Skip to main content

tv   Larry King Live  CNN  February 27, 2010 12:00am-1:00am EST

12:00 am
just a few times over the last six years. four times over the last six years or something? >> we got nothing in d.c. we've got nothing here in d.c. but we've had our share for sure. >> we're in the balmy south as well. brianna, great to work with you. >> as well with you. and that does it for this edition of "360." thanks for watching. "larry king" starts right now. . >> why did they do it. >> i just took a chance. >> we'll take you behind bars and insisted lives of the most unusual marriages ever. weddings, conjugal visits. >> it's a part of what makes our
12:01 am
relationship work. it's one part, it's not the only park. >> locked up, in love and into the cold war of passion that knows no bounds, next on "larry king live." >> larry: good evening. some interesting guests on "larry king live." a fascinating look at love behind bars. pam booker is married to lance booker. lance is serving two life sentences without parole for first-degree murder. pam is a social worker. and tim mcdonald, retired airline captain, flew every equipment the airlines flew. father of two children from a previous marriage. he's married to deion harris, a 38-year-old grandmother serving life without parole for felony murder. tim and his wife met on the internet while she was in prison. their stories can be seen on a
12:02 am
new show, "prison wives." on investigation discovery. pam, how did you happen to hook up with lance? >> lance and i met when we were both working as counselors for the same human service agency, so we were together before prison. >> larry: what crime was he convicted of? >> he -- well, let me first state he was innocent of the crime of which he was convicted. >> larry: you believe he's innocent now? >> yes. yes. the facts bear that out. he was charged and convicted of first-degree murder. >> larry: you believe he did not commit that murder? >> no, he did not. >> larry: is he on appeal? >> yes, we're in the middle of the appellate process. it's a very slow process. so in that world we're in our infancy stages. >> larry: what prison is he in? >> he's in a clinton correctional facility in new york way up north by the canadian border. >> larry: do you get to see him often?
12:03 am
>> fortunately we live about 2 -- 3 1/2 hour drive. so we get up there as much as we can, probably three times a month. >> larry: ever been married before? >> no. >> larry: tim mcdonald married to deion harris for six years. how did you meet deion? >> i had a construction company with guys in trouble with the law. i would visit prisoners in six states by using the internet to locate prisoners that would send me a visitation form. so i actually -- her picture caught my attention, and then i sent her a letter, and the letter that came back, the handwriting caught my attention. >> larry: the handwriting? >> the handwriting on the envelope caught my attention way before anything else. i didn't even open the letter, i just stared at it, saying who is this person? >> larry: here is how your wife describes getting together with you. watch. >> he was a retired airline pilot.
12:04 am
i'm like, what is a retired airline pilot doing writing a lady in prison who has life without parole? i let him visit me, i guess, a year after i had met him. we visited a lot. and me talking to him made me feel secure with him. because everything i told him he didn't run away from it. >> larry: who did your wife kill? >> she didn't kill anybody. she was there when an abusive man killed someone else, but she was there. >> larry: just being there she gets life? >> she got the same sentence. >> larry: why? >> there were three of them. the killer plea-bargained to testify against the other two, and in exchange he got the same sentence as them. >> larry: was it a robbery? >> robbery, kidnapping, broken down vehicle. >> larry: you had a family, did
12:05 am
you not? you had a wife and kids? >> my children were grown at the time that i met her, actually. >> larry: did you leave your wife for her? >> no, i did not. >> larry: you were divorced? >> the marriage hadn't ended it's paperwork hadn't been signed. the marriage was over. >> larry: you knew going in, the odds, didn't your the marrying someone who was doing life? >> i didn't intend to marry somebody. i didn't meet her, nor did i visit her intending to marry her. >> larry: what happened? >> i fell in love. it was nine years ago in january, i watched her with her two children in that prison. at the end of that time, i said, anybody working as hard as you to raise children from a prison cell deserves help, and i guess i'm it. >> larry: the children were with her? >> the children were with her parents in the communities that she was convicted of.
