tv Lockup Wabash MSNBC June 5, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
for example, this tweet from texas congressman henry quere to arsenio haul, hey, next time we'll meet outside the room. this is from congressman darrel isa and it's to rachel, simulating rachel mad yao. i feel like this is going to be the last time i'm allowed to host her show. politwhoops has been taken down with the idea that these public statements for our publicly elected officials should be public, but twister has apparently decided otherwise. farewell politwhoops. we are going to miss you. we already do. everybody meeting me at midnight for the entourage movie, save a seat for me. i'm on my way. up until my show, you have to spend some quality time with your jailer, the as rachel would say. good night.
due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. >> somebody like me with my mentality does not belong in season. >> murders get 60 years. i got sentenced to 72 years. >> two brothers pay a harsh penalty for their dealings in methamphetamines. >> he messed up his life trying to save mine. >>. >> i'm sorry for pouting you through this. i cannot take it any longer. >> a routine cell search realizes an inmate on the edge. >> why are you going to go in there and strip me out again? >> because that's the protocol. >> that's [ bleep ] and you know
it. >> and we turn some of our cameras over to the inmates for a personal glimpse of their lives in prison. >> show off your work, son! >> i'm growing old in here, white hairs, gray hairs, going bald. my life is over with. >> is this place stressful? >> hell yeah, it's stressful. it's one of the stressfulest things you can do. try to think of anything you can do, from drawing a picture to
lifting weights to -- i mean, anything. it's horrible. nobody wants to do this. >> 407. >> isolated among the rural farming communities of southwestern indiana, the wabash valley correctional facility is 40 acres of concrete, razor wire and broken dreams for the more than 2,000 inmates incarcerated at this maximum security prison. they arrive from all over the state, but superintendent dick brown who runs wabash who began as a corrections officer here 19 years earlier has seen a big change in the population. >> shut the door, please. >> traditionally, most of the people being incarcerated were from bigger cities. now we're seeing a lot more offenders come in from rural communities. i think that's due in part to the methamphetamine problem.
the ingredients from methamphetamine comes from farms. that's why we have a large amount of offenders being encores rated, in my opinion, from local, small communities. they get involved in the meth ring, they get caught up and then they end up in the indiana department of corrections. >> i have to be honest, the police in my town, most of them knew me on a first-name basis. >> same thing, over and over. day in, day out. >> methamphetamine use, it's the worst thing i've ever come in contact with. my only regret, i wish i never, ever, in my life, seen it. there's a hundred good stories i could tell you, i could turn around and tell you three times as bad stories. made me feel the greatest at times and it made me hate myself most of the time. >> chas harper is currently
serving his fourth prison term. the first three totalled about seven years for theft and burglary. but when he was caught with 114 grams of meth, the judge threw the book at him. >> i was sentenced to 72 years, which means i have to do 36. that's 12 years more than a murderer. most murderers get 60 years. it's hard for me family to grasp that amount of time. >> yes shares a cell with his younger brother. >> if he decided he was going to do something, i would go right
behind him, all right, let's go, then. >> keep doing this [ bleep ], i'll be a domestic battery case. >> no, i got it. >> i'll be out for clemency by the time you figure it out. >> carl has been in and out of prison on minor drug charges. this time, he's in for dealing meth. like his brother, prosecutors had had enough of him, as well. >> they said if i went to trial and convicted by a jury, they was going to give me 85 years and they had just gave chas 72 years. i knew they wasn't screwing around, so i went ahead and signed a plea bargain so i could avoid a trial. >> carr was sentenced to 35 years. >> that's what you get for
dealing. >> for dealing? i need g.a., gamblers anonymous. >> he sold drugs not just to support his addiction, but to support his brother. >> chas was arrested and i started paying for his legal fees. i was paying for his attorney with drug money. >> i feel like it's my fault. i feel like he messed up his life trying to save mine. >> doesn't matter where you're at or what you're at, family is first, you know? that is the way it is. >> i know in any situation i ever get into, he's going to be there. whether it's right or wrong, good or bad, he's going to be there. i mean, he's loyal, loving, and a pain in the [ expletive ] sometimes, but you know, that's him. you can't pick your family. >> actually the nickname that he gave me probably about ten years ago? >> yeah. >> 10 or 12 years ago. >> yeah.
