Sean Sellers was sixteen years old when he killed three people in Oklahoma City. His victims
were a convenience store clerk, his step-father, and his mother. Tried, convicted, and
sentenced to death by an Oklahoma County jury, doctors recruited by his appeals lawyers
found Sean suffered from Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). The state appellate court
said that Sean's trial attorney should have discovered the MPD before trial, and would not
consider the evidence. The federal courts disagreed, but ruled they were powerless to act.
Sean was executed on February 4, 1999, the first sixteen-year-old offender to be executed
in the United States in almost fifty years. During his last sixty days Sean kept the following
journal, remarkable recording the last two months of his life as he counted down the days
before his execution.
Journal of Sean Richard Sellers – Begun 11-23-98

Monday, November 23

I had an interview today.  It’s the first one I’ve done with the local Oklahoma news media
in about 8 years, maybe more.  To be honest, I pretty much despise reporters.  They’re like
sharks, swimming around until they get the scent of blood, then they rush in and devour you.
That’s been my experience with Oklahoma media.  I’ve seen reporters wear the mask of
friendship and empathy during an interview with me, then get on camera outside the prison and
turn on me as if they were working for the Attorney General’s office.  I’ve had them splice pieces
of things I’ve said together on tape to make me appear to say the exact opposite of what I did in
the interview.  I’ve seen them edit things so that any remorse I expressed is followed by scenes of
bodies being loaded into the ambulance, and a brief statement of how three people aren’t alive to
see that remorse.  So I don’t trust reporters, and I don’t like reporters.
But every once and awhile, there’s a dolphin in the shark pool.  These are reporters who
aren’t after a story, but rather are seeking to make a change in our society.  These are people who
have a sincere purpose behind what they do, and I’ve been able to connect, soul to soul, with
these people.  They don’t have to be on my side, they don’t have to agree with me, they just have
to really listen, to think, to hear what I say, and to believe it should be aired for others to hear
because it will touch a heart somewhere.
This particular reporter might be a dolphin. She seemed very sincere, and I can only hope
now that it wasn’t a mask, that she meant all she told me.  The idea that someone might actually
give me equal time in the media gives me a lot of hope.  More than I want it to. I don’t want to be
tricked into thinking somebody out there with a voice actually cares about presenting both sides
of the story, and false hopes shatter violently and cut your soul, but for the first time in a long
time I have a little hope that I’ll actually be heard before I die . . . and maybe even live.
Do I believe in that last part?  No.  But with hope there is always the chance.  I’ve
extended trust once more to a reporter.  I guess we’ll see if I end up bloodied.

Tuesday, November 24
I began my last painting today.  A self portrait I told myself I’d paint before I died.  I’ll be
working on it all week, and I’ll have it finished by the time I hear the news from the Supreme
Court.  I actually have mixed emotions about that decision.  Finishing my last painting conveys an
end to my life.  Everything I’ve been doing has been to put a finish upon my various projects.  The
truth is I’m more prepared to die than I am to live.  If the Supreme Court actually accepts my case
and decides to give us a ruling I’ll be stunned.  I’ll even be a little angry- as absurd as that sounds.
In my mind I’m ready for what’s coming.  I’m ready to have my art supplies taken away from me,
to be moved to an isolation cell, to say goodbye to everyone.  I’m prepared for that to happen
next week.  If the Supreme Court accepts my case then I’ll be put off for a few MORE months
having to wait yet again and wonder what my fate will be.  I’ve done that too many times.
The appeals process is not a good thing.  To make a man sit here and wait for years upon
years, and hope, even pray, for mercy, then be denied over and over again is sinister.  How many
times can a man hope?  And if he gets tired and says no more, if he chooses to end his appeals he
actually has to fight to die.  He can’t just say no more, he has to see a psychologist, be tested,
prove he’s competent, go before a judge and convince the judge to let him be put to death.  To
LET him be put to death!  He has to beg to die.  And that’s not sinister?  To be sentenced to
death, made to want and hope for a chance at life, until the process completes itself and then be
put to death, or have to beg for the process to be aborted.
And God forbid that you might kill yourself.  Oh no.  There will be none of that.  They’ll
rush you to a hospital, take extreme measures to save and revive you just so they can bring you
back to the prison and execute you a few hours later.
Tomorrow the Supreme Court will decide my case.  Or, decide to decide it or not.  If they
accept it, then in a few months rule against me, they will have made me hope in vain yet one more
time.  The state of Oklahoma would have been much more merciful to me to have executed me
the first week I arrived on Death Row.  The Bible says hope deferred makes the heart sick.  The
world out there has no idea how sick a heart can really become in here.  Every heartbeat can be a
little piece of agony, and every second of the clock another moment of waiting and expectation.
Dear God, how I have paid for my crimes by being forced to live on Death Row.  

Wednesday, November 25
I watched the last episode of Babylon 5 tonight.  I’ve loved the series for so many reasons.
Because one man, Joe Strazynski, created it, wrote nearly every episode, and said something as
he told his story.  Because he set out to make a 5 year story, a saga, with a beginning, a middle,
and an end.  And because the characters themselves played to my fantasies and took me away
from here for an hour every week.  Strazynski did what he set out to do, and his creation, John
Sheridan did as well.
Today I worked most of the day on my last painting, and I found myself very
uncooperative about it.  I came close to destroying the canvass board, throwing it away, and
declaring I would NOT do it.  My LAST painting.  The whole concept is sour to my soul.  It feels
like digging my own grave.  The fact is I’m not ready to be doing this.
I had it planned for so long.  If I were to be executed here, then in my final days I would
do this painting, alone, in the death watch cell, and close the chapter of my life as an artist with it.
But the prison won’t even allow me that.  If I wait until I know today’s decision by the Supreme
Court, then I may not be ABLE to do this painting.  The prison will take my art supplies from me
when they move me to a death watch cell, and they’ll do that when THEY find out my execution
date is being set.  So I have to work on my last painting now, while I wonder at what the
Supreme Court decided, and with the odd knowledge that if they decided to hear my case, then
this WON’T be my last painting.  The freakin’ irony of it is grating: I’m painting my death
painting on faith!  Dear God what have they done to me?
All day long my stomach has been soured with that knowledge.  I’m liable to break
something if I find out Monday the Supreme Court HAS accepted my case.
But do I hope it has?  Yes.  And no.  
No because I’ve had enough.  My cup has cracked.  I don’t think it can hold any more of
Yes because I’m not done with all I want to do.  There are books I still want to write.
There are people I still want to guide, people I think need me.  And I know as long as the world is
in a state where there are people who actually need what a death row inmate has to say to them,
then that’s one heart at a time, I can bring light to some darkness, mend some wound, strengthen
some unsteady hand.
I don’t know.  Maybe I’m a hedonist, because doing it really makes me feel good.  People
might say, “What the hell does some murderer have to offer that’s worth a damn to anyone?”
I’ve heard those exact words more than once.  Sometimes from my own soul.  But I have an
answer.  I don’t think many people realize this.
It doesn’t take a lot to make a difference in someone’s life.  I only have two things of
worth to offer to anyone.  A little bit of wisdom from past mistakes, and a sincere effort to help.  
So with every kid who writes me, every young person who tells me I was the only one to ever
listen to and really care for them, I go to God and ask WHERE is everyone?  Have you all
become so busy climbing the mountain yourselves that you’ve forgotten to see all those stranded
on the cliffs around you?  The world should be ashamed at every teenager who has written me,
because it’s one they have missed.
I’ve often thought about that.  I know the contempt a death row inmate has in our society.
I’ve seen the barbeques and firecrackers and cheers outside the prison walls when one of us is
executed.  So what point does a kid have to be at before he actually picks up a pen and writes to a
death row inmate for help?  How many times has he reached out elsewhere, how many times have
the people around him failed, walked past him, ignored him, forgotten him?  All it would have
taken was some sincere effort to be what he needed at that moment.
So do I want to live?  Yes.  If for no other reason than this.  I know as long as I do live I
will TRY to make a difference for good in this world.  I will really, purposefully try.  And I know
for so many the trying is all it takes.
I’m just not done yet.  That’s why no matter how hard it gets to take the next breath, to
face the next day, I keep hoping for more.  I haven’t yet done all I set out to do.
But God willing, I will.

Thursday, November 26
We were fed on paper plates, so we got about half of what we usually do for
I nearly finished my painting.
It’s the worst Thanksgiving I’ve ever had here.  Maybe that’s fitting.
Days like today I have to remember the proverb: I lamented for I had no shoes, until I
beheld the man who had no feet.

Friday, November 27
Well, it’s done.  I finished my last painting today.  I guess now I can retire my brushes.
Actually, I want to break them.  When I signed my name to this painting I became very angry.  I
don’t know why.  I hate this painting.
I put my handprint on it, as a way for whoever receives it to connect to me.  I don’t know
who will get this painting, but I picture it hanging in Steve’s office right now, and people
unconsciously putting their hands to my palm print.  That’s something we just do.  And in that
moment of unconscious contact that person touching this painting is touching me.  We are
connected for a heartbeat.  I like that.  I don’t like the painting, but I like that.
Is the man standing in this piece of art really me?  That’s why I think I hate it.  It’s the first
self portrait I’ve ever done that makes me ask that.  Is it me?  Will it be me?  Do I want it to be
this morning I nearly finished my Chronology of the Bible too.  Tomorrow I’ll see that
done.  One by one the things listed on my “Things to do before I die” list are being marked off.
By Monday I’ll be at work on yet another thing on that list.  I’ll be working when I find out the
news from the Supreme Court.
Early this morning, around 5:00 am, I was awoken by the nurse to get a muscle relaxer for
my back.  After that I couldn’t go back to sleep.  For 2 hours I found myself battling a hyper
mind, and I began to think about the clemency hearing.  That still scares me.  Being naked before
strangers.  Being vulnerable before an iron fist.  And yet that’s what I feel God would have me do
if I have to face it.
I know I’m tired of thinking about it all.  This will be a long weekend, and Monday
morning will creep by at a snails pace as I wait for noon so I can call Steve and find out my
immediate fate.  Last night I tried so hard to know the answer, one way or another.  I asked God
to tell me, but I couldn’t hear any answer that I KNEW was right.  When I search my heart about
it I feel like the answer is YES- the Supreme Court will hear my case.  Then immediately
following that is the fierce contradiction.  I don’t know where either come from.  Maybe one from
hope and the other from truth?  But which is which?  I just don’t know.
Tomorrow could be the lat time I go to the yard with my friends here.  It might not be, but
it could be.  That’s what erks me.  A man should know things like this for sure.  He should
KNOW when he does his last painting that it really will be his last.  He should know when it’s
time to hug his friends and say goodbye because it’s his last chance to do so.  The prison has
given us NO consideration whatsoever in it’s policies.  It fails to treat us as men.  It only sees us
in terms of security and convenience.
It’s not like me to be irritated and mad all the time, but with every day that passes, I find
myself becoming just that.  And THAT itself makes me even more angry!  I’m being transformed
against my will, but I shall NOT grow bitter.  I will not allow that to take root in my heart.  I am
master of my soul, I decide what I will feel, and these circumstances will not conquer me
The will NOT!

Saturday, November 28
Today was a good day.  I was awoken at 8:30 am by some ministers who come once a
month, and after I staggered to the sink to wash my face from the hot hellish night (it’s been so
hot in here the past few weeks- we just lay and sweat at night) I found the door and talked to
them.  They’d gotten my comic Donjonhoefen and had great things to say about it, which is
always nice to hear.
Last week I’d also sent my manuscript, Excellentia, to one of them in hopes that he would
know of a way to have it published.  He told me this morning that he will put up the finances
himself for it!  That blew me away.  This is a 3 year old project, a little dream I had and wrote,
someone believes in me, in my heart, and in the project.  It will be done and I know lives are going
to be permanently touched by this.  To see God make a way where there IS no way, to have
someone believe in me enough to invest his time and money in something I’ve done, all that is
indescribable.  I am ALIVE today!  Today I made a difference.
Then, I finished my chrononolgy of the Bible.  A month’s work and study is DONE.
Tomorrow I’ll edit it, then send it to Sarah for the long typing process.  My hope is that from it
people will be able to understand the Bible as a whole a little bit better.
Yes.  Today has been a very good day.  I feel like my life is worth the living today.  These
are the moments I life FOR, the moments when al my work begins to be completed and people
begin to be affected.  Heck, it almost makes the heat bearable.

Sunday, November 29
I saw Christen today.  Maybe for the last time.  I hope not, but it very well could be.  I’ve
known that child for so long.  Saying a probable goodbye was hard.
Child.  She’s only a few years younger than I am, but she’s always been my “baby sister.”
She was barely a teenager when I met her, and now she’s grown, married, and working at a
career.  It’s hard for me to let go of her.  I’ve watched over her for 9 years; I’ve prayed for her,
tried to guide her, done my best to make sure she was okay inside, and today I saw something
that put a lump in my throat.  My “Baby Sister” is okay.  She’s married to a good man, who loves
her.  She has a good family.  She has a good job.  She’s holding up physically, she’s not sick
anymore.  She’s happy.  I looked into her eyes today, and I knew she’s happy, content, and she
really doesn’t need me anymore.  The child is gone.  A young woman has taken her place.
Completely.  She’s no longer my Baby Sister.  She’s my friend.  Someone I can now lean on when
I need to.  I’ve never seen her like that before.
That gives me peace, but it makes me sad.  Peace because I know she’s going to be okay
in life.  She can stand on her own, or lean on her husband.  But sad because she really, really
doesn’t need me anymore.  Whatever part I served in her life before is gone.  She will never come
to me again saying, “Sean, I can’t stand this.  What am I supposed to do?”  All her angst is gone.
All her confusion has cleared.  The teenager has passed.
I love that young lady so much.  I’m going to miss what was, but I’m glad to see her at
peace.  The thing is, I wish I could feel that way about everyone I know and love before I die.  I
wish I could know in my own heart that they’re all going to be okay.

Monday, November 30
What a day.
As I was sitting here working all morning, waiting for the time to get the phone and call
Steve, we heard the news on the radio.  The Supreme Court denied my case.  As expected, but
still shattering so many hopes.  I got butterflies listening to the newscaster, but that was my only
immediate reaction.  Now, twelve hours later, I feel the effects more acutely.
My life is over and I’m going to die here.  I’m out of hope.  I don’t know how to hope any
more, and I don’t know how I’ll face Kim tomorrow night on the phone since I promised to her
that I would hope for life, that I wouldn’t give up.  Dear God what have I done to her?  How
could I love her when I knew this day could, probably would come?  But how could I not?  (Sigh)
How could I not?  Anyone who has ever met her understands.  I can’t think about that now.  It
hurts in places too deep to fathom.
I didn’t get much done today after the news.  But it’s Monday, and for Daniel and me
here in this cell that means laundry day.  He washed sheets, and I washed a couple of T-shirts.  I
never get much done on Mondays.
Tomorrow I’ll sort through all my things and set aside what I’ll be taking with me to the
death watch cell.  I did find out today, after asking four times to see a case manager, and waiting
three hours for him to show up, what the policies are for the death-watch, so now I know what to
pack and what to leave behind.  I sure won’t be packing much.  My last days will be very spartan.
I packaged up my painting to be mailed to Steve tomorrow, and titled it “Colors Fading.”
I wrote a short poem to go with it:
Colors fading, walls are bright
Greyness now encroaches
Enter dimmity, walk the night
Death at last approaches.
Colors fading, brushes quiet
A palm placed to the chest
Colors fading in silent riot
A life is made to rest.

Dimmity is a word Anne Patrick in England told me about.  It’s a slang word for twilight
used by the people of a village in England.  I’ve always liked it since she told me of it.
That’s how I’ve felt today.  I became the man in my painting.  The colors inside me are
fading.  Kim and I have been having an argument, and now where I was so angry it seems so
trivial.  I was foolish to ever get mad.  I can’t even find that anger now.   Many things seem trivial
now, and other things I find I have no energy for.  Colors fading from my soul.  Breaking pieces
from the whole.  Broken slivers float and fray.  Colors fading into grey.
I really am not ready to die.  Not afraid, just not ready.
But . . . colors fading.
It’s almost midnight, but I don’t want to go to bed.  I think I’ll be up late tonight, listening
to the quiet, searching my heart; maybe I’ll find some wisdom, or light, or answers.  Maybe I’ll
find a moment of love without pain.  They’re rare in my life, but they do come.  Maybe I’ll find
the peace to sleep.

Tuesday, December 1
Randall Robison had just come back from the office where he had been sent to make an
emergency legal call. He stood in his door on the opposite corner of my cell, where we could see
each other as we talked, and said, “the Supreme Court shot me down.”
I said, in alarm, “so what happens now?”
He replied, “I lay this body down and die.”
I started crying. We knew it was coming, but when it finally arrived the experiencing of it
was far more overwhelming than the preparing. Randall was my best friend, and it hit me like a
mule kick in the heart that I was about to lose him for life.
That was 1992. Today I sort of became Randall. I put on his shoes and laced them up
tight. You know what? They were pretty hard to walk in.
I got up early this morning, made a mocha, drank it quickly, and began sorting and
packing my stuff. All the things I can’t take with me to lock up I had to get rid of, so I separated
it all and set it aside. I was doing fine for awhile, until I came to my pencils and erasers. I’ve used
a pair of mechanical pencils for most of my art for many years, and an eraser that resembles a
pencil with a refillable eraser cartridge. I’ve picked these things up and used them almost daily for
so many years. I started to set them into a small box I’d just placed my ink and some pens, and I
felt myself choke. Letting go of those pencils suddenly made it so clear to me; the reality of what
was happening constricted around me. I’m an artist. Line, shape, color, value and proportion, and
perspective are the ways I view the world. This is a huge part of who I am. And now, I will never
draw or paint again. Realizing that, I nearly cried.
Then I took all my paints, my brushes, and told the run man to find a place for them to go.
Some of these brushes I’ve had for 10 years. I’m recognized as the best painter in the prison – not
necessarily because I am better than everyone else, but because I’m the only one who can paint
portraits well, and because my art is original to me, not copies of paintings I’ve seen in art
magazines. Every Christmas I’ve had employees and officers here in the prison commission
portraits from me. Being known as a painter, and doing it for so long has made a big part of who I
am as well. I’ve taken pride in seeing someone look at one of my paintings that’s been set out on
the run and saying, “Oh my gosh. Man that’s good!” I probably had three hundred dollars or more
in paint and brushes in my paint set.
When I looked out the door and saw the run man dividing up my brushes, separating tubes
of paint, that constriction squeezed my breath away again and I had to get out of the door. Not
only will I never paint again, but brushes I’ve bought and cared for for years as tools to my
livelihood, things I protected through shakedowns, things I only loaned out reluctantly, and
inspected closely upon their return, are now gone, set into other people’s hands. They’re not mine
anymore. I never realized how much I loved them, or how important those tools were to me until
I saw them out of my hands forever.
Now it’s all gone. Sean Sellers the artist is removed from the world. Now there is only the
writer, poet, and man. In two months, there will only be the man, and then at last, he too will be
gone. I realized today how much you truly do not need when you’re dead. All I will take with me
to lockup will be a handful of books and Bibles and my writing materials. Other than that, there
will be only my TV, radio, fan, and tape player. Not even my clothes will go. I’ll be given brand
new ones.
I have more to say tonight, but no. Some of what happened today is sacred. Not for the
world to see. I don’t know why, but that’s what I feel. Some of my soul the world will never see.
They are things of treasure only for the eyes of those who love me. Doesn’t that sound strange?
Yes. I put on a pair of heavy shoes today. But my God shall give the strength to lift my
feet and walk this path. That too I experienced today.
Today an artist died, but the man still has much to do.

Wednesday, December 2
They set my execution date for February 4th.  Dion told me he saw Attorney General
Drew Edmonson on T.V. saying I killed my mother and father-in-law.  That just tells me that
Drew Edmonson doesn’t even know much about me.  I’m just a number on a docket, another day
at work for him.  And yet he’s arguing strongly for my death.  That really bugs me.  
How many times do I have to say it?  I want people to look me in the eyes, know who I
am now before they say, “Sean should be executed.”  If they did that then I’d be okay with it.  But
how can I respect Edmonson when I’m just a name on a piece of paper to him?  This system that
separates the arm of the executioner from the eyes of the executioner is wrong.  If Drew
Edmonson wants me dead he should have to come face me, talk to me, and then leave and sign a
death warrant for me.  He shouldn’t be able to do it so far removed from me that it bears him no
more conscious thought than filling out the paperwork laid on his desk one morning.  He also
shouldn’t leave the rest of it to the people who DO know me.  He should have to face them.
As I was going to the yard today a guard told me he was sorry to hear about my case
being rejected by the Supreme Court.  I looked into his eyes and saw his sincerity.  He said he was
praying for me still.  When I die this man may have to be a part of it.  These people who have
worked around me for years, who know me, they are the ones who have to carry out the sentence
the Attorney General is so eager to see done.  And while he snoozes peacefully in bed because
I’m only a piece of paper to him, these people must go home with their hands sank deeply into my
death to try to sleep with the knowledge that Sean is now dead.  Their jobs require them to be a
part of what they had no part in deciding.  
I want my jury here too.  They sat in a room and sentenced me to death.  They should be
here to watch me die.  They should be a part of what they decreed.  They should have to face me.
But no.  The people who make these decisions are far removed from the process that
carries it out.  And the people who carry it out have no say at all in it.  That’s wrong.  What kind
of world is this we live in where no one SEES that as wrong?  In the Bible the accuser had to be
the one who threw the first stone and struck the condemned, and the judge who decreed death
had to witness the execution.  That was, and is, responsibility.  It’s the way it should still be.

Thursday, December 3
It’s 8:45 p.m.  I’m sitting on the yard.  Today was a pretty weird day.
I got up and began working on a booklet I’m writing about Good and Evil.  It was
miserably hot, and I got up to let my legs cool off.  As I was pacing a little, I happened to look
out the door and I saw Jennifer and Klink, my counselor and case manager coming up the stairs
together.  Instant butterflies hit my stomach, as I thought, ‘this is it.  They’re coming for me.’
Klink shoved a piece of paper against the glass for me to read and I thought, ‘oh boy. My
death notice.’  But as Jennifer walked on past the door, and I looked at the paper, I discovered
they had NOT come for me.  It was just routine business.
Afterwards, I stood there contemplating my adrenalin.  I WANT to be moved to lockup,
so why did I freak when I thought they were coming to do that?
Later I was called out and taken to the Unit Manager’s Office.  Got to walk on carpet for
the third time since coming here 13 years ago.  Strange how we notice things like that.  Here’s
where the day got weird.  A new policy states I can’t mail out a painting until the Unit Manager
and I agree on a price for it, and I pay 15% plus tax to the prison for it.  Well, I’m kinda cheap,
although I like to call it frugal.  People work hard for the money I’m given, and I work hard for
the money I earn, so giving it to the prison when they’re limiting me to a $15.00 last meal doesn’t
set too well with me.  So the cheaper the price I set on my painting the less I have to fork over to
the prison.
I actually found myself bartering the price DOWN for one of my own paintings.  Now that
was totally contrary to my conscience.  Jimmy, the unit manager wasn’t going for it anyway.
He’d seen the painting.  I finally told him since I’d already insured it for $50.00, I had to be fair
and start there.  He said that seemed reasonable to him.  So I get to pay $9.75 or something for
the privilege of painting my last painting.  One I had to do on faith of sorts that I’m going to be
Then it was time for the big news.  I’m not going anywhere.  No lockup cell for me.  They
have to kill somebody first before they’ll have room for me.  I get to hang out here for another
week until Tuan’s execution.  That means my 60 day review will be a 54 day review or something
like that.  I loved the way Jimmy put it to me, too: “I’ll have a cell cleared at 6:00am Wednesday
morning, Sean.”  Sounds so innocent and pristine, doesn’t it?  Sort of like those great military
terms.  “Surgical strike”  “Removal of prime target”  Not once did he say, “We gotta kill someone
to make room for you Sean.”
But, oh well.  I’m waiting for someone to die so I can be moved to a cell with solitude..
Not that that would play with your head or anything.  Nah.  No added stress there.
Like I said, weird day.
I’ve been given single yards from now on though.  I’ll be on the yard by myself every day.
It has officially begun.  Sean is on deathwatch.
Friday, December 4
I went out on the yard today, laid down and watched the sky for awhile through the static
of steel beams, and square wire.  The squares in the wire made a grid that let me see the clouds’
every movement.
For awhile I laid there watching shapes appear and transform.  The clouds in the lower
atmosphere were blowing toward the east while the upper atmosphere was going south.  Two
bodies of clouds crossing each other.  The distance was incredible.
Then for a minute the steel beams and wire seemed to draw closer to me, as if I were
laying in a great box and its wire cover was only inches from my face.  It was as if I were floating
in that box in the sky.  Almost free.  Almost peaceful.
A huge bright white cloud covered the yard like a veil, like a shroud, and I was immersed
in absolute whiteness, like a beautiful fog.  Then like a curtain it was drawn back, passed over,
and was gone.  It took all the clouds with it and there was nothing but blue in its place.  Bright
endless blue.  
I wonder if that’s what dying will be like.

Sunday, December 6
I saw Ruth today.  My little Ruti Yehoshua.  My little Rabbit.  Mother to my spirit as
Avram is father.  It was the last time I will ever see her.  She and Avram will be going to Israel
next month.  I sang “You are Faithful” to her.  She sang for me.  I read some of my poetry.  We
talked about life, fear, doubt, death, purpose, love.  Today was a good day.
Tomorrow I will see Avram for the last time.  Then Tuesday it will be time to say goodbye
to Dan, Dion, Brian, Dudley, and all the men here.  Days have become ending chapters in my
great play.  And yet, a part of it still feels unreal.
I awoke today, stretched out; my back was uncommonly stiff this morning, and I had to
stretch for quite awhile to get my spine to loosen up.  I worked most of the day on my Good and
Evil study.  Ruti got here at 1:30.
The visiting room was full of smoke and tobacco reek as usual, and I stood there with the
door open flailing my shirt in circles to ventilate it.  Ruti showed up in her pretty dress, her hair
hidden by her scarf, and her big blue eyes lit up when she saw me.  She laughed at me swinging
my shirt and grinning at her.  We had two great hours together, and bless her heart she only
started to cry three times.
And her voice.  Oh.  Angel sweet!  I closed my eyes and was carried away on her song.
Ruti doesn’t sing songs.  She sings psalms.  She opens her heart to God and prays and praises in
beautiful Jewish melody.  It was the power of her heart so rich in that voice that swept me
upward.  I made her promise to share that voice with the world, and I write this here as a
testament of that promise.  The world shall hold her to it.  It must demand that she sings!  Any
who hear her will understand.
After our visit I came back to this cell, Dan and I cleaned it from top to bottom trying to
get rid of all the ants.  After dinner I watched T.V. for awhile.  It was a good day.  A normal day.
And yet it was also the last day I’ll see Ruth.  It was a closing chapter in my life.  Today was an
ending to a part of me.  That’s what makes it so unreal.  Shouldn’t an end feel different?  And yet
it was as if a single door was gently closed in a great house; one of many in the process of locking
up for the night.
I think tomorrow I will finish my study on Good and Evil, and be able to check it off my
list.  Another door there.  And Avram.  Another door.  The soft brush of wood upon carpet.  The
tiny click of a lock rolling shut.  That’s what all this feels like.
I’ve been waiting weeks to see Ruti.  I thought saying goodbye was going to be so much
I think I’ve begun to really accept my death.

