tv Lockup Boston MSNBC July 7, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
> hey, everybody in their cell now! >> i burned her on her face, i burned her on her sides. i pistol whipped her on her hip. >> their crimes can be heinous. >> i'm here for solicitation to commit aggravated rain. >> their feelings can be intense. >> i'm trying hard to stay out of trouble and get my [ bleep ] together.
located on the banks of the cumberland river, they call it music city, usa. the birthplace of country music. but on the outskirts of nashville, tennessee, is a place where the heart break and loss of country lyrics are a reality for more than 700 women. this is the tennessee prison for women. >> we have everything here from forgery to murderers. it does look like a college campus. but we have surveillance cameras everywhere. we have random strip searches. we have cell searches. our main objective is to keep the inmates safe and our staff.
we want our staff to be able to go home to their families every day. >> hey, hey, move, move, move, move. >> fight! >> hey, everybody in their cell now! >> in here, just as in any men's prison, correctional staff can find themselves in the middle of a sudden outbreak of violence. >> sit down, sit down. up to unit one. >> go to your room. shut the doors. >> if you all don't get in your cells, i'm going to take taking everybody to jail. >> you don't have to do this, man. >> come on, let's ride. >> there was a physical altercation on unit one. inmates were separated by staff on the units and the yard officers responded. the one na initiated the incident has been taken.
i said go to your cell. >> this time, a potentially violent situation is quickly contained. but some of these inmates committed acts of violence marked by shocking levels of brutality. >> it was almost like an al pacino movie i guess you could say. very brutal, bloody. >> you christine taylor is serving 12 years ago aggravated robbery and kidnapping. >> the crime spree is february 14th of 2006. happened on valentine's day. >> the victim was a close female friend. one that taylor alleges stole items from her. >> i took measures into my own hands what, we call a citizen's arrest. we tied her up. i had two accomplices. they only caught one. >> you tied her up. what do you mean? >> with 50-foot extension cord. she wasn't really being cooperative in telling me where my things were and i felt it was
the best way to get her to tell me if i bound here. this probably proceeded for the next eight hours of the day. >> during those eight hours taylor committed a series of atrocities. >> i burned her on her face. i burned her on other sides with a 12-gauge shotgun, had i pistol whipped her in her hip which took a chunk about a quarter size out of her hip. she was disfigured i guess you could say. her face couldn't really look at her and see it was her. said filthy mean things to her that i knew would hurt her and get under her skin. i cried a lot during the procedure. i would ask throughout the day, where's my stuff? please just return it. you'll get out of here okay. >> after several hours taylor released the victim. >> spoke with her briefly, gave her a shower, tried to bandage her up a little bit. gave her some xanaxes to kind of numb the pain she was in as
inhumane as it might sound, i didn't feel wrong for what i did. >> taylor not only felt the assault was justified, she was completely caught off guard by what happened next. >> i was very surprised. >> what? >> what surprise? >> she turned me in. >> have you been given the extent of her injuries? >> yes, with the extent of her injuries i felt that yes, she probably did need to seek medical attention but she could have said it was anybody. a drug dealer, she didn't have to say me. >> while it might be difficult to assimilate how a woman could carry out such a brutal act, it's equally difficult to comprehend the crimes carried out by female sex offenders. >> i think a lot of people don't november female sex offenders
because it's more a male kind of thing. we're the moms, you know what i'm saying? but it's a common thing. there's more than just a few. >> about 3% of the population or roughly 20 inmates at the prison have been convicted of sex crimes. >> i'm jenny woods, and i'm a sex offender. >> my name is rachel trout and i am a sex offender. >> my name is peggy dale and i'm a sex offender. >> these women are all required tore complete a sex offender treatment program as part of their rehabilitation. the group teach inmates to calmly behave your skills and also to get them to look at their past behavior and how it was warped. >> i'm here for solicitation to commit aggravated rape. >> rachel manual trout is serving six years for a crime she claims she committed to satisfy her boyfriend. >> he told me if you love me and
you want to be with me, you'll let me sleep with [ bleep ] and you'll help me do it at all costs and then i will marry you and you will become mine. you will become my queen. >> at the time, manual trout's victim was a 13-year-old girl. >> i took her and we got our hair and nails done and then when i thought that she was ready, i went and got him. we are already intoxicated her so much with drugs and alcohol that she was eating out of the palm of our hands. >> manual trout says she talked about the crime with a family member who then report it had to the police. my fairy tale happy ending, and that's what i didn't get. i did what i had to do to get what i wanted or thought i was getting. but all i was getting was a