>> how do you get that anymore name? you tell me. >> how? we was high on meth, we was sitting there and he was tripping out thinking he could see the cops everywhere. and he kept saying, hey, man, there's cops. i swear, there's the cops. after that, it was over every time. how everybody in america calls him skitz. >> yeah, pretty much. >> coming up, harper and carr continue to mark time. >> 3930 and i'm out of here. >> cell search uncovers a cry for help. >> the gentleman over there took ccu. we just found a suicide note in his drawer. >> and the cocomo slayer talks about his horrifying triple murder. >> i can still, to this day, remember nearly every blot blood spot that was in that house. we all enter this world with a shout,
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a methamphetamine epidemic has not only ravaged many of the small rural towns of america's heartland, it's changed the face of the inmate population at prisons like wabash valley correctional facility in southwestern indiana. but wabash also houses men doing time for far more serious crimes. men like jeremy blanchard. >> i have never been a drug abuser. i've never been a drunk. i knew what i done when i done it. i knew the heinous nature of what i done. i can still to this day remember nearly every blood spot that was in that house.
i can remember the wallpaper, the way the bodies were laid. i can remember nearly everything that happened that night. >> blanchard has served a little more than one year of a 195-year sentence, but his facial tattoos will forever commemorate both his crime, triple murder, and the moniker the local media gave him, kokomo slayer. >> it's telling you that's what i've done. that's who i am. that's what i'm about. yes. >> blanchard tracked down his former girlfriend, jessica berg, her mother and her mother's boyfriend when they traveled to kokomo, indiana, to attend a funeral for jessica's grandmother. blanchard broke into the house they were staying in, hid inside until they came home and got ready for bed then stabbed all three to death with a butcher's knife. >> a friend of jessica's told me that she had an abortion, and
that's what prone my anger, my hatred. i mean, that's my child that was killed. i'm not even a political person. i've never thought about abortion in that manner, but i guess you could say as a man, i felt like i was stabbed in the heart a thousand times. >> blanchard first attacked jessica's mother and her boyfriend as they lay in bed. >> i remember jessica running into the room, and i stabbed jessica just to shut her up because she was screaming. and i wanted to talk to jessica before i knew i killed her. so i let jessica say good-bye to her mom because her mom was dying. i took jessica back into the kitchen, and i made a tourniquet
for jessica's neck because i stabbed her in the neck. i wanted to know why she done what she done, why she killed my child. and i will say this, she never admitted it. >> the next morning jessica's brother arrived and discovered the bodies. knowing that blanchard had threatened and harassed jessica after the two split up, he identified blanchard as a suspect and police apprehended him within hours. later, blanchard pled guilty as part of a deal to avoid the death penalty. >> you don't feel that you should have received the death penalty? >> i believe that's for god to answer. if god would have wanted me that, then i would have got that. do i believe because i took another person's life that i should die? no, i don't. >> why isn't it up to god to decide jessica's fate? why did you take that opportunity?
