Arts & Culture

How The Aryan Brotherhood Saved My Jewish Ass In Prison

I never thought of myself as anything but Jewish–but survival knows no religion. So at the medium-security Federal Correctional Institution in Safford, Arizona, I buddied up to the Aryan Brotherhood. Hey, you do what you have to do. Mike Amos … Read More

By / November 4, 2008

I never thought of myself as anything but Jewish–but survival knows no religion. So at the medium-security Federal Correctional Institution in Safford, Arizona, I buddied up to the Aryan Brotherhood. Hey, you do what you have to do. Mike Amos was one of their leaders. He was a very tough dude who had already spent several years in prison for being an accomplice in the murder of a federal agent. I told him about my being a cop back in Kansas but, fortunately, he thought that was cool. There was no way I was going to tell him I was Jewish though. So I said my mother was Italian, which meant I wasn’t “technically” Jewish. He bought it. But then the AB insisted I fight a black inmate in the yard as a test of my loyalty. At first I refused but I had no choice. I landed one punch on his jaw. The black guy landed the next 20 on my face. The AB wanted me to take revenge, presumably evening the odds by using a knife. But I wasn’t going to risk a life sentence. I refused, and they never spoke to me in public again. Amos though remained a friend. Thankfully. When I was later attacked in the shower by a couple of Hispanics, I was bloodied and knocked woozy, and Amos happened by. He jumped in fully clothed and stomped them. Kinda makes me feel good that if the Aryan Brotherhood now knows I really was Jewish, they must be hating themselves for saving my ass.

Craig Glazer, author of The King Of Sting: The Amazing True Story of a Modern American Outlaw, is guest blogging on Jewcy this week. Stay tuned.