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tv   Life After Lockup  MSNBC  July 4, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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they are the inmates whose stories we'll never forget and whose lives have taken twists you'll never believe. now we reveal whatever became of paul komyatti. twin brothers, roy and ray slagle. >> i love it. i'm so happy. >> ronnie tye and the woman he married in prison, jodie mormon. finally the answers you've been waiting for.
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♪ >> mr. bill, are you ready for your picture? >> yep. >> all right. >> when we met paul komyatti at indiana state prison in 2008, he had an inmate job as the visitation room photographer. >> it keeps me occupied. it keeps me from counting the 36 weeks and 8 months i have left. however you want to break it down. >> right from the start, he was good natured and full of optimism for the future. despite being incarcerated for the past 26 years. komyatti entered prison at age 17 for his role in a bizarre family plot that ended with the murder of his abusive father. >> my dad was just an alcoholic. i was like a little kid, 7, 8
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years old. i'm crawled up under the kitchen table, and he's got a belt with a buckle, putting marks all over my face and everything, all over my body. i've got blood out and everything. my mom is like look, stop. you've got to stop. you're going to kill him. >> komyatti, his mother, sister and husband were all convicted for the murder of his father. komyatti's brother-in-law was sentenced to death and executed. his sister testified against paul and his mother and only served four years. paul's mother was given 90 years. >> as far as i know, she's the eldest woman prisoner in the state of indiana. >> paul was eligible for parole after 26 years and we were there the day he was released. >> you'll never see me in khakis again after today. >> komyatti quickly landed a factory job and was doing well. >> if you want to wake up with that attitude in the morning that today will be a good day,
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today is going to be better than yesterday. >> but komyatti could never have prepared for the bizarre chain of events ahead of him. six months after his release, three indiana state prison inmates staged a daring escape. komyatti found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. he and a friend had gone to a casino close to the prison and were seen by an off-duty correctional officer the same night three inmates got away. komyatti was picked up for facilitating the escape and was eventually cleared of any involvement. but because he had violated his parole by driving a car with only a learner's permit, he was sent back to prison. less than a year later, he was a free man once again. but within 30 days of being released, komyatti would find the next chapter of his life to be even more devastating than any of the previous ones.
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it would leave him profoundly disfigured. and we warn you, you might find his appearance disturbing. >> you know, i think most people in that situation with injuries i have would not have survived, but i was in pretty good condition at the time, you know, for my age or anything. >> while riding his bicycle near his home outside of his home in downtown indianapolis, he hit a pothole, flew over the handle bars and landed face first on an exposed drainage grid. >> these exposed channel bars were sticking out in the asphalt. right there and right there is the exact width on the steel channel bars. i hit that. when i rolled, i turned and my nose was completely cut off. my upper lip was sheered off. i had a gash right here. the whole left side of my face
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had a gaping hole and you could see inside my face. >> every bone in paul's face was broken and nearly all of his facial muscle was torn. komyatti's girlfriend jenny sterling was at home when she got a haunting call from paul's cell phone. >> on impact, my cell phone activated. as i said, i didn't know how to unlock the key pad. so it went to the last phone number i called which was jenny. >> and i just started hearing voices in the background and a woman scream and a man said, oh, my gosh. don't move, don't move, don't move. don't try to get up. don't try to get up. he said, i've got to go home. it seemed like forever, maybe 20 minutes, half hour. i heard everything. you know, i heard sirens, so i knew that wasn't good. >> komyatti was rushed to the hospital where surgeons worked to save what was left of his face. about 18 hours later, jenny and two of her family members went to the accident site to recover
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the clothing the paramedics cut off komyatti's body. what they discovered was shocking. >> there in a puddle of blood was his nose. and i went -- my brother-in-law said here's something over here. i go, no way, his tongue. >> jenny saved the body parts in hopes surgeons could reattach it. >> they said it had been too long. they couldn't reattach it. >> but at the time komyatti was lucky to be alive. he had been rushed to wishard hospital, one of indianapolis's top trauma centers. one of the city's most respected plastic surgeons was immediately called in for his expertise in facial reconstruction. >> we got a call from the trauma team here at wishard hospital. when they described the injury, we knew we had to go to the operating room. we spent about nine hours with him in the o.r. this is one of those injuries
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that you see a couple of times in your career. every single bone that you can imagine in the face was broken, plus loss completely of the nose and the upper and lower lip and half of the tongue. >> komyatti lay in a coma for the next 22 days. during the time he had six more surgeries and a seventh after he came out of the coma. >> i probably have to have at least a dozen more surgeries. this is what the doctor put on until my nose can be reconstructed. >> at the time of our visit with komyatti, he still had another three months to wait until the nose reconstruction surgery. it won't be the same as his old nose, but his old nose will never be far away. it's in his freezer. >> this is a very unconventional way to hold one's nose. this is my nose and an inch and
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a half of my tongue. >> does it bother you that it's sitting in your freezer? >> i would rather have it sitting on my face. it looks better on my face than it does in this baggy. coming up, paul komyatti goes back to prison, but this time to visit his mother. but first -- >> i cut iron here. >> the incredible saga of twin brothers from colorado. >> i was in icu for like nine days. i have never encountered such a burning sensation...
