Every few weeks since I started the fourth grade, I have gotten correspondence from inmate #32877452, a.k.a. James Gustafson, of the Placerita County State Correctional Center.
Mr. G, or “Jimmy” as he prefers to be called, was convicted of the brutal murders of 3 women in 1982 and is currently serving a life sentence with no chance of parole.
He vacillates between proclaiming his innocence and boasting that the actual body count is much higher than the three whores (his word, not mine). Those three are simply the only ones that have ever been found, he would have me believe.
Because of his life sentence, my letters never stop coming, unlike my classmates who had written to prisoners with lesser stretches of time to serve. But on the positive side, he was never released and thus never able to track me down and murder me, like some of the others.
All of which begs the question, why the hell would a classroom full of fourth graders be writing to a group of dangerous criminals? I would like to say it was an innocent mixup, but I would be contradicting the justice system who ruled that my teacher was negligent when she accidentally switched the list of pen pal-seeking South African students, with the one made up of desperate, sex-starved deviants that she and the other spinsters she worked with were going to write sexy letters to in the hopes of scoring some hot, conjugal visit sex.
At first, Jimmy seemed nice enough and prison actually didn’t sound too bad. Then he started asking me if I could send him my underpants. Then he had specific things he wanted me to do while I was wearing the underpants before I sent them to him. The other kids in class were getting similar requests, but no adults seem to take notice.
It was only when one of the other teachers went to visit the guy she had been corresponding with in South Africa, did they finally put a stop to it. I guess the kid’s parents weren’t as excited to see the forty-year-old woman who showed up at their house with a suitcase full of sex toys and lingerie, as he was.
Of course, that wasn’t the end of it for me. The letters kept coming. First, angry and threatening and then more casual, once my parents complained to the prison and the warden threatened to cut off Jimmy’s mail privileges unless he cleaned up his act.
In the end, he just turned out to be a lonely guy. I felt sorry for him. Stuck in that cell for the rest of his life, nothing to look forward to but the sweet release of death itself.
Don’t get me wrong, the man is a monster. Like I said, he’s hinted to me that he may be responsible for almost a hundred murders, mostly women. Yet, he still insists he should be released, although if he’s ever shown anything even close to remorse, he’s never done it in any of the letters he’s ever sent me. Just tons of erotic Golden Girls fan fiction where he writes in first person perspective as Blanche Devereaux.
I may have led him to believe that I am submitting them for publication, but I’m not. That’s my little way of seeking justice for his victims. Don’t you dare to call me a hero, though. I’m just a man. A man who as a little boy got tricked into sending his sweaty underpants to a dangerous psychopath in a terrible miscarriage of a teacher’s trust and responsibility which eventually lead to my tremendously successful lawsuit against the North Heights Public School System and the fabulous, work-free lifestyle afforded to me as a result.