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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Visit with Tommy Silverstein ADX


First Tom wants to thank everyone that helped us to get to this dream moment.
Tom was allowed to call me May 15th, to tell me they approved me for 18,19,20
So my cousin who drove me; we left the 16th. Whew! Talk about last minute!!

ADX was very easy to find, set behind 3 other prisons. I could see the water tower of ADX from my motel room.* see image below
From the gate to the entry desk pleasant, professional staff. I am still in shock I was approved, because prisoners are usually restricted to family and those they knew before prison
Upon entering filling out the paper work, through metal detector and a slight swipe of my clothing
with a wand to detect any explosive residue, ultraviolet stamp on back of the hand; there were no hiccups, issues or problems. When the officer at desk called down to tell them I was there for "approved" visit. Hearing it, the word "Approved"
The lobby of ADX was like entering an upscale lodge, clean, shiny.
Visits are listed as 8:30am to 3pm but you may get about 4 hours.
I had to wait a bit for an escort to visiting room, going through heavy electronic door, then 37 steps down stairs to next huge electronic steel door, where the stamp on hand is inspected. the huge door slides open to a 75 step walk to another steel door, once unlocked and opened, we were led into a spacious clean shiny room to the right the guard office that has glass you can not see into,4 closed windowless rooms for legal visits.  There are cameras everywhere, too many to count.
The far side of room there were 10 booths I was told I'd be at the #8 window. After a 2 hour wait; Tom was brought to me
shackled but thankfully the tight shackles that left marks on his wrists were removed, no leg shackles. But a woman there visiting her son had to visit her son shackled and watch his hands swell.
Meeting Tom I was so surprised how tall he is; I knew he is 6'2". But seeing him fill up his side of the glass was very surprising.
 He had to dial a series of numbers on the phone on his side of glass to ring the one on my side.
Tom's side of the glass
Tom's resilient demeanor was amazing and his easy smile and infectious laugh, inspired me.
On 2nd visit he got down on one knee and proposed to me; he said he wanted to do it right. Oh my God, I was blown away. He asked me 5 years ago on the phone.
The process for visiting was repeated 2 more times I visited 3 days in a row.
We never ran out of conversation just time. He was told there were certain things he was not allowed to discuss with me. One being the book he is writing.
Tom talked about his desire to further his education I had no idea there is no longer funding for prisoners to study.
The whole place shined so brightly trying to see him was a bit hard from the glare on the window, which was smudged by our fingers against the glass. Looking all the world like a history teacher, pushing his glasses up on his nose. to see the phone and enter code.
Front entrance
 Sadly for other prisoners; there were few visitors. In the 3 days there were only 4 other people there as visitors.
I would like to say if anyone has a loved one there please go visit them, Florence is a lovely town. My accommodations were 1/2 a mile from the prison at the Super 8 which actually sits on the same road. as the prison.
My last day we waved good bye Tom tears sneaking out of his brown eyes mustered a smile and blew kisses. I waited until I was in car before I broke down.
Again the most important thing Tommy wanted us to convey is our humble thanks to all who helped us be together. That includes Warden Fox, Tom's unit manager and counselor.
view from my room ADX is behind those far buildings

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Tommy granted visit GoFundMe Campaign Initiated

GOFUNDME ASSURED ME THEY WILL TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING

Tommy has requested I start a gofundme campaign TommyVisitor GoFundMe
please go to the gofundme and read his plea.

Tom Silverstein has written "Dear Friends, Family and supporters,
Many of you may know, I am the longest held Federal prisoner in solitary confinement
I've been down since 1975 and isolated since 1983
I have not had a visit in 10 years, mainly due to prison officials prohibiting it. However my fiancé  and I have been granted a one time visit, finally! Unfortunately, can not afford all of it, so I need your help to fly her cross country, besides her health her car is old and driving would not be safe.
To assure I receive your support personally please follow instructions.(above)
We would truly appreciate your help thank you so much for making our dream come true!"
Tom and I have fought for 5 years to be allowed this ONE time visit. So I hope we get some help our visit is scheduled for May, I am in Michigan and of course he is in CO.
If nothing else please wish us luck and send up your prayers!
Letter is from Tom Silverstein
thank you
Tom's letter to everyone
On Facebook there was a skeptic regarding the ONE time visit so I will explain 5 years it took, People in Federal prison can only have visits from those they have known before they went to prison I have only known Tom for 10 years and because of his lack of visitors they will allow me 1 visit. as I said its taken 5 years to make them understand after 30+ years most the people Tom knew are dead. I have been a close faithful frienbd for 10 years Tom asked me to marry him that is another dream we will have to put on hold, just to get this visit.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Bible verse considered disruptive