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until i had the shingles. it was like a red rash. like somebody had set a bag of hot charcoal on my neck. i had no idea it came from chickenpox. it's something you never want to encounter. for more of the inside story, visit
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we met them at two different colorado prisons nine years apart. roy and ray slagle, twin brothers with seemingly boundless energy were two of the most memorable inmates ever to appear on "lockup."
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our first slagle encounter was in 2000 when we met roy at colorado state penitentiary, and he made a big impression. at the time, roy was serving a 12-year sentence for robbery and had a notorious reputation for forcing the prison to perform cell extractions on him because of his frequent refusals to obey orders. nine years later, during our shoot at the lyman correctional facility in eastern colorado, we met an inmate named ray slagle who wasted no time reminding us of his sibling. >> come here, look at this. this is my twin brother right here. you already did a clip on him on msnbc. he was wild as hell. but by then, roy was anything but wild. and, in fact, had recently been released on parole. so we visited him at his parents' home where he had been living.
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>> are you going to make it this time staying out? >> yeah, i believe i'm going to make it, no doubt. >> roy is optimistic about his future, and so were we. back at lyman, his brother ray was serving a 15-year sentence for assault but was only days away from being released on parole. we looked forward to covering their first reunion in more than ten years. but then ray got bad news. roy was headed back to prison. >> my mom told me that ray was went to the parole office drunk. honestly, i guess he wanted to come back. >> roy served another 15 months in prison, then was paroled again. we visited him five months later. >> i was on borrowed time last time you interviewed me. i didn't have my own place, you know? i was staying with my folks. i love them to death, but i didn't have no independence. and then i was lonely on top of it. i got to drinking a little bit, and that turned into a problem. i went to the parole office
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after drinking. i wasn't drunk, but i drunk the night before. i had to do a breathalyzer test and it came up hot. and here i am, trying it again. the mistake i made last time was because i drink. so even when i get off parole, i'm not going to drink because it can become an issue, and i don't want it to be an issue in my life. cat scratch fever. >> roy's pet cat isn't the only thing he has to keep his mind off alcohol, he also loves his job. >> day to day, i get up and go to work every day. i cut iron and weld sometimes. and it's great. life can't be no better, just couldn't be. karma. the karma train is the ride for me, you know? i cut iron here at the scrap iron yard so it can be made into raw iron that can be utilized for construction. every day i'm grateful that i can be out here. i don't slack. i only know one speed and that's
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git 'r done speed. >> what's the best part of your job? >> the trust that the company gives me, it's great, you know. i never thought a guy could get out of prison and get treated this good in a company. that's the best part of my job right there. >> roy's awesome. i actually worked with him half a dozen times. anytime i need a hand, he's there. if i need a muscle, he's there. he's a great guy. i wish we had more. i never seen him on "lockup" until after he started working here. seeing him in there, compared to here, aggressive. he's aggressive now, but in a great way. anytime you get someone who wants to come to work and wants to work, my god. >> and still, reminders of prison sometimes show up unexpectedly. >> this prison bus from the department of corrections came in. me being my nosy self, i had to look. right here, names and numbers of people being transferred out. it wasn't too long ago i was on one of these buses.
