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  • A man who would become one of the USA's most  notorious and feared prisoners is sitting in his  

  • cell in Arizona State Prison, aka FlorenceHe gets up from the bed and paces from one  

  • side of the cell to the other, looking at the  photo of his sister on the wall, intermittently  

  • pierced with feelings of self-hate when seeing  his meager worldly belongings. He's caged,  

  • he's bored, he's lost and he's damn well  raging. All he wants is a TV to pass the hours

  • He'll get what he wants, but as an indirect  consequence, he will brutally kill someone.  

  • He'll commit that crime withoutshred of remorse for the victim.  

  • Even the most experienced guards will be taken  aback by the utter savagery of the slaying.  

  • And it won't be the first Robert  Wayne Vickers will kill in prison

  • He didn't know it at the time, but his  name will go down in corrections history

  • During his childhood, Vickers was never labeled  a maniac, a young man with an irrepressible urge  

  • to hurt people. Far from it. It was prison and  juvenile facilities that made him what he became.  

  • You could say those places served as a kind of  cocoon where a diabolical human being was created.  

  • That person entered the big boy's prison aged just  19, and he would never experience freedom again

  • Standing tall but slight of frame, Vickers  was never known as a fearsome young man  

  • during his stints in Arizona juvenile  institutions. He was, however, unhinged,  

  • and he had the history to prove it. His first  arrest came in the 6th grade, and he would be  

  • in trouble with the law consistently after thatWe can't tell you much about his upbringing, but  

  • we know when he was just a teenager, he stabbed  two boys with pencils at a juvenile facility  

  • in Arizona called Catalina Mountain School. Ok, so you're thinking, well, he sounds fearsome  

  • enough to me. But you should know that he wasn't  always acting up and attacking people. He could  

  • be calm, he could be nice, and then BANG, he'd  explode, sometimes with such ferocity that his  

  • actions seemed unfathomable to those around him. To understand this, you need to know that Vickers  

  • suffered from something called temporal lobe  epilepsy. This was contested later in his life,  

  • but there seemed little doubt Vickers was mentally  disabled, not only because of the wild things he  

  • did but because medical professionals  backed it up. Loving care and parental  

  • guidance he had none of, quite the oppositeThat alone is so often a road to delinquency

  • When he was a child he was treated bypsychologist, a person who noted Vickers  

  • had suffered cerebral trauma which led to him  having seizures. If you're not aware of how the  

  • brain works, many people that have suffered brain  damage have later exhibited violent behavior

  • During one of Vickers' court appearances a medical  professional testified that this damage to the  

  • brain led to Vickers occasionally experiencing  a dissociative state, meaning at times he  

  • didn't really know what he was doing. His frontal  cortex, the part of the brain sometimes called the  

  • executive suitethat's responsible for  impulse control and managing emotions,  

  • went on the blink now and then. As one medical  professional once said, Vickers at times was  

  • justincapable of rendering any judgement  and . . . unable to know right from wrong.” 

  • This won't surprise you after you've  seen what this kid did later in his life

  • He ended up in Arizona State Prison when he was  just 19-years old. He wasn't there for any kind  

  • of violent act, but for committing a series of  house burglaries in Tempe, Arizona. He wasn't  

  • just an ordinary thief, though, he was what you  could call prolific. In just 13 days in Tempe,  

  • he burgled 12 houses, which was quite  the workload. At various points in time,  

  • he'd also burgled 33 houses in California. Because  of his background of staying in juvey facilities  

  • and because of the number of burglarieshe was sentenced to three to nine years

  • With good behavior on his side, he could have  been out in his early twenties and may have been  

  • able to start a new life, but Vickers would never  again know what it was like to have his shoulders  

  • massaged by a woman, to watch the sun setting  over the Pacific, to eat what he wanted to eat.  

  • His home for the rest of his life would  be a series of spartan prison cells,  

  • ending with a short trip to the Death House. When he arrived at the prison in 1977,  

  • the place was renowned for gang violence. In  fact, that year a federal judge ruled that the  

  • prison was incredibly overcrowded, and  he ordered the state to either lower  

  • the prison population or build another prison. It was a tough place for a teenager, a skinny one  

  • at that, who at any moment could have a seizure  or lose his ability to control his emotions. A  

  • corrections officer who spent 25 years working  for the Arizona Department of Corrections said he  

  • was there when Vickers entered the prison for the  first time. He said the kid didn't look imposing  

  • at all. He looked vulnerable if anything, being so  young and fragile-looking compared to the hardened  

  • criminals with whom he shared his new residence. The officer said this was why Vickers almost  

  • straight away tried to make a name for  himself. He had to look the part otherwise  

  • he'd be bullied by the older guys, such is  the atavistic mentality that blights almost  

  • every prison in America. Vickers stabbedman named Homer Burns with a shank in 1978,  