12:06 am
they were three and four when she went to prison, they were ten and 11 when i met them. >> larry: do you take care of them? >> they never lived with me. i was never able to get them into my house. i moved to huntington for that purpose. >> larry: how often do you see your wife? >> how, which? i saw her every weekend. i'll see her this saturday and sunday. >> larry: pam your husband was convicted of first-degree murder. we will take a look at what happened. here's a clip from "prison wives." >> according to investigators, masterminds lured chris to a neighborhood to discuss a carpentry job. >> the shooter walked up to chris, went to shake his hand and pulled out a gun and shot him in the chest. the shooter ran away, ran back to the vehicle that had the mastermind and lance booker in it. and they fled the scene and they left chris dying in the street. >> the man who played a key role
12:07 am
in the death of a police informant will spend the rest of his life behind bars. lance booker was sentenced this morning. >> larry: did he know something was going to take place? >> no, he did not. he thought they were going to do something else. he thought they were coming to new york city. so he hopped in the backseat to go to sleep. and he was asleep when, in fact, they went. >> larry: how was he convicted? >> there's a whole lot of things that went on there. some of it is similar to tim's situation, the theory of conspiracy and being there. the interesting part was he was convicted of conspiring with who was referred to in the clip as the mastermind, but the mastermind was never charged or convicted of conspiracy. >> larry: strange all right we'll be back with more. obviously there are acsteniating
12:08 am
circumstances in this situation. a man who was with charles manson is here today. don: now get free delivery of walmart's $10 90-day generic prescriptions... don: ...no matter where you live. don: plus get free shipping on over 3,000 other prescriptions. don: call 1-800-2-refill for your free home delivery.
12:09 am
save money. live better. walmart.
12:10 am
her crimes were horrific. unimaginable acts of violence, and her behavior afterwards, the stares and silence at the camera were as disturbing as her deranged leader, charles manson. among susan atkins' victims actrets sharon tate and her unborn child. investors say they were stabbed 16 times.
12:11 am
>> larry: pam booker and tim mcdonald, they're with us here in new york. joining us from los angeles is james whitehouse. he was married to susan until her death in 1989. susan was serving life in prison for her role in the infamous tait labianca murders. how did you meet susan? >> she wrote a book in 1979, and in 1985 i was able to find it. i was trying to get out of partying and i found this book, and it was mainly about her born-again experience, but it talked about how she had turned her life around from death row, and it was hard for me not to decide that if she could do it from that environment i can certainly could get my act together with all the advantages i had in life. >> larry: how did you go to meet her? >> well, i realized at that time there was only one women's prison in california, and at the
12:12 am
time it was the largest women's prison in the world. >> larry: is that chino? >> yes. and so i wrote her. and mainly for encouragement as i went through these changes in my life, and she wrote back and i was surprised at how articulate she was and how intelligent and how encouraging, and so i just kept writing her. >> larry: you got married in prison? >> yes. in 1987. >> larry: what did you get out of the marriage? >> heck of a lot. probably the same thing that you get out of your marriage. incredible support, someone who was always there. sue's had an incredible background, being older than me. when i met susan, i was a dropout from junior college, and in a couple years i had moved on to get a scholarship at the university of california, where
12:13 am
i graduated from two degrees summa cum laude, and the only way you can do that is with lots of support. >> larry: but you slept alone? >> no at that time in california we had family visits. >> larry: they did. >> eliminated in 1996 i believe. so yeah we had nine years where i was able to go up and spend time with her. >> larry: do you have conjugal visit, pam? >> yes, i do. >> larry: do you, tim? >> no, i do not. >> larry: stopped here on the road. she flagged down a driver pretending to need help and her two accomplices attacked and shot him. let's see what happened next. >> reporter: at the still of night, the unimaginable occurred. >> they took off both legs and one arm. >> reporter: but the crime didn't end there. >> using the butcher knife they had brought from tracy's house,
12:14 am
walter says that they would remove the heart. it was passed around to each person. >> he gave it to me. he put it in my hand. >> each person was supposed to put their lips on it, they were supposed to kiss the heart. >> i knew he knew that i was nervous. and i couldn't show fear that night. because if you show fear, then you can get hurt. >> larry: is she appealing, tim? >> her appeals are done. we're finished. >> larry: so she has life? >> she has life in parole. without a -- we can apply for early release. >> larry: have you applied for that? >> not yet. we will. >> larry: do you think they will reinstate conjugal visits? >> i don't know of it.don't know of it being proposed in tennessee.