Where do I begin to tell the stress, unnerved, anguish, stomach ache, anxiety over this newest harrassment by the B.O.P.? I send Tommy my art, he's better than me; I ask him to fix, edit or recreate
So I sent (art below) with Bible verse; he redid art with verse it was confiscated sent to FBI, now Tom is receiving a shot. Because, verse is considered "disruptive". Tom has asked me not to send Bible verses anymore. Now whether you are a Christian or not this seems like undo harassment.
I can not sleep. What can be done? Last post I listed ACLU address I got letter from them they can't help "not enough funds" I wrote Jay Sekulow an email I have not heard back.
 Any one interested in giving me advice it would be greatly appreciated
I certainly do not know how much more stress I can take. I believe this is another tactic of the BOP to make sure these people have no supporters. At his disciplary hearing Tommy will have to say where he got Bible verse, now will I be under scrutiny? Because of the Bible?
The censors name is Bilbrey at ADX Florence Co.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

ADX Tommy Silverstein Death of an Artist?

we will not be seeing anymore of this beautiful art by Tommy Silverstein
Since Tom has started writing his story, the prison, censor and other officials have continuously try to make his life more unbearable. They began taking his art for nefarious reasons. Anything going out of the prison.
Tom will spend a month on a drawing; for a friend or his book; he wanted to include art to express what he can not express always in word.  So far at least 3 pieces have been confiscated and not returned.The most recent, my Christmas present, a month's work, extra postage for receipt; posted Dec 5th 2016 (given to CO who gives it to censor). By January 5th 2017 receipt never came back he sent message to censor for answers. Finally around January 11th "they" came to calm him down and told him my gift had been confiscated(taken) and sent to the FBI. Tom had to really press for answer as to why. All he was told was there were 3 birds in the drawing.

To me the BOPPERS are looking at Tom's art like children look at clouds i.e; 'Look I see a bunny"
What they see is gang related, which there is none.
Tommy has announced to me he will no longer be drawing or creating art, he says "I will not give them the satisfaction"
Here is an excerpt from a recent letter;
I believe that ADX has killed this brilliant artist. My heart breaks for him and all that love his art.
If you are fortunate enough to own any of Tom's art, cherish it.

I am guessing the Feds have a very valuable collection of Tommy Silverstein's stolen art for made up, nefarious reason. Just another way to torture him. Just Much ado about nothing. And now because "they" have tormented him by stealing his art, "they" have killed him.

Before hearing what happened to my gift; I wrote Postmaster General 
(though he has no jurisdiction over prisoner mail) and BOP director Thomas Kane PhD and ADX; I only received response from Postmaster reminding me he has nothing to do with prison mail, he did offer this address to me that they might help. Our mail takes 14 to 30 days to reach each other the address for help is

 The address for the ACLU National Prison Project is 915 15th St NW, Washington, DC  20005-6016 or you can contact the ACLU at (202) 393-493
Tom made his mittens, they are not provided winter coats, glove boots...
Thank you 
www.zibbet.com/prisonart 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Tommy Silverstein Federal Correctional resolution forms

To resolve being inadvertently gassed; Tom must file paper work... There is 12 pages, of hand written forms. Thank God Tom is still resilient after all he's still enduring and is able to file this mess of paperwork, Which will probably be ignored. This is what it looks like.
pg1
pg2

pg3

pg4

pg5

pg6

pg7

pg8

pg9

pg10

pg11 
pg12


If any of this is not readable please leave a comment and I will transcribe from document

Friday, October 7, 2016

ACLU Statement on Federal Solitary


Please write!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Tommy Silverstein reports ADX gasses prisoners again