  • although the officer believed that Vickers had  done this only to impress the white prison gang,  

  • theAryan Brotherhood”. The victim was an African  American man, so it's likely Vickers was what's  

  • called in prison slang, “putting in work.” For that assault with a deadly weapon,  

  • Vickers' relatively short sentence turned into  a much longer one. He was sentenced to another  

  • ten to fifteen years. Now his feet were attached  to the top of a very slippery slope, one that the  

  • inmate was intent to see to the bottom of. In October of the same year, Vickers earned  

  • his reputation for being an unhinged  sort of guy. The lean teen was about  

  • to take things to the next level. For a while, he'd been complaining  

  • that he didn't have a TV in his cell, but  then he got the opportunity to share a cell  

  • with a guy that did have a TV. That guy was  named Frank Ponciano. The two got along at  

  • first and Vickers was happy enough that he got to  watch television, but then something went wrong

  • Vickers woke up in the cell one day, and  Ponciano was nowhere to be seen. He soon  

  • realized that his cellmate had gone for lunch and  not even woken him up. If that wasn't bad enough,  

  • he then realized that Ponciano had committed the  unspeakable prison crime of drinking his Kool-Aid

  • Furious, Vickers took the sheet off the bed and  started twisting it, his knuckles reddening at  

  • the exertion and his face contorted into an ugly  grimace. When Ponciano waltzed into the cell,  

  • satiated from his hit of prison food, Vickers  wrapped the twisted sheet around Ponciano's  

  • neck and strangled him to death. For good  measure, he took out a sharpened toothbrush  

  • and stabbed his already-dead celly six times. Vickers then used the same tool to carve the word  

  • Bonzaiinto Ponciano's back. What he'd meant  to carve was the Japanese war cry, “Banzai”,  

  • which you could blame on a lack of education or  the fact that the circumstances were a bit hectic.  

  • If you're wondering, the cute  little trees are calledBonsai.” 

  • There was a dead man in Vickers' cell, yet when  staff did the next count no one realized they were  

  • one man short. In fact, it was Vickers himself  that told a corrections officer his cellmate was  

  • dead. The officer didn't know whether to  believe it, so Vickers burned Ponciano's  

  • foot with a cigarette. There was of course  no movement or scream from the deceased.  

  • Vickers' next words to the officer were,  “Get this stinking BEEP out of my cell.” 

  • From then on, Vickers became known asBonzai  Bob”. Later a psychologist named Kent Spillman  

  • asked Vickers if he regretted  anything about his actions,  

  • to which Vickers replied he wished he'd have  carved a swastika into his victim's back. He also  

  • expressed regret that he hadn't dotted the “I”. Vickers was convicted of first-degree murder  

  • and sentenced to death, but then in 1981, a U.S.  District Judge named Carl Muecke granted Vickers  

  • a stay of execution. The inmate was far from  happy about this. He actually wanted to die,  

  • so being granted a stay was a huge disappointmentWhen the media managed to talk to Vickers he told  

  • reporters that he hoped someone would kill  the judge's mom, adding that the next time  

  • he killed a fellow prisoner he'd write  the judge's name in the victim's back

  • That's not exactly what he did, but  he did commit another extraordinarily  

  • horrible crime. The judge no doubt later  regretted not granting Vickers a quick death

  • Prior to his second murder, Vickers got himself in  trouble numerous times, so much so he became the  

  • bane of the prison staff. He attacked officers at  least 11 times and was found with shanks and even  

  • homemade bombs in his cell on over 40 occasionsThe word on the street, or should we say landing,  

  • was that Vickers could make weapons out of  anything. When he wasn't attacking staff, he was  

  • beating up other inmates, perhaps hoping someone  would give him the execution he so dearly wanted

  • Another thing that got him on the bad side of  the prison authorities was when he and another  

  • inmate managed to enter a ventilation system and  they both ended up on the roof. Prior to that,  

  • Vickers short-circuited his cell door and left  a dummy on his bed. It was hardly the greatest  

  • prison escape and the two were soon back in their  respective cells. On a few occasions, Vickers  

  • slipped out of his handcuffs or even opened  them with a key he'd fashioned out of plastic

  • Suffice to say, he was becoming a bit ofproblem, but he wasn't close to being done

  • Let's remember he'd been  granted a stay of execution,  

  • but that is only a delay in the sentence being  carried out. It's not an absolute reprieve

  • In 1981, Vickers wrote to governor Bruce BabbittIn that letter, he said, “I told my lawyer and  

  • attorney General to pull my appeals and gas  me. I know it don't take too long to do that,  

  • so what's the hold-up fella? If ya don't  do it soon, I'm gonna draw more blood than  

  • your cheap mop's can absorb.” That was not an empty threat

  • On March 4, 1982, Vickers and other prisoners  were working as porters cleaning one of the pods.  