>> obviously, it was their time. i can't answer that. >> do you still believe that they all deserved to die? >> i would honestly answer yes. yes. i believe that they done something to me that i couldn't live with. it would have hurt me till the day i died. >> while blanchard says drug use played no role in his triple homicide, the prison estimates drugs were directly involved in the convictions of about one-third of its inmates, and played an indirect role in the majority of the others. drugs make their way behind the walls as well. despite the prison's screening methods, they can be smuggled in through the mail or visitation, and corrections staff is constantly on the lookout for them. >> go ahead and roll 203. >> we are going to go in and shake down suspected people who got drugs, possibly, weapons, anything unauthorized we're going to take. >> let the dog run through the
cell and shake down. >> 504. >> there's a high concentrations of possible meth in this unit. so we're going to try to find it. >> 507. >> a lot easier to see things when there is not as much clutter. that's why a lot of these guys like to keep a lot of clutter because they know it makes our job harder. >> while corrections officers search their cells, the inmates are required to give urine samples to test for drug use. >> the result is negative on that. each line has a number. the drug's down there. the control line across the top tells us that the test was valid. as long as there's a line by every number then the test was negative. >> one inmate has refused to comply with the drug test. >> 604. >> four. >> the inmate is martin mcdaniel who is serving 15 years for three counts of burglary. >> he is going to the ccu which
is the custody control unit. they take offenders down there that are troublemakers, who refuse orders, who have been in fights, what have you. >> officers inspecting mcdaniel's cell soon make a discovery. >> i'll call the nurse. this is prescription. >> mcdaniel has a prescription for anti-depressants, but the pills shouldn't be in the cell. >> we found a bunch of drugs he should have taken when they were hand given to him. so we know he's been saving them. >> moments later a letter is discovered in mcdaniel's cell. it could shed light on why he was saving his medication. >> hey, mom, how are you doing? i'm good and safe. depends on where i went. i'm sorry for putting you through this, but mom, my fight is done. i could not take it anymore. this is definitely a suicide letter. >> hey, vera? >> what? >> the gentleman we just took to ccu we just found a suicide note in his drawer, and he's saying
bye to his mom and children, so put him on suicide watch. make sure that gets to evidence. coming up -- >> the letter was never intentionally to be found, you know. >> martin mcdaniel speaks out and is then surprised by the consequences. >> that's bull [ bleep ] and you know it. >> and more from the kokomo slayer. >> i seen it like she done something to me. so therefore, i'm going to do something tenfold to her. people and their ideas will continue to move the world forward. as long as they have someone to believe in them. citi financed the transatlantic cable that connected continents. and the panama canal, that made our world a smaller place. we backed the marshall plan that helped europe regain its strength. and pioneered the atm, for cash, anytime.
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correctional facility eventually finds some way to deal with life behind the walls. half-brothers dave carr and chas harper use humor. >> i mean, we try to make each other laugh, you know. sit there and go, boy i'm sure glad, think about how much money we're saying on gas right now, bub. we're saving a lot of money on gas right now. you know? what's that saying? won't make you laugh will make you cry. so you just do what you do. >> with harper sentenced to 72 years and carr 35 years for crimes related to their use of methamphetamines, both men have had plenty to cry about, especially when it comes to who they have left behind. >> i got the zoom and stuff right. mom, dad, i just want to take a second when nobody's in here to tell you guys that i love you, miss you, i'm sorry for what i put you through. >> to my boys, i love you. i think about you every day. i'm so sorry that i hurt you. through the process of growing up without having a father. hardest part about doing any of this time is knowing that you guys are worried about me.
you know, there's no need for that. >> but not everyone here has a brother to lean on. >> 604. >> four. >> during a routine shake down in housing unit "d," inmate martin mcdaniel was taken to the custody control unit after refusing to take a drug test. corrections officers then discovered he had been hoarding his prescription drugs. moments later they found something else. >> the gentleman we just took to ccu, we just found a suicide note in his drawer, and he's saying good-bye to his mom and children. put him on suicide watch. >> inmates on suicide watch are stripped of all possessions except boxer shorts, placed in a completely stripped down cell, and undergo around-the-clock observation. but after they examined him, mental health staff determined mcdaniel was not suicidal. for refusing to take the drug
test, however, he must remain in the custody control unit where he will be locked in his cell 23 hours a day, with only an hour for a shower or recreation. later he said it was because he had taken some of his cellmate's prescription methadone. >> i refused it because i was positive, too, you know, and ended up over here. >> can you talk to me a little bit about the letter? >> the letter was never intended to be found, you know. i wrote it probably about a month ago. just haven't heard from nobody or nothing and you know was just feeling pretty down and so i wrote it. unfortunately, they found it. >> mcdaniel says part of his despair is from missing his two daughters who are 12 and 13 years old.