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i wouldn't want to do anything to jeopardize my liberties that i have now. uh-uh. life is great. right now, i can hear the wind blowing in to the trees behind us. ain't no trees in no prison yards i've ever been in. life is great. >> i'm really excited. >> roy's brother ray was just as hopeful when he left prison. during our extended stay shoot at the lyman correctional facility we followed him to the small trailer home where he was going to restart his life. >> yeah, this is nice. >> i love it. >> come on in. all right. this is a castle to me. >> ray's release from prison did not go as he had hoped. we met him again a year and a half later. >> went home and moved into that trailer, and it became home. before i knew it, i was sitting in that trailer by myself, every night by myself, 24/7. it had become a drag.
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>> but things picked up for ray when he got a job with an industrial paint company. >> i was bringing home about $840 a week. i was doing good, you know, no doubt about that. >> what are you doing now? what are you bringing in now? >> $200 a month. >> after only a few months out of prison, one wrong step would dramatically change ray slagle's life on the outside. >> i was showing a guy how to dry a skylight because he didn't know how. i was making sure -- it was my girlfriend's roof. i was making sure he dried it in right. went to the edge of the roof and started arguing with her and ended up falling off. >> ray fell 25 feet to the hard ground below. >> kol come to find out i had a broken back. i was in icu for nine days before they'd find three surgeons willing to even do the surgery because it was such a dramatic surgery, you know what i mean. it was a massive break.
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i was in the hospital for over a month. it was a drag. >> during his recovery, ray's past drug addiction problems came back to haunt him. the temptation of readily available pain medication was too much to overcome. >> i got carried away with my pain pills. what can i say? you know, i just -- i gobbled them up, and then i don't have none, and the doctor's not going to give me none. then the come-down is so terrible. you know, you're going to the streets. it got out of hand, you know, because of the pain. >> a positive drug test eventually led to ray violating his parole and like his brother roy, he was sent back to prison. he served a total of 90 days, but when he got out, things got even darker. >> i even tried to hang myself, man. really, it got so bad, i tried to hang myself in the closet. the only reason i didn't die is because the tie broke. the shame that came over me was overwhelming that i would do
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something like that. it wasn't that i wanted to do something like that. it was i was in so much pain i couldn't take it no more, you know? when you're in pain like i am, it hinders life. on top of it, you've got these bills you can't pay and you're not working no more. you can't hardly even work. you know what i mean? it makes you feel like, man, i don't even feel like a man. i do feel like i'm drowning. i feel like i'm barely above watt ore and i'm getting tired. and i feel like i'm going under. i keep pulling myself up and i feel myself go down. i don't know how long it's going to last, i really don't, before that gash of water goes in my mouth and sucks me down and i timely go down and then i can relax. the pain is over, buddy. coming up -- >> hey, bro.
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>> my brother. >> roy and ray slagle together on the outside. but first -- >> will you have this woman for thy wedded wife? >> yes. >> life after a prison wedding. by what's getting done. the twenty billion dollars bp committed has helped fund economic and environmental recovery. long-term, bp's made a five hundred million dollar commitment to support scientists studying the environment. and the gulf is open for business - the beaches are beautiful, the seafood is delicious. last year, many areas even reported record tourism seasons. the progress continues... but that doesn't mean our job is done. we're still committed to seeing this through.
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many of the stories we cover on "lockup" involve not only the lives of inmates but of their families. and sometimes we're there when new families are being formed. such was the case with ronnie tye, who was nearing the end of an 11-year sentence for burglary at indiana state prison when we met him and his fiance, jodie wormen. >> i told him i wanted to get married october 7th. >> october 7th. that'll work. >> ronnie had been out of jail for more than a year now. >> my last day of price op, i was anxious and ready to go. when they said i could go, i was ready. i ran. >> he said it took a while to get used to being out of lockup.
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>> when i opened my eyes i felt like i was in heaven because i could get up and do what i wanted to. >> being a free man wasn't the only change ronnie had to adapt to. he had entered prison as a 21-year-old bachelor but left a 32-year-old newlywed. >> ronnie, will you have this woman as thy wedded wife to live in matrimony so long as you both shall live? >> yes. >> we were there when ronnie married jodie. while they exchanged rings at a wedding, they had chosen a more permanent symbol of commitment prior to their nuptials. >> he tattooed my portrait on him, i tattooed him on my whole leg. it was like our little bond. he was released june 4th, 2009. i picked him up. it was wonderful. he was the husband any woman would dream of, you know?
