Marion Pruett and I sat at a small table, facing each other. He was on Death Row for the 1981 killing of a convenience store clerk in Arkansas. Later he told police: I pulled in and was going to get gas and I seen that there was a girl working there by herself and I said well hell, I think I’ll just rob her and kill her so that’s what I done. I asked if he’d kill again. I remember him saying something like this: Put it this way. If there were a gun on the table and you pissed me off, I’d blow your head off. No wonder his nickname was “Mad Dog.” I interviewed Pruett for The Coloradoan
in Fort Collins, Colo. Authorities accused him of killing at least four other people, including his wife. I asked about his childhood. He told me he fell off the back steps of his house when he was a boy. A Coke bottle he was holding broke and a shard of glass took out an eye. His life evidently went downhill from there. Pruett blamed his troubles on drugs. He wanted me to believe there was some good inside him somewhere. I wondered what his family thought. Don’t talk to my father, he warned. But I couldn’t do the story without talking to his family and relatives of people he killed. I wanted the full story, not just his side of it. I got his father on the phone. He told me his son was a rotten human being. Some 15 years later, on April 12, 1999, the state of Arkansas killed Mad Dog with a lethal injection. I wasn’t sorry about that. He was scum, a selfish, simple-minded cold-blooded bastard who killed people to support a drug habit. And the world is better off without him.
Other stories I’ve done over the years have been less serious, like the one about the boa constrictor that popped out of a woman’s toilet while she was on the seat. Other stories are more complicated, and they’re not all black and white, at least not to me. Take the case of Juan Pablo Roque, the former spy. He killed no one. At least he didn’t pull the trigger.
Story continues here: http://alongthemalecon.blogspot.com/2012/10/cuban-spy-not-mad-dog.html