Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Letter from Prison Pete

If you have read my blog for a long time now, you know that I read a blog written by a guy named "Prison Pete." For those of you new to my blog, let me give you some background. I found Pete's blog randomly one night. I clicked on recently updated blogs and found it. It is written by a guy that is in prison. How is this done you ask? He has a friend on the outside that he sends letters to and the friend posts them on a blog for him. It is done via snail mail so there is a delay between the postings and when the things actually happened. I found it very interesting, fascinating and disturbing to read. So of course I kept reading. Pete is a very intelligent man that has an eclectic taste in music and is an avid reader. I asked him what he was in prison for early on and he evaded the question. But I kept reading because it was interesting to get an idea of the life of a prisoner. I also developed a friendship with his editor through email. Then one day I got this idea to suggest his blog as a blog of note on the blogger main page. Until then I was about his only audience. After I made the suggestion it literally exploded. It went from a few hits a day to thousands. Because of his blog traffic, I ended up with more traffic on my blog and one of the reasons I've gotten a few people that read my blog. Well I opened a can of worms that I didn't expect and it through his editor into a fit, but he kept publishing it and the hysteria eventually died down. I met his editor last fall when I went to see Marty. His editor lives in the northeast and was only about an hour drive from Marty so I went and had lunch with him. He's a very nice guy and I'm glad I've gotten to know him.

Pete is a prolific writer and his editor has found it difficult to keep up with the workload of it sometimes. For a while he had some of his faithful readers, myself included, helping to type some of his handwritten letters. Then at one point he was going to quit doing the blogging for Pete altogether, but finally decided in the end to keep it up, but no longer send Pete copies of other peoples blogs or deal with reader comments. At that point, Pete decided he would open the door to others writing him directly. I debated about whether I should or not. I still didn't know what Pete was in for and I suspected it was pretty bad given his sentence and guessed at it being a sex crime. When I told the editor I wanted Pete's address, he offered to tell me what Pete was in prison for and I told him I would like to know. And yes, it is not a very nice thing and most people upon hearing the story would say they couldn't bring themselves to write to him. And maybe I shouldn't, but in getting to know Pete through his blog, I figured he is still human and decided to write anyways. This does not condone his actions in any way and if he was a random guy I would never have written to him. But in getting back into church I decided that it's not for me to judge him and that is between Pete and God. So I wrote him a letter while I had down time during speech camp.

I got his response today. He is still a long-winded writer as he sent 17 pages handwritten. I guess being in prison you have a LOT of extra time on your hands. It is interesting to have a kind of one to one dialogue that isn't written for his blog. And I will probably keep writing to him once in a while.

I won't be posting Pete's letters as that is what his blog is for. But if he says something that bears repeating I may write about it.

Is it scary for me to be writing to a prisoner? Generally I would say that it is something I would find a bit unnerving, but because I've gotten to know his editor who has known Pete since they were kids, I got a good deal of background about him. I don't feel he is one of those dangerous guys that would come after me. But writing to one is something I never imagined myself doing. But I've since done many other things in my life that I never imagined either. So it will be interesting to say the least.

5 comments:

Angelsong said...

I found your blog through a link in Prison Pete's. Yes, I read his blog also. In fact I found the link for his blog in Blogs of Note, possibly not long after you recommended it.

Anyway...it was while reading Pete's blog that I became interested in leaning more about blog layout and blog templates and editing. So I began to experiment, and from that, my own interest in blogging took off. I'd kept a blog on Blogger since August 2004, but it wasn't until April or May that I began updating consistently. So, in a round about way, I have both you and Prison Pete to thank for my emergence as a blogger.

I gave some thought to writing to Prison Pete myself, but I decided not to, because of a personal situation. Maybe in time, the situation will change so that I can write to him, but I can still read his blog in the meantime.

I am also a Texan. Feel free to check out my blog if you like. If you want the address let me know, or you can do a blogger search.

J's Mom said...

He made a call out recently on his blog for people to write to him - but still won't say what he did. His Editor made note that it was "creepy".

Since you have knowledge of the situation and you are very aware of how "needy" Pete can be - you walked into this with your eyes wide open. I wish you luck in your relationship with it all.

But - I wonder how many people would root for him if he was more honest? I wonder when he moans about his parents or the lack of outside friends...what is this that everyone is hiding from.

Annabel said...

I am aware of what Pete is in prison for and it is not a good thing. But I also understand why he doesn't want to voice it on his blog.
I believe that he will be open about what he is in prison for to those that do write to him.
I got the information from his editor and it has been discussed in letters to and from Pete.
And yes, I know how needy and whiny he is... I just know that if he gets that way with me, I'll let him know what I think about it.
If Pete were a random guy that I knew nothing about I certainly wouldn't write to him, but because of his blog and his editor I am not uncomfortable about it. I've gotten to know his editor pretty well and even met him so it isn't as awkward to write to him out of the blue like it may be for some people.
And if he were more honest.. perhaps he'd get more support. I think his blog is pretty honest (though whiny at times) but he just doesn't want to state what he is in prison for.
And yes, I'm going into this with my eyes wide open. If it gets to the point where Pete is asking for too much I'll put an end to it. But I'm still finding it interesting.

shawna said...

Hello,

I am trying to gain information about Prison Pete, I would like to be able to read his letters via his blog. How do I do this?

Thank you for your time, I hope to hear from someone. I can explain my interest in Prison Pete via personal email but only to the person re-writing his letters on his blog. Thank you again.

Anonymous said...

Instead of Prison Pete, it should be Pedophile Pete. I hope he never gets out of prison alive.