I asked Daniel a lot of questions in my early letters. I was super curious about his day to day living.
I’d stick to asking basic stuff. Our correspondences are obviously not private and he still hasn’t had a trial, so what is the point in asking questions he can’t answer?
I wasn’t sure how he’d feel about me “interviewing” him, but clearly, that is what I was doing.
My Questions To Daniel
Here’s what I wrote to him in September (I also mentioned that I hope he has plenty of that yellow legal pad paper):
- Did you study art at all? I loved the card you made me and I was ridiculously impressed by your skill. I’m limited to stick figures myself, ha ha.
- What does your cell look like? Do you always have a “celly?” (Yeah that’s right. I’m learning the lingo).
- I’m reading the biography of Damien Echols (West Memphis Three) right now. One thing that struck me was his feelings of anger and hatred toward the guards. He says “it’s the guards and not the other prisoners that make being incarcerated so much harder…” So, your take on this?
- This might sound silly, but have you considered starting some kind of theatre group behind bars? Performance therapy? You might be laughing at my prison naivety right now. Maybe you could entertain the masses with Shakespearean monologues??
- Do you have a lot of family and friends supporting you through the trial? I’d be interested in attending it. I want to know the “more to what happened” because I’ve always believed there had to be…
- So why were you reconnecting with your parents? Was it your drug use that caused a rift between you?
- Do you think she (his now ex-fiancee) ended your relationship out of anger or fear because of the charges she’s facing herself? Did you have a big wedding planned?
- OK, here’s a big question. I’m not sure if you can even answer this one. You seem like it bothers you that people would believe you were motivated by money… You don’t want people to think you had major financial troubles. The thing is, Daniel, to me it seems like society would consider it a lesser evil to believe that a person might do certain things when facing a desperate financial situation. If you didn’t have money problems then what would you want people to believe motivated you?
- Is your lawyer a public defender?
- You said you were visited a couple times by one of your victims’ dads. HE had written in his letter “one of my victims,” so I was just going with his terminology. Which dad? Has he explained his motivation for wanting to visit you?
- Was “Lost” actually your favorite TV show? I’d read that somewhere. I was a huge fan of “Lost.”
- I have to ask you how you are handling the possibility of getting the death penalty. Are you afraid of this?
Answers For Daniel
The rest of my letter was answering his questions about me. I called it a fair exchange of information.
- No, I don’t consider myself to be a religious person.
- I was adopted as a baby and my adopted mother is an undiagnosed bi-polar, self-proclaimed born-again Christian. Years of her craziness has left me with a bad taste in my mouth for organized religions. (I told Daniel that for simplification, I could be considered an Agnostic who leans toward spirituality.)
- I told him about my adopted dad — who passed away 8 years ago — and that I loved him tremendously in spite of his unchecked alcoholism.
- I shared that I now have good relationships with both my biological parents (I just found my biological father last year).
- That I was reading the second Game of Thrones book (I didn’t want him to think that when it comes to reading materials, I’m all crime all the time).
Oh, and I also included a copy of a good review he got when he was acting in the play “Nine” (his last performance before the arrest).
I finished my letter by asking if I could maybe visit him at some point…I signed the letter with “your friend,” and I meant it.