Last week they gassed prisoners twice now Tom writes:
(Tom draws sad faces to express the sadness of situation..)
This is transcribed (with permission) from a recent letter; Tommy writes and says "...looks like the gassing stopped for a while, so I can breathe (literally) a whole lot better." he continues "I guess the guy on hunger strike ended it. But I suspect not because he got his medical problems taken care of. Most likely he didn't want to face the goon squad and gas and starvation any longer. ): Its a hell of a way to go to try and get proper medical care here and still fail. ): 
I'm on a 12 man range, but only talk to 3 other guys. A couple rarely leave their cell that I don't talk to anyway and another guy next to me, never leaves his cell.
This may give you an idea what its like for me in a rat infested unit with mentally ill and most despicable folks you ever want to not know in this unit and why they put me here. )< When you hear about G.P.(general population) its not like you may see on TV. We're locked in our cell 24-22 hours daily and go out twice weekly in smelly dog cages for 2 hours Whoopee! Ha!
At least today I'm not forced to suffocate, choke, vomit and feel my eyes and flesh burn, for several hours, while my oppressors get their kicks at our expense."
My commentary is that I am sickened and appalled by the treatment of these people.
I call again for any and all to write to officials demanding the torture to stop.
Be respectful of their offices but do not mince words that this torture must stop. I added Tom's art here to remind people he and those in the cages with him are human beings!


atrocities must stop!
Warden: Fox                           "Fox" is all Tommy told me
       U.S.P. Florence Admin
      P.O. Box 8500
Florence, CO 81226
Phone (719) 784-9464

Regional director Sara Revell
            400 State Avenue Suite # 800
            Kansas City, KS. 66101

Bureau of Prisons Director:  Thomas R. Kane PhD.
                        320 First St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20534

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

ADX library no books

Tommy mentioned to me the Law library for prisoners no longer has books. The books were removed. The prisoners must use a computer. Many do not know how to use a computer. So in effect it hinders prisoners from helping themselves. Tom had some difficult moments learning. He explains the tutorial says "why mouse click..." he said at first he's thinking "whats a mouse?, whats click? click what..." BOP hinders anything and everything a prisoner could possibly achieve.

I spoke to Tom tonight, his voice ragged, he's still effected by the gas that was sprayed.  I found the sound of his voice very upsetting. The noticeable irritation perhaps damage the gas has caused him.
But as usual Tommy's good natured resilient self shown through. Teasing me that he will call me "Church Lady".
He also shared his feeling of being alone; I believe caused by the fact that ADX is trying its best to keep his voice silent against the torture that goes on there. I told him he is not alone; 98,000 people have visited this blog and many visit facebook as well.
 I had not realized there is no privacy at ADX every cell has a camera, I have asked myself, if there are cameras at all times why the shake downs, cell tossing, box cuffs, strip searches to sit at the window for legal visit, how is it possible for the suicides and self mutilations? Too many questions about this house of horrors
click

Saturday, September 10, 2016

ADX Forcible cell extraction prisoner gassed Tommy Silverstein effected

If you have been following Tom's fight to get his manuscript out, you'll know is just wrong that ADX is just hiding the atrocities by claiming "security risk. What is at risk is every prisoner's physical and mental health. Tom writes that "the goons forcibly extracted a prisoner from his cell and while its horrible to see and hear the gas floats through the air, in this case Tom vomited for 2 days. He has lung problems anyways is on 3 kinds of inhalers yet he was exposed to the noxious fumes wondering what damage it causes him and others. Below Tom's intake mug shot from 1975 and a recent picture of him. Don't you think it's time to hear his story? Please use addresses posted here to demand Tom's right to tell his story. Whether you like him or not ADX is not above the law. And we can not allow any institution to take away our rights. If you are a prisoner you are still an American citizen with rights. It is a right to write and send out a manuscript cited here. 


 Thank you for reading please join the fight for justice. Tom has been punished for his crimes in isolation 30 years.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Tommy Silverstein manuscript not allowed out of ADX

Tom is still trying to get his book out, none of his writings have been let out. As he says "they(ADX) does not want their dirty secrets out, and use "security risk" as a cheap excuse for silencing him. More documentation from Tom :




As you can see denial after denial. Some have written the below officials please continue to demand Tom be allowed his right to send out his book!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Excerpt from Tom's manuscript that can not get out of the prison