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he pampered me, he spoiled me and then things just started to change and go down for the worst. >> just ten months after ronnie's release from prison, the couple separated and then divorced a short time later. >> when you get with a man in prison, you got to make sure it's a very sincere thing because it's a game in there. men find women to take advantage of them. >> but jodie believed ronnie was not one of those men and that the love she shared with him was genuine. ronnie, however, tells a different story. >> no, that was a front. i loved her money. if i wouldn't have married her, the money would have stopped. >> is this a common thing for guys inside to marry women with money? >> well, i'm not going to ruin it for everybody. i did it. that's why i married her.
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>> but now, jodie has found a new love, and if she marries him, she won't have to change her last name. she's in love not with ronnie tye but with kenny tye. >> i'm in love with his brother. what else can i say? sorry. it's the truth. i know it's history repeating itself and it kind of feels that way, but there's a difference between them. >> one reason it might feel like history repeating itself is because kenny tye, like his brother before him, is temporarily detained. >> he's in prison. i know that sounds horrible. i met kenny out here. i know kenny for who kenny is. i think that's the difference. so kenny was a plus. i would have never met him -- you know, sometimes i say you have to go through hell to get to heaven. i went through hell, but i'm now in heaven. >> jodie is with my little brother kenny. how do i feel about it?
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ain't no sweat off my ass, you know? i'm happy for him. >> kenny is serving an 11-year sentence at indiana state prison for dealing methamphetamines. >> this is me and kenny taken at the county jail. this is our only picture together. >> jodie and kenny aren't the only tyes who found new love. ronnie tye now lives with his fiance nicky, her three daughters and his grandmother. >> i'm just happy to be free. and i'm happy to have a good family. and i'm happy that i'm taking care of my grandma instead of anybody else because she gets taken care of real well here. don't you? >> what? >> you get taken care of very well here, don you? >> what? >> i said you get taken care of very well here, don you, granny? >> ronnie says he enjoys taking
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care of his grandmother and has taken to his role as a father. >> i like being a stepfather, helping them and things, take them places, buying them things. >> like he does for them, he does me. it's more like his own kids. >> thanks, babe, for cooking dinner. >> you're welcome. >> thanks, mom. >> there's more in here. >> sure feels good to eat real food. >> real pig. >> it's cow. >> thank you for cooking the pig. coming up, jodie tye makes a major recommitment. >> all right, kenny tye, you'd better like this [ bleep ]. and more with paul komyatti and the slagle brothers. >> tell me if that ain't a work of art, i mean, seriously. he says he's from albuquerque. i'm not buying it. i mean, just look at him.
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and one more thing -- he has a spaceship. [ whirring ] the evidence doesn't lie. my dad's an alien. [ male announcer ] the highly advanced audi a6. named to car and driver's 10 best. ♪
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i'm craig melvin. here's what's happening. an independence day celebration in new hampshire has taken a
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political tone because mitt romney took part in the festivities attracting his supporters and also obama advocates who marched chanting "barack's got our backs." and in d.c., a special fourth of july sell participation on the south lawn. president obama is hosting a barbecue for military heroes and their families. now back to "lockup." even though he served 26 years behind bars, paul komyatti still goes back to prison once a week. >> who are you here to see? >> rosemary conrad. number 1704. >> but now it's to visit his 85-year-old mother who's still serving time for her role in the
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murder of paul's father. >> hi, mom. >> hi. how are you? >> love you. >> he gets the first hug. >> when i got locked up, she was 57. she was very physically fit, very active woman. and now, you know, she's in a wheelchair now. how you feeling? still having problems on your right side? >> yes. >> is there anything new going on? >> not too much. >> hopefully that will change soon. >> the worst thing that ever happened to him in his life is right now with his mom, where she's at. that's the worst thing, that he hasn't been able to fix right now. him being home and her not being able to be here with us, i just want her home. i just wanted her to come home with us, you know, where she belongs.