Monday, December 7
I went to chapel today for the last time.  
Writing those words here now makes that so real.  I saw Avram, and we had a good
service.  There were two new men there, guys I’d never met before.  Toward the end of the
service I asked Avram if I could have a few minutes to speak.
As soon as he said yes I started trembling.  That surprised me.  I’m not afraid of speaking
my heart to a group of people; it’s what I’ve done in prison.  But today was different.  Today was
saying goodbye.
I felt an overwhelming urge to speak forcibly to these men, to be righteous, to grow in the
Lord, to put sin away from them, and to serve God from their hearts.  I told them they can make
a difference still in this world.  All it takes is for them to TRY.  Then I looked around the chapel
area at the faces before me, and I realized it really was goodbye.  I felt the tears running down my
cheeks as my voice cracked, then I felt Avram’s hand on my shoulder through the bars.
I don’t know why I cried.  What I felt at that moment just overwhelmed me.  I really love
these men.  My brothers.  My friends.  Pains in the ass, half of them, but I’ve walked with them
daily for over 12 years.  Some of them I’ve discipled.  Some of them I’ve leaned on when I
needed strength.  Some of them I’ve wanted to beat down on the yard, and some of them I’ve
laughed with until my cheeks ached.  And now, this is goodbye.
After I shared my heart with them, I sang “Faithfully” to them.  A few of them cried with
me then.  And then it was over.
I came back to this cell, called Steve, and found out my Papa- Jim Blackwell- thinks I have
never expressed any remorse to him for killing my mother.  I was stunned.  I remember more than
one phone call where I said, “Papa, I am so sorry for what I’ve done,” and he said, in tears, “I
know you are son.”  The only thing I can figure out is that he needed some specific words from
me that I never said.  I don’t know what to do now.  I don’t know how to make it right.  I have to
try though.
After the afternoon service on Southwest, Avram came over here to see me one last time.
Instead of letting him come up to the door they let me go down to the bars.  That was really nice.
The guards on duty got permission from the Captain, and I got to see Avram truly face to face.
We had half an hour.  We got to talk, hug, laugh, and say goodbye.  But this time it didn’t feel
like a goodbye.  I don’t know why.  It felt the same as Avram leaving to come back next month.
Inconstant and unpredictable.  Our emotions do what they want when they want.  I was
sure chapel would be easy and Avram hard, but it was exactly the opposite.  Makes me wonder
how I’ll handle the Clemency Hearing. (Sigh)
So what was it I said about the gently closing doors as I lock the house up for the night?  I
guess it’s not going to be so easy as that after all.  It’s going to be a roller coaster ride.  My
emotions are frazzled.  I am exhausted inside.  So tired I actually fell asleep this afternoon when I
laid down to rest my back for a few minutes.
Goodbye is a heavy burden.

Tuesday, December 8
My gosh I’m exhausted.
I started my day at 7:00 am when I literally staggered out of bed by pure will power.  I
started writing immediately, and today I’ve finished my study on Good & Evil, Life & Death.
Then I finished the corrections on The Chronology of the Bible I’ve worked on for 2 months.  So
both of those got checked off my list.  Steve and I talked for 2 hours on the phone, all about
business stuff for clemency, and that always makes me tired.
Somewhere in the day a State psychologist came to my door with a clipboard.  “Are you
He said he’d be seeing me a lot from now on.  More and more frequently as I get closer to
my execution.  I told him he was here to solve the prison’s problems, not mine, so I wasn’t
interested in seeing him.  He said he was here to help me make this transition.  THAT set me off.
I said, “How are you going to do that?  What the hell do YOU know about being
executed?  I’ve been here for 12 years.  I’ve seen all the executions Oklahoma has done, and I’ve
seen my best friends die here, so what do you know about it?”
The thing is, he seems like a nice guy, and I felt guilty for snapping at him.  I told him I’d
say hi to him and all, but don’t expect me to open my soul to him, because he’s here for the
prison’s convenience, not for me.
I don’t like State employees who walk up to my door with a clipboard and ask me how I
am simply because my name suddenly came up on some computer readout.  He’s not here for me.
He doesn’t even know me.  He’s here for inmate #156641 who’s soon to be executed.  It’s not
like he’s stopped at this door for months on end because he cares about me.  He’s a stranger
doing a job, nothing more.  He will know me before it’s all over with, though.  If he wants to
come to my door and look at my soul, I’ll let him read my books.
Maybe I’ve never expressed this, but I really DON’T like psychologists.  They’ve never
given me anything but grief, confusion, and stress.
Incidentally, Steve asked me to talk to another one today.
(Sigh) Yeah.  It’s been a tiresome day.  I really hope they move me tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 9
2:03 pm
Well, it’s real now!  I got what I wanted I guess.  Here I am in the solitary cell.  Yep, it’s
um. . .well, yeah.  It’s pretty spartan.  It definitely lets you know the reality of the situation.  Only
I didn’t think I’d be suddenly so . . . lonely.
Let’s start at the beginning.
About 8:45 am I saw them move Castro off to Southwest.  At 9:00 they sent me to the
yard, and when I came back near 10:00 the guard in the control room said they were ready for me
in the Unit Manager’s office.  I got dressed, had my little “review” which was basically a matter of
Jimmy saying, “Okay, Sean, you ready?”
“You got any questions?”
“Then let’s go.”  BAM!
Actually I did have a few questions, about my property, things I wanted to keep.  While I
was there, I got the visit I was expecting from Chad and Katie, so I came back to the quad, told
them to pull Daniel off the yard to help me pack, and got my property gathered up.  We set
everything I’d be allowed to keep outside the cell, and the rest I left with him.  As I took my
calendar down and tossed it in a sack I felt my chest start to tighten.  Daniel and I were both just
fine until then.
But the time for goodbye had finally come.  We hugged and both started crying.  He
squeezed me tight, and held on, and I said goodbye.  How can one word be so hard to say?  Two
syllables.  And they make your heart feel like it’s being squeezed in a massive vise.
Then I went to my visit.  The counselors sorted through my property while I was there
and afterwards I tried to get the guards to let me walk around the run and say goodbye to
everyone, but the Lieutenant said no.  So I was chained and cuffed, and escorted to my solitary
By the way: John Castro, I’m gonna kick your ass!  This cell was filthy.  It took me an
hour just to get it clean enough to unpack my property.
These are punishment cells, intended for trouble makers, so they’re built with only two
things in mind. #1 security. #2 isolation.  Set into each corner of the concrete bunk is a sunken
square hole with a steel bar used to “4 point” a man (put him in restraints).  They were all full of
tobacco and cigarette ashes.  There are two shelves, a sink and toilet, a mirror and two light
bulbs.  It’s a little bit smaller than the regular cells.  There are two solid doors with a shower in
between them.
Getting a guard’s attention from here is impossible.  Beating on this first door and
screaming doesn’t even make it past the second door.  So whatever I want is at their convenience.
I’ll just have to wait for someone to count or bring me legal mail.  I certainly won’t be spending
my time trying to peer out the little 8 x 10 inch window to watch for someone to pass so I can get
what I need.  I am very much on my own here now.  It’s a weird feeling.  Weird because in prison
we’re still around other inmates.  We depend on the runman for so much.  If I needed a pen, or
wanted a pop I could just ask the runman to find me one.  Now I can’t.  Now I’m really alone
There is a spiritual residue to these cells for anyone sensitive enough to focus on it.  This
cell resonates with two opposing emotions.  Hatred and anger, and a desperate hope and
stretching for God.  There have been bitter and hurting men in here before me.  Men who hated
life, and yet longed for it.  Men who lashed out at everyone and yet were so desperately lonely.
Some of the walls hear their marks.  Hatred and hope share equal space.  Scratched into the door
is “Kill cops” and “Fuck the police” but beside that is “A man can be destroyed, but never
defeated” and “Since God delivered Jonah out of the belly of the fish, He will deliver you out of
this belly of prison.”  On the wall in big colored letters is “Yahweh” in English and in Hebrew.
And on another wall a penciled bit of wisdom reads:
“Anger is slavery of the emotions
Hate is slavery of the mind
Racism is slavery of the soul
Fear is slavery of the spirit
Don’t be a slave any longer.
A foul mouth shows ignorance
Hate filled words shows stupidity
Kind words shows intelligence
A calm attitude shows strength
Controlling your emotions shows inner peace.”
I’ve been in so many cells in my years here.  You get the feel of a cell after so long.  It’s
hard to explain.  This cell feels very, very lonely.  It’s going to be hard to live in here.  I can’t tell
whether it’s day or night from in here.  And time moves more slowly.  It’s only 4:30 pm but it
feels like nighttime.  Like I’ve already been here for 10 hours, rather than 3.
I won’t sleep well on this funky little mattress and pancake pillow full of lumps they gave
me, but that’s okay.  I don’t plan to sleep much.  I have too much to do.  So little time is left, so
little in which to try to still make a difference.  I have a discipleship lesson to do, and my life’s
story to tell.
I wonder if people will understand that all I have done is my repentance for my crimes?
Will they really see that?  Probably not.  How do you show a broken heart without shedding
tears?  But how do you cry when the pain has become a constant ache you live with daily?  I’m so
sorry for all I did to hurt people, and now I’m less than 60 days from my execution, and still
trying to make up for my crimes.  All I’ve done is not enough.  I wonder how long I’d have to live
to change that?  I don’t think a hundred years would be enough.  My soul will never know peace
as long as it knows regret.

Thursday, December 10
Today will be the last time I complain.
Yesterday I talked to a friend, and she asked me a really hard question. She types my
journals, and she noted where I was aggravated by not knowing what was going to happen to me,
and how I said that was wrong.  She asked me, “But what about your parents?  They didn’t know
what was going to happen to them.”
She’s right.  All that happens to me now, I have earned.
Today was an exercise in stress.  As I figured last night’s sleep was awful.  This pillow is
really like a trashsack full of rocks.  That’s not an exaggeration.  Literally, a trashsack of rocks.
In a few days I should get a new one.
Last week I showed my counselor Jennifer some things I wanted to give to Chad and
Katie when they came to see me.  The prison has a policy that only hobby craft items can be given
to our visitors at the East Gate and picked up there.  The policy also states we have to give the
staff 48 hours notice to put something at the East Gate.  I showed what I had to Jennifer and
since only part of it was artwork, it had to go to the East Gate.  So I called Steve, and we
contacted Chad and Katie.  The East Gate is closed on weekends, and they’d planned to come see
me Sunday.  I had them reschedule it for Wednesday.  Because I wasn’t sure they could
reschedule, I asked Steve’s office to make a special call to them Friday to confirm it.  Monday
morning I gave the stuff to Jennifer so she could put it at the East Gate.
So there was that.  Also last week, Kimby told me the copies of one of my books she’d
mailed to me had been returned to her.  I’d been waiting a month for them.  The people in the
mail room have this thing about my books.  They see my name on a published book and it fries
their circuitry or something.  If my name is on a book then obviously there must be something
wrong about that, there must be some policy against it.  So they just send them back without ever
notifying me according to the rules.  This has happened about 5 times.
I asked Jennifer to find out what the problem was this time so I could get the books
resent.  She said she’d get that done Tuesday.  Only she wasn’t here Tuesday.
This morning I was being taken to medical to see the nurse about some medication.  I
need some Motrin for my back and headaches.  Out in the hall a Case Manager or Counselor
named Stockton said, “Sean, I couldn’t let your visitors pick all that stuff up yesterday since it
wasn’t all artwork.”
I said, “Do what?!  It wasn’t sent to the East Gate?”
“No.  I’ve got the rest of it in my office.  I’ll get you a property release so you can have it
sent to the East Gate.”
That’s when I lost it.  Sean went ballistic.  I started yelling and cussing.  “My visitors went
out of their way to come on a Wednesday just so they could get that stuff AT the East Gate, and
it wasn’t put there?  Where the hell is Jennifer?!”
Sgt. Marlin Moore stopped me.  Physically stopped me.  He stood in front of me, told me
I had to calm down or he’d have to put me back in my cell.  I bit my tongue and nodded.  As we
went on to Medical, I listened to Stockton tell me how Chad and Katie went all the way to the
East Gate- on the other side of the prison, about a half mile away- and had to come back here to
get my property.  I nodded again, even madder now.
In Medical we had a 10 minute conversation with the nurse all of us trying to come up
with a solution to a complex problem.  How to give me my Motrin.  I’m on 60 day notice.  I can’t
have medication in the cell.  The Motrin I had by prescription was taken from me when I moved.
So now what do we do?  If we give it to him 3 times a day and he only needs it when his back
hurts, then he can store it, so that won’t work.  The guards won’t dispense it to him when he
needs it because he can’t get a hold of them from that cell.  We could give it to him dissolved in
water and make sure he takes it everyday, whether he needs it or not.
All this over Motrin.  Ibuprofen!  She finally just gave up and referred the problem to a
doctor.  We’ll see what happens.
Got back to my cell and filled out a slip to have the rest of my stuff mailed to Chad and
Katie, which will cost me money.  I gave that to Stockton and asked about my coat.  It was taken
along with my thermals and sweats.  It’s wintertime.  What am I supposed to wear on the yard?  I
mean, they even took my old prison issued long sleeve blue shirt because they don’t issue long
sleeves anymore.  I have jeans, T-shirts, and a short sleeve blue shirt.  My coat?  It was sent to
Male Clothing.  Ask Jennifer for one.
I did that.  I wrote Jennifer a list of clothes I needed.  She wrote me right back too.
“Since you’re on 60 day notice your clothes will be exchanged weekly.”  But what about my
Oh, and those books that were returned?  I should have them resent.  Why were they
returned?  Nobody knows.  Resend them.
Here’s the thing though.  None of that really bothered me.  I’ve been here a long time.
The fact that people here don’t do their jobs properly, and that things are so compartmentalized
that the right hand ends up cutting off the left hand’s fingers is no surprise.  I deal with this kind
of stuff all the time.  But not once today did someone say, “Sean, I’m sorry.  That shouldn’t have
happened.”  No one even acknowledged the inconsideration.  No one said, “I apologize for your
visitors having to go all the way to the East Gate for no reason.”  No one even thought about me
needing a coat to wear on the yard.  Everything just got shrugged off.  It was all passed over
without any kind of acknowledgment.
Saw Me
As a Person.
I’m a part of their job.  That’s all.  These Counselors and Case Managers are here to do
their job, and they do the minimal requirement necessary to collect their paychecks.  I’m going to
be executed.  They don’t WANT to see me as a person.  They disconnect themselves from my
humanity and feel nothing, lest it hurt when I’m laid on that table.
I never saw that coming.  It blind sided me today.  Jennifer and I have always gotten along
really well.  But she won’t be around anymore.  The rest will not see me as a person.  Only as a
I have been put in a hole to await my death, and I will be ignored as much as possible until
then.  But now at least I know.  I won’t get mad anymore when it happens.  I won’t think of
myself as a person and expect them to do the same.
And I won’t complain anymore.
I will remember, this too, I have earned.

Friday, December 11
It was 31º outside by the television this morning when they asked me for yard.  Since I
have no coat I opted to stay in the box today.  So I stayed home and worked. (smile)
I got a good start on Destiny Discipleship #10 Marriage, and as I worked on it that
pleasant hum returned to my soul.  It’s been a long time since I worked on discipleship, and it
feels good to be doing it again.  Anyone watching me would probably be surprised to hear I’m
having fun, as I’ve got a pen in my mouth, two Bibles, a concordance and a dictionary all piled
atop each other in my lap, and papers scattered everywhere.  I’d often be caught mumbling
around, the pen in my teeth, something about, “Oh for crying out loud, I had that verse a minute
ago!”  It looks a mess, but to me it’s like a cat with a ball of string.
If it keeps flowing like it did today, I’ll have the lesson done in just a few days.  If my back
holds up.  It’s been aching and sore for the past four days.  Getting used to this cell and mattress
and all probably.  I moved to the floor though were it’s a bit more comfortable, and that seems to
be helping.  I had some hesitation at the thought of cockroaches crawling over me as I slept last
night, and I did kill about 5 this morning when I turned on the lights, but my mattress on the floor
is much more convenient for everything.  Here I can lean up against the wall and stretch my legs
out, so me and the roaches will just have to wrestle for it.  I think I can take ‘em!
After work I watched T.V. for a bit.  I saw a commercial that made me laugh, and I
thought, “Dad would have liked that one!”  That stole my mirth pretty quickly, and made my
heart so heavy.  Holidays always do that to me.  Those darn holiday commercials catch me every
year.  I’ll see one, get a flash of what life might have been like had I not committed murder, and
leaves me missing my parents so much, and hating myself.
After that I decided to clean the cell.  Men in here, myself included, glue all sorts of things
to the walls.  When we leave a cell we tear that stuff down, and it leaves big patches of glue and
paper.  In a cell like this where so many men have been roused for trouble a lot of it has
accumulated.  Add that to the graffiti and it’s quite a mess.  It disturbs me to look at it.  It just
looks funky.
The reason it accumulates though is because it doesn’t come off easily.  A wet rag and the
lid from a tuna is all I have to work with, but I scraped and rubbed for a couple hours and got a
wall and a half clean.  There’s something about cleaning up a cell that has been abused for a long
time.  It’s therapy to my soul somehow.  The tuna lid cuts a couple fingers, shoulders ache and
burn, glue flecks onto my face and water yellowed by nicotine runs down my arm and drips off my
elbow, but the wall undergoes a transformation, and as I scrape away some racial slur I think,
“This is what a man of God is supposed to do in this world.”  Afterwards when the floor is all
wiped, and the sink cleaned up, I can look at the wall and I somehow just feel better.
It will take me awhile to get the whole cell clean, but I will.  This cell will have a different
spirit when I leave it.  I’m slowly altering the graffiti I can’t clean.  The door doesn’t say kill cops
anymore.  If there are going to be subliminal in my cell they’re at the very least not going to be
left to influence for evil whoever follows me here.  People may wonder who Billy Clops was and
when he was here, but that’s certainly easier on the mind.

Saturday, December 12
Destiny Discipleship #10 is farther along, the cell is a little bit cleaner, and I learned
something today.  I can’t spend all my time working, and thinking about my list or clemency
hearing.  If I do I’ll give myself a bleeding ulcer before they can execute me.  My stomach began
to bother me today.
It was actually quite a surprise.  My stomach never bothers me.  I’m not the type of
person who stays stressed out about things.  I guess I found my threshold with all this the past
few days.  I didn’t think it was bothering me that much until I felt like I needed some Maalox.  As
I realized what was wrong it slowly sank in.  This has been pretty darn stressful.  Wow, huh?  I
mean, duh, ya think?  It just didn’t seem like it.
This funky cell was a big part of it.  I can’t relax in filth.  The idea of cockroaches
crawling on me at night, and looking at these messed up walls, has had me tense.  I keep catching
spots on the floor out of the corner of my eye and thinking they’re roaches.  I’m on a constant
alert for them.  Then I’m trying to concentrate on my lesson, and spend my resting time thinking
about clemency or making videos, or whatever else needs to be done.  Tonight I relaxed.  I mean
really relaxed.  I put everything out of my mind.
I’m getting the cell clean though, and that’s making me feel more at ease.  I don’t pick up
a spoon and wonder what kind of funk it’s been setting on.  Tomorrow I’ll get the final wall.
Michael Stackpole had his new novel sent to me, bless his heart.  I’m going to read it.  I’ve just
got to chill a little bit.  I’ve got to figure out how to work in here without killing myself FOR the
This was really an eye opener.  It has me a little stunned actually.  My stomach NEVER
bothers me like that.
I mean . . . wow.

Sunday, December 13
You must believe strongly in what you do.  You must hold on to the belief that what you
are doing is immensely important and that you matter greatly in the world.  You must cling to that
and fiercely defend it in your heart through failure, and darkness, storm and opposition, against
apathy and doubt.  You must believe that your days are spent doing something well WORTH the
doing, and do it with all your might.
Let that slip, let it falter from your grasp for even a moment and the reason for enduring
the daily pains of breathing slips away with it.
That happened to me today, and I found myself scrambling desperately to catch hold of it
again.  I realized instantly I cannot survive in this cell without it.  As I face death what I do now
MUST matter, else there is nothing to hold me from death.  The effort to take the next breath is
wholly bound together with the belief that it is worth it.
So many people are fighting for me.  Can anyone know what that feels like?  They see
more worth in me than I see in myself.  I got this cell finally clean today.  I can sit here in the
psychological comfort of knowing everything has been sterilized.  The walls are as clean as they
will ever be.  As I sit here and look up at them though the fact that I am in a concrete box,
underground, where I can’t tell if it’s day or night is so real.  I’m not a part of the world, I’m in a
hole in the earth.  And yet, out there, in the world, there are people praying for me.  Crying.
Begging.  Fighting.  Hoping.  Working.  All for me.  Because they believe in me.
What I am doing MUST mean something.  How can I look myself in the mirror if it
doesn’t?  How can I let these precious people spill their tears for me if what I am doing with my
life means nothing?  I owe so much to the people who love me.  So very much.

Monday, December 14
I’ve had some rough nights in prison.  My first night in the county jail locked in solitary, I
found myself beating my head against the wall barely holding onto sanity.  One night in the F cell
house, sick with the flu, I shivered with my teeth chattering, running a temperature that had me so
dizzy I couldn’t walk to the toilet, and I couldn’t even get a single aspirin.  One night in this
building, I had a headache so intense I was literally contemplating suicide.  It hurt so bad I
couldn’t sleep to get away from it.  All prisons have those nights when hell seems to seep up
through the floor and surround you.  That’s part of what prison is.  Those were the three worst
nights I’ve had.  Last night, I’ll rank as the fourth.
For some reason, some vigilant guard counted me every half hour last night.  Every half
hour, from 10:00 to 6:00, that outer door racked open, ZZZZ-CRACK!  A light shined on my
face, and the door was slammed shut.  BLAM!  All night long.  And I can barely sleep with this
mediaeval pillow anyway.  Tonight I ain’t going to sleep until I keel over from exhaustion.
Stuff like that doesn’t really bother me.  I mean, life is like that.  It sure isn’t enjoyable
while it’s happening, but it passes.  I’ve had some good nights in prison, too.  Not many honestly,
but there have been some.  Nice cold night, snuggled under a blanket, dreaming those long
peaceful realistic epic dreams you don’t ever want to wake up from.  I’ve walked with Jesus once
in a dream like that, and it was so real I can still close my eyes and see it.  Who knows, tonight
could be one of those, so stuff like last night doesn’t really get to me once it has passed.
Except for working on Destiny Discipleship for seven hours today, not much happened.
That’s non-eventful.  It’s the insights we discover from meditating in the silence and stillness that
make the time seem profound.  Sometimes we remember there can even be good nights in a
prison cell.  That fact alone makes life kinda magical doesn’t it?

Tuesday, December 15
It’s DONE!  Thank God.  I wrote for about twelve hours today, but Destiny Discipleship
#10 is done.  Everything I know about marriage is condensed into it.
After I finished it, it kind of struck me that some people might find it strange for a man
who went to prison when he was 16 years old to be writing some kind of lesson on marriage.  I
mean, what the heck could I possibly know about it?  Of course, those people haven’t read my
lesson.  You’d be amazed at how much you can learn about something when you WANT it with
all your heart and soul.  No man in the world has ever wanted to be a husband as much as I have.  
Not just want a wife, but want to BE a husband.  It is the most sacred duty and greatest
responsibility God has given to us, because in marriage we represent Him.
Now it’s done.  My final Destiny Discipleship lesson.  I really hate the sound of those
words as they reverberate through my skull.  Final lesson. . . final lesson.  Something shouts back
NO!  NOT the final lesson.  NO!  NOT DONE YET.  NOT DONE YET.  You see, I had Destiny
Discipleship scheduled for 20 lessons, not 10.  The vision of this discipleship course is only half
complete.  I never got to the one on Discipline, or who we are WITHOUT God.  Or WHO God
is, or Purpose and Destiny.  Or Parenthood.  I really wanted to write those.  My Bible is
decorated with little heart symbols beside scriptures throughout the Testaments to use as
references for the lesson on Who God Is.  There are D’s marking references for Destiny.  An S
marks sin, to use for who we are without God, to show the evil nature that resides within us.
Boy don’t I know that one.
I remember Kimby and I having a bit of a disagreement one time on the true nature of
humanity.  She believed we are basically good inside, while I said we are basically evil.  Now I
understand it a little better.  Humanity is basically a contradiction inside.  At the core of who we
are lies the potential for both great evil and great good, and they can coexist in apparent harmony
with each other, both being shaken and stirred to the surface in a moment of circumstance.  The
question is not what are we, good or evil?  It is which do we embrace?  Which do we shun?  And
what portions of each do we disguise and justify?
I’ve seen what’s within me, and I’m glad I did because it prevents me from any illusions
toward self worth, pride, or self righteousness, but I will have nothing to do with that part of me
again.  When you step into the darkness and find a monster, then discover the monster is you, and
you run in terror from it, where can you go but into the light to escape it?  I am not a Christian to
save my life.  I am not a Christrian to even save my soul from hell.  I reached out to God because
I saw what I was and I didn’t want to be that.  He took the monster, washed him in blood, and a
man appeared.  Now that man longs to be a husband, but cannot, so he tries to teach others all his
heart has learned in its yearning.
No.  There’s no mystery to my maturation.
Destiny Discipleship is not done, but my final lesson is.  Dear God, please use it to make a

Wednesday, December 16
I guess you can call me janitor Sean.  They left me in that cell just long enough to get it
clean, and moved me today to Southwest (the building has 4 identical quads.  Southwest is where
the execution chamber is, however).  So now I’m in a cell that is the mirror image of the clean
one, and as you might guess, I have to start over.  Thankfully this one is not as bad.
It was a bit disturbing though.  When they told me I was moving, I thought, “Do what?”
And I looked at my watch.  The date read the 16th.  Working so hard on Destiny Discipleship, I
didn’t realize John Duvall’s date was approaching.  So for a second time now, as soon as they
took someone away to die, they moved me.  I feel myself inching closer to death as the people in
front of me are put down.  It’s like with each move they place me closer to the execution chamber
for my turn.  That makes it very, very real.
I got a letter today from Katie.  Wizard Magazine- the guide to comics-  will be printing
an article about Donjonhoefen in their February issue.  Once I had a dream: To see one of my
own characters on the cover of that magazine.  Every serious comic book fan in the world knows
about Wizard.  Having Donjonhoefen featured in it is the beginning of what Chad, Katie and I
have been working on for years know.  If I had the chance now, I KNOW eventually I would see
my silly little dream come true.  I call it silly because it seems pretty trivial, but you must
understand, I loved comic books the first time I ever saw them.  When I was 3 years old I loved
comics, I learned to read on them, and I’ve never stopped.  Being an artist and writer would have
been my career in comics.  Now all I’ve created I will be leaving to Chad and Katie.  Maybe
someday they will see my dream happen.  It’s hard to even imagine I will when I’m now within a
rock’s throw of where the State will execute me.
On the door of this cell are the names of all those who have gone before me.  Coleman,
Parks, Robison, Brecheen, Hatch, Stafford, Brewer, then below them, three names, each written
in a different hand: S. Carpenter, M.Long and S. Wood, and I recognize Mike Long’s penmanship
on his own name.  They each three sat where I sit now.  They each three are dead.  And except
for Scott Carpenter, I knew every man whose name now rests on my door.  I knew Tuan and I
know John Duvall, too.  What a strange ride this is.
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
A child’s prayer suddenly takes on a whole new dimension.  Tonight it becomes all too
real for John.  But don’t misunderstand.  I’m not lamenting John.  He is 47 years old, I think.  I
read that somewhere recently.  And I ask a hard, pitiless question: In your 47 years, John, what
have you given the world?  What difference have you made?  How hard have you tried?  Was it
enough?  I require no more of him than I do of myself, and I can’t help but wonder what I could
do with 18 more years.
Right now, I have 50 days, and I have work to do.