  • Vickers might have been in one of his better  moods that day and so he showed a photograph of  

  • his beloved young niece to a fellow inmate named  Buster Holsinger. He also proudly showed the man  

  • a picture his niece had sketched, but rather than  say how cute his niece was or compliment her on  

  • her artistic skills, Holsinger asked Vickers if  he'd ever performed various sex acts on the girl.  

  • Vickers was incensed, and with that  faulty biological machinery in his  

  • brain not doing its job, he quietly exploded. Back in his cell, the inventive Vickers got to  

  • work on a kind of Molotov Cocktail. This time he  filled an empty ice cream tub with five bottles  

  • of flammable Vitalis hair oil. For the fuse  of the device, he used ordinary tissue paper

  • He then marched over to Holsinger's cell, lit  the fuse, and threw the bomb at him. Holsinger  

  • was a portly man to say the least and he couldn't  get out of the way. The flames weren't enough to  

  • totally engulf Holsinger, but Vickers had more oil  to throw on the already-burning man. Flames and  

  • smoke filled the cell, and it was the smoke in the  end that killed Holsinger. Two other men were also  

  • taken to the prison hospital after inhaling smoke. After that Vickers told investigators,  

  • “I told them they should have gassed  me in December when they had a chance.” 

  • He still wasn't done. He stayed on Death Row for the murder  

  • of Holsinger, but his defense was still arguing  that Vickers had a history of mental illness  

  • stemming from brain trauma he'd suffered as  a child. They argued that Vickers' outbursts  

  • were uncontrollable and in a prison  setting where violence is pervasive,  

  • it's virtually impossible for him not to have  one of his episodes. They put forth the case  

  • that Vickers was a victim of the prison system. Inside the prison, inmates now kept their distance  

  • from Vickers. His only friend on Death Row was  another murderer, named Robert Comer. Comer would  

  • one day testify about his close bond with Vickers,  “He was not just a friend, he was my brother. We  

  • spilled blood together. I would give my life for  him, as he would for me. We shared loyalty, honor,  

  • tribe, brotherhood, friendship and kinship.” In fact, they'd been so close and caused so  

  • much trouble that the authorities put them inspecially designed segregated pod where they could  

  • not interact with any other prisoners. This would  later become the place where the most mentally  

  • ill and incredibly violent inmates were housed. In 1986, Vickers stabbed a prison officer with  

  • a spear-like device he'd made from part oftypewriter. The officer didn't even get that  

  • close to Vickers. He'd only put some breakfast  through the prisoner's door slot and that gave the  

  • waiting Vickers enough time to commit the deedThe handle of the knife that Vickers had made  

  • from pasted rolled-up newspapers was long enough  so Vickers could stab the officer in the body

  • That was enough. Never again would Vickers have  the chance to hurt anyone. From then on he was  

  • holed up in a special cage designed for him  only. It was more like the cage of an animal,  

  • welded inside a prison cell. It was a cage  within a cage. Vickers could only ever get  

  • inside it when he was naked and even then, his  body was rigorously checked for contraband.  

  • Only then was he given clothes to put on. If  he had to go someplace, he was first cuffed and  

  • then taken to that place. On his return, the same  process of stripping and searching was repeated

  • Now he wanted to die more than  ever, and so he commenced with  

  • his writing campaign to the governor. One time he asked if his heart could be  

  • donated to a Fort Huachuca boy who was in need  of a transplant, after his execution of course.  

  • The boy died a long time before Vickers didIn another letter, he asked the governor if he  

  • could die wearing a 3-piece suit. “I wanna die  dressed,” he wrote. “Gonna be some ladies there.  

  • I don't want to go nude or in state clothes.”  That didn't happen, either, nor was his request  

  • granted that his last meal be cooked by a womanHe did at least get the last meal he asked for:  

  • Green chili burros - burritos with barbecued  steak, French fries with ketchup, vanilla  

  • ice cream, cream soda, and a solitary cigarette. He had to wait until May 5, 1999, to finally die.  

  • Then, aged 41, his sister, niece, aunt, and cousin  watched as he lay on the executioner's gurney.  

  • Vickers almost looked overjoyed. Smiling, he  looked in the direction of the one-way mirror  

  • and said, “Hello, everybody. See you later.” After  that, he seemed to mouth the words, “time to go”. 

  • The drugs flowed into his system at 3:03 p.m  and a few minutes later he was pronounced dead

  • Now you need to watch, “Most Evil Prisoner  Kept in Glass Box.” Or for a prison story  

  • that boggles the mind, watch, “Man So  Violent Even Other Prisoners Fear Him.”

A man who would become one of the USA's most  notorious and feared prisoners is sitting in his  

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Violent Prisoner That Terrified Other Inmates

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/01/29
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