he has spent almost half of their lives in prison. >> they've had it rough, you know, from not having me around. when i was out there i chose drugs a lot of time. so that deprived them. you write them and don't get no response, you know. >> mcdaniel's daughters live with their mother and her husband. he has only seen them once in the last two years. the last time was soon after he swallowed a handful of pills in his cell. >> when that happened and my family got told, you know, i got a visit, like, the following week from my kids and everybody start writing letters, and i think it was more to open their eyes up, too, that i was, you know, pretty down, you know. from not hearing from them. >> as the interview wrapped up, mcdaniel expected to return to his cell in the custody control unit, but his comments during
the interview renewed concerns among staff about mcdaniel's state of mind, and they decided he would, in fact, be placed on suicide watch. >> i don't want to let anything happen to you. >> there ain't nothing going to happen to me so why are you going to strip me out again? >> because that's the protocol. >> that's [ bleep ] and you know it. >> well, it may be -- >> this will be it and they will talk to you in the morning. you'll be done. >> yeah, let dr. sams come in in the morning, talk to you and we'll get it all cleared up. >> because we talked about the [ bleep ] letter out here. >> inmate mcdaniel was sent here on suicide watch, talked to mental health. mental health released him. but custody, meaning myself, and my captain and other custody staff here feel that we need to keep an eye on him until mental health can come back and speak with him over the issue of the letter. >> mcdaniel will now be confined in his cell with only his boxer shorts and remain under constant
observation until he is taken off the suicide watch. >> we've got to fill out a suicide watch. every 15 minutes it goes through the offender's mood, what he's doing, how he's acting, if he's in restraints, if he's just in his cell. as long as he's okay. coming up -- >> dare you to put your finger in this. >> i did. >> two brothers and their buddies celebrate another month down with a prison slam. >> it's rocking up the crack rock. >> rocking up a crack rock? i never did that, sir. >> that's it.
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nbc has not independently verified those claims. doctors say secretary of state john kerry's recovery from leg surgery is on track. he broke the tumor while bike riding in france. the unemployment rate rose to 5.5%. now back to "locked up." due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. my name is jeremy blanchard. i'm serving a 195-year sentence for three counts of murder. this is my personal time to say once again to my family that i'm truly sorry. and it's a -- if i could change the fact that i put you through
so much turmoil and heartache, i would. >> jeremy blanchard might regret that his parents and young son have suffered through the emotional turmoil of losing him to prison, but when it comes to the horrifying triple murder that brought him to wabash and earned him the moniker "kokomo slayer," he's less regretful. >> would i say that i would not do it again? i honestly cannot tell you that. >> blanchard stabbed his former girlfriend, her mother and her mother's boyfriend multiple times with a butcher's knife. he committed the murders in the belief that his ex-girlfriend had aborted their baby. >> i used a knife because it's more intimate. i wanted to make them feel like the way i felt. i seen it like, she done something to me, so therefore, i'm going to do something ten
fold to her. i'm a man of principle. i guess you could say. somebody like me with my mentality does not belong out in society. so, yeah, i believe that i belong in prison. i don't take that away from society. >> blanchard will have a lifetime in prison to think about the devastating effects of his principles. but chas harper, who is serving 72 years on his latest conviction for dealing methamphetamine, has a completely different set of priorities. he recently discovered a device to help make his leisure time more leisurely. >> yeah, my brother come up with this. it's a razor, and you just -- and the razor guard and you just hook it up there. all the way across the cell.
you just sit back and turn it like that. >> knowing he might have to serve at least 36 years before being paroled, harper places a high priority on making prison feel like home. it helps that he shares a cell with his half-brother dave carr who is up for parole in about 16 years. >> dave, you put your finger in this? >> well, i did. >> but they still celebrate every month that gets them closer to home. >> today is -- we're going to celebrate like a month gone by. me and my brother and two other guys. kamikaze is a penitentiary macgyver. he's an electronic whiz. you know, give him a bread tie and some fingernail clippers and he's got it fixed in two minutes. he's good at cooking his celly is really good at cooking. we get together. have a slam. big nacho slam, make a cake. you know, we say a celebration. i say it's basically to realize we just wasted another month in here. it's something to look forward to. >> who makes the cake?