heart break and sent to prison. >> coming up --- >> i stab this had girl with her own knife. i was like, well, it was just a lung. you know, she's got two. what's the big deal. >> serving time for violence. one inmate lays it on the line for a chance at freedom. >> if stupidity is a crime i'm guilty i guess. hi, i'm phil mickelson. i've been fortunate to win on golf's biggest stages. but when joint pain and stiffness from psoriatic arthritis hit,
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if it weren't for the 17-foot high fences topped with coils of razor wire, the tennessee prison for women might feel like any other small tight-knit community. >> hi, bss. >> what's up, trouble maker. >> even down to the one gathering spot where it seems everybody knows your name. >> all right, ladies, lets go. waiting on you, ladies. >> they don't play a lot of
sports here, but the residents call it the ball field. >> we're at the gay bar. >> i was going to be real with you. i rode with this much paper and this much tobacco so i can get my own [ bleep ]. >> i knew you was cheating bitch! >> sandra culbertson arrived here one year ago for aggravated assault. >> i had stabbed this girl with her own knife. me and my mom was going down the road. she was cussing in front of me, almost runs me and my mom off the road. her and another girl gets out, comes inside my mom's car, fighting. my mom was screaming. and i thought she was being hit. i was fighting both of them off. apparently when she was swinging, she had a knife. she had dropped the knife at some point and i picked it up and stabbed her.
i punctured her lung. at first when all of this happened, i was like, well, it was just a lung. she's got two. what's the big deal? well, the big deal was i could have killed her, by one stab wound. >> culbertson has had some problems in prison as well. she's had numerous disciplinary write-ups, including one that got her fired from her job in the prison kitchen. it started when culbertson suspected another inmate of stealing from her. >> i was fixing her tray, i couldn't get to her and drag her through that little hole so i spit in her tray. wasn't a good idea. so i took it and dump it had out, but i ended up going to seg over that because i disrespected her. don't disrespect no one. >> but for culbertson, prison hasn't been without its benefits.
>> one got blond hair and big old set of titties. i am openly gay. i'm going to show you this one. you would think somebody being gay would be in luxury here. >> she's good at pointing the hot ones out. >> these women are crazy. all of them. >> what about you? >> i'm crazy. i'm crazy for loving them. i love them all. ♪ >> but culbertson might soon leave them all behind. after serving one year of a three-year sentence, she will meet with the parole board in hopes of getting an early release. >> the best case scenario is me getting to go home and taking care of my mom. you know, if i don't, i don't. but i hope i do. i hope, god, i hope.
this about killed me. >> the next morning, culbertson arrives at the prison administration building for her parole hearing. if parole is granted, she could be released within days. >> how are you feeling? >> like a [ expletive ] in church. >> during our interview with culbertson, her mother and sister arrived to offer character references at the hearing. >> that's who i hurt. i hurt that the most. that's my life. my mom's my heart. i love her to death. i need a miracle.
>> this will be the initial parole hearing on sandra culbertson, which we are considering for parole today for sentence for contraband in the facility and aggravated assaulted. where do you plan to live when you get out? >> i'm going to live with my mom and my sister because my mom's my heart. i want to take care of her until i can't kick her anymore or she stops percolating. >> i was looking over your prison profile and it mentioned two c write-ups in january, two-c and a class b in december. in december, there was disrespect, spitting in food being served to another inmate, threatening an offender, violation of policy. anything you want to say about those write-ups? >> if stupidity is a crime, i'm guilty, i guess. needless to say, i don't handle things real good. that's why i need to think for a change, i guess, you know. >> thank you for being here. miss culbertson, you're her
mother, is that right? anything you'd like to say? >> she was never in trouble as a teenager. never. >> i was the bad one. i was, my alcohol. >> i had three kids that never got in trouble. they played ball. they, you know, didn't drink. this was one of them. i just need -- i need her home. i need to go into kidney dialysis and i don't want to do it if -- if i have to wait three to six more months on her to come home, i'll just die. >> thank you for being here today. and letting us know. miss culbertson is serving time for stabbing an individual, during an argument which is a serious offense and also that she has had multiple write-ups. to recommend parole at this time
would have an verse effect on the institution. i'm going to recommend that you do the balance on your sentence. thank you, have a good day. >> culbertson's parole has been denied. >> so in other words, you got to serve ten more years? >> um-hum. >> basically, where's -- >> i'm sorry, it's okay. >> it ain't. i need to talk to the warden about them not -- >> stop, stop. >> please. please. >> you don't have to do anything. >> okay. >> go. >> parole hearings are not considered opportunities to visit. once the hearing is over, family members are immediately escorted off prison grounds, which leaves culbertson alone to absorb the impact of today's decision.
