His habits include using toilet water for hours on end to gargle and wash with and trying to catch a disease he can sue someone over. He also enjoys licking his pornography and scream-singing threats to female guards about ripping their panties off and stuffing them in their mouths before he sexually assaults them. And every prison he’s transferred to, he does the same thing. He travels through Texas, from prison to prison, making false reports to initiate offender-protection investigations. He’s a prison con artist and, for awhile, my cellmate.  

The day he moved in, all seemed normal—for about five seconds—until he launched into an obsessive allegation that a female guard forced him to perform oral sex on her. This was followed by lies that a former cellie drugged and raped him. He also added that jealous guards, and even the PREA/Safe Prisons officer, was in on it. Naturally, I assumed he was a career prison “catch-out.” For those who may wonder what that means, prison catch-outs usually fall into one of three categories: 

1) those who are extremely vulnerable, frequently victimized and moved around for their protection,

2) those who make false reports to get moved around, etc., or,

3) those who are vulnerable, yet also make false reports to manipulate their situation.

Soon, other red flags (besides the aforementioned) started to wave. Clotheslines, mattresses, trash, and other clutter began filling our cell. On the wall above his bunk, in huge letters, he wrote out an online address written in magic marker next to a porn photo that he claimed was a prison guard. After that, my life began to resemble squatting in a gas-station restroom with a homeless rapist.

To get out of work, he purposefully injures his feet and acts like he can’t walk without extreme difficulty. His cover story changes, and he tells stories that range from racist guards, to him being drugged, raped, and beaten by gang members. When his mother questions these lies over the phone, he resorts to calling her a stupid bitch before shaming her into sending him or others money.

His post-release plans include sporting designer clothes and stalking various prison guards or other people before giving them herpes—whether voluntarily or by force. Between victims, he plans a world sex-tour funded by an imaginary lawsuit he wins from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice over his fraudulent medical and abuse claims. He even planned a major sex allegations case and gave made-up details about a sex ring at our pork processing plant. Indeed, another one of his post-release plans is to take on an online career in which he slanders the guards and prisoners with whom he has personal issues.

Don’t miss Tracy Lee Kendall’s story: My Crime: Tracy Lee Kendall

Of course, he has an extensive disciplinary history on top of all the bizarre sex-ring allegations. In fact, his behavior won him the lowest possible line class, a class usually assigned to medium or closed custody. And, after provoking a cellie in medium custody into fighting with him, and then making various false claims, he was reassigned to minimum custody for unneeded protection. Then, he became my cellie.

My cellie was white, from a small town, and obtained a “racial restriction” which prevents other races from being housed with him. One night, he attempted to integrate me into his plans. It began by him blaming me for stealing three of his porn photos. He and I both knew I never stole, didn’t deal with porn, nor did I have a key to his lock. And even though I wasn’t intimidated, he kept blaming and threatening me.

After a passing guard heard a commotion in our cell, the guard came into our cell to investigate. The guard wanted to see behind the sheet my ex-cellie kept across the cell (so staff cannot see him moving around) and asked if everything was all right. My ex-cellie immediately replied that I asked to see his ”paperwork,” as if I was worried he was a potential child molester and forced him to show me proof of his conviction. He did this to make it seem as if I was the aggressor. After the guard left, my ex-cellie claimed he lied because the guard was a convict guard who would understand. However, the guard left when I told him everything was okay.

Almost immediately, my ex-cellie became belligerent and tried to provoke me again. This mirrored his past tactic of provoking people so that he could create outrageous and false claims. When yelling and threatening didn’t work, he resorted to cutting the plug off my night lamp and damaging my radio as soon as I turned my back (I turned back around as he was in the process). Then he blindsided me, clawing my nose and hitting my head before jumping over to the cell door and screaming, “Leave me alone! Leave me alone!” as if I was assaulting him (as most prisoners would have done by then). Finally, he threatened to tell the guard I assaulted “a cripple” (i.e., him).

These are the types of situations which take prisoners away from their loved ones because of extra time. Of course, I was pissed, but I knew my ex-cellie was attempting to manipulate his way into a basis for false allegations. I suspect it had something to do with his aspirations of going into protective custody. He wanted to be around transgender people that he believed he could hustle in various ways.

When he saw he couldn’t provoke me, he threw one of his pictures out the door, and pretended to discover it outside. He claimed that the guards were trying to gaslight us against each other. Then he denied damaging my stuff and throwing the picture out—both incidents of which I saw. (His con attempts also include feigning insanity to evade repercussions for his disciplinary cases, pending freeworld charges for violence toward women and children, and all his daily BS.) For his finale, he attempted to garner some sympathy by claiming a secret cabal of guards scratched up his family pictures.

Thankfully I was moved and met one of the prisoners who my ex-cellie made false reports against after provoking him into a fight. However, my new cellie was actually a decent person with a bunch of complications on his record thanks to my ex-cellie. This is not uncommon in Texas prisons, as they are full of prisoners making false reports. But it does lead to prisoners with unmerited investigations on their records, and victims whose reports are not taken seriously (leading to disciplinary cases where victims are punished) — all due to the frequency of false reports.

Right now, I am sure my ex-cellie is still fake-hobbling around on a cane he doesn’t need, cycling through his con games, and attempting to use his current cellie. Manipulators like him throw tantrums like children to get their way, act like bums looking for free rides in and out of prison, and behave like sadists who enjoy victimizing people. Manipulators play the catch-out game and plague the system. The resulting problem is the victimization of prisoners and families waiting on them to come home.

A viable solution, both as a deterrent (saving taxpayers investigative costs) and mitigation (saving innocent people more trouble), is more frequent implementation of polygraph exams. Unfortunately, this is complicated by fears that truths would be revealed about certain TDCJ staff. So objectively speaking, a lack of integrity from all sides obstructs a vital solution. Obviously, my ex-cellie doesn’t care and will happily continue to cause problems for other prisoners, staff, taxpayers, and waiting families—as he works toward his sick goals in the free world.