Excerpt from Tom's manuscript that can not get out of the prison, as a whole.
Tom continues to try and send Pete Earley pages. Tom sent me a mark up of a page from his story.
Miraculously I got it see image*
Tom's own hand a page from his story
I personally want to show a picture Tom gets from "black box cuffs"( the only article I could find on these cuffs is a link to purchase them) these bruises are 3 weeks old, they were used on him for a legal visit.
I am sure Tom is not the only one suffering from this extreme abuse. Tom is a senior citizen, Yep, even if you are in prison you are still a citizen of this country. Use the addresses in previous post to demand a stop to this abuse!             In Tom's last letter he wanted me to convey to any that support him of the not so easy progress of his writing his book, his life in isolation and the sickening secrets ADX is hiding from the public. We may never know because ADX has stopped Tom from writing about the horror by saying it is a security risk! What crap! I will stop here and post his letter next time.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Tommy Silverstein documentation of civil rights violation

Government  lying about "timeliness" of his complaint for stolen art and rejected manuscript. See dates of when arrived and when signed How can something be signed 3 days before it is recieved?
notice when says delivered 3 days after warden signed















Add caption

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Turning The Tide Prison Mail room Message from Tommy Silverstein

This is a P.S. from Tom and I would use it (copy) it into a letter to the officials below censoring  Tom.
This goes with the letter posted just previous to this post again Tommy verbatim:
P.S.
I borrowed this from Turning The Tide vol.28, Nov. 8,, July-Sept 2016 "Attention Prison Mail Room!" 
"You can not legally suppress the expression & consideration of ideas. Prison walls do not serve to  form a barrier separating prisoners from the protection of the Constitution, according to the same Turner v. Safely ruling. If you exclude printed matter on an improper basis or give a false pretense or rationale for its exclusion, merely because of ideas expressed in it, you are breaking the law. The prisoner denied access to material he wants to read & consider can bring a Civil Rights lawsuit against you with cause for seeking punitive damages. You & those who supervise you & permit or order such denial may be subject to termination of employment. Inclusion of this primer on free speech rights of prisoners makes your denial of access to such material witting & willing. In case of Police Dept. ChicagoV. Mosley, 408 US 92, 95, 92, Sct 2286, 2290 (1972) the court found that [A]bove all else, the First Amendment means that gov't has no power to restrict expression because of its message, subject matter or content"

Warden: Fox                           "Fox" is all Tommy told me
       U.S.P. Florence Admin
      P.O. Box 8500
Florence, CO 81226
Phone (719) 784-9464

Regional director Sara Revell
            400 State Avenue Suite # 800
            Kansas City, KS. 66101

Bureau of Prisons Director:  Thomas R. Kane PhD.
                        320 First St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20534

Membership of the Senior Executive Service Standing Performance Review Boards


Please help letter from Tommy Silverstein

I transcribed Tom's letter verbatim, he is having a great deal of opposition getting his writing out of the ADX  prison. Officials' names and addresses at end of post then read next post, his letter was too long and blogger cut me off.
Dear Friends & Supporters,
  Ever since Mr. Pete Earley wrote The Hot House; exposing my dire situation to the world; literally! I've received kind & caring mail from around the planet!
  It still amazes me that little book pops up & who & where I hear from.
  One of the first things people ask, after wanting to know if my conditions changed any since then (very little); is if I have ever thought of writing a book.
   After 3 decades I decided to give it a shot. I didn't before because I didn't believe I had the skill, especially compared to the greats like Pete Early. I'm not even in his league. But he was kind enough to agree helping me if I'd muster up the courage.
  Plus, I wasn't sure how much I could write about Solitary confinement. I get up at 5 am, shit, eat and sleep The End.
  However, a few things happened that fired me up & continues to add fuel to the flame burning within me!
  Now I'm compelled to reveal America's top secret prisons dirty laundry in ways never before & promise u, I won't be deterred, no matter what they put before me.
  I've been putting pen to paper ever since & discovered I have plenty to reveal. However, even though policy says I'm allowed to write a manuscript & publish it, ADX censors rejected my first 17 pages from getting out for BS "security" concerns Please see  Exhibit-A attached
Exhibit-A
  Its the "content" that they fear being exposed. This first book of its kind & about ADX. I've been facing repercussions ever since I tried to post the 17 pages.
  I'm gathering documentation, which Renee & I will continue to post as I maneuver through the land-mines surrounding me, to keep u all updated.
  This alone reveals what a sham their so-called "grievance" process is & what I'm up against & have been foe decade! Which is exactly what they do not want exposed.
  I've continued to write; more determined than ever, to let the public in on the Bureau of Prisons top secret house-of-horrors, that they prohibit public access.
  Once its revealed, yo'll understand why they do NOT allow any sunshine into this government's hell hole on earth.
  If you believe you have constitutional Right to know whats being consealed ffrom you as an American & world citizen & I have the Right according to Pell V. Procunier, 417 US 817, 822 94 set 2800, 2804 (1974), , but any restrictions must have a "valid, rational connection to legitimate penological interests; not related to the content of ideas", as ruled in Turner v. Safely, 482 US 78, 107 SCt 2245(1987) to expose it. Please help us penetrate ADX's wall of silence by sending your concerns to B.O.P. officials listed below:
Warden: Charles Daniels
       U.S.P. Florence Admin
      P.O. Box 8500
Florence, CO 81226
Phone (719) 784-9464