>> i'm speechless. coming up -- >> something i noticed when i first got here, everybody was in a relationship. everybody's hitting on everybody and i was just like -- ew, what the hell? >> she didn't want nothing to do with me, she didn't like me, but you know, she came around. the dimples. they got her. >> elicit relationships behind prison walls. >> i love you. >> i love you. 't need one, wes, clay and demarcus tried on the new depend real fit briefs for charity to prove how great the fit is even while playing pro football. the best protection now looks, fits and feels just like underwear. get a free sample and try one on for yourself.
christine taylor was caught by surprise when the lifelong friend she brutally beat, burned and held captive for hours, turned her into police, leading to a 12-year prison sentence, and that has threatened her relationship with the father of her two children. >> why can't i be a part of your life no more? no, man i'm sick of being in this [ bleep ] myself without you all wondering what's going on. i'm trying real [ bleep ] hard to stay out of trouble and it get my [ bleep ] together, and feels like i have nothing to come home to. like you gave it to the other girl.
i don't feel like i have a family. >> stay calm. >> there's too much going on. >> taylor had a young son when she arrived at prison. she gave birth to a second son in prison. >> that little baby don't even know me. this is what you get when you do things that you're not supposed to do. you lose your family. you lose your children. you lose everything. and then you're stuck in here and then you're stuck to run to other things to try to fill your happiness and nothing works and none of this stuff means no woman, no guard, no nothing. what means something to me just hung up on me. and that's my consequence. but there's nothing that i can say, because i'm here and i'm helpless. >> but for some of these women, prison has become the place to find love.
>> i have a hard time making friends but the friends i do have are real bitches, so. >> at 28 years old, jamey eldridge has already wracked up 21 convictions for crimes including aggravated robbery, i.d. theft and auto theft. a plea bargain brought her sentence to just under eight and a half years. >> something i noticed when i first got here is everybody was in a relationship and everybody's hitting on everybody. i was like ew, what the hell? that is the last thing i need. >> that was three years ago. before eldridge met christie kemp. >> jamey eldridge moved in next to me in the room and man, she was just beautiful. you know? she didn't want nothing to do with me. she didn't like me. but you know, she came around. the dimples, they got her. you're crazy, but i love you. jamie has trust issues.
>> look at you. >> what are you my [ bleep ] counselor? >> yes. >> i think we'd be very good. we do great together. i'm laid back and she's a fire cracker. >> i love her. yeah, i'm in love with her. and she loves me. it's a much more intense kind of love than i think you would get out in the free world because out there, have you so many distractions, you know, and other things to do. you don't have that in here. >> i love you. >> i love you. >> but there are two downsides to prison relationships. one is that displays of affection are against the rules and can result in segregation. the other is that most of the the time, one person eventually gets left behind. campbell is in the third year of a mandatory 20-year sentence for second-degree murder. eldridge in her third year of an eight-year sentence has just been summoned to the prison's parole office. >> ready? >> yeah.
>> i got a release date for you tomorrow. >> oh, my gosh. >> you ever been on parole before? >> probation. >> i don't know what to think. i leave in the morning. i mean that to me is like what the hell, they're going to open that gate and let me out and run. are you kidding me? thanks. >> good luck to you. >> i know it, i'm going to make it. >> campbell isn't quite as thrilled about the news. >> what you going to do? >> i don't know what i'm going to do. she goes in the morning. she said she was going to come in the kitchen and talk to me. she leave at 8:00. are they going to help her after the intake? >> no, she gone. i'm going to call her tomorrow, though. >> saying good-bye to christie? >> i don't know. i don't want to. i want to stick her in my pocket, but she's too big. she's just so sweet. you know?