Thursday Dec. 17th
I awoke last night with a restless heart
There was a question ringing through my mind.
I look at the world so vast and small
Can one person matter among mankind?
Does my life have any meaning among myself
And does anything I do really matter?
Are all my love and efforts each day
Producing anything beyond a noisy clatter?
Is there a magic symphony going on here
With my life playing its important score?
Am I in harmony with something great
Or am I beating out a rhythm to a song ignored?

Is this my life for real
And does it matter at all?
Would it extinguish a great light
If I died tonight?
I don’t mind being average
Small or plain
As long as I know Lord
That it matters the same.
The world once grew dark
When Jesus ceased to live.
Would it grow any darker now
Without what I have to give?

I opened my door for a breath of air
Outside the sky was filled with a million stars
And like a reflection on the interstate below
I could see the headlights of a million cars.
The twinkling above and the blinking beyond
Do I really fit in, do I belong?
Can my life be noticed like a single star
Bringing beauty to heaven when all light is gone?
Do we really shine through the dark like that?
Does everything we do sparkle and gleam?
Is this the answer to my searching soul
Or is this my heart longing for only a dream?

Would there be any less shine
Without this I call mine?
Would the world even notice
Would it falter one bit?
Or would another step in to
The place I once fit?
The world once fell silent
And tears were shed.
Would there be any tears now
If they found I was dead?
I wrote that poem a few years ago on a day very much like today.  I have days like this
from time to time.  It’s been a good day; I showered, shaved, got my canteen, went to the yard,
got mail, but inside, my spark, my fire for living is gone.  Days like this, something gives way
under the strain, and the illusion of my self worth falls away with it.  I see my life for what it truly
is.  My God, how could I have done what I did?  How did I come to this place in my life?  And
does anything I do now really matter?  Really?
I’m so tired.  Death seems so desireable, so peaceful.  To live my life in prison like this?  I
can’t image it.   I almost hope the Clemency Board turns me down.  Then it will finally be over.
But I can’t quit.  No matter how I feel I can’t - won’t- quit.  People have casually asked
me if I ever wondered or knew how the apostle Paul felt when he wrote of his desire to die and
his desire to live (Phillippians 1:21-24).  Paul wrote that on house arrest in Rome after spending
two years in prison in Judea, and being shipwrecked on the way to Rome.  Do I know how Paul
felt?  Sometimes I believe I know Paul like he’s my best friend.  The depth to which I understand
those words is immeasurable.  I can’t quit, because my life is no longer my own.  I gave it to God,
and He brought people to me to share it, people who believe in me, pray on their knees for my
life, weep and fight for me, people who devote to me and what I do, their money, their time, their
strength.  My life belongs to them too.  I am not my own.  I owe every person who has placed
trust and confidence in me, to keep going, keep working, and no matter how I feel or what hole
I’m stuck into, I shall not fail that trust.  I will never, ever, quit.
The Bible says ‘The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show
himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.’ -2 Chronicles 16:9
I will not quit.
I will NOT quit!
My life is yours God.  I will not quit.

Thursday, December 17
I awoke last night with a restless heart
There was a question ringing through my mind.
I look at the world so vast and small
Can one person matter among mankind?
Does my life have any meaning among myself
And does anything I do really matter?
Are all my love and efforts each day
Producing anything beyond a noisy clatter?
Is there a magic symphony going on here
With my life playing its important score?
Am I in harmony with something great
Or am I beating out a rhythm to a song ignored?

Is this my life for real
And does it matter at all?
Would it extinguish a great light
If I died tonight?
I don’t mind being average
Small or plain
As long as I know Lord
That it matters the same.
The world once grew dark
When Jesus ceased to live.
Would it grow any darker now
Without what I have to give?

I opened my door for a breath of air
Outside the sky was filled with a million stars
And like a reflection on the interstate below
I could see the headlights of a million cars.
The twinkling above and the blinking beyond
Do I really fit in, do I belong?
Can my life be noticed like a single star
Bringing beauty to heaven when all light is gone?
Do we really shine through the dark like that?
Does everything we do sparkle and gleam?
Is this the answer to my searching soul
Or is this my heart longing for only a dream?

Would there be any less shine
Without this I call mine?
Would the world even notice
Would it falter one bit?
Or would another step in to
The place I once fit?
The world once fell silent
And tears were shed.
Would there be any tears now
If they found I was dead?

I wrote that poem a few years ago on a day very much like today.  I have days like this
from time to time.  It’s been a good day; I showered, shaved, got my canteen, went to the yard,
got mail, but inside, my spark, my fire for living is gone.  Days like this, something gives way
under the strain, and the illusion of my self worth falls away with it.  I see my life for what it truly
is.  My God, how could I have done what I did?  How did I come to this place in my life?  And
does anything I do now really matter?  Really?
I’m so tired.  Death seems so desireable, so peaceful.  To live my life in prison like this?  I
can’t image it.   I almost hope the Clemency Board turns me down.  Then it will finally be over.
But I can’t quit.  No matter how I feel I can’t - won’t- quit.  People have casually asked
me if I ever wondered or knew how the apostle Paul felt when he wrote of his desire to die and
his desire to live (Phillippians 1:21-24).  Paul wrote that on house arrest in Rome after spending
two years in prison in Judea, and being shipwrecked on the way to Rome.  Do I know how Paul
felt?  Sometimes I believe I know Paul like he’s my best friend.  The depth to which I understand
those words is immeasurable.  I can’t quit, because my life is no longer my own.  I gave it to God,
and He brought people to me to share it, people who believe in me, pray on their knees for my
life, weep and fight for me, people who devote to me and what I do, their money, their time, their
strength.  My life belongs to them too.  I am not my own.  I owe every person who has placed
trust and confidence in me, to keep going, keep working, and no matter how I feel or what hole
I’m stuck into, I shall not fail that trust.  I will never, ever, quit.
The Bible says ‘The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show
himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.’ -2 Chronicles 16:9
I will not quit.
I will NOT quit!
My life is yours God.  I will not quit.

Friday, December 18
It’s amazing how much 15 minutes can mean to a man.
Today was another exercise in stress.  The guards forgot about me here.  They were busy
doing other things so they didn’t run counts according to schedule, or check on me through the
intercom after 1:30.  At 1:30 I told them I needed to make a legal call at 3:00.  They said okay,
they’d write it down.  When 3:00 came there was no one to be found, and after waiting and
beating on the door for half an hour around 4:00, they asked me what I wanted.  When I told
them, they said they were busy.  I waited another half hour, threw a fit, and quit.  There were
things I needed to talk to Steve about before the weekend, and they may not get done now, but
oh well.  The fact that I didn’t get the phone yesterday either when I asked for it made it hard for
me to calm down, but I sat down, reached out to God and sang “You are faithful.”
Afterwards I decided I’d try for my personal call.  I told them at dinner I wanted to call at
7:30, and spent the next couple of hours trying to convince myself I would not have to go through
that whole ordeal again over this call.  Luckily, right, around 7:30 they brought the nurse around,
and that’s a stop they have to make at my door to check on me, so I was able to remind them.  I
got the phone and called Kim.
I told her if it wasn’t for her love right now, I’d be alone, and I don’t think she
understood.  You can’t imagine how it feels to be overlooked and ignored all day and then at the
end of it know somewhere in the world there is a woman who loves you so much she wants to
marry you, and at that moment she is waiting in anticipation for your call.  To her you matter so
much she has put her whole life on hold for the hope of a life with you.  Just to hear her voice for
those 15 minutes melted the day from my brow.
All the other little things that happened today, like being told they’re not going to issue me
different clothes after all, even though they’ve not let me send the ones I have to the laundry for
almost 2 weeks now, and telling me they’d be right back with my pillow and disappearing not to
be seen again until Monday, stuff that lets me know again and again that they’re really not
concerned about me or much interested in what happens behind this door, all that stuff didn’t
matter anymore when I heard Kim’s voice.  It just faded into a blur, like distant static behind a
favorite song.  That’s the difference love can make in a person’s life.  It’s the difference it makes
in mine.
Later I hollered up to John Castro.  The ventilation ducts in these cells are connected, and
the intake vent leads straight up to his cell above me, so two people can hear each other pretty
easily.  The vent is near the floor, so I laid here and talked to John for a few hours.  I wanted to
see how he was doing.
We talked about our art, and having to give up our paints and brushes, about all the
nuances and problems and challenges of painting here in prison.  It felt good to talk about it all
with someone who was in the same place I am, and recently went through the same thing I did.
Then John told me somthing that flabbergasted me.
John’s been here for 14 years.  His 2 year old son grew up while he was here, and they’re
close!  They call, write, and visit.  At his 30 day review the Warden told John he can’t put his 16
year old son on the witness list to be present during his execution.  The Warden said 16 was too
young to watch something like that.
Apparently in Oklahoma you can be sentenced to death at 16, but you can’t watch that
sentence carried out.  You’re old enough to die but not old enough to watch someone die.
John said he asked him about that and mentioned me.  The Warden had no answer for him,
but he still won’t be able to have his son there.

Saturday, December 19
I’m watching It’s a Wonderful Life.
For some reason the satelite system the prison is on gives us NBC from some station in
Denver, Colorado, so as I watch the movie I get Denver weather updates.  It’s  -1 with a -25
wind chill.  I miss Colorado so much.
This state has never been my home.  From the first time I ever stepped foot in Colorado
and breathed that crisp thin air, an air without any humidity- air that actually took me awhile to
learn how to breath!  Ya gotta get climatized when you go up in elevation like that.  I felt
something inside me I’d never felt before.  It seems so silly to say something like that, but my
gosh, I loved that state.  The mountains were like driving a roller coaster, and were so beautiful, I
was in absolute awe.  The snow was exciting to me, heck, I LIKED having to bundle up and walk
to the store because the roads were closed and the snow plow had not cleared our block yet.
When I was locked alone in the county jail, I wrote a song about Colorado.  I still
remember the song.                
I long to feel the wind blow
I long to feel the breeze
I long to see a rainbow
And kneel upon my knees
I long to hear a bird sing
I long to feel the snow
I long to hear a bell ring
A place to call my own
And Colorado’s calling me home
My Father, He’s calling me home.
I can’t watch this movie and think of Colorado without wondering two things.  Has my
life made a real difference, and what would have my life been if we’d stayed in Colorado?  I don’t
think I’d ever turned to Satanism.  No.  I KNOW I wouldn’t have.
I’m beginning to fight depression.  It’s an old enemy.  I know it well.  It comes when I’m
alone for too long.  I’ve known it a lot in my life.  I’m beginning to feel like there’s no point in
keeping on with my work.  It’s becoming hard to even write this journal or letters.  I’m sleeping
more, eating more, and hoping less.
These are the times when God has to be real to me.  He has to surpass the emotions,
surpass what is felt; It’s when I reach desperately out to Him with all I have, with my last
remaining ounce of will and strength, touch Him, and find in Him what I don’t have in myself.
The strength to face tomorrow.

Sunday, December 20
A poem today:
Buried Treasure
A broken rock stuck in the mud
Shattered by a violent hand
Forgotten, left alone it dries
And the mud turns into sand
The sun bakes hot, the wind blows dry
And clears the dirt from the stone
Until uncovered a gem appears
Polished as the wind was blown
A clear red ruby amidst the rubble
Freed from earth by the breaking
Perfected in the heat and pressure
Long required for its making
Deep in rock the gem resides
Until the hammer chisels free
And tender hands shape and buff
Release its beauty for eyes to see
Thus revealed what the world won’t know
Hidden among the lowest of their low
The love of God ignites to show
His burried treasure on death row.

Monday, December 21
12:26 pm.  I just heard on the radio that John was denied 4 to 0 at his clemency hearing
this morning.  My stomach is all aflutter now.
I got up at breakfast, got cleaned up, and sat here praying and singing to God over my
morning mocha.  The vent is right beside me on the floor here.  I heard John asking the keyman if
he could shower and shave before his hearing.  Then I heard him ask for fresh clothes.  The
clothes he had he’d been wearing since Thursday, and had no others.  I don’t know if they
replaced them because I heard him arguing about it.  When he finally left I heard that too, and
hoped for some kind of good thing for him, but the truth is, we both knew there was no real
chance today.
While he’s been gone, I’ve been working on things for my own Clemency Hearing to go
over with Steve tomorrow.  I wonder if I’m just wasting my time?  So many men have gone
before me.  What gives me the right to hope I might be any different from them?  Am I better than
them?  Am I innocent?  No.  So in the face of denial after denial I sit here and work on my turn
before the Clemency Board and I dare hope mine will be different?
The only thing that sustains me against that, the only thing that gives me the strength to
hope, is my belief in the work I still have to do.  If I die Destiny Discipleship will not get finished.
The books inside me will not be written.  The vision I have to serve God in the lives of teenagers
will never be fulfilled, and I BELIEVE in these things!  I believe in them enough to spend my life
in prison in order to DO them.  I believe in them enough to beg for my life before a Pardon and
Parole Board that has turned away every plea for mercy before me.
And yet, at the same time I am afraid and intimidated by what lays ahead.  It would be so
much easier to quit, to lay down, rest, wait for death.  Facing that Clemency Hearing has become
the most daunting task I’ve ever been put to.  So much is riding on it.  So many prayers, so many
hopes, so many lives will be affected by that one decision.
Now John’s hopes are all gone.  Now he retruns to his cell and prepares himself to die.
The world has given him its final word; it has rejected him body and soul, breath and life.  It has
said, “You are not fit to live.”  And again I turn inward and ask, can a man make up for his
crimes?  Is there nothing he can ever do?  For John Castro the world as answered.
It has said NO.

Tuesday, December 22
Today has been a busy day.  They finally exchanged my clothes.  The down side of that is
that I now have ONE set of clothes instead of 3, the upside of it is I finally have a new pillow.  I
ought to sleep well for a few days now.
I spent the day writing a story for Chad to use for Mood Comics after I’m gone.  The
stories I promised Chad will take my characters from Donjonhoefen to the next step and allow
Mood Comics to continue with some of my vision for maybe a year after my death.  These stories
are my last responsibility or obligation to someone beyond this cell, I think.  My list is nearing its
I talked to Steve today and the website is almost the way I want it.  It’s finally at, so now when people pull my name up for a search it will take them right
to ME and not something someone else has written about me.  That’s important to me.  Last night
I had to ask myself though, is all this really accomplishing anything?  Does any of it really matter?
If I were a member of the Pardon and Parole Board, and someone stood up and said,
“That son of a bitch killed my son.  My son is dead because of him.  Now I want him to die.  I
want this to be put behind us.”  What could possibly compare in the face of that pain, grief, and
anger?  I have done all I can with my life.  I have tried, dear Lord how I have tried, but the fact is
it doesn’t erase the pain I caused.  A thousand tears of repentance, begging on my knees, my face,
to the people I’ve hurt won’t take away their pain.  But what can I do?  All I know to do I have
done.  I have tried to give back to the world, to touch people’s lives, to take the love and
knowledge God gives me and extend it to others.  And if I touch ten thousand lives that way,
does it really matter if I fail to bring healing to the people I hurt?  They’re the ones I owe, and I
can’t reach them.  I can’t change the lives of the ones I shattered.
Would my death really bring healing to them?  Do they continue to hurt because I still
breathe?  Does the knowledge that I am still living after I killed their loved one eat and tear at
their soul?  And if so, is that not hatred?
Jesus said we have to forgive others or we will not be forgiven ourselves, but you know
what?  I become a spiritual coward with that principle when I even think of applying it to the
people who hate me because of the pain I caused them.  There’s no way I can stand before them,
look them in the eye and tell them they must let go of that hatred.  I could fall at their feet and beg
for forgiveness, but if they refuse, I say they have a right to hate me.  This is where our principles
collide with life.
So what do I do?  That’s the question I want answered.  How do I fix what I broke?  How
do I heal those I hurt?  And if I can’t do that, then what have I accomplished?  What’s the point
of all that I’ve done if I can’t do that?  How do I live in peace before God knowing the lives I
destroyed have not been restored?
Be careful in life people.  Oh, be so careful.  It is so much easier to harm than to heal.  Be
tender and caring.  Be gentle and considerate.  Count your words and actions well.  Not
everything we do can be taken back.
All I know to do is keep doing what I’m doing.  Even if it doesn’t mean anything, it’s all I
have.  I know someone may say, “It does mean something Sean.”  But I ask you, if I had killed
your son or daughter, your brother or sister, your mother or father, would it mean anything to
you then?  That’s an honest question.  Does anyone have an answer for me?

Wednesday, December 23
I spent the whole day writing a story for Mood.  I’ll be doing that tomorrow too.  When I
work like this, there’s not much room for thoughts or introspection; I’m busy all day.
When I laid down to rest my back, I picked up the new Wizard Magazine and saw that
Bob Kane died.  That made me pretty sad.  If I remember right, Jerry Siegal is dead too.  Jack
Kirby is gone.  Stan Lee is really the only one left, and I think I’d cry the day I learned of his
death.  All the creators of the comic icons are passing away.  For those of you who had really
deprived childhoods, Bob Kane created Batman, Jerry Siegal- Superman, Jack Kirby and Stan
Lee, Captain America and Spider-Man (among others).
How many times did I watch the campy Batman show of the 60's and then grab a towel
for a cape and run around with screwdrivers, pens, and who knows what in my “utility belt.”  And
ya know, I think Batgirl was my first crush.  That outfit was. . .whew!  Hubba hubba.  The heroic
fantasies of an eight year old.  My God how did that child ever come here to this?
Rest in peace Bob.  As long as the Dark Knight lives, so will you.  I always wanted to
create something that would outlive me.  Bob Kane, thus, was one of my heroes.  

Thursday, December 24
Christmas Eve.
I heard today that Bob Macy, District Attorney who prosecuted me, has said once again
that I have never expressed any remorse for my crimes.  Why does he do that to me?  I’m really,
really trying to understand that, trying to see into that man’s heart.  Either he’s lying to the media
because it serves his purposes for me to be a heartless psychopath, or he truly believes what he
I’ll never forget what he did in trial.  As the testimony about my parents became intense
their deaths became so real to me.  The reality of what had happened overwhelmed me.  They
were dead.  Really and truly dead.  They were gone forever, and I was responsible.  I just started
to cry.  I sat there and hid behind my hands and cried like a baby, and I couldn’t stop.  All I could
think of was this horrible grief that was wringing my insides out.  I wanted to die.  I wanted to
stand up and say how sorry I was, how I didn’t understand what had happened; my God how
sorry I was.  Then I heard Bob Macy say to the jury, “You heard his drama teacher’s testimony.
He’s a good actor.  He can cry on cue.”
It was like ice water tossed in my face, or a good hard slap.  I was stunned and mad.  With
the turn of a phrase he had made my tears a spectacle, he had turned my grief to his own
purposes.  And at that moment I asked myself whether he truly meant it or believed it or was just
using it as an opportunity to gain advantage.  I’ve been asking that question ever since.
I understand how it serves his purposes for me to be a psychopath.  He was prosecutor of
the case.  He is the person who chose to give me the death penalty.  If I’m anything BUT a
psychopath, then politically the case might not warrant death.  As long as I am an evil,
manipulative, unrepentant, unremorseful, killer, then I should be executed.  But if I’m something
less than that, if I’m a 16 year old boy who committed horrible crimes and have become a
remorseful, repentant man trying desperately to make up for that evil, then being executed doesn’t
seem so appropriate.  For Bob to see his sentence carried out in my life, for him to see me dead,
he needs the public to see me as that psychopath.
What I don’t know however, is whether Bob himself needs to see me that way too.  I
certainly can’t convince him.  No matter what I do he will not acknowledge it.  He continues to
either dismiss, deny or twist my repentance to his own ends like he did at the trial, every time he
publicly speaks about me, bu does he believe what he says.  That’s what I need to know for my
own peace of mind I need to know that.  I need to know in his heart of hearts he is sincere in what
he says, that it’s not just some matter of politics.  He personally needs me to be evil.
I don’t even know why I need that.  In a way that’s a blade that cuts just as deep.  It
means no matter what I do he will see it through a filter of cynicism so thick that he will never be
able to see my heart.  Knowing that possibility gives me a sinking feeling inside.  Yet one more
reality check, one more affirmation that nothing I ever do will really make up for what I did.
Sometimes I have moments when I forget that, moments when I almost believe I’m really
doing something with my life, something significant, and that someday somehow everything is
going to be different.  All will be healed.  Those are good moments.  Moments when life feels
really good.  I get a little glimpse of what I think most of the world must feel, of how wonderful it
is to be alive.
They are only moments,
But it’s amazing what a moment can mean.

Friday, December 25
Christmas Day!
Probably my last Christmas.  Today has been a great day.  Margy came to see me.  How
can it not be a good day when I am loved so much as that?  When someone says “I want to spend
Christmas there with you, Sean,” that is the most precious gift there is.  The giving of ourselves.
Thank you Margy for coming to see me!
I’ve learned there are two ways to look at life: By seeing what we have, or by seeing what
we don’t have.  I’ve spent a lot of Christmas days in prison doing both.  The results are striking.
One is life, the other is death.
Behold death:
I am alone in a cell under a mound of dirt.  All around me the world celebrates Christmas,
a time of family, love, joy, and warmth.  The Mass of Christ.  A time when we remember the first
gift of Christmas was God’s son, given to mankind for the forgiveness of sins, for redemption.
And yet that forgiveness and redemption is denied to me by so many.  Steve told me of an E-mail
he’d received.  Someone wanted me to know I can never be forgiven, and God will not forgive
me either.  There IS no forgiveness for what I did, so I will never be able to make up for what I
did because the world won’t LET me.  So what’s the point of living?  I’m alone.  I haven’t felt a
woman’s touch in years.  Every good thing in life is kept from me, and this is the way it will be as
long as I do live.  Every commercial and Christmas special on T.V., shows me what I don’t and
will never have, always reminding me of the world that has condemned me and thrown me away.
And the guilt.  Christmas was never the same for my family after what I did.  Why should I ever
think things could change now?
Thoughts like that can destroy a man.  One Christmas I even broke open a razor and
thought about putting an end to it right there.  But there is another way to look at life.
Behold life:
Yesterday I got a whole stack of mail.  Cards and letters from people who love me.
Today Margy came to spend part of her Christmas with ME!  This is Christmas.  Christmas!  God
gave His son to us.  Where would I be without the love of my God?  What would my heart be
today without His transforming hand upon it?  Look how far I have come.  Look at all I have
been given.  Friends and love, and even a purpose in life.  I close my eyes, breathe in, and feel
ALIVE!  I got to see 2 little girls, barely walking, just old enough to be chased after today at my
visit.  One of them had learned the joy of hearing her own little screams of exclamation.  To hear
a child scream for the joy of it reminded me how good life can feel.  And maybe, just maybe,
there’s still hope.  Through the love and the passion of the people in my life, through the prayers
of people around the world, through the mercy of God who indeed loved us so much, He did give
us His son, perhaps there is hope.  Walls have not hindered the ministry of God in my life.  Will I
place limits upon Him now?
It is Christmas Day!  We will have turkey for dinner, and the prison let us order from
Swiss Colony so I have some Swiss Cheese.  I’ll melt some cheese to my turkey and . . .YUM!
And we’re not on paper plates now, so Christmas dinner should be much better than
Thanksgiving was.  I’ll sing “The Little Drummer Boy” today and praise God for all He’s given
I love that song.  I learned it in 3rd grade when I was going to sing it solo in the Christmas
pageant.  Mom and Dad took me to California to live before the pageant, so I never got to
perform, but I’ve never forgotten the song.  When I was alone in solitary during the first few
weeks in the County Jail, when I was a brand new baby Christian, just learning to reach out to
God, I sang that song anew and something happened to me.  When I reached the line, ‘I played
my best for him,’ I started crying.  In that line was my passion for God displayed.  A humble little
shepherd boy with nothing to offer but a song on his drum, but he gave his best, he gave all he
had to offer.  To this day I can’t sing that song without tears when I reach that line.  And the
reward for his best?
‘Then he smiled at me.’
God’s approval.
That’s the most important thing in life to me.  Not my freedom.  Not my living.  My God.
His approval of my life.  His acceptance of my best efforts, of all I have to give.
When people send E-mails and say I can’t be forgiven it doesn’t make me mad.  It makes
me sad.  I’m being very sincere about this.  It makes me feel pity and maybe a kind of grief for
that person, because I know he doesn’t know God.  When we know God, face to face, we see
ourselves for who we truly are in the face of holiness.  No person who has ever experienced that
can say “God won’t forgive YOU.”  God’s true heart and character are revealed too personally in
that comparison with sinful self to deem anyone incapable of redemption.
I am not a Christian in name.  It’s not some title I put upon myself, or display as a label on
my shirt.  It is the heart of WHO I AM and ALL I WANT TO BE.  Christian.  Christ-like.
Anyone who knows me knows that.  The one thing that makes me angry is when people either
dismiss or trivialize that.  When they say, “He’s just pretending,” or “Yeah, well they’re all
Christians on Death Row.  They always cry Jesus when they’re executed.”  This is who I am.  It’s
my only reason for living.  Please don’t toss that aside.
And I mean it IS my only reason for living.  To serve God.  Loving God doesn’t make life
bearable here.  Mike Long loved God with all his heart.  I celled with him for over a year, I knew
him well.  He loved God so much he ended his appeals to be WITH God.  The love of God and
desire for Heaven has an enormous pull toward death.  You can’t love God and want to live your
life here, you have to want to serve God.  I dream of heaven.  I have written poems about it.  It’s
the promise and attraction of Heaven that helped put a razor blade in my hand that Christmas.  It
is the desire to serve God that holds me here, that makes me able to live, to love, and to see the
good and the joy of Christmas even on Death Row.