>> kamikaze, my buddy kamikaze, he makes the cake. >> patrick "kamikaze" gaskill, who is serving 30 years for dealing methamphetamine is no ordinary cook. among wabash inmates, he's a culinary genius. turning commissary snack food into something special. but during a prior prison term he learned to be a different sort of cook. >> i went around to other people that were in prison for cooking meth, and got a recipe from this guy, got a recipe from this guy and figured out that was going to be my new thing. instead of stealing cars wasn't working. the last two times that i got out of prison that was all that i -- my intent was to cook meth. don't get me wrong, i love to smoke it, too. but you know, i like to make it. making something that people really like and getting the reaction from it, you know, that
was another thing that i liked about it. i always tried to make the best stuff. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> bye-bye. >> for their monthly slam, the four men pool the snacks they purchase from the prison commissary. >> this is a survival kit. you got some chips, some shells, some sausages, some beans, soups. >> about a month. >> about a week, really. >> yep. >> he might be little but he can put some food away. >> but things don't always go as planned. >> a bag of jolly ranchers out of a $20 order. this is everything i ordered. right here. all they gave me was the jolly ranchers. everything else says exceeds my balance. i'm eating off skitz for the next two weeks. >> you all right with that, skitz? >> yeah! >> even if he isn't, i'm still going to. he doesn't have a choice in the matter. >> that's what a brother's for. >> what's mine is his. >> even with the shortfall, the men have managed to at least
acquire the necessary ingredients for gaskill's chocolate peanut butter fudge cake. >> to make peanut butter fudge, take the peanut butter and melt it down. you got to cook down the sugar, add some sugar with it to make some icing. we have brownies for the crust. we'll roll that out and make it like a layered brownie fudge and then once we get that done, we'll melt down the candy bars and put that on top. it's like rocking up a crack rock. >> rocking up a crack rock? i never did that, sir. >> [ bleep ] looking good ain't it, bro? >> [ bleep ] yeah. >> melt down the chocolate. you have to spread it out before it starts hardening up. that's it. guaranteed if you don't have diabetes after this, you will. >> here's to the month of april. another month in the books.
>> 394 more months to go and i'm out of here, thank god. we're making quesadillas for may? >> i don't know. >> while all four men are serving lengthy sentences, gaskill, harper and carr received theirs as a result of multiple convictions for mainly drug-related offenses. but gaskill's cellmate, fabian gomez, is serving 40 years for taking a life. >> i feel pain because i did horrible things out there. that destroyed lots of families, including my own. i lived the life of a thug. all i did was party and sell drugs. >> gomez's crime took place on new year's eve when he says he was cleaning his gun. >> new year's, of course, you want to shoot your gun for new year's. >> gomez admits he had been cheating on his girlfriend and says that night she confronted
him on it. >> we got in a really bad argument. not physical, verbal, but in the instance of the argument something happened where the gun went off. >> gomez's girlfriend was hit in the face. >> she was -- she fell to the floor. she was bleeding. i called 911 and the police came and they pulled me to the side. you know, everything started happening. everything started happening like i was in the dream. >> his girlfriend was rushed to the hospital, but she wasn't the only one fighting for her life. >> she was pregnant. she was going to be a month due when it happened. >> doctors saved the baby, a girl who is now being raised by his girlfriend's parents. gomez's girlfriend died two weeks later. >> do you think you will ever
see that child? >> i have faith that i will. i have faith that i will. coming up -- martin mcdaniel gets honest about his suicidal feelings. >> it's a good thing they come in my room. >> you were, then? >> yeah. no doubt about it. this is my main view a lot making a fist something we do to show resolve. to defend ourselves.
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boxes. sink. toilet. mirrors. headphones. got me a penitentiary back scratcher. this is existence. you make the best of it. you get comfortable. you deal with it. you do what you got to do. it is what it is. >> making the best of life at the wabash valley correctional facility is something every inmate must learn on their own. lately it's proven difficult for martin mcdaniel. after officers found a suicide letter and a stockpile of prescription pills in his cell, they put him on suicide watch. a measure he insisted was unnecessary. mcdaniel was taken off suicide watch the following day.