she's just such a beautiful woman, and she's got hopes and dreams just like everybody else, you know. she just did a terrible thing. she has to stay. and that pisses me off, but all i can do is be there for her. >> are you going to have sex when you get out there? >> eventually, yeah, but it's not going to -- no one's ever going to have my heart. >> while eldridge would consider a sexual partner on the outside, she made one thing very clear. campbell had better not consider one on the inside. >> i will whoop her [ bleep ]. and she knows that. she has no -- there's no misunderstanding on nap i would rip her face off. if i had to come back to prison to do it, i would, because i'm still going to leave before she will. coming up, pregnant in prison. >> that was the hardest thing that i had to do. i walked into the nursery, kissed him bye and walked out in
each week, dozens of new inmates arrive at the tennessee prison for women. today, paula sisk is among them. >> i'm here because i had a drug indictment and i violated my probation in september, because i was publicly intoxicated on my prescription medication and alcohol. >> okay. what i need you to do at this time is put all your property on the table. >> while drugs and alcohol brought sisk to prison, they could pose even more problems in the near future. >> okay. you have some sonogram pictures. so how many months are you? >> six. >> six months? >> um-hum. >> like other pregnant inmates here, sisk will receive prenatal karat the prison infirmary. she'll give birth at the nearby hospital under the escort of two correctional officers. >> do you know if it's a little girl or a little boy? >> boy.
>> you can go ahead and keep them in this informing. >> though sisk already has a 3-year-old son, she has never been pregnant in prison, but she won't be alone. about 60 inmates a year give birth while incarcerated. at tennessee prison for women. >> how's your baby? >> he's doing good. i just had him. he'll be four weeks today. he was eight pounds and three ounces. it was rough. that was a hardest thing i had to do was leave him in the hospital. you sign those discharges papers, and i walked into the nursery, kissed him bye and walked out in shackles. >> to rhonda, serving four years for burglary is just one month away from giving birth. >> torhonda mincy? torhonda mincy? are you doing okay today? >> yes, ma'am. >> pregnant inmates receive ultrasounds and other prenatal services from the staff
obstetrician at the prison infirmary. >> i go to the doctor every friday. he does the test. i get to hear the baby's heartbeat. i've already had one ultrasound since i've been here and i've already been here for six weeks. >> i'll see you in about a week. everything's going fine. >> mincy will soon face a tough decision, deciding who will raise her baby. she says the baby's father is currently a fugitive. so like many other pregnant inmates, she must choose between adoption or finding another state-approved relative or friend to raise the baby. a prison chapel program also finds families to raise some of the babies until their mothers leave prison. >> have you thought about what you're going to do? have you talked to the chaplain? >> yeah, i'm thinking about letting maybe the church keep the baby.
that way, i can see him and bond with him, because he's going to be so little, and i'll have like six months left by the time the baby's born, and from what i hear, they're really good. they bring him every weekend. they send you pictures, you call and check on him. >> but the decision is rarely easy. >> i'm not sure if it would be easier to see him every week and have to say good-bye all over again, which i'm sure it will be because you need to bond with your child, but it's going to be hard. after delivery, i'm allowed to spend i think three days with him and then i have to walk through the nursery and just walk away. which is going to be the hardest thing i think i've ever done. >> what, what? oh, look, you can feel him moving. >> maternal separation is an issue that one inmate here may never have to face. but that creates a challenge in itself. >> my mother is currently in here with me.
we have the same sentences. mom? >> she's up on the catwalk, and i'm down on the bottom, so i can look out my window and wave at her. >> the reason i'm here is because i tried to kill my husband or tried to have him killed. it was me and my mother and she had originally told one of my friends that she would give him $1,000 if he killed my husband. >> felecia art and her mother, darlene moses, each received ten years for solicitation of first-degree murder, but the two years they've spent here so far have not been all bad. >> i work in the kitchen and i'm a cook. you know, when i was still out on the streets, i really didn't know how to cook. i've learned how to cook since i've been here. >> she's just a high-spirited girl. i mean, she's just happy go lucky all the time. she loves to work in the kitchen, she loves getting out and doing stuff.
i felt when we first got here, i used to watch her play volleyball at the gym and i sat and watched her and thought, she's not a little girl anymore. she's all grown up. it took me a long time to realize that. she's not my baby anymore. >> but realizing that has not been as tough as accepting it. >> darlene? >> it's mom to you. >> our relationship is on rocky ground. she doesn't approve of me for a lot of other reasons besides just being here. i have come out and told her that i am a lesbian. >> i think we went to breakfast one morning and she sat down and she said, "hey, mom, this is tanya. this is my girlfriend." i was like, "excuse me?" she said, "yeah, you heard me right," and i was like, "i don't think so."