Saturday, December 26
I began my autobiography today.  Nearly everything is done on my list of things to do
before I die.  The things that are left will either be done next week when I see Steve, or after my
Clemency Hearing.  It’s time to write my autobiography, and today was the day I’d planned for
years to do it.
Everyone has always asked me for it.  I’ve had publishers offer me deals for it.  Everyone
wants the story of my crimes, and that’s why I never would write it.  My life’s story is not about
three murders.  As long as I was alive my life story wasn’t finished.  I’ve been in prison almost as
long as I was free.  There is only a 3 year difference there.  Every year here, I’ve watched the
percentage grow toward 50%.  Half my life.  Half my entire life spent in prison.  And all the
publishers wanted to hear and read about was how I killed three people, and what led up to that.
Except the Christian publishers.  They wanted it to end with my salvation, as if a momentary
transformation with God makes up fr everything else.  I never thought that good enough.
The transformation of the heart has to be reflected in our life.  How can I call myself a
Christian if I don’t live it?  And live it for life.  I never wanted to be one of those men who did so
much evil, and then turn to God at the end.  I didn’t want the book of my life to be a chronicle of
problems, anger, pain, and death, then in the last chapter have me reach out to God and make it
appear as if that single moment made my life go from purgatory to paradise.  My life has been
more than that.  None of it has been that simple.  Sometimes it’s harder to be a Christian than it is
to be Heathen.  We’re called to higher levels of accountability in Christ, and that’s a struggle
every one of us has to face.  I did, and do, just as everyone else.  That hasn’t been easy, but it has
been worth it.  That’s the story I have to tell.  Not just the 16 years before prison, but the 13 years
during prison as well.
And now is the time to do it.  I always knew I would do it now.  My calendar has reached
the mark.  Today I have 40 days left to live.

Saturday, December 27
I saw tonight that TNT is making a live-action production of Animal Farm.   Wow.  It
looks like it’s going to be good.  I think that is one of the best books ever written.  I read it as a
teenager and through it really understood the flaws of Communism and Socialism.  I also
remember the impact 1984 had on me.  I was about 20 when I read it.  It was sitting on the book
cart and I snatched it up immediately.  The next day when it was time for yard, I was almost
finished with it, so I took it to the yard and read it as I walked alone.
That story disturbed me, troubled me down to my very core.  George Orwell must have
seen horrors in his life to write that book.  When I finished it, I was shaken.  I searched my heart
asking myself if there was any fear within me so powerful that I could be made to deny God.
Could I be forced through torture to renounce Christ?  I had already read Richard Wurmbrande’s,
In God’s Underground, a few years before and that had made torture a very real concept to me.
Could I be forced to renounce Christ?  How strong was my faith in the face of real adversity?
How deep did my convictions go?  For the pigs in Animal Farm, their ideals and convictions fell
away as soon as it was no longer convenient for them to keep them.  Was I like that?  I prayed for
God to strengthen me, and I told him I would NEVER turn from Him.  Then I had to trust that as
the Bible said, God would not allow me to be ever tempted with more than I could endure, but
would with temptation make a way for me to escape it.  The idea that I ultimately had to trust
God for it was humbling.  I couldn’t look inside myself and find some great strength and
assurance that from that I would never turn from God or be forced to renounce Him, I had to
admit my weakness, and trust God to never put me in a situation that would be too much for me
to handle.
But that meant whatever situation I was in, I could handle, otherwise God would not have
allowed me to come to it.  That was kind of frightening considering where I was.  My trust in
God grew that day and I walked deeper with Him because of that book.  George Orwell made me
ask questions about myself and probe deeper into my convictions than I ever had, just because he
wrote a book.
That’s why I became a writer, because books I’d read had changed me.  Orwell’s books
have lasted 50 years, and become classics.  I wonder how long my books will last?  George
Orwell reached around the world and beyond his life to touch and change a young man walking
on a yard in a prison.  Will anything I’ve written do that?  Will someone read The Spice Tunnel
and be changed?  Will they read The Crystal Lake and be led to ask those deep questions that lead
us to self discovery, revelation and truth?  I don’t think I will see either of those books in print,
but I know they will be published.
When they are, will anyone realize how much I put into them, how much passion, faith,
how many prayers and dreams went with those stories?  I can only hope they will be more than
just stories to the people who read them, because they were so much more to me when I wrote

Monday, December 28
I don’t know how to feel.
And right now even words are failing me to describe that.  I sit here and stare from the
paper to the cement wall in front of me.  What do I do?  My God. . .help me.  I don’t know what
to do.  Help me please.
I talked to Steve and Fera today.  There’s a war going on in my website.  The chatroom
has become a battleground.  When I first told Sarah of my vision for this website it was to be a
Memorial Museum, something to preserve my work after I was dead.  But Sarah and her family
are deeply dedicated to me.  It wasn’t enough for them to do it for me after I was gone, they
wanted me to be able to see it.  The chatroom was part of the original vision to give people a
place to discuss my work with one another.  With me still alive though, it’s become a place to
discuss my living or dying.  Someone even said they were going to the Attorney General to try to
get the website shut down.   I don’t understand that.  What am I doing that’s so horrible?  How
can people read what is on this site and want it shut down?
Is there NO room in the world for a man to do some good with his life?  Would you
stomp his hands at every feeble grasp to straighten a bruised flower, to bandage a wound, to
reflect a light upon a darkened soul?  If he dares to reach out of his cage to give a cup of his
water to someone in thirst, would you cut his hand off?  I just do not understand.
You who condemn me now, what are you doing with your life?  You who point out my
great sins and evil, where is your great good?  What difference have you made?  What difference
in this world have you tried to make?  What if we are not judged by the bad things we’ve done,
but by the good things?  What if when we stand before God and say, “But Lord, I’ve never hurt
anyone.”  And he says, “But child, have you ever healed anyone?”  What if we say, “I have never
done anything really, really bad.”  And God says, “Have you ever done anything really, really
good?”  Have you ever gone out of your way to love someone who was not so easy to love?
Have you ever given something you couldn’t really afford?  Have you ever given up something so
that someone else might have it?  Has that effort and sacrifice ever reached beyond your family?
Have you ever cried because someone else hurt?  Have you ever given your time and heart to let
someone know they were worth it, not because they were in need of you, but because they needed
to know they mattered in the world?  Have you ever, just once, reached out far beyond your
grasp, in a way that really required some effort?
It is easy to spend a great deal of time talking about all the evils I did when I was 16 years
old, but how long would it take you to expound on all the good your own life produces?  You say
you know God, but do you serve Him?  Really, really serve Him?  It’s easy to curse and rail at the
darkness.  It’s not so easy to be a light in that darkness.
I don’t know how to feel tonight because my heart feels like it’s been put in a vice.  I
never intended people to argue and fight over my being alive.  I’m caught in a tug of war that’s
tearing me apart inside.  On the one side are the people I hurt.  Some of the things Steve read me
today made me think my death could be the best thing that could happen.  People are waiting and
even praying for it.  Maybe the only way to stop their hatred and heal their hurt is to die.  Maybe
it is a mistake for me to want to live, to try to make up for my crimes.  But on the other side are
the people fighting for me.  I got a letter from a friend of mine last week who said I’m the only
person in her life who has ever taken the time to make her search deep enough to uncover her
emotional wounds so they can be healed.  She’s not there yet.  I’m not finished.  How can I give
up now?
Who am I?  Murderer or Man of God?  I hear shouts from two sides, two gathered
crowds.  The one who sees a monster, the other a man.  Where does my responsibility to what I
did end and my responsibilities to who I am begin?  When the crowds are not gathered, when I’m
alone in the quiet emptiness of this cell, I see those answers clearly.  My responsibility to what I
did end at the cement walls and locked steel door in which I live.  My responsibilities to who I am
begin there with everything I do within these walls and behind this door.
Punished forever for what I did.
Working forever from who I am.
Is that not enough?

Tuesday, December 29
I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning.  I didn’t know how to get up and face this
day after yesterday.  All that stuff about the website, and people eager for my death was hard to
take.  When a District Attorney says you should die, that’s no big deal.  That’s his job.  He’s
going to say that no matter what, even if he doesn’t personally believe it, or really know who you
are.  But when someone you’ve hurt says, “I can’t wait to see you die,” it’s different.  They’re not
speaking out of duty, they have a personal, vested reason for their desire.  They want revenge.
They speak from the fire of their pain and anger, and I CAUSED that.  I have a responsibility to
them and to that pain.
Sorry does NOT restore what is lost and broken.  My dad used to say, “Sorry doesn’t fix
anything.”  That’s a big part of why I have tried to do more than say I’m sorry.  How do you
make up for murder?  When I began asking myself that question, over and over again, the answer
came thundering back at me: YOU DON’T!  YOU CAN’T!  My next question became, ‘Then do
I not even try?’  I couldn’t do that.  I had to do something.  That’s what I’ve been doing for years
now.  Trying.  Doing something.  I’ve dedicated my life to doing more than just saying I’m sorry.
Yesterday I think was the full realization that all that doesn’t mean a damn to the people I
hurt, and with that also the realization that nothing I ever do will.  To them I CAN’T make up for
murder.  I never will.  And I bear that too.  That’s the burden that bends my knee.
People of God, my friends, ministers, they might read this and say, “Sean, you have to
forgive yourself.”  But if so, you misunderstand me.  I’m not talking about forgiveness.  I’m
hesitant to write this because people I’ve hurt don’t want to hear it, and maybe they have a right
to that, but God has forgiven me for murder, and one of the few times God has spoken to me so
forcefully that it shook me to my very core.  He said to me, “I have forgiven you.  Who do you
think you are that you can’t forgive yourself?”  This is not about sin, redemption, and forgiveness.
This is about the burden of pain.  It is about responsibility to the people I hurt.  It is about being
helpless to do anything to change that.
Sometimes I think, maybe if I die they will stop hurting, but they won’t.  They will hate
me just as much in my grave, and still hurt because of what I did.  That’s what I’m talking about.
Nothing I do will change that.  Nothing.   Not even die.  THAT is the burden I hear.  I even bear
it to the people who have forgiven me.  Some of my family and friends of our family have
forgiven me, but they still hurt.  They always will.  Always.
I can’t change it.  All I can do is get up out of bed, put one foot in front of the other, and
keep going on.  Keep doing more than say, I’m sorry.  Keep giving to others what God gives to
me.  It won’t make a difference in the past, but sometimes it makes a difference in today.  That
today is all I have, it’s all I am able to do, and it was finally the determination of that that got me
out of bed this morning to face this day.

Wednesday, December 30
I saw my Sweetheart today.  Kim is like a breath of fresh air after a sauna for me.  In her
eyes I find an oasis from every bad thing my life gets filled with.  She sees the man of God she
loves, and she knows my heart to its core.  I am naked and comfortable with her, absolutely
vulnerable, without defense, and never wary.  I saw her today and knew immediately that this is
when, more than ever before, I needed her to be here.  I feel able to face the world, bear the
burdens, endure the regret, simply because she looked at me with her beautiful hazel brown eyes
and said, “This is what I want.”
I don’t know how she can love me as much as she does.  I don’t know how she hangs on
to hope in the face of this storm.  All I know is that she looks at me, faces everything that comes
along, and does so gracefully, because to her, I am worth it.
The world can rage, spew, kick and scream because I am loved, but it can never take the
gift of love from me.  It came from the grace of God, for His mercy indeed endures forever.
Thank you Father.
I know love can change the world, because it changes mine.  It turns stormy night into
tranquil day.

Thursday, December 31
My goodness what a day.  My mind is still spinning from it.
It started at 8:00 am with a visit from Kim.  She looked so adorable with her hair pulled
up loosely, and dressed in a cute pair of overalls and a long sleeve shirt. Despite what else I saw
later, she was the most beautiful thing my eyes beheld today.
After the visit, I went to the attorney/client room for a day with Steve, his brother, and a
camera man to make some videos for clemency.  I talked for five solid hours until my voice went
Steve sprang something on me, too.  He said, “I want you to make a video for Governor
Keating.”  I looked at him like he’d slapped me.  He said he wanted to surprise me with it so I’d
just be spontaneous.  (Thanks a lot, Steve) How do you share your heart with the Governor of the
State in five minutes?  How do you say anything that could possibly matter in so brief a time to
someone who doesn’t even know you?  It scared me, and I think I messed the whole thing up.
That’s when I truly saw my limitations.  I smacked into them like a brick wall.  I think
sometimes I get to believing if I could just show people enough of who I really am, that will make
a difference.  That’s a vanity born from listening to too many people say, “I thought you should
die until I really got to know you Sean; now I hope you live.  You have so much to give.”  Blah!
I sat there looking in that camera imagining Governor Keating sitting there, and I knew, I knew,
there were no words I could possibly say to the man to convince him of anything.  There was
nothing I could do to be worthy of mercy.  I felt as helpless as a child.
The one good thing about reaching your own personal limitations and coming up short is
that it puts God clearly in perspective.  Everything that is happening is not about me.  People say
I’m a great writer, but words don’t merge two hearts together.  Words don’t reveal one soul to
another.  Only God does that.  If Governor Keating grants me mercy it will not be because of
anything I did, it will be because God opened my heart to him.  And that is as it should be,
because the only worthy things IN my heart are things God put there.  It has never been about me,
it has always been about God IN me.
After the day was spent in front of that camera I found out I had to go to the Infirmary to
be x-rayed for security reasons-- in case I secretly swallowed something there in the room with
Steve.  So I was strip searched, chained up, taken to the Infirmary, and they x-rayed my belly and
my throat.   I was a bit frustrated by it, because it was about 5:00 pm and I had not gone to the
bathroom since 10:00 am.  I had to pee!  That would have to wait until they were done: the
Infirmary is about a quarter mile from this building.  Getting there and back involves a car ride,
and all that takes awhile.
But coming out of the Infirmary I looked at the sky, it made me catch my breath.  Driving
back I had a perfect view of the first sunset I have seen in 13 years.  The baby blue sky blended
into pink and purple toward the horizon, and the only clouds were a patched striation over the
sinking sun.  The walls and the towers crossed in front of it as we drove and became dark
silhouettes.  It made even the prison look beautiful.  Then as the car was parked, I got out and
turned around and there was the moon across the opposite horizon!  It was nearly full, just
materializing through the darkening sky.
I thought I was going to die without ever seeing another sunset.  Isn’t it amazing how the
gifts of God often come wrapped in the unpleasantries of life?

Friday, January 1, 1999
Well, I’ve made it to see 1999.  That was something I didn’t think would happen.
I called Margy tonight.  She was throwing a dinner party for just about everyone I know
in Tulsa.  She cooked her lasagne – which I hear is about the best anyone has ever had – and
invited everyone over.  Steve went too.  I called and talked to Kimby, Kim, Sarah – who’s come
from Colorado for the weekend to see me – Margy, Chad, Katie, Nicole, and Steve.  All gathered
there because they love me.
This is the kind of thing people don’t understand about Steve.  He’s not just my lawyer,
he’s my friend.  He eats dinner with the people I love, he goes out of his way to do things for me,
he defends me in the courts and fights for my life, not just because it’s his job, but because he
believes in me as much as everyone else does.  That may be the richest blessing God has ever
given me, because I have seen men here get attorneys who didn’t care whit about them.
John Duvall had an attorney like that.  He could hardly ever call the man.  Half the time
the guy wasn’t in his office, or the secretary was told to say that.  He did only a token job on
John’s case, filing scant briefs, sometimes late, ignoring requests from John to include certain
issues, and once the briefs were filed, John was beat.  He couldn’t file another himself-- even
though he tried – and those issues that were not included were ruled to be waived because they
were not filed in their proper time.  Some attorneys are like that.  Death penalty work is only an
easy paycheck.
I’ve listened to stories like that on the yard.  I’ve seen men talking and cussing and asking
advice, helpless and desperate to do something before it’s too late and their cases are mishandled
to the point that they’re sure to be executed, and I’ve gone back to my cell thinking, “Dear Lord,
thank you for watching over me.  Thank you for Steve.”
I’ve also asked, “Why me?”  Why has God watched over me the way He has?  Why didn’t
I have John Duvall’s attorney?  It could have easily turned out that way.  And if it had, I doubt I
would have seen 1999 at all.
Tonight in Tulsa, a group of people gathered in a house to eat homemade lasagne from a
buffet table.  There on that table, as they passed with their plates full of food, was a large photo of
me.  That’s why they were there.  They were gathered together because of their love for me.  It is
said a man is measured by the friends he has, but truthfully I don’t think I measure up to the image
that must be formed of me when you meet the people who love me.  The friends God has given
me are the best people the world has ever seen.  Sometimes I think I must be the richest man in
the world.
What is that line that Clarence writes George in the front of the book at the end of It’s a
Wonderful Life?  I can’t remember it exactly.  For me it goes like this: No man’s life is worthless
as long as he has friends.

Saturday, January 2
I saw Sarah today, and we talked about the purpose of the website.  She made me think
about some things.  Sometimes a thing grows on its own, and we find ourselves hanging on for
the ride rather than steering the wheel.  That’s what’s happening to me right now.  This journal
began as a request from Steve to be what I thought would become a simple record of my personal
thoughts in the last couple months of my life.  It was easy for me to write because it was very
private, but as we began to post my weekly entries on the website and people began to comment
on them, I’ve found myself going from a private format to a very public one.  Now when I pick up
this pen I feel a thousand eyes peeking over my shoulder, and I am conscious of writing as a voice
to readers and not just a voice to myself.  There comes a pressure with that consciousness, a kind
of responsibility, or expectation.  That’s a transformation I’m not really enjoying, but it has served
to remind me of the reason for the website.
This website is about me, but it is not for me.  It is for you.  I don’t write for myself.
There is something within me that has to write.  I could no more stop writing than I could stop
eating.  The results of each lead to the same end for me.  I have to write, and sometimes it is for
me.  Writing uncovers my soul to myself as much as it does to others.  There’s a wondrous
process of focus and introspection that pulls back the sheets of my soul in the writing of my
thoughts.  I’ve picked up my pen just because I feel a chaotic storm inside me and I needed to
know what was causing it.  I saw it revealed as I wrote.  I’ve thrown those pages away
immediately afterwards, or burned them as an offering and prayer to God.  That kind of writing is
very much for me, but that’s not the reason I write.  Most of what will appear on this webpage is
not at all for me, but for you: the world I long to touch.  That is the purpose of this website, to
give my work a public format, to find the ears to fit my voice.
I don’t write because I need to be noticed.  I write because I have something to say, and
the people who put this website together believe in what I have to say as much as they believe in
me.  Monday was a big reminder to me that not everyone feels that way, and recently I’ve let that
sidetrack me from what this is really all about.  As I approach my impending execution, it’s easy
to start focusing on ME rather than on what I have to say, but my death doesn’t change anything
about my life.  My life is about trying to make a difference.  It’s not about me, it’s about YOU.  I
have 32 days left to live, and in that time I still have so much to say.  I begin that tonight with this:
Everyone is commenting on my talent as a writer.  While that makes me feel good, and I
love the idea that I might actually be good at this and not just impassioned for it the focus on
talent is all wrong.  It’s NOT talent that touches the world.  I know plenty of talented people.
Talent by itself is nothing.  Talent is the mere beginning of possibility.  Talent is the first defining
parameter of what a person CAN do, but ultimately has only a minor role in what he WILL do.
We must never allow talent to be a buzzword for excuses in our lives.
“If only I had her talent.”
“If I had the talent to do what you do I’d make a million dollars.”
“If I had talent like he does I’d. . .”
“If I . . .”
If.  IF IF IF.
It’s so easy to look at other people’s accomplishments and lament our own lack of ability.
It’s so easy to zone in on what we CAN’T do and declare how effortless it is for someone else to
A guard told me one time looking at one of my paintings that if he could paint like that
he’d be a millionaire.  Yeah right.  Sure he would.  This particular guard spent most of his work
day with his feet on the control room panel, smoking cigarettes, and it was almost impossible to
get him to come out and even move the telephone for us.  Whatever talents lay within him were
deeply buried beneath the veneers of apathy and laziness.  It’s not talent, it’s EFFORT!
It is desire.  It is discipline.  It is direction.
It is work.
It is adding to talent, training and time!
It is the refusal to quit.
It is purpose and perseverance.
It is enthusiasm, and excellence.
It is pushing yourself to make that one extra step, try one time more, pick yourself up and
start over just once more.  And once more.  And once more still.
You never give up, you never give in, even when people ridicule you, twist every word
you say, misinterpret everything you do, malign you, and count the days until you die unwilling to
ever acknowledge any good you even try to do.  Even when they proclaim your sins as the total
sum of all that you are, ever were, and ever will be.  You never, ever, quit.
That is what makes a difference in this world, and that is something anyone can do.  It is
not about your talent, it is about your determination.  Talent comes from God, but what you do
with it is up to you.

Saturday, January 3
Prison is pain.  It’s sort of designed that way and what it doesn’t have by design it creates
by circumstance.  For example, a friend of mine broke his leg on the yard, but because the x-ray
machine was not working at the time the infirmary wrapped an ace bandage around it and sent
him back to his cell.  That was Friday morning.  Monday afternoon they took him to McAlester
Regional Hospital for the x-ray, and then they set the bone and put a cast on it.  He hobbled
around for 3 days with an unset broken leg, not by design, but by circumstance.  That’s prison.
Pain is a part of life here.  Pretty much a daily part.  A trip to the dentist takes an average
of 6 months.  You get a cavity, or toothache, and put in a request in May, you’ll probably see the
dentist in December.  You learn to eat on one side of your mouth, not to drink anything too cold
or hot, and how to sleep without rolling over on that side of your jaw.  Then there are canker
sores which I get often.  I’ve learned salt will numb them for about 2 minutes-- long enough to eat
something.  There’s no Chloraseptic, or Ambisol here.
The mattresses and pillows we sleep with are about like sleeping on the ground, and
there’s no place in a cell to sit comfortably.  There are no chairs, no cushions, only cement and
steel.  You wake up stiff and aching, and your back is always stressed.  Everyone in prison gets
back trouble eventually.  The doctors tell me I have slight Scoliosis, my spine has two curves in it
that hurt every day.  Constant back pain was the reason Mike Long ended his appeals and chose
to be executed.
I also get headaches.  I think they’re caused from a concussion I got as a kid when I broke
my nose.  I cracked my skull in 3 places when I did that, and it seems like after that was when the
headaches and allergies started.  My headaches center behind my right eye and get so bad I can’t
do anything but lay down and beat on my forehead to try to numb it.  I’ve often thought about
suicide during those times.
You see, in prison you can’t get up and take a pill when you hurt.  Sometimes you can get
aspirin or Tylenol from the guards from a bottle in the control room, but it’s only replaced once a
month, and if they’re out, they’re out.  It takes at least a week to get a prescription for Motrin or
something, and again if it runs out.  Most of the time when you hurt you just have to deal with it.
Usually when we think of pain we think of physical hurt, but in prison you learn there are
lots of other kinds of hurting.  Loneliness is a pain that can outweigh all others.  Regret can hurt
worse than loneliness.  Guilt.  The knowledge of having hurt someone else.  Apathy.  Being
ignored and treated with contempt.  Condemnation.  Never to know the release of forgiveness.
There are deep, deep pains in prison.
But through all of that, I’ve learned something about humanity.  We’re pretty much
wimps!  Go look at a pharmacy and see the long isle of pain relievers.  If there’s the slightest pain
someone will market a way to escape from it and earn millions.  We feel the slightest ache and we
reach for a pill.  And we do that with those other pains, too.
In prison you learn to deal with pain, and in the dealing you discover it’s not as horrible as
you thought.  Sure it hurts, but you get through it, and the next time it’s not so bad.  I can endure
my headaches because I’ve HAD to, and I’ve gotten used to them.  When a person can run from
pain he WILL, but when he CAN’T that’s when he discovers his strength.
The test of life is in overcoming our pains.  Most people in the world don’t do that.  They
avoid, run from, or medicate them.  It’s easier to avoid someone you’ve harmed than deal with
the pain of trying to fix it.  It’s easier to leave your husband or wife than it is to deal with the pain
caused by a problematic marriage.  It’s easier to turn on a radio and push away your bad
memories than deal with the pain of what was once done to you.  So what that your life becomes
a wreck while you’re avoiding and running from all that hurt!        
Prison has taught me one thing ever so clearly.  Pain is not our enemy.  It is the alarm
system of life.  It’s the shout that warns us something is wrong.  You don’t turn off an alarm
when it sounds, you deal with the situation that made it go off.  When you hurt inside that should
tell you something is wrong.  Don’t ignore it, hope it will go away, avoid the situation that made
you hurt or pretend it wasn’t really that big of a deal.  Take hold of it and FIX it!  You have hurt
someone?  Try to make up for it.   Someone is hurting you?  Make them stop.  Tell them, “You
are hurting me.”  Someone has harmed you and you hate them?  Try to forgive them.  You have
emotional scars that still affect your relationships today?  Talk about them.  Share them.
Overcome them.
Pain is the biggest obstacle in life from happiness, but it was never intended to be such.  It
was intended to show us the areas of our life that are wrong or broken so we can fix them.  It was
intended to point out the things that need our attention so we CAN be happy.
If you hurt, do something about it.        