12:15 am
>> larry: you've probably asking, what is a prison wedding like? can a husband and wife kiss, hold hands, wear white?
12:16 am
12:17 am
my name is tiesa deion harris. i'm a prison wife. >> but she's the one behind bars. >> my name is tim mcdonald. >> tim mcdonald fell in love with deion and married her, even though he knew her sentence and even knew her sentence. >> and knew her crime, murder. >> it was just so particularly bad with the dismemberment. >> but tim didn't care and soon ended his 32-year marriage and started a new family. >> he's a good man. >> today tim defends the wife he loves despite the concerns for his own family and total strangers who are out to get him. >> what keeps them together and
12:18 am
how do they live apart? >> when you are incarcerated, you feel like everybody hates you. >> larry: pam booker, tim mcdonald, james whitehouse, all married to people in prison. james, of course, is now a widower. we welcome back to "larry king live", he's the former public information officer for san quentin state prison for many years there. he oversaw weddings of high-profile inmates and he's been a frequent guest on this show. did you conduct the wedding? >> no, i didn't conduct it, but i was involved with the background information on preparing the life row inmate or death row inmate for marriage. >> larry: is it easy to get married in prison? >> i don't think it's difficult, but there is a process that they will have to go through like beginning with petitioning to be considered for marriage and then scheduling with a
12:19 am
counselor to prepare all of the necessary paperwork for the marriage. >> larry: what happens at the marriage? >> actually, we do it in our visiting room here in san quentin as i think is similar to most of the state prisons in california. at that time you will have a group of people -- we do ours once a month, that will be coming in to get married, and it would be like seeing the justice of the peace. we have a notary on staff, we will then do the ceremony and then we allow about an hour to two-hour visit following that ceremony for the wedding party. >> larry: private visit? >> no, about 1996 we stopped providing family visiting rights to individuals serving life sentences or those that are on death row. >> larry: why? >> it was centered around security and safety issues. and so based on that, our facilities were located outside of the secure area, and the
12:20 am
state of california then suspended that privilege to that classification of inmate. so normally all they would receive would be that two-hour visit, and then after that, they could come in on regular visiting times and visit in the visiting room. >> larry: could they kiss at the wedding? >> yes, they are allowed to embrace at the wedding. they do that traditional kiss at the point that they are joined as partners, and they can embrace and kiss at their first meeting as well as just prior to leaving the visiting room. >> did it puzzle you -- so all -- prisoners that got married when you were there were all men, right? san quentin is a men's prison? >> yes, that is correct. >> larry: did it puzzle you why women married men in prison who are there for life or on death row? >> it was something that did interest me, and i went to great effort to reach out to the prospective brides and spend some time talking with them just
12:21 am
to kind of see what type of person they were. it wasn't part of my duties, but it was something i was interested in, so i had the opportunity to talk to about 200 women that had came in during my 16 years in the warden's office as a public information officer. >> larry: was there a rule of thumb that ran through most of them? >> well, you know, i have to say that it's anecdotal information. it's nothing i can say applies to everyone or most people, but the ones i had spoken with, i found there was a rule of thumb that i felt most of them had been victims of male abuse during their lives, and i think that that was some of the issues that they were wrestling with when they came to a prison to seek out -- to find their soulmates. i found that they were also very committed, though, to those men behind the bars where they believed in their innocence and were willing to do whatever they could do to assist them. >> larry: did any of the
12:22 am
marriages that you observed result in the execution of the prisoner? >> no. none of the 13 executions that i've attended were married -- were inmates that were married, no. >> larry: tim, how often do you see your wife? >> i see her every weekend. >> larry: every weekend? >> i'll skip a weekend but i don't skip more than one. >> larry: you can't be alone with her? >> no. >> larry: pam, how often do you see your husband? >> as much as possible, about three times a month. but we do have the conjugal visits. >> larry: they put you in a room where you stay overnight? what? >> in new york state they're known as family reunion program visits and it's for the entire family and so any visiting immediate family, spouse, kids, parents. >> larry: you have romantic time together? >> yes, we do. we're set up in an apartment-like setting. >> larry: on prison grounds? >> on prison grounds yes but separate from the main facilities. >> larry: remaining faithful to a prison spouse cannot be easy. that's next.