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>> next summer i'll look like george clooney. >> that's good. >> while surgeons won't be able to attach paul's actual nose on to his face, dr. roberto flores has a plan to build him a new one. >> this is something that's going to require several surgeries, anywhere between three and five. one of the things we can use, we can take cartilage from your ear or rib or take bone from your hip and reconstruct the internal framework of your nose so you have some form in there. >> okay. >> his prognosis is good. he survived a terrible injury, a terrible accident. he's a physically strong person. he has a great attitude. some people are spiritually crushed from these sorts of injuries and they don't always make it back. they always feel broken, but i don't get that sense from him. >> thank you once again. thank you for not only saving my life, but i think 99% of the
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people that came in that condition probably wouldn't have made it. and if you hadn't been on that night, you know, i don't know if i would have made it. so thank you. >> you're so welcome. you're welcome. >> all things considered, paul komyatti has lived a most unusual life. but our last impression of him never really changed from our first impression. through all his ups and downs, komyatti has stayed remarkably optimistic. >> obviously things really haven't went my way. you can say that as an understatement. one thing you learn in the joint, you don't live in the past. you can't change the past. the past is done, it's over with. all you can do is learn from the past. and this situation here, i can kick myself and say, damn, you know, you're cursed, whatever. it's not going to do any good. my outlook on this has to stay positive. i always feel in the morning, i have to feel this is going to be
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a good day. ronnie tye, also a veteran of the indiana state prison, is equally optimistic about his future with his new girlfriend nicky. though their relationship has at least one thing in common with the one he shared with his ex-wife jodie, they show their love with tattoos. >> it says nicky. >> why did you get that? >> because i love her. and i really do love her. this is not a money thing. it's not about money or nothing. i don't ask her for nothing. she's got my name back here. >> he has lots to cover up before i ever get another one. he has names on him everywhere. >> they're getting covered. >> and a portrait that needs to be covered. but he hasn't done that yet. so i don't know. >> i'm going to. >> like ronnie, jodie is also ready to move on by altering her tattoos. >> mom, listen. mom.
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i'm going to get my tattoo covered. >> to get rid of the tattoo on her leg, she's going to have to cut her leg off. that's awful big to cover up. >> i'm putting kenny over ronnie. she said does that mean kenny is going to be my son-in-law? i do believe he might. i don't know, mom. i don't know. i don't see a future. but, you know, kenny is obviously better than ronnie. >> while jodie was excited about covering the ronnie tattoo on her leg, she discovered it would be harder than she thought it would be. >> i'm getting ready to cover up ronnie tye's name. when i put it there, i swore i would never, ever get rid of it because i thought it was forever. this is it. it's over. i feel weird. it's like -- i feel like half of me feels like a death, and the other half of me feels like a
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birth. >> let's go. >> jodie has brought her friend amanda along for emotional support. >> kind of feels like closing a lid on a casket. and you're my pallbearer. >> better you than me. >> i guess, i don't know. i don't even know how to describe this. never felt like this before. the pain. no, it ain't the tattoo. i think my heart's more broke than anything. out with the old, on with the new. this should heal pretty quickly before i see kenny in prison. >> after almost an hour, jodie's tattoo transformation is complete.
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>> all done. kenny! >> bye, ronnie. >> hello, kenny. >> what do you think? >> right on. coming up -- >> i wonder what's in here. >> the slagle brothers discover their passion. >> just put your fresh tomatoes and fresh onions. you get yourself a screaming taco. an accident doesn't have to slow you down. with better car replacement available only with liberty mutual auto insurance, if your car's totaled, we give you the money for a car one model year newer. to learn more, visit us today. responsibility. what's your policy?
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why let constipation stry miralax.? mirlax works differently than other laxatives. it draws water into your colon to unblock your system naturally. don't wait to feel great. miralax. one of the most surprising things roy slagle discovered about himself after he was released from colorado state penitentiary is that his numerous cell extractions shown
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on "lockup" and then later the internet, had made him somewhat of a sensation. >> are you serious? i watched this episode last night and became infatuated with this man. he's so sexy. i wish i knew him. i love big, tall and muscular men. i have a lot of women making comments about how i look and stuff like that. it's nice. >> but one admiring fan stuck out from the rest, and the two began to correspond while roy spent another 15 months in prison on a parole violation. but she doesn't share roy's comfort with the limelight and has asked that we not reveal her identity. >> she's seen me on "lockup" and said she liked how i came across. said i had a good energy about me. she wanted to get to know me more. we really hit it off and we ended up getting married.