>> she come back and say something? >> who, mama? i had to talk to her. yeah, go figure, right? >> her girlfriend, latanya goss, works with her in the prison kitchen. goss has a 37-year sentence for second-degree murder. >> me and her just clicked. i accepted her into my world. i'm really a loaner. i don't talk to people a lot. and i could talk to her. >> you're crazy. >> she is very dear to me. i hold her close. she has helped me through a lot. she's helped me through this time a lot, since i've been here. she's with a woman. that's just wrong. it's wrong. i just want to pick her up and shake her sometimes and say, "i raised you better than that." >> i'm 21 years old.
you've not been my mother for 21 years. why do you want to start now? and that's my question to her, why do you want to start now? >> i tried to get her to go to church. it's like, she don't want to do that. unless -- well, tanya gets her to go. >> you can't say girlfriend? >> it's hard. i think god will intervene eventually if i pray long enough and hard enough. i can hope. >> kiss me through the air. coming up -- >> they call me cornbread here because my husband was eating cornbread when i shot him. >> a lifer finds pleasure in makeup. >> i'm like dolly. the redder, the better. the more the merrier.
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it might be a maximum security institution, but the tennessee prison for women realizes that giving their inmates opportunities to feel good about themselves can go a long way. and even help their rehabilitation. >> the things we go through for beauty. a day in the beauty shop. >> every beauty shop has gossips. this is no exception. >> the prison runs a cosmetology program that is both a full service spa and a teaching facility that provides inmates with career skills for life on the outside. >> well, i'll start you a little bit bigger and i'll work down. >> works for me.
>> you tell me how close you want to take it. >> claudia rourke, a civilian employee, runs the program, which requires students to complete at least 200 hours of training. >> the rest of the prison has different colors of paint on the wall. my favorite colors are pink and purple. i wanted it to be more of a soothing environment, something that's pleasant, might remind them of better times when they were younger or something. and i encourage them to stay ladies and act professional. >> one of rourke's students, mary jones, is nearing the end of a 12-year sentence for aggravated robbery. >> you have all the drama and stuff on the main compound and you walk in here and it's just like a relaxation, but you're learning stuff as you're doing it and as you're learning it, you're helping other inmates when they come down to get services to be relaxed. >> if any one of them can be a success and stay out and change their lives, then i've met what i set out to do, my goal, for these ladies.
so when i get those phone calls or get letters with pictures, telling me what they've done and how successful they've become, it just makes me more of a success is how i look at it. >> she's a very great teacher. >> well, thank you. >> you are. i love you. you're like a second mom to me and you teach me and then you have to get on to me, but hey, i have to learn. it's your way is the right way. >> joe, seriously. >> sorry. >> look, don't make me cry. you're a very good woman. >> i love makeup. i've been into makeup since i was a little bitty girl, and i say the more the merrier.
>> betty conley is not part of the cosmetology program, but that hasn't stopped her from turning herself into a virtual spa of her own. >> i'm like dolly. the redder the better. the more the merrier. so that's what i do. >> but conley is known here for more than makeup. >> they call me cornbread here because my husband was eating cornbread when i shot him and nobody wants to come and eat cornbread with me. >> conley is serving a life sentence for murdering her husband. >> we had been together for 20 years. when we got together, he was 42. i was 18. and it was real good in the beginning. things were good. >> conley claims her drug use played a role in the murder. >> we had a gun in the house and this gun's been standing here for years, you know, right beside the bed.