12:23 am
[ indistinct conversations ] [ engine revs ] [ indistinct conversations ] [ tires squeal ] [ indistinct conversations ] [ engine revs ] [ glass shattering ] [ tires screech ] [ male announcer ] taking its rightful place in a long line of amazing performance machines. this is the 2010 e-coupe. this is mercedes-benz.
12:24 am
12:25 am
this should be fun but shopping for a prison outfit is not as simple as it might seem. >> the fashion designers don't seem to match up with department of corrections' regulations. you know they have real restrictions on what we wear.
12:26 am
>> reporter: low-cut and sleeveless tops are out. clothes with metal studs may set off the scanners and slow down a visit. >> larry: james, the white house, did you -- you were able to visit susan before they stopped conjugal visits in california, right? >> yes. >> larry: okay. when they stopped it, were you ticked? >> yes. but certainly, that's not the -- that's not the reason that you marry someone and that's not the reason that you stay with them. so, yeah, it was annoying, that ironically that was not the main thing that got us out our marriage. >> larry: but for you, pam, it would have to be important, one would wonder. physical togetherness. >> yeah, it's a part of what makes our relationship work. it's one part, it's not the only part. sometimes the most important part of a family reunion visit is just having time together alone, sometimes just to watch a movie, to do nothing at all.
12:27 am
>> larry: do you think all prisons should allow conjugal visits? >> absolutely. it is beneficial to keeping families united, it helps reduce recidivism rates, it helps reduce crime, and it helps keep the prisoners in order because it gives the prisoners something to work toward. they're not a right that's given to everyone. they're a privilege, so they have to be earned. so it's a way for prisons to maintain passive control. >> larry: tim, have you ever cheat on your wife? >> no, i have not. >> larry: have you ever thought about it? >> i've thought about it many a time. >> larry: what prevents you? she'd probably never know. >> i admire her, i respect her and i just have not enough interest in another woman. >> larry: were you there when richard ramirez got married? >> yes, yes, i was i was
12:28 am
actually part of the wedding ceremony. >> larry: he was known as what. >> richard ramirez was known as "the night stalker." >> larry: "the night stalker," well who married him. >> one of the staff at san quentin as we do a justice of the peace-type ceremony. >> larry: don't a lot of people ask you, tim, puzzled why you would enter into a marriage. you're handsome young man. you're still young. you were an airline pilot. >> i am. i'm flattered and honored i'm 65. >> larry: don't a lot of people ask you, tim, what do you get out of this? >> no, they actually don't. most people don't -- they speculate it bihind but nobody really comes up, ask me. and i probably, because i'm so up-front about the fact that i love her, i love her and i respect her and i get all the emotionally supportive things that you get from any spouse or should get from any spouse. but you're talking about in-house?
