THE FRANK MURPHY STORY by Frank & Frank Helm Murphy


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Frank Murphy was a low grade alcoholic from a high class home who had managed to hustle himself in and out of a stint at the L.A. County jail, an experience he was to look back on as ""almost a pleasant and interesting vacation"" compared to where he wound up. And rarely has inaccuracy, ineptness, brutality and hypocrisy been more representative than in Florida's prison swamps. The first was Raiford (Murphy was sent up for fifteen years for robbery--drunkenly holding up a Childs' restaurant twice in the same night). In Raiford you couldn't get coffee unless you had your own bean or tomato can; the diet consisted of grits and beans, and malnutrition set in with no money to hustle from the ""peddlers."" He was told to take over a seventh grade class but not to teach because ""students do not need help"" but if they failed the math exam they were sent to solitary where two biscuits a day was the modus horrendous. While there he helped operate a successful income tax fraud that was eventually to make him a most wanted parolee and he landed in a Tavares work camp where one punishment was to pack seven men into the equivalent of a closet and leave them for six days (there were only six survivors). Murphy survived to escape, was later incarcerated in Deep Lake, a maximum security camp in the Everglades. It's difficult to believe some of the scenes described here; the reader may feel he unwittingly wandered into a horror comic. It may well raise protest on the Southern Front. Murphy was rehabilitated by the A.A. Others aren't so lucky.

Pub Date: Nov. 18th, 1968
Publisher: Dodd, Mead