several weeks later he admitted that, despite his earlier denials, he was suicidal. >> when i wrote the letter, right, i had intentions of o.d.'ing because my kids wrote me a letter and told me the day they was coming, right? i was going to wait until after visit and take them that night, right? but it's a good thing they come in the room, man. >> you were, then? >> yeah. yeah. no doubt about it. >> mcdaniel says his despair was over the impact his incarceration was having on his two young daughters. >> sometimes i think it would be better, right? >> what would? >> like what the letter said, right? then i don't have to weigh my options, you know. i'd like to see my kids grow up,
you know, but -- yeah, it's pretty, pretty [ bleep ] situation. >> while mcdaniel longs for a visit from his family, patrick gaskill has just had a severe restriction placed on his visitation privileges. he was caught with a plastic bag full of inmate-made alcohol in his cell and now prison officials have restricted his visits to a noncontact basis. >> that sucks. that's about worst thing they can do to you here. you know, still get visits but noncontact. but it's not worth having the people drive, you know, miles and miles, you know, just to come see you behind a glass wall. i mean, you can't even hug your people. >> what did they tell you? >> same old. went in there and pled not
guilty. >> gaskill will also get 60 days in confinement meaning he will soon leave his three closest friends behind. >> you got till friday to learn to make some cakes, gomez. >> what? >> got till friday to learn to make cakes. >> my replacement. >> no. no. >> and electronics. >> what are you talking about? >> you're taking my cake boss away from me. [ bleep ] you know what i mean. >> you got to step it up. >> i guess. >> 60 days without a cake. come on, man! >> but gaskill caught a small break. before his sanctions go into effect, he and his cellmate fabian gomez will get to attend a graduation ceremony for having recently completed educational programs. >> never worn one of these before. >> i graduated building maintenance. get a visit along with it. you know. that's the main thing i was looking forward to. so hopefully my dad made it up here.
different. feels like the jumpsuits they give us. i guess they don't consider a graduation ceremony as a visit and normal visiting rules don't apply. so today i get to see him face-to-face and give him a hug. good thing i shaved my head, it wouldn't stick. it's like velcro now. >> for gomez the graduation ceremony represents the completion of his ged. >> is this how you put it on? what side this go on? i haven't got an education in over 12 years. so actually i'm pretty proud of myself. it feels pretty good. so happy. my mom and my sister-in-law, they're coming up. i'm going to be happy to see them. they're really actually really proud of me. i never thought i'd actually get an education. they thought i'd just stay the same. ♪
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>> prior to coming to wabash, half-brothers chas harper and david carr had several short-term prison stays, and carr, a tattoo artist, has commemorated the experiences both on harper's body and his own. prison towers with the clown and the judge in between it is the clown. >> they tried to make the best of things with their neighbors, patrick gaskill and fabian gomez. >> is the cake coming to my house? >> you better grab a bowl. >> but change is on the horizon. after graduating from one of the prison's educational programs, gaskill is about to leave the housing unit to spend 60 days in confinement for being caught with inmate-made alcohol. >> the sanctions i imposed for
making the intoxicants were a written reprimand do not make or possess intoxicants. 30 days phone loss. demotion from credit class one to credit class two, and 60 days disciplinary seg. it's a secure unit for segregation, prison administrative segregation there as well as disciplinary segregation. >> although the confinement unit is only an eighth of a mile away, for security purposes, all inmates transferred there must be escorted by two officers and transported by van. >> 60 days is just the beginning of summer. so i will be missing this summer, this year's, you know, pretty much. the best couple months out of the year. it don't make no difference. have to try to keep my nose clean and stay out for next time. >> he'll be back. [ bleep ]. you know, hey, it's one good thing about prison. ain't nobody going nowhere. >> sometimes it's good to be by yourself to get you that alone
time that you need, but on the other time, it will be boring because i have nobody to talk to. this is it, though. >> new home for a while. >> what's your first impression? >> i've been in the hole before. different scenery, you know, still locked up doing time. >> though carr and harper have come to depend on each other in prison, they may be going their separate ways before long as well. >> i'm going to sign transfer papers, i guess, in september and go down to a lower security prison. before you could refuse them. but right now they're doing a lot of shifting of inmates and stuff and we can't refuse it. >> what's going to happen to you? you'll miss him. >> well, yeah, probably might do a little ccu time. i don't know. i mean, i don't know. i really don't know how i'm going to react to it.
but it's going to suck ass. >> i would rather stay here, but when he leaves this cell, it will probably be the last time i ever see him again. 72 and 36, period. that leaves me 33 left to do. that's basically life to do. i mean, he can be out within 15 years, but he'll never be allowed to come back into the facility to see me. you know, that's my best friend. at least i'll get some letters in 15 years. >> you know, there's a positive side to it. whenever he gets out, i know i'll get mail. >> whenever i get to wherever i'm going we'll establish correspondence, get approved for correspondence and be able to write each other. but i mean, it's not the same thing. >> i just want to let you know, chas, i miss you, brother. keep your head up. hopefully i'll see you soon.