Excerpts from “Jerry’s Riot” by Kevin S. Giles:

Jerry Myles stood only a shade over five feet, and despite thick arms and a chest as round as a rain barrel, his feet were dainty like a woman’s. His shoes seemed too petite for a man who propelled his stout body with such authority. He was a bull on tiny feet. Although

a common burglar, Myles had a reputation among the guards as a jocker, meaning he stalked young men for sex. They also called him “Little Hitler,” alluding to his remorseless and domineering behavior in the cell house. He courted violations of the rules in an effort to draw attention to himself, and when he was caught, tried to make amends in pitiful ways.

⇒ From Chapter 1, “A ghost’s whisper.”

Nobody had loved him, not even his mother. She didn’t want him. What did he care? He hated her, just like he hated his adoptive parents for sending him to reform school. So what if they had bought him a Boy Scout uniform, and a violin on which he’d tried to play comforting tunes to forget his sorrowful life? In every prison, and there had been many, people in authority had mistreated him. He hated his mother. He hated all the wardens and guards and psychiatrists who called him a queer and the prison doctors who wouldn’t let him bleed when he ripped broken glass across his wrists. He would show them all. They would remember Jerry Myles.

⇒ From Chapter 2, “Rifles and two men at odds.”

At Deer Lodge and other prisons, Jerry Myles created problems to overcome his feelings of inadequacy. Once he felt wronged, he would use his abundant mind to find a way to command respect. That’s why officials at USP Atlanta and Alcatraz Island had kept him isolated much of the time. He had little respect for the welfare of others. Being a self-possessed, antisocial person, he thought only of himself. Given the chance, he would create his own world, a world to his liking.

⇒ From Chapter 12, “Jerry’s Riot.”

Jerry Myles commanded Officer Cozzens to open the door leading down into the dining hall. Cozzens fumbled with the lock, nervously watching the array of weapons around him. Myles grabbed the keys, turning the lock with a clunk that seemed to echo in the cell house. He warned Officer Baldwin and Cozzens not to make trouble or they might be attacked. He prodded them across the dining hall and all the way up the stairs into Cell House 1. Many of the prisoners standing around them held meat cleavers and butcher knives pilfered from the kitchen. Some clutched hammers, others wielded clubs of wood and iron. The new captives wondered in bewilderment where they had found all those weapons. Minutes after Stanford’s capture, Victor Baldwin and Larry Cozzens descended into the Hole. At least a dozen nervous faces, barely illuminated under the dim bulb, stared back. A low voice came from somewhere in the shadows. “What the hell?” it said.

⇒ From Chapter 14, “Hostages, like dominos.”

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