Monday, January 4
Let’s talk laughter.  Laughter can be very essential to survival.  Sometimes you just have
to know when to laugh.  
Ever since I broke my face and shattered my nose when I was 11, I’ve had allergies.  I’ve
never figured out what I’m allergic to, exactly, because there can be snow on the ground in the
dead of winter and my nose will one day just start running, my eyes itch like someone rubbed dry
leaves in them, and so much slime in my throat I’m coughing it up to keep from choking.  So. . . I
keep allergy pills at all times.  They sell them to us on the canteen.  In my cell, before I was
moved, I had both Actifed, and some generic cold & allergy tablets, but you see, years ago a man
named Robert Brecheen tried to commit suicide the night before his execution.  He overdosed on
some prescription pills he got from another inmate.  The guards found him unconscious in his cell,
rushed him to the emergency room where they pumped his stomach and gave him stimulants, and
once conscious and semi-coherent, they brought him back to be executed a few hours later.  That
was an interesting vigil.  Keep him awake so he’ll be conscious when we put the drugs in his arm
to knock him out and kill him.  As you can imagine, it was quite a media ordeal for the prison.  As
a result of that, 60 days prior to our execution we now come under this deathwatch policy where
we are isolated and strictly monitored and restricted.  When they moved me to the deathwatch cell
they took my allergy pills from me.
They also took all my winter clothes.  I’m given a T-shirt, short sleeve blue shirt, and a
pair of jeans to wear in here.  This cell however has a wall that connects to our exercise yard.
That makes it a solid cement outside wall, and being winter, that wall is frozen.  The cell stays
cold all the time.  Yesterday I froze all day, and this morning was just as bad, plus I woke up with
an allergy attack.
So, at 9:00 am I got a hold of a Case Manager and told him the problems.  I requested a
shirt of some kind with sleeves, and something for my allergies.  I was wearing my jeans, shoes,
T-shirt, and blue shirt.  Everything I had.  At 10:00 am the guards exchanged my clothes for new
clean ones.  Not only did I not get anything with sleeves, but they forgot to include a blue shirt
with my new clothes, so now I’m down to just a T-shirt.
I blew my nose all day until it’s red and sore, and my eyes look like I was poked with a
sharp stick.  I waited for the Case Manager to get back to me.  Waited.  And waited.
You do a lot of that in prison.
At 4:00 pm he came to bring me my mail and said, “We talked about your problems, and
gee, you have some valid claims, but we don’t know what to do.  We can’t give you your pills,
and you’re not allowed to have your sweats or thermals.  You’ll have to talk to the Warden about
it tomorrow at your 30 day review.”
At 7:00 pm the nurse came.  I had to strip down to my boxer shorts, step into the shower,
let them close the cell door behind me, open the next door, and step out in front of her so she
could watch me drink the muscle relaxer I get for my back.  So there I am, requesting to be
allowed to have my allergy pills, and some warm clothes, and I’m standing there shivering in my
drawers with goose bumps coming up on my legs as I drink a pill dissolved in water and made to
open my mouth to be sure I swallowed it.
Sometimes you just gotta know when to laugh.  You have to take pride, frustration,
dignity, and anger, toss them all at your feet, throw your head back and just laugh.  The day you
can no longer do that is the day life begins to beat you.

Tuesday, January 5
Last night something happened to me.  It’s not the first time, in fact it has happened often.
I wake up in the middle of the night feeling alone, isolated, and absent from God.  I think
it would be like waking up to find your husband or wife has left you, gone with bags packed.  It’s
a horrible, terrifying feeling.  What flashed through my mind was, “God doesn’t exist.  This is all a
delusion.  There is no God.”  I reached out for Him in the panic of those thoughts and grasped
nothing.  No peace.  No presence.  No comfort.
The security of God’s presence in my life is the foundation of who I am.  All my drive,
confidence, and passion comes from that.  When it’s not there, I shrink inside, I cringe back from
the world, I see no purpose to anything I do.  Blackness and Cold wait on the periphery of that
security and reach for me.  It’s the most frightening thing in my life.  The horror of Hell is not
flames, it is the absence of God.
I went back to sleep, and when I woke up this morning, God was here.  In fact I woke up
praying about Destiny Discipleship.  I became conscious of myself praying words about the future
of that vision.   I woke up in conversation with God, and when I realized it, I took a deep breath,
and sighed.  I wrapped myself tightly in His presence and laid there in bed feeling that security
once more.
It always happens that way.  Every time I have woken up in the middle of the night with
God gone from me, I wake up again in the morning with everything okay.  I don’t know what
causes it.  There’s nothing to repent for.  Nothing changes between the mid of night and the
morning.  It’s not like I have some sin I must be cleansed of before God can be close to me again.
There is no pattern to it, it just happens.  The only good thing that comes from it is, it keeps me
conscious of God’s presence.  I don’t take it for granted.  I can’t imagine being like Saul or
Samson who did not know the Spirit of God had departed form them.  When God leaves, I panic.
I guess that’s why I find questions like, “Are you confident you will go to Heaven,” rather
silly.  People who ask me that just don’t understand how I live, or how much God is truly a part
of me.  People who do, however, are often surprised to learn I have my times of doubt.  I do.  I
love science, and I watch a lot of things on PBS, Discovery, and The Learning Channel.  Modern
science is usually based of the first assumption that God does not exist, and my mind catalogues
everything I see there to play back to me the oddest information at the most inopportune
moments.  I walk with God, I have heard His voice, I have had visions, I have spoken words from
Him over people, and yes, even after all that I still have moments when I ask myself if it’s all some
grand delusion.  But you see, the thing is, I really DO know science, enough to know half the
theories of evolution are not supported by the fossil records, and the base understanding of
quantum physics contradicts everything standard science knows to be true.  There are far more
mysteries in the universe than there are assurances, and an honest Seeker will eventually find God
again at the end of those doubtful paths of reasoning.  I know because I have followed them all
the way back to Him.
There is no magic to my relationship with God.  I’m not special.  I don’t have some
supernatural security that keeps me close to Him in the midst of the storms.  I face the same
doubts and insecurities as everyone else does.  I’ve never personally seen a miracle, and yet I
continue to pray for one.  What keeps me close to God is that I continually reach out to Him with
all my mind, all my heart, and all my strength.
Today I had my 30 day notice.  They took me, handcuffed and shackled, into the guards’
break room, where their vending machines are, and sat me down in front of everyone.  Warden,
deputy warden, Chaplain, etc.  All the senior staff.  Heck, even the maintenance supervisor.
Beyond meeting the Warden for the first time, it was no big deal.  They just told me they were
going to kill me, and how it would be done.  Pretty standard stuff.
Afterwards I talked to Warden Gary Gibson, alone.  I like him.  I apologized for all the
trouble over the website, and he said he’d read it and didn’t see anything wrong there.
So I have 30 days left to live now.
And still praying for that miracle.

Wednesday, January 6
John Castro dies tonight.  This morning I heard them take him away.  I sense the
emptiness of that cell above me now.  It’s a very somber feeling.
I talked to him last night.  He told me about his crimes and then said something poignant:
He said, “Sean, I was on the yard once talking about all this, and all the guys I hang out with were
saying, ‘Man you were dumb.  You shouldn’t have done this,’ or I shouldn’t have done that.  You
know, the details of the crime.”
“They were saying you shouldn’t have got caught,” I said.
“Exactly.  I shouldn’t have got caught.  I told them, ‘Listen to all of you .  Not one of you
said I shouldn’t have killed those people.  What’s the matter with all of you?’  They just said, ‘Oh
man, I didn’t know you were going to get serious about it.’”
We talked for about an hour and a half.  I know John was sincerely sorry for what he did.
I asked him if he ever wonders how his life led to becoming a person who committed murder.
“All the time, Sean.  All the time.”
Most of us on Death Row have earned the death penalty, not just by our crimes, but by
our lives since those crimes as well.  There are many men here who talk a lot about what they
should have done different, and when I listen to them talk I realize the only difference important
to them is the one that would have kept them from getting caught.  I have to stay away from
those men or there will be a fight.  No one will brag about his crimes in my presence on that yard.
That was a determination I made in my heart a long time ago.  For so many here, public sentiment
is right on and well deserved.
But there are others, like John, who did horrible things, are guilty, and are sorry for it.
Often they’re here for a single murder and when you hear about the circumstances, you discover it
was a situation that just got out of hand.  A bar fight that went too far, a family argument that
turned violent, a drug deal that went awry.  They were living a wrong kind of life, but they did not
set out to kill anyone initially, and they’re sorry for it.  In fact they were sorry for it when it
happened.  Others intended to murder, but they too are so sorry for it.  These are the people who
don’t deserve the death penalty.
Don’t deserve. . . those may be the wrong words.  Perhaps anyone who commits murder
for any reason in any circumstance deserves the death penalty.  I guess what I’m reaching for is
that there are differences in men here.  Those differences should mean something.  What’s in the
heart should mean as much as what’s in the facts.
I said one harsh thing to John last night.  I felt bad saying it the night before he was to die,
but I had to say it still.
“What did you give the Clemency Board that would have made a difference to them?
That public out there hates us, and most of us here don’t give them any reason not to.  They see
us as monsters, maniacs, psychopaths, and stone cold killers, and what is anyone doing here to
give them reason to think differently?  We owe that world.  We have a responsibility to make up
for what we did, to give the world a reason to spare our lives.  Who here do you see making any
effort to do that?  Being sorry is not enough.”
He said I was right.  What I wonder though, is if I would have said it to him ten years ago,
would it have made a difference in what he did with his life here?  That’s why I tried to put
together the Restoration Foundation years ago, to give repentant men a way to do something.
The truth is few of us here do anything worthy of mercy, anything deserving of a second chance.
We get what we deserve, not just because we committed murder, but because we do nothing with
our lives afterwards.  I can’t live like that.  I can’t look at myself in the mirror and know I am
doing nothing with my life.  How can anyone else?  I don’t understand that.

Thursday, January 7
Think of your stereotype of a death row inmate.  Picture it in your mind.  Focus it.  Add in
all the images from every movie you’ve ever seen.  Let it form until it’s hard and cold.  Then read
on and see if this fits into that image.
I talked to Robert and Steve today.  Robert was a witness to John Castro’s execution.
John’s last statement, the last words he spoke teetering on the edge of the Great Abyss, after he
apologized to the family of his victims, were these.
He had wanted to have his son at the execution, but the Warden could not allow a 16 year
old boy to witness such a thing.  Why then, John asked the media gathered to watch him die, do
they find it all right to execute someone who committed a crime as a juvenile at 16?
As he lay dying, John Castro reached out and spoke for me.  His last words were spoken
on my behalf.  Had I never known humility, had I never been stopped dead in my tracks and
stunned to silence before, I could not say so now.
And do you know the shame of it?  The press is burying that.  The McAlester paper
printed an article on John last week from an interview he did, and the editor of the paper pulled
that comparison from the story.  Reporters are overlooking his statement.  No one wants to give
it any public address.  That a 16 year old can be sentenced to die in Oklahoma but not watch
someone die, should be news, but the politics of it are silencing it.  I don’t care about me, I’m
thinking rather of John’s effort.  A man feels so strongly about something, and makes the effort to
put it on his lips as he dies to make a statement to try to get people to think, and those who hear it
rob him, deny him even the consideration of sharing it with the public.  They refuse to even repeat
his last words in life.

Friday, January 8
I am so tired.  I wrote for 15 hours yesterday on my autobiography and woke up this
morning still tired.  I should have stayed in bed.  I still have not gotten any allergy pills, even
though the doctor keeps saying I’m supposed to have them already, and I’ve had a headache all
day today from it.  This is what prison usually feels like though.  Sometimes I really question my
desire to live.   I mean really.   There’s not much on me that doesn’t hurt or ache today, and I am
so, so tired.
I can feel John Castro’s absence above me.  We only talked a few times.  It wasn’t like he
kept me company or anything.  Now that he’s gone, though, I realize the knowledge of him up
there was a kind of company.  Now with that cell empty I am truly and wholly alone.  This kind of
isolation is different from anything I’ve ever known in prison.  I see no one but guards.  I talk to
no one.  I am absolutely alone.  A dead man awaiting death.  There’s just me and God.
Why fight it?
When I worship God I get close to Him, but that only makes me want to get closer still.
This life prevents that.  When God is all I have, it makes me want to die and be WITH Him.  Are
the things I want to do with my life really that important?  Even that important to me?
The irony of it is almost humorous.  I know so many people think I’m fighting to live
because I’m either afraid to die, or I just don’t want to die.  They think prison is a cushy life, with
a color T.V., three meals a day, and no responsibilities.  They think I just relax here all day and
live in comfort, when the truth is, I have to fight daily to hang on to my desire for life because of
where I am.  I think that’s very ironic.
Okay Sean. (Sigh) why are we going to get up tomorrow?  Why face this one more day?
Because there are still books to write?  No.  Right now that’s nothing but a lot of work, and I’m
too tired to even think about that.  I can only think of one reason to get up tomorrow: Because
Nicole wrote me a letter and told me I’m the only one who “gets it.”  As she faces the problems in
her life everyone else she knows gives her pat, off the cuff answers, and they don’t help her at all,
but I do.  Because she said I’m the only one in her life who’s ever really been able to help her with
these things.  That’s it.
Nicole, Dearheart, tomorrow’s for you.

Saturday, January 9
Today was much better.  This evening they finally got some allergy pills started for me.
That’s the way life works, we hold on, take that next step, face the next day, and sometimes that
next day turns out to be exactly what we needed.  I feel much, much better today.
I also heard something today that struck a chord within me: Two men were working in a
quarry cutting rocks.  Someone asked the first man, “What are you doing.”  He looked up,
frowned, sighed and grumbled, “I’m cutting a rock.”  He asked the second man the same
question, “What are you doing.”  The second man looked up, smiled, and said, “I’m building a
It is the perception of why we do what we do that takes us through the work of doing it.
I’d never heard that little story before, but now I’ll never forget it.  I asked myself, “What are you
doing.”  I saw a few answers, but at the end of them all, I found this one: “Trying to make a
difference in the world.
I saw the commercial for the movie The Thin Red Line.  In it, Sean Penn asks someone,
“What kind of a difference do you think one man can make in all this?”
I said out loud to my T.V., “Absolutely none, if I don’t try.”  That’s what it’s all about for
me.  It doesn’t matter if people want me dead, it doesn’t matter if I die here, it doesn’t matter if
my life in the end doesn’t mean anything, what matters to me is what I did from my heart while it
was still beating.  What was I reaching for?  What was the motivation, purpose, and goal for all
that I did?  What was I really, really DOING by writing books, poems, comics, letters, etc?  What
did I put the tools to the stone for?   Just for the sake of cutting the rock?  No.  I did it-- am
doing it-- all to make a difference.  
I honestly don’t know why that’s so important to me.   I just can’t cut rocks.  I have to
build churches.

Sunday, January 10
I saw Chad and Katie today.  Unless we all get some kind of gracious miracle it will be the
last time I see them until the day I die.  First Christen, then Carlos and Jean, then Kim and Sarah,
now Chad and Katie.  Next and last will be Kimby and Margy.  When my last two visits are done
for the month the next time I see anyone will be the day I die.
Chad is unique among all my friends.  He’s the only guy out there who’s stuck close to me
as a friend over the years.  All the other guys have come and gone, fading in and out, but not
Chad.  For some reason he’s still here.  We’ve dreamed our dream of Christian comics together
for so many years, and he’s been the only one to dream it with me too.  It feels good to have a
friend to talk shop with.  We’ve prattled on for hours and pages about perspective, sequential
story telling, lighting, how to get that perfect angle for a panel to give it the right mood, stuff that
no one else in my world cares one whit about.  Working alone can be very lonely.  I can’t imagine
what my work in comics would have been like without Chad.  I don’t think I could have kept at it
without his interest and encouragement.  Everyone of our visits seemed to fill my tank, energize
or excite me enough to do the work, and comic books are an unimaginable amount of work.  I
could not have held the discipline to do it without Chad’s partnership.
Then came Katie.  Katie Kane.  Sweet little Candy Kane.  I don’t think she realizes what
she did for my friend.  I knew him for years before they met, and when they met, Chad changed.
She breathed life into him, and I’ve seen the weariness of his old life be washed from his brow.
The longer they are together, the happier he seems.  If that’s all she did, I’d love her for it, but
she’s become a friend all her own-- so much so, they actually time each other during our visits so
one of them can’t hog the phone!  How often I’ve seen her sit there as we talk about some oddity
or aspect of art not at all hiding her boredom, then get the phone and ask me if I need anything.
Always concerned about me.
When they came together, Mood Comics was born.  We’ve been a trio in this for what
seems like forever now, and yet it’s only been a couple of years.  It’s rare for someone to come
along, become interested, and then share the vision of your heart, but that’s what she did for Chad
and for me, only for him she was also the cool rain and the Spring sunshine.
I used to dream of being a real part of that business with them.  No. . . I still do.
Impending death does not quench the desire.  That would have been my career had I had that
chance at life, and somewhere, some 5 year old child would learn to read on our comics like I did
on Stan Lee’s, or some 13 year old would dream of being like our heroes the way I did of Chris
Claremonte’s X-MEN.  How much a thing like that could mean is incomprehensible to anyone
who never had their own heroes as a child.
Now it’s all gone.  The next time Chad and Katie see me it will be me saying goodbye.
They will carry the dream, and the characters I have left to them, alone.  But the dream itself will
not die.  That part still excites me.
It always feels good to be excited.  People in the world don’t dream enough.  Why is that?
How do we live without dreams?

Monday, January 11
I had an interview today with the Washington Times.  I’m still very uncomfortable with
reporters and the hardest part is that with them I become self conscious of who God has made
me. Years ago, when I had first gotten here and had begun to reach out for the Lord, I did an
interview.  I was still pretty young, naive, and unassuming.  I was just being me.  When I began to
talk about what God meant to me, the reporter became very stiff, skeptical, and said, “This
sounds rehearsed.”  I think that was the moment I first saw it: The world thinks I’m a fake.  I’ve
seen too many reporters’ faces draw up when I speak of God.  Now I’m self-conscious of what I
say to them.  You see, I can’t be myself to a reporter, not fully, because when I am they think I’m
faking, putting on a show.
Isn’t that ironic?
So I hold myself in check.  I don’t use Christian words.  The world doesn’t understand
Christian words, like ministry, fellowship, burden, intercession, vision, leading, discipleship, etc.  I
can’t say, “The Holy Spirit laid a deep burden on my heart for this person,” or “God led me to do
that,” or “My fellowship with God is the most important thing in my life.”  Anytime I get real like
that, where I speak of my true relationship with God, I see that wall of skepticism come up and I
realize they think I’m putting on a front to make myself appear spiritual.
I have to admit, I find myself MAD at the world for that.  It upsets me that I have to hold
myself in check and not sound “too religious” in order for them to actually take my relationship
with God seriously.  I mean, isn’t that absurd?  The only time I am ever happy is when I’m
working for the Kingdom of God, when I’m writing on discipleship, or a sermon, or ministering
to someone.  When I am being USED by God to touch a life, when I’m following the vision He
gave me for my life, THAT’S when I’m really me.  That’s what my life is.  That’s all my life is.
That’s all that’s really important to me, bringing healing, wholeness, wisdom, spiritual realities,
the presence of God to people’s lives.
I love God.  With all my heart, and all my soul, I love God.  That’s who I really am.  I am
a teacher in the Body of Christ, a shepherd.  That’s what God has made me.  I know every book
of the Bible.  I can read Hebrew, I can read some Greek, I can teach extensively on baptisms,
laying on of hands, faith, repentance, the Feasts of Israel, the High Priest, the sacrifices, authority,
principles of wisdom, church structure, marriage, parenting, all from the Bible, and how to apply
the principles to our daily lives.  I didn’t learn all that to put on a show for people, or to impress
anyone.  I learned it because God’s Word and ways are my passion!  And I am a good teacher
too.  People talk about my talent as a writer, but I really don’t care about my ability to string
words together.  I care about finding the right words to express God’s truths to someone so she
can understand them better, I care about finding a way to reveal the reality of God to someone so
he can walk with Him daily.
And if I dare show that passion on camera, if I dare let myself get excited about God and
what He really does in my life, if I let a reporter see that part of who I really am, well. . . then the
world thinks I’m a fake.

Tuesday, January 12
I don’t know what to feel.  I don’t know what to write.  Every time I talk to someone I
get some piece of news that changes what I’m feeling one way or another.
I hear that most of my step-father’s family says I was spoiled, got everything I wanted,
and Mom always took my side in things.  And how does that make me feel?  Angry at them.  I
don’t want to feel that toward them, I have no right to do so.  So what if it’s not true.  It doesn’t
really matter.  I guess it makes me angry because I realize once again someone is seeing an image
of me, a false image, rather than the real me.  But again, what does it matter?
I received a letter from an old friend of my Mom’s.  She’s the only person who has ever
come forward and said, “I saw your Mom hit you.”  That affirmation feels good because other
people have said I made it up, and none of my family will say anything about it.  But more than
say she saw it, this lady told me about an incident I had completely blocked out, and can barely
remember now, and she apologized to me for not saying anything about it then, for not saying,
“Vonda this is wrong.”  She apologized to ME!  This is not just some acquaintance, this was one
of my Mom’s closest friends, somebody I hurt very much.  And she apologized to me, asked me
to forgive her.  Nobody has ever done that before.  She’ll never know how much that meant to
The fact that she told me about an incident I didn’t remember makes me feel strange.  She
said it was something she expected no one could forget.  Every time I think I have my past all
figured out and chronicled, something like that comes up.  That’s when I realize how much I
really was dissociating, how substantial the MPD really was.  And it makes me wonder what else I
don’t remember.
Of course, then somebody comes up and says I’m faking MPD to get off death row, and I
get angry all over again.  I went through hell here for 2 years because of that diagnosis, and
somebody who doesn’t even know me wants to put forth an opinion that once again replaces me
with a more acceptable image.  Then I realize I’m getting made over a stranger’s opinion?  Why?
I tell myself I have nothing to prove to the world, but the truth is, I do.  I’m trying to prove who I
And I really think I’m failing.
Images are harder to overcome than I ever imagined.

Wednesday, January 13
Three weeks to live.  That’s how long I have.  I’ve been working all day on my
autobiography, remembering the one time in my life when I was really happy.  We were living in
Colorado, I was involved in Civil Air Patrol.  I had a clique of friends from there who were the
closest friends I’d ever known.
I keep wondering what would have happened if we had only stayed there.  It was here,
back in Oklahoma, I met a witch and got involved in Satanism, and a big part of that was because
I wasn’t doing anything else.  As long as I was involved in Civil Air Patrol I didn’t have time to
get into any of that crud.  It was when I was back here, dejected, isolated, and had quit inside that
I turned to the occult.  I had been interested before, but it was a waning interest because I had
other things to occupy myself with in Colorado.
That’s caused me to do some thinking.  I wish someone would do a study on this.  In the
Church we know Satan’s first tactic of destruction is to isolate someone.  Once isolated,
separated from his support structure--whatever it is-- he becomes vulnerable.  All these kids who
have shot people at school, done things that shock us to our core, all these kids involved in the
occult, are they involved in anything else?  Are they involved in sports at school, or belong to any
clubs or activities?  I bet they are NOT.
Teenagers NEED activities.  Not just to keep them occupied, but to give them a sense of
belonging and the responsibility of being a part of something.  Things like Civil Air Patrol,
Scouting, organized sports, school and community clubs, and such, are essential to a teenager’s
development into healthy adulthood.  Typically, kids involved in criminal gangs are not involved
in anything else either.  Their needed sense of belonging is satisfied by their identification with the
gang, and that proves to be so destructive.  It seems like kids are going to find something to
belong to if we don’t guide them, and many of the things they choose end up in death.
In some cities now, there are groups of vampires.  These are teenagers who get attracted
to the dark and sensual appeals of the modern vampire mythos, and they clan together pretending
to be vampires.  It’s very structured, too.  Based on the television show, “Kindred: The
embraced,” which ran for only one season, they join specific family clans, and spend their time at
clubs dancing, dressed in Gothic style clothes, drinking each other’s blood, doing drugs, etc.  I
believe there is a role playing game for “Kindred” which they use as a guidebook for their clan
structures and patterned behavior.  I say I think.  I could be wrong on that.
The thing is, as bizarre as it sounds, those kids cling to this, believe in it, and are being
destroyed by it.  The ideas of vampirism are very self-destructive.  These kids eventually end up in
self mutilation and sado-masochistic sex.  Darkness, blood, pain, and sexuality are the defining
ideals of vampirism.
And I can bet you none of those kids are actively involved in football and cheerleading at
school.  That’s my point.
The vampire clans are an extreme example, but it’s one that should make us sit up and
take notice.  Our kids need good activities to be involved in.  No junior high or high school kid
should be left to himself.  They should all be involved in something.  I think chances are, if they
are not involved in something positive, they will get involved in something negative.  And it’s
those kids who don’t participate in anything we need to look more closely at, give more attention
to, and try harder with, because those are the ones who are most likely to be in need of us.

Thursday, January 14
When I was 14 and 15 I had a close group of friends in Colorado.  There were about 6 of
us and we were all friends with each other.  That was new to me because usually I had one friend
here, another there, and the two of them wouldn’t know, or even often like each other.  The six of
us had met in Civil Air Patrol and grown close, even though we all went to different schools.
At a C.A.P. Halloween party, we were all huddled together dancing, and someone asked
where would we be in 10 years.  As we talked we all decided we would still know each other,
we’d still be friends.  When that ten year mark came, I was 24, and we were all gone from each
other’s lives.
I don’t know what happened.
When I look in my heart though, I’m struck by the immense love I still feel for these
people.  I love them as much now as I did then.  What happened to us?  Did we grow up, change,
and drift apart because the changes left us with no common ground to relate to each other?  Was
our young friendship only a desire for intimacy and belonging that has been replaced by other
relationships now?  Or did we just not put enough effort into our love?  
How many of the people we love do we lose to our lack of effort?  I believed we’d be
friends forever.  What happened to that forever?  People DO change as they grow older.
Preserving a friendship over many years means allowing of those changes, and loving through
them.  I know I could have done that better myself.  I could have been more patient, made less
demands, been more careful.
Farhad, Tracy, Kim, Mary, I miss you all so very much.  I’m sorry for so many things.
Things I did and did not do.  I don’t believe a week has ever gone by that I have not thought of
one of you.  I have reached out to you in the lonely nights, treasured my memories and our love,
and wished for you in my life.  I wonder are you married?  Are you finally a surgeon now,
Farhad?  I watch ER and think of that often.  Are you all happy?  Are you all okay?
I love you still.  I always have.
I don’t think I ever thanked you for what you were to me.  When I was lost and empty
and alone, your friendship became the brightest most radiant spot my life ever knew out there.
For that short time there with you I was truly happy for the first time in my life.  Thank you for
giving me that just once.
Since I left you, I have never known happiness again.  Joy.  Love.  But not happiness.