i've never picked it up. but this gun just keeps falling over and it just keeps like grabbing my attention. he asked for some cornbread. and i said, "okay, just a minute." i'm really not thinking. i'm just like a robot. i go get his cornbread. i bring it to him. he's sitting in his recliner. he's watching tv. i just went up behind him and i shot him. i just aimed and shot. i really feel bad for what i did. i really do. i have no tears, but i -- you know, it really hurts me. it hurts me because of the people that i hurt. his other children, their children, my children, you know. i'm not proud of that at all. so i may never leave here, but
i'm not going to let it keep me down. it might every now and then get me down, but i get over it and i move on, you know. i'm a very strong christian. and that is what keeps me going at all times. >> coming up -- >> you spend your whole time trying to forget this place, like when you're gone, you're gone. it's over. >> the bittersweet reality of going home. >> it's hard to let her go. i love her. you know. she's everything to me.
i'm just like, i'm out of this [ bleep ]. >> after serving three years at the tennessee prison for women, jamie eldridge is about to go home. >> so tomorrow first thing when i get out, i'm going to get my cigarettes in a box, definitely in a box, no more roll-ups. i'm not going to have to hide from an officer to smoke. >> but while jamie is gaining her freedom, she's also leaving something behind. >> you spend your whole time trying to forget this place, like when you're gone, you're gone. it's over. but -- and then i met christie, which was totally -- i just feel so [ bleep ] up in my heart about it that, you know, i'm just leaving something so precious behind. she's got to do her time, though, you know. >> she's done her time. you know. she's got a family and everything out there that loves her. it's hard to let her go. i love her. you know. she's everything to me.
>> jamie and christie won't be allowed to say good-bye at the gate, so they meet on the ball field for the last time. >> i love you so much. >> i love you, too. you'll be lost without me. >> yeah, i will be. i'll be dying. >> you're stupid. >> that's what i'm going to tell them tomorrow, i'm dying. >> aw. well, just don't -- don't make me [ bleep ] have to come back to this [ bleep ]. >> i'm going to be good, jamie. you won't believe how good i'm going to be. >> i don't even care if you're bad, but it's not with certain people because i will [ bleep ] kill you if you ever disrespect me like that and make me look like a duck. i'm not laughing on that one. you are. >> i love you. >> there's no laughter. >> because you're crazy, but i love you. it's okay. >> how would you know? >> i'll know. there's people watching. bet that.
>> i've been under surveillance since i've been here. i mean, and -- and she's not caught me doing anything. >> yet. >> cause i'm not doing anything. >> now all that's left for jamie is to wait for her discharge papers to be completed. >> my mind is so far out them gates, i just -- it's like i'm here but i'm not. i'm 100 miles away. i'm in east tennessee. i'm not even here. i'm just like i'm walking around. it's over! >> with her personal possessions packed in a laundry cart, jamie makes her way to the release center. >> a whole pack of cigarettes for me. get me some gin. >> see you guys. ow! don't work too hard.
>> just have a seat in that first cell for me. >> okay. >> i'm gonna drug test you. >> okay. i'm locked in. and you know what, it feels safe. isn't that scary? i'm okay with that. it's been a long couple of years. i just want to get far away from this prison, far, far away. i just want to go home and wash this place off of me. wash all these years off of me. if that's even possible. >> ms. eldridge? >> yes. >> your ride is here, sugar. >> yes! it's my mom. she's waiting for me to come out of those [ bleep ] gates. [ bleep ] i've been waiting on this forever.
>> the wait is over, and jamie is escorted to the front gate. but before passing through, she steals a final glance at christie. >> look, there's christie. >> where? >> in the window. >> get in that car and just get out of here, okay? i give her six months maybe. she's going to fall in love with somebody out there, you know. she's beautiful. somebody's going to be interested. and i hope she has a beautiful life, you know. i'm not going to be mad or take that from her or hate her for it. >> i'm going to cry. >> she has my heart and i have hers. it's always going to be that way. >> now all that's left for christie is the good-bye card jamie left her. >> "christie, my love. well, it's the eve of my leaving. i never thought i'd see this day."
>> freedom. >> "i feel so torn. i'm leaving the only thing i've ever loved behind, locked away safe and sound, but locked away with my heart. the last few months i feel like i've been living a fairy tale, like i've been waiting for someone to sweep me off my feet my whole life. i finally found my happily ever after. i love you for an eternity, baby, and i only have to miss you for a while. i'll talk to you soon, okay? don't ever forget that all of me is yours. kitty." >> aah! mama! i'm free. oh, my god, i missed you. >> i missed you, too. >> oh, you're so pretty.