the people who "collect". People write to famous murderers, generally serial killers. What would you say to Charles Manson in a letter? How about the BTK killer, the Unabomber, Dr Kavorkian, David Berkowitz, and so on.
Would you give them your real name? Would you ask about life in prison or why they did what they did? Or would you travel outside the norm and ask some more unique questions?
The high profile killers get a lot of mail. More mail than they can reply to, a lot of the time. I'm told the Unabomber doesn't usually reply to pen pal or "fan" mail, while other people are just very picky to whom they will respond to, like Charles Manson. And still others will write to you about God, the universe and everything.
One of the biggest tips I've learned, though it may be self evident - if you're uncomfortable, then use a P.O. Box. These people will understand. They're not dumb - they know people are afraid of them.
I give you the most complete list I have found so far, on a forum and website title "Write-A-Murderer"http://writeamurderer.yuku.com/topic/448/t/Write-A-Murderer-Address-List.html
Before writing to anyone, do your research. Google them. Wikipedia is a great source of information, but sometimes only on the more widely known felons. There are also sites that you can input prisoner numbers and search for how long they will be incarcerated for, as well as why they were incarcerated in the first place.
You might also want to find out if they are regretfull of what they've done or not. I can't imagine it being very pleasant to write to someone who talks incessantly about killing.
Also, before sending your letter out - STOP! What are you sending? Your letter WILL be read by the Warden, or an employee hired specifically to read all ingoing and outgoing mail. Every prison is different - some prisons will not even allow you to use stamps that are stuck onto the envelope in any way, and must be printed. Some prisons its okay to send the prisoners extra stamps, postcards and the occassional picture or magazine article - and others, it is forbidden. This may also change depending on what level of security the prisoner is located in. Do your research first and formost.
If you have further questions, I recommend the site: Ask a Convict - http://www.askaconvict.com/index.php
I would love to hear everyones thoughts on the subject. Any rumours, myths, facts - anything.