Friday, January 15
Last night I had a dream.  I was sitting outside at some kind of picnic table with my step-
brother and step-sister.  They were talking to me, asking me questions.  I was trying desperately
to give them the answers they needed, but I was failing.  Failing.  I broke down, sobbing, crying,
and I couldn’t stop.  All I could say was, “I’m sorry.  Please believe me, I’m so sorry.”
I haven’t been able to get the dream out of my mind all day.  It seems to capsulate exactly
what I’ve felt for years now.  Maybe there are no answers.  Maybe some things simply are
impossible.  Maybe they never will see anything but pain when they look at me.  God, I hope not.
I pray not.
Today I read a paper I turned in to my English teacher when I was 16.  I had not looked at
it in years.  It was an explanation of what Satanism had done for me.  I can’t believe I wrote it.  I
read it today and thought, “This is who I was?  How could I have written this crap?”  I had
forgotten all about it.  It was such nonsense, and yet I remember being so sincere when I wrote it.
It’s hard to imagine today I was that confused, and that young.
Over the years I’ve read a lot of papers similar to mine, written by teenage Satanists.  I
guess today I got a glimpse of why they really listen to me.  Everything they do, I did, all they
believe and think, so did I.  Not having looked at it in so many years I had no reference to
measure how far I’ve come since then.  It honestly boggles me even now.
In fact. . . I can’t even comprehend it.  I mean honestly.  I today, look at that, and I do not
know HOW I could have been so blind, so confused.  What is that?  God?  The maturity of
adulthood?  Maybe both.
Something nobody has brought up is to what degree of accountability do we appoint the
originator of an idea?  Over the years this has come to my mind again and again.  Avon Books
keeps publishing Anton LaVey’s The Satanic Bible.  Do they hold no accountability for the lives
destroyed because of the ideas proposed in that book?  LaVey is dead.  Has anyone studied the
number of murders associated with that book?   I think it should be illegal to sell that book to
anyone under 21.  It should have restrictions similar to pornography listed as Adult Material.
When I ordered The Satanic Rituals, the companion book to The Satanic Bible, the mall
bookstore, B-Dalton’s or Waldenbook’s made it easy.  I told them, “When it comes in and you
call, don’t talk to anyone else but me.”  They told me, “Sure, that’s no problem,” and they wrote
on the order card, ‘talk only to Sean.’  They made it possible for me to get that book without my
mother ever knowing, and I was 15 years old.
The high school murder in Pearl Mississippi last year was a result of a kid murdered in
Satanism.  Not just one.  It was a group, and a second boy was arrested for conspiracy to murder
because of a list that was found among them.  Who wants to bet The Satanic Bible was one of the
books found with those kids?
We have laws protecting our kids from alcohol.  We have laws protecting them from
cigarettes.  We have laws protecting them from sexually explicit material.  We do so because we
recognize that our kids are not mature enough yet to be decisive about these things.  They prove
to be unhealthy to them.  How many more people have to die before we see how unhealthy the
ideas of Satanism are to our kids and start doing something about that?
Everyone who knows me knows I was a good kid.  I was a good student, responsible, I
never got into any real trouble.  And then I got involved in Satanism and everything changed.  We
can all stick our heads in the sand and say I was an evil kid and Satanism was an excuse, and we
can keep on saying that as it happens over, and over, and over, or we can stop, recognize that
Satanism is a cause for all this pain, and try to do something about it.
Ideas change people.  Some for the better, some for the worse.  Who would argue that
racism is a good idea, a good influence on a kid?  Who would dare say racist ideas do not affect
how our children think, and who they become?  Then how is it no one sees a need to do
something about Satanic ideas?  Please.  Let someone do a study if they don’t want to accept the
trail of blood.  Look at it.  Study it.  Do the numbers.  Do the ideas of Satanism change people for
the better, or for the worse?  Do those ideas make bad kids better, or good kids bad?
I’ll tell you this for sure.  I never smoked a cigarette, I never smoked a joint, and I sure as
hell never put a gun in someone’s face until after I read The Satanic Bible.

Saturday, January 16
When I was about 7, my great-grandma died.  I still think of her, and love her with a 7
year old’s love.  I sometimes still cry when I remember her too much, because I miss her.  She
gave me my first Bible, a big color illustrated hardback children’s Bible.  We used to shuck corn,
and snap beans together in the back yard.  I loved her so much, and I miss her still.
That was over 20 years ago, I was a child, and she was old and it was her time to go.  Yet
still I hurt and love from the memories of her and the absence of her.  For as long as I live, it will
be that way too.  That’s the way we feel when someone we love dies.  That’s a part of living.
The knowledge that I heaped such pain on people is the hardest thing I bear in my life.  So
many people will spend the rest of their lives with that same pain because I killed someone they
love.  They will always hurt because of me.
If they ask me, “Do you know what you did to me?”  I answer, yes.  Oh yes.  I know.  It’s
the knowledge that continually breaks me, that repeatedly drives me to my knees to beg God not
for my forgiveness, but for their healing.  But there’s more than that.  Every time they feel that
pain and loss they have to think of me who caused it, and that right there causes anger, hatred,
and a desire for revenge.  It’s a natural process.  When someone hurts us we want to hurt back.
However, anger, hatred, and vengeance are poisonous to the human soul.  They destroy
everything else we feel.  They overshadow our pain, our sadness, our grief, they make us burn
white hot inside, and that flame pushes people away from us.  When it subsides it leaves a soot
and darkness and coldness behind, and eventually, over time, that changes a person.  The light
goes out of their eyes.  Their hearts grow cold.  Their minds cynical, resentful.  Their whole lives
are poisoned by their hatred.
Many of the people I hurt hate me now.  The people in their lives see that hatred, and have
watched it change them, watched it steal the warmth from them.  How they too must end up
hating me for that.  I am responsible for all that as well.  I caused it.  And that bothers me as much
as the pain.  I know all too well what the desire to kill does to the human soul.  Someone may say
the desire for murder and the desire for vengeance are different, but if you say that you truly do
not understand.  There is one common factor in both.  Each one thinks itself justified, and each
one desires to see someone dead.  At their very essence they are not different at all.. They are
both darkness, both decay to the soul.  It does not feel good to desire someone’s death.
That’s why I pray for healing to those I have hurt.  Not for their forgiveness only, not to
absolve my conscience-- I will always carry the burden of their pain, always-- but because hating
me and wanting me dead is worse upon their souls than that pain.  Because sorrow and grief are a
part of life, and they soften and break us and drive us toward God, but hatred and vengeance are
poison.  They harden us and sour us and drive us away from God.
I don’t know how to reach them though, and I am so afraid of what will happen to them if
I am executed and they are happy because of it.  It won’t end their pain.  They will wake up the
next morning and still feel the same grief, but I don’t think they will ever see themselves as they
truly are before a holy God.  They will never be broken before God.  They will never give their
hearts to Him, and in the end they will lose their own souls.  And will I not also be partly
responsible for that as well?
As long as we see only someone else’s sins, we are blinded to our own.  As long as we can
feel justified for our hatred we will never find the humility to ask God forgiveness for our own
evil.  As long as we can see someone as far worse than ourselves, we will never see who WE are.
It is so easy to feel righteous compared to a murderer, but that righteousness is as filthy rags to
Avram told me once, a man’s heart determines how he reacts to something.  One man can
lose an arm and curse God for life because of it.  Another can lose an arm and be driven to God
and changed for life because of it.  The sun shines the same upon the wax and the clay.  The wax
is softened, the clay hardened.  It is the nature of each that makes the difference.  To some that
may mean I have no true responsibility for how people deal with the pain I caused, whether they
cling to God or run from Him, but I can find no comfort in that.
Lightning can split a tree, and one tree may recover and grow again with the scar of that
wound, while another may wither and die from it.  Maybe it is the nature of each tree that decides
the difference, but the tree that would die has a better chance at living if it is pulled back together,
bound, watered, and tended carefully.  I have been the lightning that split the trees.  Now all I can
do is watch to see if they will recover.  That’s not enough for me.  I was a thunderstorm that has
been transformed into a gardener.  It is my heart to tend to the trees.
I want to see them live.
But all I can do is pray.

Sunday, January 17
I just finished watching “Dead Man Walking.”
Well. . . it was very different from what I thought it would be.  I thought Sister Helen
Prejean knew Matthew for years.  I thought she had sort of redeemed and changed him, but I
watched it and was honestly surprised that it had created such a stir over the death penalty.  I felt
no sympathy for this man who repents half heartedly 20 minutes before his execution, more out of
fear than sorrow.  Helen Prejean though, I fell in love with Susan Sarandon’s portrayal of her.
That moment in the restroom where she prays desperately to reach him, I think that was the
essence of who she is.
The hardest part for me to watch was the moment she walked into the viewing room.
Suddenly her face was the faces of all who will watch me die.  The execution itself was a bit eerie.
18 days from that scenario, myself, and I finally see this movie.  I had to wonder if all the other
guys here were watching it, and if any of them were thinking of me as that was played out.  
I really don’t understand how this is an anti-death penalty movie.  Maybe it’s because I’m
here and I’ve lived for years with that movie lived out around me.  There are a lot of men just like
that on Death Row.  Truly Dead Men Walking, not because they are sentenced to death, but
because they are a waste of life.  They believe nothing, but maybe some racist creed.  They give
nothing.  They stand for nothing.  They don’t think or care about what they did.  And we want to
talk about the dignity of human life.
Dignity is inherent nobility and worth.  It comes from the Latin word ‘dignitus’ meaning
worthy.  Until a man stands up and takes responsibility for his life and for his world, where is
there any dignity in him?  Everyone wants to die a Christian.  Phooey!  It’s not good enough to
say I’m sorry as you’re tied to a table with a needle in your arm.  It’s not good enough to repent
the day you die.  What difference have you made in the world then?!  Where is the worth of that?
Where is the dignity?  Do you know how selfish a last minute conversion is?  God deserves better
than that.  He gave His SON to us that we might have life and that more abundantly.  He deserves
far, far more than a moment of desperate repentance before our souls enter eternity.  He deserves
There is nothing we can offer God.  He created the universe, what do we possibly have of
value to offer to Him?  We possess only one thing.  Our selves.  Our lives.  That is all we can
offer God.  A heart totally surrendered to Him, and a life of service is the only thing worthy of
God.  That is true dignity.  We can’t earn salvation.  It is a gift.  But it does come with a price.
We must trade ourselves for it.  Jesus can not be Savior where he is not Lord.  Once he is Lord,
one moment or a hundred years makes no difference in the matter of redemption, we can serve
Him for a second and die, or for seventy years and die, we are SAVED.  We are HIS.  But
anything less than that, anything less than absolute surrender, and there IS NO redemption.  You
can’t be a good person and spend eternity with God.  You have to be God’s person.  You have to
be HIS.  You either belong to Him, or you do not.
Well. . . I guess I did not like the movie.  I’m glad I saw it though.  It was weird being on
death row and never having seen the biggest “death penalty movie” ever made.  At the end there
was an interesting line.  The father of the young man, after watching the execution, says, “I still
have a lot of hate.”
I wonder, for him, when did the hating stop, and how?  When did the healing begin?

Monday, January 18
I wrote until I gave myself a headache today.  I can’t concentrate when my head hurts.  I
just have to lay down and relax.  Thankfully tonight, it actually went away.  It doesn’t usually do
I’ve been writing goodbye letters.  I’ve discovered a kind of finality to the words goodbye,
like a little box inside me closes.  As more and more of those boxes close my life feels different.  I
don’t know if I can describe it.
I’m really getting ready to die.  When you do that nothing comes next, ya know?  It’s not
like finishing a long project and wondering what you will begin tomorrow.  It’s like a great
symphony is playing inside me, and little by little the instruments are growing quiet.  As I check
off an item on my list, Destiny Discipleship lesson #10, done, the kettle drum stops beating.
Stories for Mood Comics, done, the first string of violins grow quiet.  With each goodbye an
instrument stops its playing, and stillness creeps over the stage, slowly, bit by bit.  Every day the
score thunders a little less, the melodies diminish a little more.  I’m not nervous.  I’m growing
quiet inside.
Today, laying down from my headache I stretched my arms out in the cold floor and
imagined the execution table, the needle in my arm, the people watching, my life. . . ending.
All was quiet.
And then I thought about living.
If we get the miracle so many are praying for, a new song will be beginning.  I can barely
even imagine it.  I close my eyes and try to hear it but I can’t.  All I can hear is the slow quieting
of the stage before me now.
You know, it’s very peaceful in the quiet.

Tuesday, January 19
In my mail today was a letter from the Chaplain thanking me for my journals.  Our
Chaplain Jimmy Harris was a Godsend to me.  I’ve written of Avram and Ruti, my rabbi and his
wife.  The Chaplain we had before Jimmy shut down our tape program--cutting us off from the
Christian music that had become so important to my daily life then-- and he kept Avram from
having services here.  He did nothing for us.  He was the administration’s Chaplain, not ours.  He
filed all the paperwork, took care of all the death notices and other functions he was supposed to,
and that’s it.  When he came on we all entered into a kind of spiritual darkness and we prayed for
2 years purposefully, as a group, for a new Chaplain.  Jimmy was the answer to that prayer.
When he came, light returned.
The tape program was reinstated with the help of Don and Cherie MacDonald, volunteers
who gave everything they had to us, and it continues today with the aid of Charles Story whose
heart should be too big for his chest.  Because of Jimmy Harris, everything the prison allows us to
have in the way of spiritual programs, we have.  I love that man.  I’d do anything to help him.
And he’s thanking me.
The next letter I opened was from a girl named Donna.  Well. . . girl no more.  She’s all
grown now, married, with children.  She said when she was a teenager she had a bottle of her
mother’s pills and she was going to take them, going to commit suicide, but I called her and
talked her out of it.  She thinks I could not possibly remember her!  Those years ago she sent me a
photo of herself standing in front of an Ozzy Ozbourne poster.  I prayed so many times for her
from that photo, and she thinks I’ve forgotten her?  She writes, “I cannot stress how much you
helped me through that dark and dismal time in my life.  Thank you very much.”  And she sent me
a poem she wrote.  Here’s Donna’s poem:
Nothing ever touches me
that does not go through
Him. . .
And nothing ever binds my
heart that has one chance
to win. . .
Nothing ever hurts me
that my Jesus cannot heal,
And I’ve never felt
Anything He didn’t also
feel. . .
He walks this journey with
me every minute, every
mile. . .
And nothing ever touches
me He doesn’t make worth

--Donna Lynn Austin

No Dearheart, thank you.  Thank you for shining so bright. Thank you for showing me the
answer to those prayers those years ago.
Half the mail I got today was like that. The other half was from the close friends praying
and working so hard for my life.
Then later someone hollered at me through the double doors of my cell and said Governor
Keating had said on the news somewhere once again that he will not grant me clemency.
Amazing how one little bit of news like that can change the whole atmosphere of your day.

Wednesday, January 20
I saw Kim Marks today--she’s an investigator with the Federal Public Defender’s office.
I’ve known her for years.  Kim Alyce Marks is also the daughter of Chaplain Marks who worked
here when I first came to prison.  Some very sweet blood runs in that family.  Very big hearts.
Today Kim Alyce brought me a copy of the Attorney General’s anti-clemency brief.  I
read statements from Robert Paul Bower’s dear family, saw photocopied photos of bodies, read
statements from the whole Bellofatto family as well as Dad’s Army friends.  All asking, pleading,
demanding for my death.  Something my step-brother wrote made me lose it.  I broke down and
bawled my head off in front of Kim.  I wanted to call off the Clemency Hearing and lay down and
die.  All I’ve been feeling and saying about pain and people not being healed was magnified and
laid before me there in those pages.  The ways I have hurt these people are unimaginable.
So much of it we never know.  We don’t see it.  We are locked in a cell where we make a
life for ourselves and we have no idea what goes on out there, what kind of ghosts we created
that haunt the people who must go on living.  I have had my own ghost, my own grief, but I never
knew theirs.  One of the things that bothers me most is to learn how all my efforts to make a
difference by speaking against Satanism served to bring even more pain to them because there I
was all the time, on T.V., in books, on the radio.  While I was trying to help others I was hurting
them, I did not know.  I honestly did not know.  No one ever told me.  No one ever called the
prison, or wrote to tell me how they felt, how it affected them.
That one thing makes me question anything I might want to do now.  This is so hard.  I
am pulled in two different directions.  I have two clear images in my mind right now.  The first is
of my step-sister crying, being haunted by my face and words appearing on T.V. and books, the
second is of Donna, sitting in her bedroom with a bottle of pills talking on the phone with me.
One makes me want to die, the other live.  One is my crippler, the other my passion.
Half the things they mentioned however I had nothing to do with.  It was all those “true
crime” books people have put out for the sole purpose of profit.  They used me and my crimes to
what?  Entertain people?  Shock them?  Those publishers are scum.  I can say before God with
sincerity, everything I wrote, every video I did, I did with the honest desire to keep some other
family from going through what mine did.  I NEVER intended to cause more pain.  And when I
had done that enough I quit.  People did not quit knocking on my door, I quit doing interviews.
Until the past couple of weeks I have not done an interview in 5 years, and it was because I did
not want to talk about Satanism and murder anymore.
There were some lies in this brief too.  The biggest one is my former unit manager Fred
Cook writing a statement saying I was coached and told what to do during the evaluations I had
that confirmed I have MPD.  What he wrote was an outright lie, and I can’t figure out why he did
It’s ironic.  Everyone who wants me dead thinks I faked the MPD, and yet during the
diagnosis, I was the one telling the psychologists they were deluded to even think I had MPD.  I
never wanted to have this disorder.  I fought and fought them until they showed me the results of
that EEG test.  You can’t fake an EEG.  The day they gave me the news, all smug and satisfied, I
was devastated.  Shocked.  Stunned.  I even tried then to reason past it, to come up with other
possibilities.  I hate this disorder.  I was not looking for any kind of “excuse” for my actions.  I
told the world I was guilty of my crimes long before anyone ever figured out the MPD.
That’s what I don’t understand.  Why lie?  I’m the one who put my confession out there.
I put it on the website.  And I’ve never tried to diminish the evil of it.  No one in the world would
have ever known I tried to poison my mother if I had not told it myself.  Dear God, I wasn’t
bragging, I was confessing.  So why would there be any lies needed?
I’ve told the truth to the absolute best of my ability and understanding.  The truth of who I
was, what I did, and who I am now.  I’ve accepted the truth.  Why can’t others?  Why is it too
much to accept that Mom hit me, that she was abusive?  When have I ever made an excuse of it?
Why is it too much to accept that I had MPD when I was a teenager?
And why make up lies about me?  I just do not understand that.  Over the years I’ve had
guards, a deputy warden, and now a unit manager just dream up things to make me look bad.
Vicious stuff.  Stuff completely out of the blue.  It hasn’t happened often, but it’s been significant
every time it has.  We don’t need lies to make me look bad.  The truth does that just fine.  So
what’s the motivation behind it?  I have asked myself, “Do they really possibly believe this?”
I had a cell partner once who read the newspaper.  Here the papers get passed around
from cell to cell.  Someone in the next cell tossed the paper in front of our door.  The beanhole
wasn’t opened so we couldn’t get it.  When a yard came back in, the guy who always got the
paper after us saw it laying in front of our door and picked it up and took it to his cell.
My cellie said, “Why, that punk.  He just grabbed that paper and took it!”  He really
believed the man slighted him on purpose.
When I pointed out that the guy had no way of knowing he had not read it, it was laying in
front of the door just like it is every time we’re done with it, he thought and said, “Yeah.  You’re
Perception determines so much of what we ‘know’.  Are people lying about me, or do
they simply believe the worst of me and interpret things they think they see according to that
perception?  I really WANT to believe the latter.  I want to believe it’s all a misunderstanding
when I hear people lie about me.  I guess it’s bizarre that I even care.
Why should I care if someone I hurt out there believes some small lie about me in the face
of all the true things I have admitted to them?  Isn’t it a matter of a burn caused by a 200º flame
or a 201º flame?  Sort of insignificant difference huh?  It’s just that, to me, that insignificant
variation is the difference between some image of me, and who I am.
The fact is, the people I hurt will see all the truth, and still want me dead.  I have no
illusions about that.  I wish I had died when I first came to prison.  I mean that sincerely.  It would
have been so much simpler then.  Now though, I have to live if I can.  A part of me hopes I can’t.
You have no idea how much easier it would be to lay down and die.  I wanted to do that so badly
when I came back to this cell today with this brief, but my life isn’t my own anymore.  I can only
pray--sincerely pray--the people I have hurt will someday understand that, and forgive me for that
as well.

Thursday, January 21
I went to bed last night with images of bodies and people crying flashing through my
mind.  New ghosts to haunt me.  I had not seen some of those photos I saw yesterday.  That’s
where they came from.
I prayed, “Father, my life is Yours.  Do with it what you will.”
I did not get to bed until about 2:30 am.  At 4:30 they woke me up for pills.  6:30 for
breakfast.  7:30 for haircut.  I finally decided to quit trying to sleep and got up.  When I did get up
though, I found I was singing a song I wrote last year.  “You are there” part of it goes:
When the outcast dies alone
You are there
When no one seems to care
You are there
When the prisoner falls down to his knees
And the proud man begs and pleads
Oh my God, You are there.        
Later I was listening to Carmen sing “Serve the Lord” and I broke.  I could not sing it
without just falling apart and weeping.  It’s the song that says “I have made my decision.  I have
staked my claim.  I have drawn a line in the sand and I’ll not be ashamed.  With the world behind
me and the cross before, by the grace of God I will serve the Lord.”
I kept saying, “Thank you for saving me Lord.”  And then falling apart all over again and
crying my head off.  I don’t even know why.
They remind me so clearly of who I was.  When we live for a long time as Christians, we
deal with all those mental pictures of our past.  We get used to them.  We sort of forget how hard
we really were.  Getting all those new mental pictures yesterday I think reminded me in vivid
horror what I was at 16.  I was overwhelmed by all God has done in me and how truly unworthy I
I say AM, not was.
We forget that too.  We live for a long time in God’s presence and we begin to identify
with Him to the point we forget who we ARE without Him.  We begin to say, “I was unworthy,”
because we have changed so much.  Surely now we are worthy of Him.  No.  We are not.  We are
only good because He is good IN us.  That’s not some theoretical doctrine.  It’s fact.  I am not a
good man.  I am a redeemed man.  I don’t have a good heart, I have a circumcised heart.  And I
say this gently, oh so gently: That is what separates me from the people who hate me.
I was an evil boy.  I hurt so many people.  But not everyone I hurt wants me dead.  Carlos
raised Vonda- my mother- as his own daughter.  Let one person dare stand up and say he was not
hurt as much as they were.  I have seen the man cry.  I have seen his anger.  But he doesn’t hate
me.  He has been the biggest supporter of all I have done here over the years because he gave his
heart to God.  The people who want me dead do not belong to God.  If they did they would see
the man He has made me not only the boy I was before.  Would they feel I should be punished?
Heck, I feel I should be punished!  Of course.  But they would not hate.  If they never do become
born again, and give their broken hearts to God’s healing hands, then they will hate me when I
die, they will hate me for life, and they will hate me from Hell.
I understand why they don’t want to see me for who I am.  It’s so much easier to believe a
man is a monster when he’s hurt you.  To accept that he has truly changed is hard.  Maybe
impossible if you don’t know God yourself and have never experienced His transforming power.
How can we really understand anything without a reference for it within ourselves.  Imagine sex
without experiencing it?  Remember when we were kids and did not truly comprehend it?  It takes
a touch to understand touching.  It takes an orgasm to understand sex.  It takes surrender to God
to understand transformation.  More than anything else I pray that for everyone who hates me.
I spent the day waiting for the phone.  It never came.  Those spiritual moments can sure
fade fast in the face of frustrated rage.  Is it too much to expect guards to prioritize things like
legal calls when a man is six days from a clemency hearing?  I mean, you’d think when a man who
has less than two weeks to live asks 8 times for the telephone to make a legal call that someone
would actually care enough to go get a phone.  Actually they did bring me the phone finally.  At
5:45 pm.
The only problem is the computer cuts off legal calls at 5:00.  The numbers won’t go
through then.  Maybe tomorrow.  After all, I’ve got 13 of those left.

Friday, January 22
I did get the phone today.
When I did Steve read me a new letter Richard Howard wrote.  Over the years I’ve
thought a lot about Richard.  He was my best friend and I can’t help but still love him.  I thought
now, after so many years, he would perhaps tell the truth about what happened, and I’ve written it
several times.  He got on the witness stand, placed his hand on a Bible and swore to God to tell
the truth, then he lied.  I know why he did it, I don’t even blame him, but how can you stand
before God with such an oath?
This recent letter astonished and pricked me.  I never expected that of him.  It was
apparently written in response to my confession posted on the website.  He says we never did a
ritual, there was no plan to kill Al Hawks, and he knew nothing of the plan to murder Robert
Bower until he was sitting in the car and saw me do it.  For hours I’ve been asking myself why he
wrote this letter.  He said also in it he never saw any abuse from my mother, and never saw any
signs of MPD in me.  It’s like he hates me as much as the people I hurt.  Why did he write this
letter now?  No one is going to arrest him for something I said.  There’s no danger of him going
to prison even if he admits the truth.  So why?
I think I know.  The answer came to me suddenly.  He has a child.  I think a girl.  She’s
about 12 or 13 now.  And even though I heard he and Tracy are long divorced, Al Hawks is still
that child’s grandfather.  You don’t admit to your baby that you were once planning to kill
grandpa.  You don’t admit to your child that you did a Satanic ritual and helped plan and murder
a man.
I never wrote the truth to condemn Richard.  I wrote it because I would have had to make
up a lie to explain Robert Bower’s murder, and I could not do that.  A part of me wants to say
why would I lie about it?  I want to point out all the holes in Richard’s story, but that really would
be out of an effort to condemn him.  That would be anger and resentment.
He’s right about some things.  He never saw Mom hit me.  By the time I met Richard it
did not happen as much, as he was never there when it did.  And I never talked about it to
anyone.  Not anyone.  He never saw any signs of MPD in me.  Actually he did, but he doesn’t
realize it.  That’s okay, no one else did either.  No one knew.  Heck I didn’t even know.  I have
no problem with him saying that.
The problem I have is that he seems to have said it out of spite, out of anger and
resentment of his own toward me.  I know I bear a lot of blame in his life.  I was the one who got
involved in Satanism first.  He would not have gotten into it without me.  That is my fault.  But he
asked me to get him in to it.  I never went to him.  And he can proclaim his absolute innocence
forever, but the fact is I would have never killed Robert Bower if Richard had not done it with
me.  I truly do not remember everything that happened that night at his house, but I do remember
his enthusiasm to do it, and him getting the gun.  The darn thing was in a case under his
grandfather’s bed.  I don’t think I’d ever even been in the room, but if I had what the heck would
I be doing rummaging around to the point of finding that gun inside that case?  When you’re 16
years old, you don’t go into your friend’s parents’ - or grandparents’- bedrooms. You just don’t
do that.  Every kid knows that’s off limits.  Richard, in his heart, may blame me for everything and
resent me, but I would never have killed that innocent man if Richard had not also wanted to, so
he better start looking at his own heart and culpability and think of the day he will stand before
God.  He has gained his life but he will lose his soul.
Dear God people, doesn’t anyone think about that?  Just once, take your eyes off me and
put them on yourselves.  Hell is eternal.  What is more important than your immortal soul?  And
peace.  Peace comes from God.  From nowhere else.  Admitting the truth was so hard for me, but
I know two things about truth.  The longer it is put off, the longer a lie is propagated and
reaffirmed, the harder it becomes to tell the truth of it, and second, as hard as it is, as gut
wrenching as it becomes to say the words, it is the truth that sets us free.
Right now I have one of my mean headaches.  My head hurts so bad it has my stomach
nauseous.  I took about 6 Tylenol, but its doing nothing.  The odd thing is today has actually been
a good day.  The psychologist brought me a new classical music tape I requested with Beethoven
Moonlight Sonata on it.  I had a visit today with Margy and Carman and I know even if I die, my
vision for Destiny will be completed.  It’s been a good day.  I’m just really bothered about
Richard, and my head is killing me.

