Folsom's 93

The Lives and Crimes of Folsom Prison's Executed Men

Stupid Criminals 1, by guest blogger, Jason Brick

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I have the pleasure of bringing you my first guest blogger on Folsom’s 93. Jason Brick is a talented freelance writer and has recently published, Astoria: A Guide to Oregon’s Gate to the Sea. Visit Jason at his blog,brickcommajason to read about his latest projects as well as his great writing advice. Jason has also had experience in the parole and probation fields and has accumulated plenty of “stupid criminal stories” that are always worth passing along. I hope to bring  you several of Jason’s stories in the coming weeks. You can check out my guest post at Jason’s blog: Part 1 and Part 2 of staying on task as a work-from-home writer. Jason also works from home and juggles his career, family and being a ninja warrior. Seriously.

It was almost Christmas and Dan Droper (name changed to protect the guilty) was having a rough week. He’d been laid off, was within a month of foreclosure, and struggling with alcoholism. Worst yet, his wife had left him two nights earlier and he was staring down the barrel of a long weekend with nothing to do and nothing to distract him from his misery.

Dan gave in to temptation, made a collect call to his good pal Johnny Walker. Johnny brought his friends Jim and Jack. They had a party, but the good times turned into a maudlin drunk where the pain of losing his wife ached at Dan like the throbbing of a toothache.

The details of the next several hours don’t need repeating, but at the end of them Dan Droper was standing in the middle of his mother-in-law’s living room, holding a gun to his estranged wife’s head. Dahlia (name also changed) was the only one home, so nobody had called 911. There was no hostage situation, no negotiator outside with a megaphone. Just Don explaining that if she didn’t come back home, he’d end both of their lives right now.

Great Christmas present for his mother-in-law to find. Dahlia opted to go home with Dan. He made her drive to their — his — house. Marched her inside at the end of his gun. Once inside, he locked the door. He put his gun away in the bedroom closet. He cracked a beer, sat on the couch and turned on the TV. Dahlia stared at him and asked “What now?”

“Why don’t you get started on dinner?” Dan said.

Dahlia went into the kitchen and opened the fridge. Then she used the kitchen phone to call 911, and ran out the kitchen door.

Dan spent Christmas in the county lockup, and will be spending several of his next Christmases as a guest of the State.

Some folks are just too dumb for freedom.

Author: April Moore

I am the author of two books: Folsom's 93, a historical nonfiction about the men executed at Folsom State Prison; and a women's fiction, Bobbing for Watermelons. I'm also an illustrator and I love collaborating with other writers and artists. Catch me at

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