Regional director Sara Revell
            400 State Avenue Suite # 800
            Kansas City, KS. 66101

Bureau of Prisons Director:  Thomas R. Kane PhD.
                        320 First St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20534

Tom's letter was too long please see next blog post for his final word on freedom of speech for prisoners



Please help letter from Tommy Silverstein

I transcribed Tom's letter verbatim, he is having a great deal of opposition getting his writing out of the ADX  prison. Officials' names and addresses at end of post then read next post, his letter was too long and blogger cut me off.
Dear Friends & Supporters,
  Ever since Mr. Pete Earley wrote The Hot House; exposing my dire situation to the world; literally! I've received kind & caring mail from around the planet!
  It still amazes me that little book pops up & who & where I hear from.
  One of the first things people ask, after wanting to know if my conditions changed any since then (very little); is if I have ever thought of writing a book.
   After 3 decades I decided to give it a shot. I didn't before because I didn't believe I had the skill, especially compared to the greats like Pete Early. I'm not even in his league. But he was kind enough to agree helping me if I'd muster up the courage.
  Plus, I wasn't sure how much I could write about Solitary confinement. I get up at 5 am, shit, eat and sleep The End.
  However, a few things happened that fired me up & continues to add fuel to the flame burning within me!
  Now I'm compelled to reveal America's top secret prisons dirty laundry in ways never before & promise u, I won't be deterred, no matter what they put before me.
  I've been putting pen to paper ever since & discovered I have plenty to reveal. However, even though policy says I'm allowed to write a manuscript & publish it, ADX censors rejected my first 17 pages from getting out for BS "security" concerns Please see  Exhibit-A attached
Exhibit-A
  Its the "content" that they fear being exposed. This first book of its kind & about ADX. I've been facing repercussions ever since I tried to post the 17 pages.
  I'm gathering documentation, which Renee & I will continue to post as I maneuver through the land-mines surrounding me, to keep u all updated.
  This alone reveals what a sham their so-called "grievance" process is & what I'm up against & have been foe decade! Which is exactly what they do not want exposed.
  I've continued to write; more determined than ever, to let the public in on the Bureau of Prisons top secret house-of-horrors, that they prohibit public access.
  Once its revealed, yo'll understand why they do NOT allow any sunshine into this government's hell hole on earth.
  If you believe you have constitutional Right to know whats being consealed ffrom you as an American & world citizen & I have the Right according to Pell V. Procunier, 417 US 817, 822 94 set 2800, 2804 (1974), , but any restrictions must have a "valid, rational connection to legitimate penological interests; not related to the content of ideas", as ruled in Turner v. Safely, 482 US 78, 107 SCt 2245(1987) to expose it. Please help us penetrate ADX's wall of silence by sending your concerns to B.O.P. officials listed below:
Warden: Charles Daniels
       U.S.P. Florence Admin
      P.O. Box 8500
Florence, CO 81226
Phone (719) 784-9464

Regional director Sara Revell
            400 State Avenue Suite # 800
            Kansas City, KS. 66101

Bureau of Prisons Director:  Thomas R. Kane PhD.
                        320 First St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20534

Tom's letter was too long please see next blog post for his final word on freedom of speech for prisoners