Saturday, January 23
I couldn’t get to sleep last night.  I kept thinking about Richard, and life and death, heaven
and hell, images and reality, past and future.  When I finally did get to sleep and then woke up
later with my headache gone, I laid here for another two hours going through it all over again.
Today I read my clemency brief.  I reread my confession trying to see it the way Richard
and my Dad’s family apparently have, and I don’t know, I. . . I don’t know.  I couldn’t.  I
explained everything as best I could.  I strained to find those words, to give the people I hurt the
best, most truthful, most in depth answers I could, and. . .and what?  What did I expect?  A thank
you?  No.  (Sigh)  I just didn’t expect to be called a liar.
In my brief are 101 pages of letters people have written to support me.  One letter said I
was a Christian hero.  Hero!  Yeah.  I really feel heroic.  Sure, that’s just what I see when I look
in the mirror.  Hero indeed.
In the brief also there was a photo of me at trial.  I look at that kid now and he seems like
such a different person.  Was that really me?  One letter spoke of what it would have been like if
that kid had had someone in his life like me.  I sat here and thought about that.  Sean at 29,
ministering to Sean at 16 before he killed anyone.  What would I have said to me?  I think I would
have said, “Sean, next Saturday tell your Dad you need to talk to him alone.  Then tell him
everything you feel.  Be honest with him.  Be open with him.  Let him see all you’ve been hiding
inside.  Give the man a chance, he’s your father, talk to him.”
I always had to be so strong.  So stoic. Everything had to be okay.  Why?  Why did I feel
like I had to be that way?  I was so ashamed to be weak in front of Dad, so ashamed to say I was
afraid, or didn’t know something, so ashamed to cry.  I remember one time in Colorado, a few
months after we moved there.  Our trailer’s skirt was made of used tin.  It had been painted
various colors, and the trailer park wanted us to hurry up and get it painted so it looked decent.
It was cold.  Dad asked me to do it.  So with a gallon of brown paint and a brush, I spent a day
out in the cold, painting.  When I was all done, Dad was really grateful.   I could tell he felt sorta
bad that he had not been able to help me-- he had to work.  He complimented me on a great job
and said he’d have to go buy me something nice when we had more money.  We had just moved.
We had NO money right then, and I knew that.  We barely could afford the paint and brush right
then. As Dad told me that, he was standing in the living room, and I don’t know why, but
something HURT in me when he said those words.  I told him, “Dad, I don’t need you to buy me
something.  Don’t you think sometimes all I need is a thank you?”  By the time the words ‘thank
you’ were coming out of my mouth, my voice was breaking and tears were welling up in my eyes.
I didn’t give Dad a chance to say anything.  I split from the room because I couldn’t let him see
me cry.
For years - YEARS - I’ve tried to figure out why I started to cry right then.  What was
wrong?  All I remember is I was out there in the cold with my nose running and my face red,
sitting on the frozen ground, painting that tin skirt, all 240 feet of it, so cold my hands were
shaking, and I was having fun.  It needed to be done.  Dad couldn’t get to it, so he asked me to
do it.  He asked me.  I was doing it for him.  I was doing it because it needed to be done.  Now as
an adult looking back at that 14 year old boy, I see that what I wanted was my Dad to put his arm
around me, say, “Thank you son,” and maybe, “I love you,” and that’s it.  That’s all.  I didn’t
need some gift or reward when the family had no money.  For some reason, Dad saying he’d buy
me something just hurt me.
So why didn’t I say so?  Why didn’t I let him see me cry and tell him how I felt?  If I
would have told him I know what he would have done.  He would have put his arm around me
and said, “Thank you son.”  Why didn’t I give him the chance?  Why did I have to pretend to be
so strong?   I’ve always said Dad never talked to me, well, I never talked to him!  I never once
said, “Dad, can we please talk alone?”  I never said, “Dad, how do you talk to a girl,” or “Dad,
what do you do when you love someone nobody else likes?”  Maybe he never talked to me
because I never asked his advice.
For some reason I thought he expected me to know how to do everything.  Like it was
shameful to admit I was blundering through life like every other teenager.  God, why didn’t I do
that?  Were those words really so hard to say?  But the sad part is it never occurred to me to ask.
Over the years I’ve counseled so many kids, “Go and talk to your parents.  Tell them how you
really feel.”  If only I could have given myself that advice.
In another of those letters in my brief someone said I was a poet of considerable stature
and significance.  I’m almost embarrassed to say how good that made me feel. (Thank you Miss
Rachel).  My poetry is the one thing I don’t get to share much.  Most people just are not in to
poetry.  I can call myself an artist.  I can call myself a writer.  But when I call myself a poet I often
get odd looks from people.  I’ve had numerous cell partners who when I’ve said, “Here, let me
read a poem to you ,” reply, “Do I have to?”  I’ve had to learn courage for those kinds of things.
That’s probably one of the defining characteristics that separates the man I am from the
boy I was.  I have a lot of courage today.  Anyone who has heard me sing understands what I
mean (I can’t sing).  I don’t let opinions stop me.  I’m not easily dissuaded or made to be self
conscious.  As a teenager I was.  I spent almost all my time as a teenager hiding parts of me from
people, and making myself be what I thought they wanted me to be.  I was a boy who had tears
run down his cheeks every time I heard “Faithfully” by Journey because of a girl who broke my
heart, but I would never let my family see that.  Never.  The real me was this sensitive boy with
the budding spirit of a poet hiding behind a mask of strangers.
Everyone talks about this letter Mom wrote me at 16.  A litter I did read.  That letter tears
me apart today, but no one gets it.  When I was about 7 or 8 I loved watching “The Man from
Atlantis.”  One night Mom was home, she was in for a day or two before leaving again, and “The
Man from Atlantis” was on late, past my bedtime for some reason.  Something had made it late.  I
asked her if I could stay up to watch it.  She said no, but she was only teasing me.  I didn’t know
that.  I sat on the couch and started crying, trying HARD not to.  I had my teeth gritted, my lips
pressed together, and tears running down my face.  When Mom saw me she got mad.  She said,
“Why you little baby.  I was only kidding, but if you’re going to cry about it you really can go to
bed.  Go on, get your ass into bed.”  And that’s where I went.  I missed my favorite show that
week because Mom was home and I had cried.
By the time I was 16, I had been hiding who I really was for so long I wasn’t even sure,
myself , who the real me was.  I’d been a sensitive boy raised by a mother who wanted a tough
boy.  The “poem” my mother found when she wrote that letter was a song I’d written over a year
earlier for the girl who had broken my heart, the one who made me cry.  There was no way I was
going to talk to my mother about that, and let her see me cry?!  People just don’t get that part of
it.  When I was 11 years old I broke my nose and cracked my skull in three places.  When Mom
asked me if I cried, I was ashamed to admit I had, and when the doctor pulled the packing out of
my nose weeks later he told Mom he’d never seen anyone so young take it so well.  He said he’d
seen grown men cry when the packing was pulled out, and he was quite impressed with me.  Well,
while he was doing it, Mom was standing there watching, so you can bet your house I took it
well.  Two tears ran down my cheeks, only two, as I gripped the arms of that chair and held my
breath, and I quickly wiped those away.  Mom bragged to everyone about that.  Her son was
tough.  Her son did not cry.
Now I read that letter she wrote and it crushes me.  I wish I had the courage then that I
have now to be myself, to be real.
To be a poet.
Last night as I lay there awake I realized something.  Ever since I saw Carman and shared
my heart with him for my Destiny vision and music, I have felt something shift inside of me.  A
few days ago living and dying held equal appeal to me.  Now, I really, really want to live.  I want
to see Destiny through.  I want to reach those kids myself.  I don’t want to pass the vision on to
someone else.
Last night I prayed once more for God to spare my life.
Please God.  I’m not finished yet.

Sunday, January 24
I saw Kimby today.  My last visit.  We get 8 a month, and that was number 8.  That means
Wednesday after the Clemency Hearing no one can see me.  Kimby mentioned the same thing
Margy did Friday: A show aired on T.V. last week--some death row inmate’s last hours before his
execution in another state.  In that state they get to have contact visits with their family and
friends that last day.  They sit in a room together, even get to eat together.  Here, I am in
handcuffs, leg shackles, in a tiny room, visiting behind bars, glass, wire, and over telephones.
Oklahoma really goes overboard on “security.”  That’s the prison’s only concern.  No one here
cares about anything else.
I can understand that.  Even appreciate it.  It IS a prison after all.  But it’s hard when you
see someone on death row in another state get to hug someone they love, goodbye.  It made
Kimby and Margy both mad.  I quit being mad about stuff like that a long time ago.  Life is not
fair; we can’t get mad every time it proves that to us.  There wouldn’t be time for anything else
but anger.
I’ve spent all day long working on various things.  The only time I took out today was an
hour to watch “The X-Files.”  The episode was about death.  It’s like a theme or something.  I
can’t even imagine living without thinking about dying.  That would be a novel concept.  So many
years spent on death row has ingrained that into my thought process.  Do people out there really
live hardly ever thinking about dying?  I can’t remember what that’s like.  I’m not sure I ever will.
Years ago I had a dream.  In the dream I found myself two hours from execution.  I was
frantic.  I had done nothing.  I had said no goodbyes, finished nothing, I wasn’t prepared, and I
had no more time!  I grabbed a pen and began hastily writing, desperate to say so much to the
people I loved, and my mind flooded with too much at once.  “Sellers.  You just got a reprieve.”
I was one hour from death, and then just like that, I got a reprieve.  I had TIME again.  I was so
thankful, so relieved.  Now I could do everything that was in my heart to do.  It wasn’t too late.  I
set to work then again with purpose, knowing I could do it.
I woke up as if from a nightmare.  I WOKE!  Startled.  Inside, as clear as my quickly
beating heart, I heard God say, “Now live your life as if it were real.”
That I have done.  I have lived with death peeking over my shoulder for many years.  I
have not wasted my time.  It has driven me, given me courage and determination.  I’m not sure I
would want to live any other way.  The knowledge of death has made me live.  I see people in the
world who need a good dose of the knowledge.  It would act as a cold shower to their lives and
maybe wake them up!
I’ve probably asked all my friends at one time or another, “If you knew you were going to
die in a week, how would you live these next seven days?”  If there’s so much you would change,
then why not go ahead and change it now?  Must death come knocking to wake us up to living?

Monday, January 25
I spent 5 hours on the phone today.  From 9:00 am to almost 2:30 pm.  And all of it was
for clemency.  I talked to Bianca Jagger for probably 2 hours of it, as she prepares to help us.
Nice lady.  More reserved than I imagined her to be.
After all that I was exhausted though--and a little hoarse.  I’m glad this is almost over.
I’m running out of gas.  I can’t keep doing this much longer.  The utter magnanimity of all these
people fighting so hard for me is overwhelming.  Steve’s office is like a 3 ring circus.  There are
about 8 people there at any given time with the phones ringing about every 10 minutes.  I picture
Steve just bursting into a ball of flame any moment.  POOF!  I don’t see how he does it.
I have 2 more interviews tomorrow.  I’m so tired of interviews.  People asking the same
questions over and over.  I’ve begun to question what I’m doing.  Are people really hearing me?
My whole purpose in this has been to show what God can do with one life totally surrendered to
Him, but I don’t think that’s what people are hearing.  I pretty much shared my whole testimony
with Bianca today.  We talked about God a lot, but I still wonder if people hear it.
I’m convinced of this much.  If I don’t get clemency, then there is no clemency in
Oklahoma.  Everyone else should save themselves the stress of it and just skip it, because it
doesn’t exist.  Not hundreds, but thousands of people are praying for me; we are getting letters
from literally all over the world.  We have a legitimate legal error.  Admitted by the Federal Court
in my case.  We have a member of the jury that sentenced me to death saying the jury did NOT
think I would be executed and is pleading for my life.  The jury!  I have been working all my life
in here to make up for what I’ve done.  I’ve written books, painted, proved myself capable of
giving something to society.  I’ve taken responsibility for my actions and tried desperately to
make some kind of difference as a repentant man of God.   I have done all a guilty man could
possibly do.  If I don’t get clemency, then there IS no clemency.
Somebody asked me something today about Bob Macy, something about how he never
acknowledges my faith in God.  I answered that he has a political agenda that precludes his
answer, but for some reason I’m suddenly mad at him all over again.  I found out a few days ago
we have a copy of the letter he wrote Richard offering him a deal.  He dropped the first degree
murder charge on Richard and gave him 5 years probation in exchange for his testimony against
me.  It just really hit me today.  There’s NO way Bob Macy is that stupid or naive.  There’s
absolutely no way he honestly believes Richard’s story.  Think about it.  If a friend of yours went
into a store and killed somebody, then threatened you if you ever told anyone, is this the man
you’re going to write to invite to be the best man at your wedding 4 months later?  There’s no
freakin’ way Macy is that stupid.  He’s read my confession and he knows very well it’s the truth,
but he will never admit it, because the politics of what he did declares Richard Howard has to be
innocent.  He dropped the murder charge.  Therefore Richard is innocent.  Period.
In that same way, he had me sentenced to death.  Therefore I am an evil person.  Period.
The truth doesn’t matter.  It’s all about politics.  I would not want to stand before God with
things like that on my soul.  I think no matter what I ever do, Bob Macy will forever hold to his
politically created opinion.  I will be impressed, look the man in the eye, and tell him I was
absolutely wrong, the day he actually says, “I think Sean Sellers is a sincere Christian.”  But right
now I think the only character that man has is as artificial and as plastic as a Halloween mask.

Tuesday, January 26
So I’m running out of gas I said.  Okay, so how about we do three long interviews today
then?  Two in person and one by phone.  But thank God it’s over.  No more interviews.  I’m
done.  The way I feel now I may be done for good.  I’m certainly tired of answering the same old
Someone sent me a copy of the Washington Post article.  It’s caused me to make one firm
decision about that.  I won’t be doing anymore interviews for the print media.  If I live they all
might as well stop asking.  They can’t be trusted to do an unbiased story, so I’m done with them,
for good.
If I live . . . yeah, what a question.  Tomorrow we face the first obstacle in that.  I spent
the day saying with such confidence, “No, I’m not afraid of the Clemency Hearing,” and now 13
hours away from it I’ve already got butterflies teeming in my stomach.  If I live.  What a joke.
I look at this Washington Post article by Lois Romano and I think she is such a snake!
But is she?  Maybe I was just deluding myself.  Sometimes I honestly am naive.  I really believed
if I shared my heart, in total nakedness, then people would see the true me.  They would see me
for who I am.  I really believed that.  Now I see the truth of it.  It will NEVER happen.  People
will always see what they want to see.  There will always be people like Ron Mitchell who know
diddley, but proclaim themselves some kind of expert about me or my life or my family.  Those
“experts” will always bring out their little plastic icons, plug them in so they light up, and
proclaim, “Behold the true Sean Sellers!”  They went to great lengths to craft and form those
images so of course they’re going to hold them high.  Let them light up the streets and parade
them down the square.  So be it.  Fine.  I can’t win.  I accept that.
But in that procession of meticulously crafted images there will be one, just one, that lives
and breathes, and is real.  Those with eyes to see will see it.  It will be a man.  A man who was
once a very evil boy, who killed three people, and who was then transformed by God and tried to
make up for it.  He was a man burdened by guilt and motivated by a passion to make some good
difference in the world.

Wednesday, January 27
9:22 am
NBC ran a spot on the Today Show about me and the hearing today.  It was typical of the
crap the news runs.  All the facts, nothing more--AND not a SINGLE word about anything I’ve
done in the past 13 years.  Nothing.
Maybe it doesn’t matter.
I won’t let the world pick what is valuable and relevant to me and my life.  So it may not
matter to them, and it may not matter to the people I hurt or the people trying to kill me.  That
doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter at all.  It matters to God, whom I serve, to me, and to the people
who have been touched.  I didn’t do it for the media to notice anyway.  In fact, maybe it’s better
they DON’T.  They’d probably screw it up if they did notice it.
Reporters!  (Sigh) Dear God how I HATE that profession.  The song “Dirty Laundry”
ought to be a theme song for me.
Actually I’m ranting about this because I’m nervous about the hearing in a couple of
hours.  I’ve been praying, singing, then trying NOT to think about it.  I can’t go in there with an
agenda.  I have some notes for what I might say, to keep me focused, but I doubt I’ll follow them
too closely.  I can’t imagine any words I could say to these 5 people that would overshadow the
pain expressed by everyone I’ve hurt.  All I can hope to do is share my heart with them.  Let them
see who I am, and pray God will be able to reveal that to them.  I’m going in there totally naked
for my soul.  That’s what scares me.
The whole world will be watching me beg for my life.  And that’s not an exaggeration.
The BBC is there, Dutch National TV, CNN, and all the Oklahoma media.  I have to go in there
and share my heart not with 5 people, but with 5 million people.  The reporters who don’t care
about anything but getting their story will be there taking notes and filming, then after I’ve spilled
my soul out on the floor they’ll scoop up the parts that look interesting to them, and race each
other outside to put their spin on it and report it to the public. Me?  I’ll be brought back to this
cell to wonder what parts of me were laid out for viewing.
I need today to be about God, not about me, but that may be a disillusionment.  Who in
that room really cares about God’s role in all this?  I don’t know.  My prayer is as it has always
been though, “Father, use me for Your glory.  Let them see You in me.”
If only they will see my heart.
I was deluded.
At 11:00 the guards came to get me.  They put my handcuffs on good and tight, stuck a
black box over them with a padlock through the chain around my waist.  I was taken outside, put
in a van, drove to the east gate, and there we sat for 2 hours waiting for the call for me from the
I listened to the six guards chat and laugh and clown around, sometimes laughing until
tears were in their eyes as they told their stories of sex and motorcycle wrecks, and fights.  I sat
there realizing this was just another day at work for them.  It was no big deal.  They barely
noticed me as my fate was being argued.  I sat there with the cuffs biting into my wrists keeping
an eye on my watch, trying to imagine what was going on at the hearing.  The Lieutenant was
hooked up with a remote headset, and he said the chapel where the hearing was would hold 165
people, and he heard they were full and turning people away.
Finally the call came.  I was driven over there where satellite trucks were parked
everywhere.  They pulled the van right up to the door and I waited.  Then I was helped out,
escorted in, and flashbulbs started going off.  There were people everywhere.  I expected 5
members of the board to be sitting at a table, but there was a long table with all kinds of people
sitting both there and behind them.  The rest of the place was filled with reporters and cameras
and pews full all the way back to the back wall.  It was bewildering.  My mouth went dry, my
hands were trembling.
I sat down next to Steve, took out my notes, but I knew as soon as I walked in what was
going to happen.  I could feel it.  The room was electrified with it.  That made it even harder to
talk.  My mouth was so dry I could not swallow.  I tried to find Lorne, Noelle, Tom, Steve, Lou,
all the Bellofattos.  I had to look 3 times, and when I found them they were too far away to face.
I tried to say my words to them, but I couldn’t do it right.
I went in there to be naked, and it did not happen.  Not like I wanted.  It was too quick,
too bewildering with the camera flashes steadily popping.  I said all I could.  But I could feel it.
There was death in that room.
When it was done I was whisked out, taken to medical for an x-ray, for security purposes,
and brought back to my cell.  I turned on the radio and waited for the answer I knew would come.
When it did, I sat down to listen.
“The Clemency Board voted 5 to 0 against clemency for Sellers.”
I nodded.  Sometimes you just KNOW.  I was deluded to think anything would make a
difference.  The Board members had their minds already made up when they came to the hearing.
For a long time now I’ve been asking a question.
Once a man has done something horrible, once he has destroyed people’s lives, is there
anything he can ever do afterwards to make up for it?  
Today I finally received my answer.

Thursday, January 28
7:18 am.  Breakfast just came so I got up.  I could barely sleep last night anyway, then
when I finally got to sleep this morning after they brought meds at 4:00 am, I had a dream.
There were some kind of people among us.  They were healthy, strong, and could do
things that were not natural.  Things that should not be possible, like walk on walls.  They seemed
to arrive on these big space ship looking roller coasters, and I saw them come in several times--it
just looked like a fun ride.  They were afraid of the weather, though.  When it started to rain they
ran for cover.  At the beginning of a rainstorm, one of them whom I was talking to, ran for a
building, and I went with her.  Inside was the roller coaster.  We jumped in, a door or canopy
closed over me, and we took off.
It was a rush of colors and excitement.  I thought, ‘Where are we going?  What will it be
like?’  I was so eager to find out.
And right then the darn keyman opened the beanhole and woke me up!  He couldn’t have
been 5 minutes later? (Sigh)
I guess it’s no surprise though that I’m having dreams of leaving this world.
Yesterday the one thing I feared the most for the Clemency Hearing, happened.  I went in
there, showed them part of my soul, begged for my life, and they spit on me.  With the whole
world watching, I humiliated myself and they just spit on me.
When I tried to speak to the people I’ve hurt, to explain my heart, one of them said to quit
begging and die.
I tell myself I should not have done it, but the truth is I had to.  I doubt anyone will ever
believe me when I say I didn’t do it for myself.  It would have been easier for me to die long ago.
I’m not afraid of dying, and that’s the truth.  I’ve looked forward to it far too much in my life to
fear it.  I went in there and begged for my life because next year there will be a 15 year old kid
needing to hear the words that maybe only I can say to him.  That was my whole reason for being
there, and I tried to convey that to the Board.  They looked me in the face, and spit on me for it.
That bothers me to my core.  I’ve never felt so small, so much like a piece of garbage.  I
don’t know what God was doing.  I don’t know why He required that of me, but still I trust Him.
I don’t understand, but still I believe.  I can’t help but feel anger though.  The Board could have
saved everyone a lot of grief if they had just announced before the hearing ever took place, “There
will be no clemency here no matter what you do.”  And if this is what they were going to do all
along why wouldn’t they let me die at 17 when I first got here?
Then there’s the jury.  To learn that the jury never thought I’d be executed and didn’t
really want me to die doesn’t really help.  If you sentence someone to die you make sure you can
look them in the eye as the sentence is carried out!  Death means death and there are a thousand
little deaths that come with that sentence long before the State gets around to carrying it out on
its schedule.
It just frazzles me.  This system that sentences a man to death, but won’t let him die; it
makes him live for years until in living he wants to live again, then it makes him beg for his life
before it kills him.  Get RID of that mandatory first appeal law!  If you sentence a man to death,
DON’T make him live.  Don’t force him to take hold of hope.  Don’t force him to wait for years
before he can die.  Let him die.  Is that too much for a condemned man to ask?  It would have
given the people I hurt a lot more peace.
When I say that, everyone says, “But if you had died then what about all the things you’ve
done?  What about all the people you’ve reached?  None of that would have happened.”
I know.
All I’ve done is from the life God gave me when I was forced to live.  I know it all means
something, I even know I may change a little part of the world, but knowing that somehow
doesn’t change how I feel.  I don’t know if it’s anger, if I’m just feeling sorry for myself, or if it’s
just that I’m so tired, but if they were going to kill me anyway, I really wish they had done it when
I was 17 and wanting to die, not wait until I found reasons to live to do it.  I hope everyone can
understand that.
I was up past 1:00 am last night writing my will.  I am so thankful to God for everything I
have to leave behind, and the people I have to leave it all to; God took a burned, wasted plot of
land and grew a beautiful garden with it.  I really am glad I lived.
And at the same time, not.
Does that make any sense?
9:41 pm.  I spent most of the day on the phone and the rest writing goodbye letters.  I’ve
been looking at my life and asking how again.  How did I become that thing so capable of murder?
How did that really happen?  I think I’ve accepted two answers, and they’re not very good
The first is that people pretend the darkness I took hold of is beyond their own grasp, but
the truth is, humans are basically good AND evil.  Adam and Eve ate of the tree of Knowledge of
good and evil.  We have both inside us.  And the part we don’t want to admit is that both feel
good.  One simply leads to life, the other to death.  Our country is notorious for determining its
own moral standards.  If enough people desire to do something evil, we rename it, and call it
could.  Homosexuality for example.  Sex before marriage.  Abortion.  All evil before God, all
acceptable by our society.  Give us enough time and adultery will be accepted--a quick study of
ancient Rome, Greece, and Japan will confirm that.  That’s our nature.  Like it or not, the truth is
every person in the world has the potential to become what I became.  It was not some unique
evil in me, or something that was bound to happen.  I was not born to kill.  I took hold of
something that is within us all.
And the second answer is the hardest to face, because the more I try to figure it out, the
more I have to say I don’t know.  I can trace the steps, but I still don’t know HOW it happened,
and I simply am NOT going to ever know.  What bugs me though is that it doesn’t fit.  How does
a kid with the character to say “NO” to marijuana when it’s offered to him in the living room
watching TV with his aunt and uncle, go from that to killing a man he wasn’t even mad at?
I remember the first time my aunt saw me smoke a joint.  When my uncle told her I’d
accepted one from him she said, “No he didn’t. Uh-uh.”  And then later that night she watched me
smoke one with them.  She could not believe it because I had always said no before.  No to them.
No to Mom and Dad.  I was a kid with a lot of character!  What kid does that?  What kid says no
when his own Mom and Dad offers to buy it for him and get high with him?  Not that they were
pot heads.  They kept a bag only every now and then, and smoked it in bed usually.  But that’s a
kid with character.  So what happened?  I never smoked a joint or a cigarette until after I was a
Satanist.  How the heck did that happen?  
I just don’t know.  I just don’t. . .know.  (Sigh)
I never will.