12:29 am
well, all right. but at my age, it's easier to take than, say, if i was 35. >> larry: is it hard to be faithful, pam? >> no. no. my marriage is the same with him inside as it was with him outside. >> larry: how? >> we do things differently. i was faithful to him when he was outside, i'm faithful to him now that he's inside. i will say, however, that that family reunion program does make that easier. >> larry: of course, because as you know you can have that. >> yes. i don't have to struggle with the dilemma that tim and some of the others might have. >> larry: did it make things easier for you, james? >> i was younger then, and it probably made a difference. it wasn't hard to stay faithful to her when those were discontinued. when you're in love with someone and you believe in them, that's who you're thinking about, and as tim said, if i had cheated on her, no one would have known but
12:30 am
me, and that would have been too much. >> larry: is it true that scott peterson, the infamous scott peterson, after being convicted of his wife's murder, had dozens of women try to meet him? >> actually i had received a number of calls into the office shortly after we had incarcerated scott peterson onto death row. and, yes, there were a number of them that were very interested in trying to establish a romantic relationship with scott peterson. >> larry: we'll be right back. another incredible story of a prison wife. her husband serving a life term. stay with us. n can only try... and try...and try. i heard eating whole grain oats can help lower my cholesterol. it's gonna be tough...so tough. my wife and i want to lower our cholesterol, but finding healthy food that tastes good is torturous. your father is suffering. [ male announcer ] honey nut cheerios tastes great and can help lower cholesterol. bee happy. bee healthy.
12:31 am
♪ okay, class, our special guest is here -- ellen page. hi, ellen! hi, ellen! hi, ellen! hi, ellen! we're going on a field trip to china! wow. [ chuckles ] when i was a kid, we -- we would just go to the -- the farm. [ cow moos ] [ laughter ] no, seriously, where are you guys going? ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! [ female announcer ] the new classroom. see it. live it. share it.
12:32 am
on the human network. cisco. [ female announcer ] now multigrain pops. ♪ ♪ hey, now, now, we're going down, down ♪ ♪ and we'll ride the bus there ♪ pay the bus fare ♪ or we find a new reason [ female announcer ] something unexpected
12:33 am
to the world of multigrain... taste. ♪ hey, now, now ♪ we're going down, down, and we ride the bus there ♪ [ female announcer ] introducing delicious new pringles multigrain. ♪ a new way of living [ female announcer ] new multigrain pops with pringles. my name is la toya marion. my husband went to serve in a life sentence. >> reporter: when la toya was 19 years old, she started writing letters to an inmate behind bars. >> i wanted the man who was writing those letters. i didn't care if he was fat with no teeth, i didn't care if he was ugly. >> but that man was in prison for life. but la toya believes her husband's claims for innocence. >> i was supposed to have been 5'10" with stocky build.
12:34 am
and i'm like god look at me. >> now after 14 years she may have convinced courts as well. >> no i'm not kidding, i'm serious as a heart attack. >> reporter: but did he does come home, will they make it. >> they see that you're missing something. >> larry: we spent a few moments in tampa, florida, la toya marion married to cornelius marion who is 20 years into servinging a life sentence for grand theft and grand robbery. she can be seen on that show we're talking about, "prison wives." on the investigation discovery channel. how did you meet cornelius? >> i grew up with his cousin and i just asked her one day, do you have any cousins that i can talk to? >> larry: and he said, yes, he's imprisoned? >> yes, she said i have two cousins and one has a condition.
12:35 am
i said, what's that? she says, he's in prison but he only has three more years to do. i said, okay, maybe we can do the three years. and see what it's all about. i rolled in and found out he had a life sentence. >> larry: but that didn't dissuade you? >> it kind of. because the first thing i ask him, what did you do, murder somebody? and he was like, no, it was my score sheet. i had a whole bunch of priers that florida make you repay for. and so i said, well, i'm going to research your case and see if you're telling the truth and if you're telling the truth i help you fight till the end but if you're not i'm going to leave him. >> larry: you're still with him. here's your husband, by the way, cornelius, describing what it was like hearing from you. this is a clip from "prison wives" on investigation discovery. watch. >> it was funny because one day i just got a letter, and i thought it was my cousin writing me. so during account time, i opened
12:36 am
the letter and i read it and a picture fell out. who is this here? i was the typical guy incarcerated, you know, wasn't married, single. i'm like, mm, okay, it probably won't amount to nothing, but we'll see, anyway. >> larry: it sure did amount to something, 14 years. la toya, can you have physical relationship in florida? >> no, we can't. if i could, i wouldn't fight his case. >> larry: what are you fighting for? >> what i found out in his case was he was too tall to be the suspect of a robbery case, and he had priors that he wasn't even arrested for on his score sheet that belonged to another man. >> larry: where do you stand in your fight? >> we just won the court case on january 20th before judge susan sacksston. she took off a law they were trying to use, the doctrine of laches, and the case was too old for factual evidence. that was factual evidence. >> larry: so now you can confront it?