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fell in love. real love, you know? destiny-type love that people talk about. i'm like how did this happen? a guy like me, you know, that's been to hell and back and i've got this dallas cheerleader almost. that's what i call her. you're like a dallas cheerleader. i had to pinch myself a couple of times. i'm like, is this happening? she's helping me with structure. that's something that i needed, i needed structure. happily ever after, huh? >> uh-huh. >> during roy's long and well documented time in prison, he earned a reputation for being like a bull in a china shop. nowadays, he and his wife collect china. >> this is a royal dalton set. this goes along with this, bone
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china, very, very nice. 1926. very old. it's a beautiful hobby. what i don't understand is why other people don't think it's fascinating, you know? we go to some of these estate sales. we're like the moth to the flame. we've got to have it. and here we are walking out with boxes of china. look at this. tell me if that ain't a work of art. seriously. isn't that beautiful? it's exactly like treasure hunting. and, you know, history, who's touched this, who ate off this. this is an old cheese platter. probably our oldest item we have. i wonder what's in here? oh, more china. i can't help it. if i'm going to have a problem, it's going to be with china. i can't get in trouble doing that.
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look at that, ain't that beautiful. i wake up and i'm happy to wake up every morning because life is great, and everything around me seems bright, clear, lots of color and full of life. and it starts off for me with my wife and us eating off nice china. >> while roy proudly displays his china, his reminders from prison, photos, letters, and cards are all contained in a cardboard box. >> what do you think of that when you look at that? >> not too happy. i made bad decisions in my youth and my karmic debt that i had to wise up and be thankful for what i had, don't try and live outside my means. i went to prison for robbery. you know, i got excited and thought things are going to be all right. things are going to be all right no matter what. but you've got to do it the right way, even if you're going without a few things or if
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you're poor. it's still going to be all right. you can't take something out somebody's hand. that's just going to make things worse. and that's not right. >> have you paid your karmic debt? >> yes, i believe i have. >> that chapter's over. >> after breaking his back falling off a 25-foot high roof, roy's twin brother ray finds himself questioning karma. >> you know, it's a drag when you're out here doing the right thing and you still can't get it right. i can be out here doing the wrong thing and i don't have to worry about it. but i refuse to cross that line. i'm not gonna. you know, i'm just not gonna. >> unable to find steady work because of his physical problems, ray is writing his autobiography and wants to pursue his real passion, cooking. >> you know, i'm trying to get focused, go to school, culinary arts, because i like to cook, you know.
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i can stand on my feet. i just can't be sitting down too long. if i can get the federal grants, that's what i plan on doing. >> ray showed us his favorite dish to prepare for his fellow inmates inside the lyman correctional facility when we shot "extended stay" there. >> get the packet, put it over the fish, spread it out nice and evenly. you put a scoop of this and a little bit of this on the fish. i just eye ball that. it flavors up the fish real good. >> this is a lot different than cooking in a cell. big difference. >> ray's pride is his deep fried tacos. >> i'm getting this chicken ready to boil, you guys. this chicken's really nice and lean and good for you. i'm telling you, it's really good. i like to use lemmon pepper. i like to do that with my chicken. i use salt and pepper. lemon pepper is the key thing. this here, being deep fried is what the key is.
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sure, you can roll it up in a burrito and warm it up. but that's the lazy way. you have to put it like this and then flip it like this. oh, yeah. that's going to be good as hell. then you put your fresh tomatoes and fresh onions and cheese. then you've got yourself a screamin' ass deep fried chicken taco. dive in. >> these days, ray doesn't cook for inmates but for friends in his small apartment. >> when i first got out of the joint, i woke up and the next day i made myself some french toast. i was listening to one of those sad songs. right in the middle of making french toast, i just broke down. i couldn't even finish. i had to shut it off. i realized, you know, i was free. yeah, it hit me, though. it hit me when i was cooking.
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you're free, man. you're free. coming up -- >> my brother. >> ray and roy, together again. and pepperoni breath? fight both fast with new tums freshers! concentrated relief that goes to work in seconds and freshens breath. new tums freshers. ♪ tum...tum...tum...tum... tums! ♪ [ male announcer ] fast relief, fresh breath, all in a pocket sized pack. [ male announcer ] fast relief, fresh breath, it's time to live wider awake. only the beautyrest recharge sleep system combines the comfort of aircool memory foam layered on top of beautyrest pocketed coils to promote proper sleeping posture all night long. the revolutionary recharge sleep system... from beautyrest. it's you, fully charged.
