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Author unknown, "The Prisoner Freed"
unknown, New York City.
(p. 495 in 2nd
edition, 508 in 3rd edition.)
Lost Nearly All
twenty years in prison for murder, he
knew A.A. was the spot for him - if
he wanted to stay on the outside."
alcoholic first heard of A.A. and went
to his first meetings when he was in prison.
He probably joined the fellowship in 1950
or 1951. He slipped after ten months,
but by the time he wrote his story for
the 2nd edition he had four years sobriety.
started drinking when he was about sixteen,
but had to hide it from his father. After
his father died he "rolled along with
the mob," for years until one day, returning
from a four-day drunk, a detective was
waiting for him. He had shot and killed
one person and almost killed a second.
was indicted for murder in the first degree,
and feared he would get the death penalty,
but the jury brought back a verdict of
murder in the second degree, for which
he received a sentence of twenty years
to life. He received an additional sentence
of fifteen years for attempted murder
of the other man. He was sent to Sing
Sing expecting to serve a minimum of thirty-five
years, as at that time there was no time
off for good behavior. Eventually the
laws were changed and he was released
after serving twenty years and nine months.
that time he was incarcerated at Sing
Sing, Dannemora in the Adirondacks, and
a place Wallkill, "a so-called rehabilitation
center." It was at Wallkill that he first
heard of A.A. from two other inmates.
He didn't like A.A., but his two friends
kept insisting he go back to the meetings.
he was released from prison he made excuses
to his parole officer for not going to
A.A. Then one day he ran into the old
crowd and got drunk. His mother, was heartbroken
and asked if he were going to do this
to her all over again. He told her he
would not. She was still alive at the
age of eighty-two when he wrote his story.
he finally joined A.A., and after a slip
at ten months stayed sober.
was no bed of roses, but when something
happened that upset him, instead of walking
in and throwing a buck at the barman,
he walked into a phone booth and dropped
a dime in the box to call an A.A. member.
considered himself very lucky to have
found A.A. and the A.A. program to hang
on to and carry him through.