Monday, December 10, 2007

Beauties and Beasts

In a report that is both interesting and disturbing, Dallas Morning News staff writer Scott Farwell describes a steady stream of European women who make their way to Livingston, Texas to find love with convicts on death row:

Marlin Nelson, who's been on death row 19 years, said money motivates many of the inmates.

"I think most of them have more than one woman," he said. "They do it to get whatever they can get, the money. It gets pretty lonely in here, and once you're with someone awhile, it gets boring."

He said the men also frequently persuade women to send semi-nude pictures in the mail. Pornography and au naturel photographs were banned several years ago, but the current rules allow snapshots in bathing suits and revealing underwear. Inmates on death row hang the pictures in their cells and trade them like baseball cards.

Mr. Nelson beat a man with a metal bar and stabbed him to death in 1987. He is married to an English woman who left her husband for Mr. Nelson about six years ago.

The report indicates that many of these women initially come into contact with these men's stories after joining organizations opposed to the death penalty. They later tend to idealize the convicts, imagining them to be victims of society and/or a corrupt system, and fall in love with them.


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