Friday, January 29
Today was a long hard productive day.  You’d think less than a week from death you
wouldn’t need sleep, but I’m exhausted.  I was working on my autobiography--there’s a force at
work to keep me from writing this thing or something--when I was told I had a visit.
I got to the visiting room expecting Margy, but it was my aunt Debbie and cousin Jason.
Jason was 6 the last time I saw him.  He’s grown now.  Seeing him was a shock.  It was a hard
visit.  I cried, they cried, it was goodbye, and I’m sorry.  Neither of those get said without ripping
some part of you out as the words are spoken.  When Debbie said, “Your Mom would be so
proud of you now,” I thought my heart broke in two.   All this has been SO hard for Debbie.
She’s loved me very much, and been unable to be close.  My God, what we do to our families
when we come here.  The pain never fully stops.
I came back from the visit trying not to cry some more.  I almost lost it as the guards
removed my cuffs.  When they were gone and I was back in my cell all I could think of was how
much I have hurt my family.  I’m glad I’m going to die soon.
I got the phone afterwards and ended up talking to Jesse Jackson.  The man told me to let
it be known he talked to me, and he wants to get involved in my work, make sure it gets
completed.  We then prayed for each other.
I spent the rest of the day writing letters and getting my affairs in order.  It seems like
there’s still so much to do.  I received a letter form Avram and Ruth, in Israel now.  Ruti said she
was working on learning to live with less stuff, cutting down the things they possess.  Here in this
cell I’ve been reduced to one set of clothes and the barest of essentials, and you know, it’s
surprising what you really DON’T need.  Nothing I possess here is important to me in the face of
death. Only the work I leave behind.  It’s actually quite liberating.
I also wrote my death poem, or my final poem, “Goodbye, Goodbye,” today.  It will be
read at my memorial gathering immediately following my execution.  That was one of the last
things on my list.  I am almost done.  The autobiography is all that’s left, that and my final
goodbyes.  Right now it’s easy.  Here, alone, I have peace.  I am sad, even disappointed that my
life has come to this, and that sadness runs very deep, but I still have peace.  Last night I thought
about the execution, rehearsed it.  It’s not so bad.  I plan to show the world how a man of God
dies.  I will die ministering to those I’ve hurt, and I will die praising my God.

Saturday, January 30
Obviously the prison has a new policy: when you come up for execution you won’t be
allowed to sleep.
Yesterday evening they started counting me every 15 minutes.  They’re doing it again this
morning.  I haven’t slept for more than 2 or 3 hours at a time since they moved me to these cells,
and last night and this morning they kept shining the flashlight on me until I moved.  What’s the
point of even trying to sleep?  I ought to just pump up on coffee and buzz my way to Wednesday.
Darn, I’m tired.
11:40 pm
I can barely keep my eyes open.  I’ve been writing yet more goodbye letters.  I find myself
wanting to say, “I’ll miss you,” to the people I write, but it’s sort of the other way around, isn’t
it?  I’m trying to make this as easy as I can on the people I love, but it doesn’t change any of the
facts.  The thing about facts is that they can be very harsh.
The fact is that in 4 days I’m going to die.  When I talked to Kim she cried and cried.  She
said, “It’s not supposed to happen this way.  You’re supposed to be my husband.”  So many times
people have spoken words “from God” to her and to me, and to many of my other friends, that I
will not die in prison.  Those gave us hope, but was it a false hope?  I am preparing to die.  That’s
the fact.
The fact is, nothing I have ever done has mattered to the people with the authority to
change my death sentences.  No one with the authority to spare my life believes in my heart.  Do I
still want to live?  Even now, a few days from dying, do I want to live?  Am I still asking God for
a miracle?  Yes.  But it doesn’t change the facts of what has happened and is happening.  There is
very little comfort in the facts.
Do I have anymore hope for my life?  No.  Not really.  The desire to live, the prayer for a
miracle, is all different from the actual hope of it.  I am out of hope.  All I have is my unwavering,
unyielding relationship with God.  ‘Though He slay me, yet will I serve Him.’  Living or dying, I
will praise Him.  That makes no difference to me.  The people who love me though, this is so hard
on them.  Watching them cry, hearing their tears, breaks me in two.

Sunday, January 31
Superbowl Sunday, and I don’t even like football.  In the next 2 weeks the X-files is
running a couple of landmark episodes.  (Sigh) Oh well.  Life must go on.  That’s the most
humbling aspect of dying- the knowledge that the world will go on just fine without you.  Even
when the Son of God died, the sun still rose the next morning as it always did before.
The guards have suddenly turned nice on me.  As my execution date nears they don’t just
count me, they’ve begun to stop and ask me if I need anything.  They’re even quick to get me the
phone.  That means something, ya know?  Stuff like that doesn’t go unnoticed.  It may seem
small, but it’s an expression of sympathy.  The sentiment behind it is not lost.
I remember at my trial.  A guard who had been escorting me and was present all week was
standing behind me when the sentence was read.  When the jury said “Death” this man turned his
back on me and looked out the window.  As he turned, I saw a tear in his eye.  That meant
enough to me that I not only noticed it in the midst of my own surprise, but I also remember it
now, 13 years later.
These guards are people.  Just men.  As different as the men imprisoned here.  They’re not
the enemy.  Their uniforms do not set them against us.
I look inside myself right now and there is such peace.  I’ve been working out a song.  It’s
been growing inside me for a month now.
There’s a peace in the midst of the storm
Though the thunder roars
And the rain crashes down
Though the lightning lights up the sky
And strikes at the ground
In the midst of it all
In a place that is warm
There’s a peace in the midst of the storm.
That’s how I feel.  I’m tired.  So tired.  Have a bit of a headache today, but inside there is
peace.  Death seems quite trivial right now.  They’re going to punish me with death?  That’s sad,
and I do feel that sincerely.  It means they will stop my pen; the books still in my heart to write
will never get done.  For me though it’s an end to the struggle, the loneliness, the pain, the
regrets, all those bitter and heavy things life brings to us all, and an end to my labor.  There is
truly no sting in death to me.  They deliver me into the hands of God, where I long most to be.
The people who hate me, and the people fighting to kill me just don’t understand it.  I love
God.  This is not religion to me.  I close my eyes, shut out the world, and He is there, like the
faded scent of roses and honeysuckle and pear blossoms.  To open my eyes and be IN the garden
is the desire of my heart at its fullest.  I know God well enough to discern whether or not others
know Him--sometimes.  I know Bob Macy does not, for instance.  He has a cold soul.  There is
darkness about him.  I wonder if he has ever even been in love?  For many years I prayed almost
daily for that man.  When you pray for someone for a long time you sort of taste who they are.
Bob is a lost soul--perhaps consumed by the darkness he set out to oppose.  That happens
sometimes.  That’s the danger of a righteous cause.  You rail against the night so much you
become consumed with the task of it, until you have nothing else.  I think Bob has seen too many
photos of bodies, sat in too many courtrooms, stood before too many cameras.  Alone in the
night, with only silence, I think he finds no peace within himself, because he is far from God.  I
wonder how many people have ever really tried to minister to his heart?  I get mad at the man for
what he does, how he seems to have a personal agenda against me, but I do not hate the man.
Sometimes I hurt for him.  Sometimes I wish I could talk to him, just as a man.  The tragedy is if
he ever reads these words he will probably think they’re a con.
I saw Margy today.  She was almost bubbly.  It was downright irritating.  She’s still
looking for a miracle.  In fact people are still telling her a miracle is coming.  Sometimes you just
want to strangle people.  God has told me nothing.  All I have is peace.  If I die though, people
promising miracles better repent on their knees for speaking from the flesh, not the spirt.  And I
mean on your knees folks!  Do not take that lightly.  Thank God for grace, because false prophets
used to be stoned.  Sometimes I think they still should be.  False hope destroys.
All Margy knows is that inside she’s not moved.  She has a peace of her own that won’t
allow her to be sad.  Not yet.  We asked God for that miracle today.
I would very much like to write those books, that song, maybe change some small piece of
the world.

Monday, February 1
I saw David and Fera today.  Two people I didn’t even know a couple of months ago, and
I realized this afternoon that somewhere along the way they’ve become my friends.  David is
Steve’s brother, Fera his niece.  They’ve been working at his office, and we’ve just gotten to
know each other.  They’ve become part of my family.  Fera has typed so much of my work,
including all these journals.  David has done all sorts of leg work on my case.  But today I hugged
them goodbye as two people I love.
We talked about God, and praise, and how to reach out to Him with the fullness of our
hearts.  And it strikes me now that my time of ministry is almost over.  Wow.  Today might have
been the last time I get to share spiritual things with anyone, one on one, like that.  That suddenly
makes me sad.
In a letter I received today someone from the website chatroom wrote: Tell Sean how
lucky he is that he had a chance to repent and make peace with his maker.  Too bad the Bowers
and the Bellofattos didn’t have the same opportunity.
I was bothered by that very thing for a long time.  It’s one thing to kill someone, but how
many times more horrible is it to send someone to Hell?  I had to take that to God, because it was
too heavy for me to bear.  What I came to understand is that no one is responsible for another
adult’s spiritual state.  No one of us are guaranteed tomorrow.  The Bible says Today is the day of
salvation.  I am responsible for three people’s deaths, but they were adults.  I am not responsible
for their relationship with God, just as no one else is responsible for mine.  Our souls belong
wholly to us.  We answer for them alone.
A man lives to be 40 years old and dies and someone says, too bad he had no opportunity
to repent.  He had about 30 years of opportunities.  That’s the harsh reality.  Waiting until
tomorrow can have eternal results.  Today is the day of salvation.  Today is the day you seek
I’m amazed at the self righteousness I still encounter from people who don’t even know
me.  People, for one moment, get your eyes off my own sins and look at your own.  You want to
harp on something that happened 13 years ago.  Thirteen years!  If you didn’t know Robert
Bower or Mom and Dad then it doesn’t even affect you.  It’s so easy to appear righteous next to
a murderer, but here are two facts in the Kingdom of God: First of all, I repented of those sins 13
years ago soon after they happened, and I’ve been serving God ever since.  And second of all, it
isn’t ME you have to compare yourself to, it’s God’s holiness.  Don’t look at my sin and think
yourself clean, look at GOD!  Compare yourself to HIM, and see how clean you appear.  The
Bible says our righteousness is as filthy rags to God.  You ever tried to clean yourself up with a
filthy rag?  It just doesn’t work.  I really don’t care what people think of me.  I will die soon, it’s
not going to affect me one way or another, but for Heaven’s sake, look at your OWN souls rather
than mine.  Someday there will be no tomorrow.  You may, right now, have only today.  Today
could decide eternity.
That’s what I don’t understand about people.  Why do we spend so much of our time
pointing fingers rather than offering hands?  For thirteen years I have tried so hard to make a
difference in this world.  I have tried to give my hand to people in need and place their hands in
God’s.  Can you say the same?  Can you stand before God today and say you have honestly tried,
with purpose, to serve Him and help the people around you?  Sit in judgement of your own soul
for once.  DO something to make a difference in your world.  It’s easy to point out a fault, but do
you have what it takes to help that person overcome that fault?  Do you even have the sincere
love and compassion to want to?
The world is NOT getting better.  Go change that.  I stand before God at my death and I
say I have sincerely tried.  For 13 years I have tried, and I’ve discovered that the people who feel
so worthy of pointing out all my past sins, the people who have the moral confidence to sit in
stern judgement of me, are usually the ones who #1, have never once laid on their faces before
God in their lives to repent themselves, and #2, haven’t lifted a single finger to help a broken
hearted stranger find wholeness.  I’m dead!  My sins don’t matter anymore.  Look to your own
soul, and know the world still needs healers.  How about you get up off your ass and become
Hmm . . . that reminds me.  A couple of people have commented on my choice of words
at times.  Chad pretty much chewed me out for it.  I’m not your typical Christian.  I have a
pierced ear, I like comic books, fantasy novels, I don’t mess with pornography, I turn off certain
songs when they come on the radio, I don’t cuss at people. . .usually.  But when I do it’s on
purpose.  I don’t have a temper that expresses itself in vulgarity.  When I choose a cuss word, I
do so deliberately for effect.  Obviously if I thought it was a sin I would not do it, or I’d apologize
for it.  By now everyone has read enough of my journals to get a feel of that.  I hope people
understand my heart in that too.  Never think I cuss casually.  Disagree with why I do it, but do
not think I do so without noticing.  I have my reasons.
Speaking of Chad.  He sent me the coolest gift I have ever received.  Ever!  He did a
drawing of me standing among all my own comic characters.  Almost all of my major characters
are there.  Awesome, bro.  Thank you.  I love it.  Publish it in No Man’s Land for me.  Gosh I
love it.
J.R.R Tolkien led C.S. Lewis to God, and they were best friends for life.  Anyone who
knows me, knows I’m a C.S. Lewis groupie.  Tolkien wrote of how he believed that all worlds
exist in Heaven, and Lewis described earth as the Shadowland of Heaven.  All my comic
characters are sort of real to me.  They each have a personality (No MPD jokes, please), they
were each created carefully with a lot of energy and thought.  It seems kind of magical to see a
picture of me standing among them. (Sigh) Be careful with my babies Chad, Katie, they’re all in
your capable hands now, my friends.  If Tolkien and Lewis were right, maybe Nirpta and I will
tour Middle Earth and sail the Dawn Threader--and to those few precious souls who understood
what I just wrote, God bless you.
Twilight is coming my friends.  Soon I will be counting hours not days.  I sometimes feel
like Reepicheep having tasted the sweet water in the sea.  I am eager to be off. (Non C.S. Lewis
fans, thou infidels, you can look it up!)  I don’t want to leave you all, I love you so much, but oh,
how I long to see God.  Another verse to my song came today:
There’s a peace in the midst of the storm
Though the wind is howling
Blowing limbs from the trees
Though the earth screams at us in rage
And we fall to our knees
There on the floor
Inside that huddled form
There’s a peace in the midst of the storm.
Tonight I will sleep one more time.  I probably will not sleep tomorrow night.  Yes,
twilight approaches.  And the sunset seems so beautiful.  Death beckons me.  I see the sparkles in
the sea.  Through the fading light.  The amber glow of life descending.  The broken connections
to God, merging, mending.  I will soon be one with Him.  The paradox of creation.  To kiss the
Author of life.  We must die.  To set foot on Heaven’s ground.  Above the sky.  We must be born
again.  To touch the Holy One.  We must be free from sin.
How desperately I long to see God.

Tuesday, February 2
It’s almost time to begin the countdown by the hours.  Here I am.  My final night upon
this earth.  And today has been a long day.
After ministering to Fera and David yesterday, I awoke longing to do so again, and the
pang in my heart that it was the last time became kind of a birth pang for a sermon.  When I called
Steve today I told him I wanted to make a tape.
First he had a tape for me to listen to, though.  I got to hear part of a video taped
interview with my father, Rick Sellers, and then, I got to talk to him.  The last time I saw my
father I was 8 years old.  A few of my friends know how I have been writing him for about a year
now.  He finally wrote me back this month, and today, for the first time in my adult life I talked to
my father.  I wish I had been able to get to know him, man to man.  I know his voice now,
though. That is something.
After that, David and I straightened out my visiting schedule for tomorrow.  I won’t have
much time to write tomorrow.  My last day will be a hectic one.  It will begin at 6:00 am.  I’ll be
taken from here, strip searched, given all new clothes, and be taken to the infirmary for a head to
toe x-ray.  While I’m gone, all my property will be removed from this cell and I’ll be given new
canteen items from a list I filled out in exchange for the ones I have here.  I’ll be placed in the
holding cell which connects to the executioner chamber.  Once there, I can shower, have
breakfast, and get ready for my day.  I’ll have visits from 9 to 12, 1 to 4 or 5, then 6 to 8.  I’ll eat
my last meal for lunch and probably have some of it left over for dinner.  In between and after
visits I will be able to make calls.  Then it will be time to lay this body down and die.
Once all the visiting was organized this morning, I recorded my last sermon--the sermon
I’ve been wanting to preach to kids for 7 years.  “You were born with a purpose--find and fulfill
your destiny.”  It turned out to be about an hour long, and I broke at the end of it.  God how I’ve
wanted to reach out to the youth with that message.  It was like fire shut up in my bones for real,
and I’ve had to contain it.  Contain.  Contain.
Contain because the Body of Christ did not want to hear a Death Row inmate talk about
God and discipleship.
Contain because when I stopped talking about the devil and murder, the Church stopped
knocking on my door eager to make videos.
Contain because the people I trusted to help me see this vision through dropped it,
abandoned me, and took half my work with them.
Contain because the doors were shut around me.
Today I contained no more.  I preached the message of my heart!  Today the sermon of
my life was preserved.  It will find its way to the ears of this generation.
I wanted to do so much more. (Sigh) It’s hard to believe it’s really over.  It has really
come to this.  Tomorrow at this time I will be laying on a table with needles being inserted into
my arms, and I will close these eyes forever.  Tomorrow Sean Sellers ceases to exist.  He dies.
Dies at 29 on death row.
In 10 years I wonder how I will be seen?  Who will people know that I was, how will I be
remembered?  I hope that the good I’ve tried to do over the past 13 years will overshadow the
evil I did at 16.  I don’t think I will be forgotten now.  It’s strange to say that, because not too
long ago that was my greatest fear, that my life would have mattered for nothing.  But that was
before Clemency.
We lost at the Hearing because those five people had their minds made up before the
hearing began, but what Steve, Robert, Fera, David, and others who participated in the work
preparing for that pretext of a hearing was to provide an organized format and focus-point for
people to come forward and say what my life meant to them.
My God, I had no idea.  I never even dreamed.
You see, most of my work has NOT been published yet.  I really thought I was a failure.  I
was a death row inmate who had written 6 books and only published one.  I had put together a
whole ministry and watched it crumble before it ever touched one person.  I had finally published
a comic book,  years of work, and no one seemed to even notice.  I was a failure.
Then Clemency began and I watched in awe as people started popping up all over the
place to tell me my life made a difference in theirs.  And not just say it, but fight for it.  I watched
the foreign press come here and be outraged, (outraged!) at the American politics which kept me
on death row and sought to execute me.  I began getting letters from people I had not even
thought of in 10 years or more, who remembered something I said or did that still affected them
today.  I saw more than I had ever imagined, and I sat here stunned, telling myself, “I’m not a
failure?!”  My life mad a difference!
The Clemency Board did not care.  They spit on me.  But they can’t take away from me
what God gave me: Thanksgiving for what He has done in me and my life.  They can’t take away
what I feel in my soul right now.  They can’t take away my rejoicing, and they can’t stop my work
from being finished.
I thought my vision for Destiny was lost.  I thought my book manuscripts would sit in
some cardboard box in a closet somewhere, the mark of a failed life spent dreaming of redemption
and significance.  Today I know, because of the love of people who believe in me, in 10 years, all
my work will be published.  People will be reaching the generation I could not.  I wonder then
how I will be seen.  What will the scarlet letter of my sins be in reference to who I am/ will I be
murderer or man of God?
And will the decision of the Clemency Board then be triumph or travesty?  Will they
themselves ever regret what they did?
It’s almost 1:00 am.  I have 23 hours to live.  I guess how the Clemency Board someday
feels doesn’t really matter to me now.
1:32 am
Everything is “packed” and ready to go.  I thought it would take longer than that.
Christen wrote me about an old poem of hers.  It spoke of tiny deaths as we give things up in life,
until piece by piece our life is gone and we die completely.  Yeah, Baby Girl, I understand that
very well.  As I was packing and throwing stuff away, “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas was playing
on the radio.  There’s nothing left in here.  Everything that is important to me is already gone.
Death should be easy now.
I said a lot of goodbyes today too.  I said Goodbye to Angel and found out Denise had
called her from Alaska.  I went to high-school with Denise.  Today I got Denise’s last letter to
me.  Dee Dee, I love you, Dearheart.  Thank you for calling Angel.  Don’t freeze your buns off up
there with the Eskimoes.  Make sure Les keeps you as warm as that heart of yours.
My friends are becoming friends.  Isn’t that a wonderful kind of magic?  They get to share
different parts of me, and discover the things about each other that I loved in them.
That symphony within me now has quieted to a drumbeat.  Thump-thump.  Thump-thump.
Each goodbye has stilled and quieted the music.  By the end of tomorrow I’ll be alone with that
rhythm.  Then it too will be put to silence.  Stillness.
That’s when God’s symphony will begin for me.

Wednesday, February 3
7:34 am
Just as predicted, the day began at 6:00 with a trip for x-rays.  I got to see the moon.  I
said goodbye to her.  Now I’m sitting in cell LL, which is NOT connected to the execution
chamber after all.  Someone told me it was.
I had a pretty good shower this morning.  For 13 years I’ve showered in a pair of flip-
flops.  Today I didn’t have them, and ya know, it felt pretty good to rub my feet on the tile and
feel the pattern there.  As strange as it sounds, I’d forgotten how that felt.
They had a TV and radio already over here for me, and guards are camped outside my
door with a little table and a telephone.
8:45 am
Just got off the phone with Mike Warnke, and Clift Richards had JUST called him to tell
him the Tulsa World ran an article this morning saying I had a new Clemency Hearing!  Mike said,
“Congratulations!”  I told him, “No, no, no Mike.  I’m in a holding cell waiting to die.”  It’s just a
mistake, I’m sure.  I haven’t even thought about any hope.  Mike was pretty apologetic, but no.
I’m okay.  The prison would have told me.  I’m not upset or even concerned about it.
It’s almost time for my first visit.  Today is going to be a good day.
This morning I was singing “Buella Land.”  A line goes:
Buella Land I am longing for thee
And on thee someday I’ll stand.

Buella Land is an old title for the Heavenly Jerusalem.  Today I sang it:
Buella Land I am longing for you
And on you today I’ll stand.
There’s a peace in the midst of the storm.
I am okay.
I’ll call Mike back later and get it straightened out.  I have images of people reading this
and imagining me frantically hopeful only to be crushed by the disappointment.  Not so, I’m okay.
It was just a mistake.
Visit time!
Back from the visit.  I’m eating!  Man!  My gosh it’s GOOD.  13 years, man.  13 years.
Whew.  It’s almost enough to make it all worth it!
I saw my cousin Brandi, Aunt Debbie, Carlos, Joan and Christen.  This is so hard for all of
12:46 pm
I called Mike Warnke again.  We got it straightened out.  Just a misread article, as I knew
it was.  I think pretty soon here my day will catch me.  It’s all happening so fast.  Too many
emotions to process.  It’s so hard to say goodbye leaning my head against steel bars and glass.
My head is spinning.  Yeah, it’s all gonna catch me, and when it does I think it will crush me.
Alone with God I’m okay, but facing the pain of the people I love is sifting my heart dry.  Tonight
when I die I’ll be very empty.
Be with me God.  Help me do this.  Let me shine through their hurt.  I’m growing weak
Father, be strong in me.  Give me words to comfort them.  I will be Home soon.  Theirs is the
ongoing battle.  (Sigh) Almost time to do it again.  Here we go.
5:02 pm
I’m back.  My heart feels like it’s been crushed under a semi.  God.  Goodbye is the
hardest thing I’ve ever faced.  In an hour I have to do it again.  Oh God.  Help me.
5:42 pm
I just talked to Mrs. Noel, one of my high-school teachers.  I had to try to talk to her.  I’m
so glad I did.  She’s such a sweetheart.  She was one of my all time favorite teachers.  I had a
question to ask her, and I’m glad I finally did.  I went to Mrs. Noel and told her I needed someone
to talk to.  She said she would get me someone.  She never did, and I always wondered why.  I
found out tonight.  She called Mom.  Mom told here she would take care of it and she didn’t
want Mrs. Noel to help.  Wow.
I’m sitting here, trying to rest, trying to recoup for my next visits.  My last ones.  Last
ones.  Last. . .
It’s almost over.
After that a few more calls, and then one last goodbye.  One last final goodbye.  Then I
get to see God.  I get to be with my God.
I’m coming Father.  Only 6 more hours.  I’ll be home soon Abbah.
Paul, the apostle, sat where I sit.  I wonder if this was what he felt?  Did his heart groan,
break, and soar at the same time?  Did He really long to stay AND to go like I do now?
Visit time approaches.

9:46 pm
Returned from my visit, and made my last calls.  I’ve said all but one last goodbye.  Time
to finish my meal and be quiet before God.
My fortune cookie said, ‘If at first you do succeed, try to hide your astonishment.’
I loved the food; I’ve waited 13 years for a Chinese dinner. But in the face of death food
just doesn’t fill the hole.
The news is running the story.  I’m seeing the protestors.  Let’s see if Channel 6 tells the
whole story.  They’re telling Richard’s version of it, not the truth I wrote in my confession.
Nah.  Same old tripe.  The press doesn’t care about the whole story.  That’s okay.
Someday the world will see who I was.  Thirteen years ago God took a tragedy and a great
sadness and turned it around into His glory.  He took my life, completely surrendered to Him, and
He touched thousands of lives with it.  Now, in another 10 years people will look back on my
death and say the same thing.  You watch.  My dying releases my life absolutely to God, in utter
total surrender, and people will see what God will STILL do with it.  No matter where you start
from, God can do GREAT things with you.  That’s what I want my life to say to the world.
Visiting was SO hard today, and I thought Kim’s visit was going to be the hardest.  I
saved my sweetheart for last, then decided to bring her and Sarah in together.  Kim walked in
shining like a star; she glowed with strength, confidence, love, beauty--oh my God wasn’t she
beautiful!  And I saw her wrapped in her potential.  When Sarah cried she stood behind her,
wrapped her arms around her, and held her.  She was a mighty woman of God tonight and I have
NEVER beheld anything so dazzling and beautiful in my life.  Jesus stood before me as a woman,
and it was the most comforting, strengthening time of my whole day.
Then God slowed time and made two hours seem like four.  He lifted me up and set me on
a pinnacle.  I want to live.  Letting go of my vision and turning everybody over to God today was
the hardest thing I think I’ve ever done.  I have asked Him for a miracle so I can serve Him and
see that vision through, but it’s okay.  If the answer is no, if my time to die has arrived, then the
fire in Kim’s eyes burned the faith into my soul, to KNOW my life will, will continue to glorify
Tonight I will minister one last time.  I reach out in His grace once more.  And then I will
let Him call me Home.  
Soon Father, so soon.  Less than two hours until I see God’s face.  Face to face.  Soul to
soul.  I’m coming Abba.  I’m coming.
I search my heart one last time to see if there is anything left to say.  There is only this:
God is real.  This is not a show.  This is no delusion.  From the Creator we come, and to the
Creator we are supposed to return.  But we must return to Him by choice.  We must give
ourselves wholly to Him.  He came to us a man.  His name is Jesus.  He is real.
And to all my friends, all who have loved me, all who fought for the value they saw in my
living, Thank you.  With all my heart, Thank you.
The world is hurting.  Be its healers.
Change it.
I’m going to spend time with my Father now.  I have a short journey to make tonight.
Steve Presson.  You fought until the very end.  Don’t stop fighting now that the end has
past.  Change this world.  My God is with you, Steve, and my heart always shall be too.
Come Father.  We have an hour.  I feel Heaven bowing toward me.  I must stretch myself
up to it.
Tonight I will touch the stars.
I will be in my Father’s hands.

11:27 pm
They have come for me.
Time at last to say Goodbye.
I lay this body down and die.
My race is done.
I am finished.
God must do the rest.


        -- Sean Sellers
        1969 - 1986 - 1999