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roy and ray slagle have seen their lives change several times, both in and out of prison. but one thing that has remained constant for both men is the bond they share as brothers. >> what was it like the first time you saw him after? >> man, i had to hold him down. i wanted to cry. i just held it in, you know? he's my brother. i ain't seen him forever. you know? >> if someone came and said one of you got to die, either you or you, i would go ahead and take the bullet. i would say, hey, man, no. i got this. >> i go to his house sometimes. he comes here sometimes. he has his life and i have my
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life and neither one of us wants to complicate the other's life right now, you know? >> but we were there for a "lockup" reunion a long time in the making. >> hey, bro. >> my brother! >> how you doing? >> how you doing? >> pretty good. >> kicking, brother. >> it doesn't take long for the brothers to find something to reminisce over. >> grandpa's old hat. i always loved grandpa. >> my mom wouldn't let grandpa drink in the house. he'd grab this cowboy hat, put it on and walk out to the trunk of the car, he had a cadillac. he'd open up the trunk of the cadillac, reach around in there,
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run around, look this way, look that way, wipe the bottle off like this after he opened it and just chug it down. we would look out the window. and we were just little kids. we would see these bubbles going up behind the shed. >> the bubbles. he'd be drinking. this is the cowboy hat he'd wear. >> ray has more recent momentos as well. like this photograph taken by a friend shortly after his release. >> it was raining real, real bad. i was having a hard time adjusting to getting out. i felt like the whole world was on my shoulders. just went over there and sit in the rain. >> sat in the rain? >> sat in the rain. it was so, so free. i just cried. you know, i'm -- i'm saying, thank god i'm free. all those years locked up. i'm sitting in the rain, up in the mountains. just smell the smell, and smell the rain. >> the evergreen.
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the lake was right there. >> i think that's what life is about. it's going to always be hard, always. but you capture moments and the moments are what sustain you to the next moments. so i think. >> but unfortunately, too many of ray's moments have been filled with nothing but pain since he broke his back. >> what do they say on the x-rays. >> that's metal, all metal. two screws here, two screws here. and there's a fake vertebrae. two screws going up through that. >> what's the vertebrae made out of? >> titanium. >> to help ray deal with all the discomfort in his back, doctors embedded a pain medication pump beneath his skin. >> it's a big metal disk. >> how think is it? >> it's heavy. grab it. >> i don't want to hurt you. >> you won't hurt me. grab it. grab it. >> it gives me the
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heebie-jeebies, too, bro. that thing's big. >> repairing ray's back also required the removal of a rib. >> oh, my god. it's like a hole there. i can feel it. there's nothing protecting your lung there. oh, my god. it's a hole. a big hole. >> i hate to see my brother in pain like that. he's banged up pretty bad. anybody who has any kind of back problem -- i tweaked my back and that can't even be compared to what he's going through. that serenity prayer right there, that's how we live our life. we've got to keep pushing through, you know. i worry about that. he has a past history of having problems with drugs and drinking, but now he has to take them for his pain. that could easily lead to abuse. i'm very worried about that. how's your unemployment working right now? >> real fast, real fast. i'll be under a bridge in two months.
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that's the way it's looking. >> you're going to have to figure something out, try to get a job even if you're banged up like a cat. >> i can't, roy. what am i going to do? rob a drug dealer? >> no. >> to get some money? >> no. >> where am i going to get the money? >> i don't know, bro. >> see? that's all i have to say. leave it there. damn it. >> you can either be a victim or a survivor. bad things happen to all of us. and bad experiences. be a victim or a survivor. you've got to make a choice. >> i'm a survivor. so are you. >> damn right. >> we have to. >> you have to overcome it. >> overcome or sink. >> don't sink. >> i'm going to try not to. i'm going to try not to. >> all right. >> damn it. >> but even in the gloomiest of circumstances, you can count on one thing from the slagle boys.
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they'll always find something to laugh about. >> you're going to be on boo hill with a little old tombstone. that's too small a tombstone. you know he ain't got nothing buried with him, and they'll leave you alone. just a wooden cross. bolted down to the sides. >> yeah, i like that. >> i was hoping to be cremated and you throw me around town, around the mountains, wherever you go. everybody gets a little bag of ashes and you throw me everywhere. i want to be thrown everywhere. >> get a shot of jack daniels and sprinkle you in jack daniels. >> no, no, jim beam. i hate jack daniels. you like jack daniels. >> no not no more. >> i know, i know. >> get a shot glass of jim beam. springle some ashes in there. >> oh, yeah, yeah, do it the right way. >> i'll do that for you. >> all right. that's all i ask. >> i ain't gonna drink it. >> i didn't ask you to drink it. >> it will go on the ground. >> go ahead


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