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It began at 2 AM, Saturday, February 2, 1980 in the south-side Dormitory E-2 when two prisoners overpowered an officer who had caught them drinking homemade liquor. The New Mexico State Penitentiary Riot in the state's maximum security prison south of Santa Fe, is one of the most violent and deadly prison riots in the history of the American correctional system. 33 inmates died along with more than 200 injured although evidence suggests the death toll may have been higher as a number of bodies were incinerated or dismembered during the course of the mayhem.

Without a doubt, the worst atrocities occurred in cell block 4 which housed informers, the mentally ill, or those convicted of sex crimes. When rioters found blowtorches brought into the prison as part of an ongoing construction project, an 'execution squad' was formed to extract their revenge on the inmates of cell block 4. Victims were pulled from their cells to be tortured, dismembered, decapitated, or burned alive.

36 hours after the riot had begun, heavily armed State Police officers accompanied by National Guard servicemen entered the charred remains of the prison to restore order.
Oklahoma Sociological Association Keynote

On Friday, November 6, I gave the keynote address at the annual meeting of the Oklahoma Sociological Association, at the… Read More

A small fence separates densely populated Tijuana, Mexico, right, from the United States in the Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector.  Construction is underway to extend a secondary fence over the top of this hill and eventually to the Pacific Ocean.
Carmen Boullosa’s “Texas: The Great Theft”

In the first pages of Carmen Boullosa’s powerful yet whimsical novel Texas: The Great Theft, we are introduced to dozens… Read More

Joe Milazzo’s “Crepuscule w/Nellie”

Dallas native Joe Milazzo's new novel Crepuscule w/Nellie is an inspired work of art, a "speculative historical fiction" twenty years… Read More

Playlist for “The Midnight Man”

These songs served as inspiration for my first novel, "The Midnight Man." I'd listen to them while writing, jogging, driving… Read More

Douglas Kearney on Fatherhood as Inspiration

Also, Doug's great interview on NPR about this new collection. Read More

On Genius

"Genius is the recovery of childhood at will." - Arthur Rimbaud Read More