My newest story, "Death of a Ballplayer," about William Michael Dillon serving 27 years for a murder he didn't commit, is now live at SBNation
Dillon was about to sign with the Detroit Tigers when he was convicted of a murder he didn't commit. He spent the next 27 years in maximum security prison. Here's an excerpt:
Going to maximum security prison is more than just losing the life you previously led - it is also about a new life, one spent 24-7 with the very worst men in American society, the violent and psychopathic, the ones they make horror movies about. It's as close to hell, demons and all, as can legally exist in America. And it is worse when you are 22 years old, young, naive, good looking, stupid and convicted of committing a crime on the "Queer Pier."
The State of Florida didn't mess around. Dillon began his sentence in Raiford, Fla., at Florida State Prison - the Hell of all hells, where the worst offenders go when they have disciplinary problems at other max-security prisons.
Dillon declined an option to start his sentence in protective custody. He'd already spent over six months in jail, thought he knew how to get by, and wanted to quickly acclimate to his new world. He thought he could stay out of trouble by simply keeping to himself. "I figured I would have to be in some sort of confrontation for there to be a situation," he says. "Well, that wasn't the case."
That plan disintegrated the first hour after he was booked and released into the general population.
Read the whole story here.