12:37 am
>> yes, now we go back on march 16th, to get the score sheet reduced from a life sentence to about 20 years and he'll walk out. >> larry: how did you hook up with someone in prison? >> i wasn't intentionally trying to marry him, but my cousin had died and i thought if i had died, what have i accomplished? i had nothing to lose, so that's why i married him. i just took a chance. >> larry: what about the prospect of meeting men outside of prison? >> the men i met outside of prison didn't have a plan. this man had a plan. he was writing his cousin, so he wasn't playing games with his cousin. he didn't know i was reading his letters so that's the reason i was interested in him. >> larry: is it true you carry around clothes in your car for the day he gets out? >> yeah, it's true. i have everything ready. i've been thanking god for his e.o.s. since the day i met him. that's the symbolization of my faith for his release. >> larry: la toya, what keeps you going in this?
12:38 am
>> just, god empowers me. he gave me the power to do it. i just kept going to church, just kept thanking god, just kept fighting. the injustice, how could you walk away from the injustice? i was fighting really not for him but the injustice. >> larry: don't you miss being able to touch the man you love? >> yeah. i cry every night. i screamed, i hollered, i hate it. then i stopped crying one day and start forgiving and start fighting the case. >> larry: good luck, la toya. we're going to follow up on this. >> great, thank you. >> larry: by the way, why on earth would someone marry someone convicted criminal no hope of getting out? we're going to ask an expert what she thinks, next.
12:39 am
12:40 am
12:41 am
tim holds onto a few things that help him feel closer to deon. >> i found one of these in a scrapyard. and that's a prison toilet. came out of a jail in madison county. >> he is actually trying to live in a space and feel what i feel every night when i go to bed. >> larry: remaining with us are pam booker, tim mcdonald and james whitehouse. and joining us here in new york
12:42 am
is dr. robbie ludwig, physo therapist, contributedtocare.com. what's your read on this? >> it's very interesting. it's very easy to judge and say, oh, my gosh, these people are in prison, they're dangerous, how can anybody get into this kind of relationship? but studies show these women who get involved with these men, the men are very seducti ivive and attentive. a man who has a job is working, he's juggling children, paying bills, is frazzled, going out with the guys, has a lot freedom, probably won't focus on a woman in the way that a man in prison will. >> larry: is pam a little difference in she was with her guy before he went to prison? >> that is different because
12:43 am
they had a pre-existing relationship. it is different from somebody who has a pen pal and then falls in love. >> larry: how do you explain tim and james? i would like to know more about your background and what appeals you about this relationship. what do you think drew you in? >> first of all, i don't consider her dangerous. she has an independent personality disorder. a battered woman complex. >> okay. >> i have to say, though that really she had two children. they were 10 and 11, and i -- i looked at those kids. i said, those kids are going to follow you to prison unless something's done and i guess i was just in a place in my life, where my kids are grown, i have two children. i've got two daughters, a 31 -- >> larry: that's the caretaker approach. >> you're correct. >> yeah. and also there was something about taking care of young children that probably resonated with you, it was something you were good at, so you can feel like a good man in this role, and everybody wants to feel good about themselves. >> larry: how about james
12:44 am
whitehouse though? >> a lot of it is who does this person remind you of? and in some cases if you are drawn to somebody in most cases are -- who's dangerous? in a way, you're protecting yourself. you're with a dangerous personality but there are boundaries that keep you protected. and then for the person who's notorious, a celebrity of sorts, that personality says, you know what, i like the idea of being with a celebrity and i'm probably not going to be with a regular celebrity. i might get an autograph, but i'm not going to get a marriage proposal, so the opportunity to be with somebody who makes history in some way is a powerful pull for some people. >> larry: james, are you buying any of that? >> no. >> larry: she was a celebrity. >> yes, but this is a second show in 24 years i've ever been on, and the only reason i've come on this show and the other show was when susan was fighting
