TABLE OF CONTENTS


 
CHAPTER 1 -
IN THE BEGINNING
A short account of Harry’s early years growing up in the Italian section of Trenton and his relationship with his father, Ralph the bookie; how Ralph Camisa’s political contacts got Harry the job as a prison guard in July of 1950.


CHAPTER 2 -
THE EARLY FIFTIES
Harry’s acquaintance with some of the notable gangsters of the ’50s: Charlie “The Bug” Workman, who killed Dutch Schultz; Mafia don Joe Adonis; George White Rogers, “The Hero of the Morro Castle.”


CHAPTER 3 -
BACK TO THE WALL
Harry’s return to the prison after a two-year tour of army duty. Attempted escape of John Vaszorich from death row—Capt. Alexander “Machine Gun” Abbott shoots him off the roof of the laundry with a Thompson submachine gun. The giant heroin “meatball” and other lighter incidents.


CHAPTER 4 -
WATCHING THEM DIE
A description, in varying detail of the 13 electrocutions Harry witnessed from 1954 through 1962. Description of death row, the death chamber and the chair. An account of the attempted breakout from the death house by six condemned men. Execution of three men in one night (this happened twice).


CHAPTER 5 -
A DECADE ENDS
The spectacular escape of an unspectacular guy—“Trenton’s Own” Mario DeLucia, a loser from Harry’s old neighborhood. The stabbing death of Skate Jones. “Big Freddy” Hartjen’s leg is eaten away by acid—and he doesn’t utter a sound. Two Georgia state cops pick up a black inmate—with “fur-lined handcuffs.”


CHAPTER 6 -
1-LEFT
Harry’s five years as wing officer in the toughest wing in the jail—1-left lockup. A description of solitary confinement and bread and water punishments. Harry’s participation in the beating of an inmate who threatened his family and the subsequent FBI investigation. A description of Harry’s first meeting with murderer Teddy “The Bull” Roberts, a relationship that developed into a lifelong friendship.


CHAPTER 7 -
THE EXECUTIONS
RESUME
The 1962 execution of “tough guy” Joey Ernst. In 1968, a death row inmate named Anthony Russo wrote an article published in Man’s Magazine about Joey’s execution. Tony Russo’s article describes Joey Ernst’s last hours on one side of the death house wall; Tony, of course, never saw the actual execution. Harry was waiting on the other side of the death house door when Joey Ernst walked through and was electrocuted. This chapter includes Tony Russo’s article, including his made-up version of the electrocution; then Harry describes what actually happened when Joey Ernst died.


CHAPTER 8 -
THE STAR
The stories of three cop killers: “Rabbi Tom” Trantino, whom Harry knew after he came into the population when the death penalty was struck down; Alfred Ravenell, who at one time locked in 1-left, escaped from Yardville and was killed after he shot a Pennsylvania state trooper point blank in the face with a sawed-off shotgun; and Daniel Kremens, killer of a NJ trooper who was given minimum security status, escaped, and was gunned down by a New Jersey State Police detective in Times Square.


CHAPTER 9 -
A WILD DECADE:
THE ‘70s
Leroy “Duke” Snyder, a funny guy but a sadistic multiple-murderer. The notorious Edgar Smith leaves Bill Buckley with egg on his face. The Rahway riot of ’71.


CHAPTER 10 -
LITTLE PUSSY
The stabbing of Mafia boss Anthony “Little Pussy” Russo in a black-white power struggle. The murder of Sgt. Donald Bourne on the mess hall steps by an inmate with a ten-inch-long sharpened pail handle. A description of “night rides to the Vroom Building.”


CHAPTER 11 -
WHO’S CRAZY?
While Harry was staking out an escapee’s house in Maple Shade, the inmate, after crashing a stolen lumber truck through a cemetery fence, was being captured in front of Harry’s house in Trenton. Doc Fine, the prison psychiatrist, thinks Harry’s crazy because he can hear flowers grow. Doc Fine’s replacement, Dr. William King, pleads not guilty to attempted murder by reason of insanity. Daryl Curtis is stabbed to death 90 minutes after coming into the prison.


CHAPTER 12 -
CONSPIRACIES?
DEATH SQUADS?
Inmate Daniel Hogan is poached to death in the oldest wing of the prison when water fills his cell and comes in contact with a hot radiator. Harry shows his young protégé how to subdue rioters at the Vroom Building. “The Mole” Dovan tries to tunnel out of the hospital; Harry’s protégé catches him. Teddy Roberts (the Joe Frazier of TSP) cold cocks a kid who disses his elders—Teddy and Harry.


CHAPTER 13 -
HURRICANE
The tragic story of Hurricane Carter. Harry knew him well while he was in Trenton.


CHAPTER 14 -
THE MUSLIM RIOT
In 1975 a group of armed black Muslims take revenge on a rival group while Harry is on duty in the school. They stab seven members of the other sect, one fatally. Surrounded by five knife-wielding men, Harry manages to hit the riot button. This is the story of the incident and its aftermath..


CHAPTER 15 -
THE 7-WING
SHOOTOUT
The story of the attempt by the Black Liberation Army to break Joanne Chesimard’s partner, Clark Squire, out of the prison. Description of a gun battle between members of the Black Liberation Army and prison officers, Trenton police and state police.


CHAPTER 16
THE BIONIC BANDIT
The escape of Terry Alden, a good looking, charming sociopath. The escapades of another handsome, well-to-do killer, Robert Reldan, including his girlfriend’s attempt to smuggle a sawed-off shotgun to him at St. Francis Hospital.


CHAPTER 17 -
THE ’80s:
GREAT ESCAPES?
The stories of a number of spectacular escapes and attempts in the ‘80s, including one in which six inmates firebombed a tower (manned by a woman), commandeered a bread truck and, backing it up to the wall, used it to haul themselves over the top and onto the street.


CHAPTER 18 -
RICH, JOHN AND
‘THE ICEMAN’
The return to prison of Rich Biegenwald on five new murder charges. His case was used as the acid test for the new death penalty law in New Jersey. The story of John List, who neatly and meticulously killed his entire family, lining up their bodies in the ballroom of their Victorian home. List was on the lam for 17 years until America’s Most Wanted brought him in. Both Biegenwald and List worked for Harry in the print shop. The story of “The Iceman,” Big Rich Kuklinski, a likable guy who claims to have killed over 100 people “due to business.”


CHAPTER 19 -
THE NINETIES
An escape that didn’t happen because Harry saw a ceiling tile out of place. The stories of death row inmates Jesse Timmendequas (Megan’s Law) and Leslie Nelson, a transvestite who killed two police officers in south Jersey.


CHAPTER 20 -
FIFTY YEARS
OF CHANGE
From khaki paints with black stripes and khaki shirts with a big, black P on the back in the ’50s to jeans, Afros and dashikis in the ’70s back to khakis and stripes in the ’90s. The more things change, the more they stay the same.


APPPENDIX -
DESCRIPTION OF
TRENTON STATE PRISON
The old prison, where Harry spent the majority of his career, took in its first inmates in 1835 and is the second oldest major state prison (after Auburn in New York State) still in use in America today. Chapter includes interior and exterior photos of the 1835 prison.