Friday, June 24, 2016

open letter from Tommy Silverstein

Add captionTom's letter our art can be seen
https://prisonart.zibbet.com/ 
Here's what it says
Dated 06/15/2016
" Hi Friends & supporters
I'm Tom Silverstein& would like 2 thank u-all so veery much 4 your concern & keeping informed w/ my plight. It truly helps my morale & gives me strength 2 carry on!
As some of u may know Renee is my better half & helps us all posted & has stuck w/ me for several years! So please help support her wonderfully unique card art, that'll help us afford a long awaited visit & be together!
Thanks again 4 hangin' n there w/ us!
                 Your Pal,
                     Tommy

Saturday, May 21, 2016

ADX steals Tommy Silverstein's art and manuscript

There is nothing that ADX won't do to stop Tommy from telling his story.
 
After many years of concerned and caring folks asking Tommy to finally tell his story & let the public really know what’s going on for the past 32+years in isolation, I will transcribe his words in quotations.in the first person as he has written it to me.

Tom started writing his story, chapter 1 was not allowed out for “security” reasons; Tom paid for certified postage, to be sent to Pete Earley the author; Almost a month and a half went by with no return receipt, so Tom began to write the censor what are called COPOUTS, to find out what happened to his manuscript. It took the SIS or censor at least a week to tell Tom that it had been “confiscated”. Now another month later he is told the manuscript is “lost”, the censor said she “sent it back to him”, well “surprise, surprise” he didn’t get it. And he was finally told it was rejected because he “describes procedures, ha ha, what BS. . God forbid if folks know how I’m cuffed when I leave & enter the cell” Tom then muses “They show all that on Lock-up but ADX is different? Ha ha we know that’s not the real reason”

 Now if that wasn’t enough 3 of Tommy’s drawings were also “confiscated” for containing “gang related” material, Tom has no idea what they mean by “gang related” even asking them “What’s gang related?”, She “wouldn’t” say, so Tommy asked. “What can’t I draw, so they stop stealing my art?” She the SIS/censor said “You know” (here he draws little confused face) “I have never drawn gang related stuff, for this reason, but suddenly now these new SIS techs claim my 3 drawings are “full of it!!”  That’s why I know its BS because I don’t do it, is why they are making it up. (angry face) Tommy describes the drawings; one drawing is a dark, black and white evil depiction of ADX. Another is a female warrior & last is a Geisha with a dragon on her kimono.
Tommy’s currently appealing these “thefts & retaliation”, (I agree with him, there’s no real reason except to steal his art), for trying to expose the depravity of ADX and what he is subjected to.

Tommy spends weeks on a drawing putting his heart and soul into it and for it to be taken from him for bogus reasons is sick and twisted.
My question to readers is Have any of you ever seen any of Tommy's art depicting anything remotely gang related?
One of Tommy's recent drawings to me

 

Tommy says to tell you we will keep you all posted. I’ll post copies of his appeals so you all can read it for yourselves.

Tommy is shaken up and angry, I get angry reading it and rereading it, trying to think of how I can help.


Tommy has not asked for help but I got so mad I wrote the Director of the BOP. No reply not a surprise.  The key to writing any prison authority is do not ask a question, if you ask a question they will send you a form letter citing a rule. I tell them what I am appalled by, insisted upon an investigation.

Here’s his address.

Thomas R. Kane, Ph.D.
Federal Bureau of Prisons
320 First St., NW
Washington, DC 20534 

Phone:(202) 307-3198

Per the BOP inmates are allowed to write a manuscript 5350.27


 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Death of Robert Knott Tortured to death


Guest writer Carol Strick

Transcribed by me.

Carol asked me to post this the truth about Robert’s death.

I sent her The MarshalProject’s article and this is her reply:

 

Robert Knott didn’t die from “indifference”. He died from the constant and severe mental and physical torture to which he was constantly, subjected to from the B.O.P. He was a victim of poverty, racism, and abuse. He was without a support system of any kind. He spent his youth in Foster care, juvenile detention centers and jails.

 

When Robert was 3 years old his mother shot and killed her husband. Some time after that she met a man. she had 2 more children. Robert wasn’t born Robert Knott. He was born Robert Gerald Orr. After his mother split with Orr she gave her sons the name Knott the name of her older children.

 

Robert was a young man when he and a friend, Jeff, went on a “crime spree”. They traveled through 3 states ending up in Oregon with a hostage Dana Bridges. Confronted by police; a shoot out occurred and the cops shot and killed both Dana and Jeff.