12:45 am
for her compassionate release. what drew me to susan initially it was helped kicking this addictive disorder, i was fighting for my life. i once told someone when you're drowning, you don't pay attention to who is throwing the life preserver to you. after i got to meet her, i was overcome with the number of lives she touches, and because of her notoriety, ironically, and i wanted to be part of that. i got a little older and decided you don't define yourself in life by how many tv shows you're on, it's by how many lives you up toean she was able to do that in a way that few of us have an opportunity to. >> larry: james seems like a very good man, robi. >> yeah and i'm certainly not saying that -- >> larry: so does tim. >> they're lovely people. nice to sit next to and everyone certainly has their stories and
12:46 am
what you find with these relationships, it's a mental connection more than a physical connection. >> larry: we're going to connect with you pam's husband in a minute. imagine somebody asks you about your spouse and you say they're in prison for life. the social stigma husbands and wives face, right after this. honda accord and toyota camry stand behind their powertrain for up to 60,000 miles. chevy malibu stands behind theirs for up to 100,000 miles. which makes it pretty clear whose standing out front. a consumers digest "best buy" two years running. chevy malibu. compare it to anyone and may the best car win. now, get a low mileage lease on this 2010 malibu for
12:47 am
around $199 a month for 39 months. call for details. see your local chevy dealer.
12:48 am
12:49 am
my name is pam. i'm 48 years old. my husband lance is in prison serving life without parole. >> pam booker married her husband lance just weeks before he was imprisoned for first-degree murder. >> lance booker got a fair trial and he's in prison for the rest of his life. >> i didn't kill anybody and they know i didn't. >> now what passes for married life consists of six conjugal visits a year. >> i just whisper to myself, hey, baby, i'm here. >> but how long can pam fight for her husband and their family? >> oh, baby.
12:50 am
>> the very thought that he may die in prison is unbearable. >> larry: pam, your husband says he's innocent. let's take a look at him talking about his role in the crime. watch. >> i'm sitting here with two natural life sentences, without the possibility of parole. alone, with an 8- to 25. and i didn't kill nobody. i didn't kill anybody. and they know i didn't. >> larry: that's got to drive you nuts, right? he was there but he didn't kill -- he was sleeping in the car. >> yes. >> larry: he wrote you a poem? >> this was a poem he wrote that kind of sums it up the way someone doing life without parole is feeling. it's "look at me and tell me what do you see? my eyes tell a sad story of a
12:51 am
man who has been hurt countless times. do you see my pain? i wake up every day in a prison cell alone and cold. can you feel my pain? they said life without parole, that means forever. can you understand my pain? what about my children, my wife, my mother, brothers, sisters? most of all, what about me? no one can ever see, feel or understand my pain. i feel it every day and now my life feels like a rainy day each and every day. the pain will never end because they said life without parole." >> larry: does he have a good lawyer? >> we -- right now we're in between lawyers. we've gone from having what we thought was a very good lawyer who is historically in his career but made a mistake in lance's trial to having an
12:52 am
appellate lawyer who wasn't so good. >> larry: tim, there's a mannequin in the front wind over your house dressed as a bride, what is that all about? >> she's not there right now, but actually i bought a house in huntington, tennessee, and the people i bought it from, a woman had a wedding dress business and she had a mannequin -- i was there trying to get married. at that time we had just applied to the prison system for permission to marry. and i said to my wife, i said, do you need a wedding dress? she said, i can't wear it. i said, you know what? i bet you i can get you a wedding dress. i did. i got her a wedding dress. i got her the one she liked. it has to stay on that mannequin in the house. >> larry: why wouldn't the prison let her wear one? >> i think you'd have to ask the prison system. they will not allow her -- they would not allow her to get a ring. i could not carry a ring in to her. >> larry: what is she going to do with a ring? i mean, what's -- >> i mean, in other words, i carried this ring in. >> larry: you wear a wedding band?
12:53 am
>> yes, i carried this ring in. i carried it on this finger and allowed her to slip it over but they would not allow me to carry in a ring for her. >> larry: she can't wear a ring? >> no. >> larry: there are a lot of things about this, there's no payoff for these people, robi. >> there is a payoff. >> larry: there is. >> i mean how can you say that there is no payoff? people don't do things without a payoff, so it's not traditional. you know, you have couples who are not living in the same home together, but there are lots of different ways for people to feel intimate. sometimes people can feel more intimate and more connected if their situation is unusual or if there's a challenge involved where you have to work towards being with someone psychologically. and also some of these people in prison they write beautifully. they're very romantic. they're in need of feeling that connection. that's very powerful for some people. >> larry: some spouses of felons keep pleading the loved ones' cases. we'll examine that in our remaining moments. somewhere, is making the
12:54 am
12:55 am
12:56 am
>> larry: pam, you keep fighting, right, though? >> oh yes.
12:57 am
>> larry: you don't let-up, even though it seems it's hopeless at times. >> hope is all we have. it's hope that gets us through each day. >> larry: what keeps you going, tim? >> hope, of course, but what keeps me going, i probably just an unwillingness to walk away even. no, i won't do it. >> larry: does she ever get out? >> if -- yes, with proper -- sure, she can get out. anybody can get out. it's going to have to be something other than a legal system to maybe change the law. >> larry: the governor of tennessee? >> i've written him many times an the children. >> larry: wanting what for the children? to let their mother out? >> i think the system should pay a little more attention to the -- so the children don't follow their parents to prison. >> i agree with that. >> they can identify with their parent. >> larry: they have no interest in their children. >> not only that, children can
12:58 am
identify with their parents and think they're bad because they have a parent in prison. >> when a person does time we all do time. my husband is not the only one doing time. we all are. including his kids. >> larry: james, you want to get married again? >> i hadn't thought about it. >> larry: do you think about susan a lot? >> all the time. she's only been -- it's only been 100, 100 and so many days since she passed away. >> larry: what did she die of? >> malignant brain tumor. they told me i had a couple days to say good-bye to her and she stayed with us for over 18 months. >> larry: did they get you to be with her at the end? >> i was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with her. the last -- during those 18 months. yes, the last day i spent all day with her. before she passed away. >> larry: she passed away in a prison hospital? >> yes. a skilled nursing facility in central california. incredible workers there. aids and nurses. really took good care of her. >> larry: robi, these are all regular, nice people. we have a misconception that
12:59 am
they're somehow very needy or there's something wrong if you marry someone who's incarcerated. >> well, it's not ideal. you wouldn't want it for your kids. i wouldn't want it for mine. and there is a subgroup of people who certainly have personality disorders, either they're vulnerable or depressed or they had a parent who was abusive and so they're drawn to certain personalities. i think you need to look at everybody's story before making a judgment. that's what we learn here. >> larry: tim, i would bet when you were up in the skies for northwest flying a 747 to japan, if someone had said to you, by the way, tim, you're going to marry a lady who's in prison for life, you would have done what you're doing now, right? >> i would have said, you're crazy. >> he gets to be a hero. he was a hero in the sky and gets to be a hero for his wife and wife's kids. >> thank you. that is very nice of you. >> he is a hero. >> larry: if

502 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on