 

From the time he was arrested and ultimately sentenced to do time in Marion, IL, before ADX was built. Marion was a hellhole like ADX and from the beginning; Robert was singled out for abuse. Probably the guards were picking up the baton from the cops that killed Dana and Jeff.

 

Robert was lonely, talented, warm, friendly, kind and concerned. He sent me long descriptive letters. He called me “Ma” or “mom”. I called him “sonny boy” or “Roberto”.

For many years we wrote to each other a few times a week. These letters were hardly what one would expect from a man with “severe mental problems”.

 

In April 1994 I answered an ad in a zine; “Bayou la rose”, that was published in Tacoma, Washington, the ad said “Indian artist seeks penpal”, I am an artist; I wrote to him. He answered with a letter and a drawing Tunkasila (grandfather). He sent more letters and more drawings. The subjects were often pride at being an Indian (native American). The drawings turned into depictions of torture. Robert the Indian, was tortured by the state. I was amazed by all of this because I realized you had to live that life to draw it. Sometimes he drew women. He wanted a girlfriend. I put ads in the tribes newspaper hoping to attract a young woman who would write to Robert.

 

I don’t know what happened in 2002. It seemed as though Robert was writing a little less frequently and then I received a letter from his friend Scott saying that Robert was extremely upset that they were taking him back to Springfield; the Federal mental facility. Scott sent me an address where I could write Robert.

 

For the next few years I noticed Robert’s handwriting changing and his fine motor coordination was gone. He was not the same person. Who knows what happened in Springfield; experiments with psychotropic drugs, shock treatments? For all we know lobotomies; whatever they did they wanted hid from the coroner. It was 2 weeks after; in September 2013, 2 weeks after he passed away, I received a phone call from a man who identified himself as Rev. Henderson from ADX. He said he phoned to tell me that Robert Knott had died. I asked him how it happened. He said that Robert committed suicide. I thought to myself, “If he killed himself you led him to it”. He added that I was the only person Robert wanted notified in an emergency that made sense. He knew I loved him and that I would expose the cruelty to which he was constantly exposed.

 

I asked Rev. Henderson if he notified the tribe, He answered “What tribe?” He didn’t know enough about Robert to know he was an Indian? I called the tribe. I had contacted them many times in the past years on Robert’s behalf.

 

The tribe called the prison. On the 3rd day of calling the prison answered!. They sent his body to Winnebago in Nebraska.

 

A few days after his Robert’s body arrived his half sister phoned me. She knew from her mother, that she had 2 half brothers. She was sorry she hadn’t met them. She asked me to come to the funeral but it was expensive to fly to Nebraska.  I was happy they made me an honorary pallbearer.

 

In March 2014, I received a letter from an “uncle” of Robert’s the uncle wrote that he was glad the prison was able to contact Robert’s “birth” family.

In 2016 the “family” settled for $175,000. from the B.O.P. for Robert’s death. The uncle’s out of nowhere letter suddenly made sense.

“We are all connected t the earth. Every part of the earth is sacred to my people. The perfumed flowers are our sisters and the deer, horse, bear and the eagle these are our brothers”… Robert Gerald Orr Knott”


Rest in peace Sonny Boy.

I send my Love

Ma


Other links for Carol Strick, Art in the lives of prisoners, Art.

Robert’s art is courtesy of Carol Strick.
Add caption


Robert's cry for help mail and art are extremely important to these isolated prisoners I will discuss this further in future post

 
the torture depicted in Roberts Art as Carol wrote

 

 
Letter from Robert to "Ma" Carol.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Tommy Silverstein letters for sale A disclaimer

SLIME BALL ALERT
My name is Tom Silverstein.
please beware that an ex-penpal of mine (as of now)
since I just learned, is trying to sell one of my kites I wrote to her for $100.00
Please do not help these snakes profit from my kindness in responding to their initial kites.
Her name is Annie Reese and another named Heather
If anyone wants 2 buy a kite, please save yourself $100. and write me personally postage is .49 Emoji
write me at: Tom Silverstein # 14634-116, D306
U.S.P. A.D.X.
P.O. Box 8500
Florence, CO. 81226-8500
 
Please note Tom refers to mail, letters and correspondence as Kites.