GARY WAID IS STIRRING THE SOUP AGAIN
Follow-up on the Saga of Sergeant Barry Neil "Bullethead" Johnson
You are going to have to get past your phobias about 'bad words' and taboo topics to get the hard-hitting punch of this story. The DOC and other 'law enforcement' agencies are making it possible for child molesting guards to stay on the street. The next child they hurt could be your own.
Are you willing to go this far to protect criminals in uniform?
Gary Brooks Waid
Hello, folks. I was going to write this report months ago, but I kept putting it off. Something interesting had happened here at
River Junction Work Camp, but I needed more information and the local rumor mill had failed me. For weeks, no matter how much I prodded and pried, I never got to the unvarnished, absolute core of facts that would astonish my readership and garner outrage. I wish now I'd been more dogged, less put off, but if wishing were fishing, I'd be Captain Ahab. And anyway, the gooey, titillating muck is more fun to write about and, ultimately, too good to resist. So I sat down the other day and looked over my notes and decided it was time to stir the soup, see if something cohesive and important emerged.
Besides, now that I've been denied work release because of my actions in court, and denied federal halfway house because of where I am, why should I cover for these knobs? Everything you are about to read is of course entirely fictitious and the furthest thing from actual truth imaginable for sure. We're going to talk about certain sexual exploits today, so stake your children out in the back yard, don't allow any ex-presidents to use your phone, and never trust people who have to say, "I do solemnly swear" when they go to work.
The main characters in my story here happen to resemble a bunch of our African American brothers and sisters who are pals of mine. If you've read my other stuff you know I take no special pains to avoid the colors of the prison spectrum; I make fun of all shades. But if you're offended in some way, pretend my characters are Eskimos or Polacks, what the hell.
My name is Gary Waid and I've been in prison seven years, meeting all sorts of bad guys and exposing myself to all sorts of ideas and information. I hang out in a different tree than you do, and am therefore privy to different sorts of earthshaking thoughts. Important questions abound behind bars, and reverberate and ricochet and re-emerge in disguise, and then spread their oedipal thighs and give birth to twins or maybe triplets or sextuplets that sound suspiciously like the grossly overworked originals. Even so, many questions inside are recognizable to the great herd outside. For instance, the most important question in my universe and yours is:
Where da pussy?
Huh! See? I'm right, aren't I? Big question - in here, out there - doesn't matter, still big. Of course some of you have to switch gender images and reconfigure. But ain't no denying what's facts! And in prison no one cares that there isn't an answer, or that asking the question is an exercise at best (especially here, with 350 ancients who refuse to constantly beetle their brows in hormonal angst over our arid condition). Not a day goes by that every man around me doesn't scratch his bald, liver-spotted head and rhetorically seek nirvana in the contemplation of women and the manifestations thereof. Call it an art project if you want. Or a hobby. Guy next door, been down twenty years, is checking the pictures in People magazine, trying to find out where da pussy. His back, chest, legs, belly, arms, and even his ass are covered in imperfect totems and pictographic paeans to the great pussy in the sky that he hasn't actually seen since Jimmy Carter confessed to lusting in his heart - SO WHAT? It's still a viable question.
Where da pussy?
Yet when it comes to the particulars and the artwork and artistry and artsy-fartsyism that I just finished lecturing you about in case you hadn't noticed, isn't it peculiar what life imitates, and how someone visually shows up to do all the parts in the movie? It is, isn't it?
So in March 15th of this year, in the Gadsden County Times Police Blotter (News of Record, Gadsden Co., Florida Sheriff's Office), one of River Junction's own was exposed as a POSSIBLE PUSSY PREDATOR! Barry Neil Johnson, Sergeant Barry Neil Johnson, late of the Florida Department of Corrections, was arrested for allegedly having unconsensual sex with someone's teenage daughter. At the time of his arrest, Sergeant Johnson was a near-middle-age, sixteen-year DOC veteran who, as an added bonus, had eighteen years service in the National Guard.
Sergeant Johnson was also a swine. Everyone called him Bullethead. And he never-never-not-once was able to control his baser urges, even here on the compound. So the title of this unfocused epic tale has got to be:
In which I seek a motive for Bullethead's last ride, and I give funny reasons to explain why we convicts should care or notice, which ultimately returns me to the aforementioned most important question in the universe, forcing me to modify that question somewhat.
You may wish to complain now and rail on about the author's qualifications to tell this story. After all, it's been years since I've, you know, done it. It's been years since I've done anything. I haven't even danced or winked or flirted with a woman, and I'm single now because months and months ago my former girl got tired of waiting for me and decided to get a life. But in my defense, I am entirely aware of biology; I remember certain things; and I've never stopped asking, where da pussy.
Without further ado then, we should delve into some lengthy, laborious background, beginning with these two truths:
1) River Junction Geezer Camp, my current home, is populated with the most docile, well-behaved convicts I've ever seen, and -
2) Most of the officers here are grateful for that and enjoy the serenity. Only a few wish to wake up the neighborhood with polemical theatrics.
But it's embarrassing. Especially for a writer who's trying to document the gritty underbelly of life behind bars. Here at good ol' RJWC nobody does much of anything sneaky. I've been on the compound a year and seen only a couple punches thrown, a situation unheard of in any normal Florida prison. I've also never smelled marijuana on the yard, an impossibility anywhere else I've been that's allowed me access to a yard. Try and find a gallon or so of buck around here and you'll be looking for a long time. A terrible crime in this place can be something as silly as walking your cookie out of the chow hall at lunch:
"Hey inmate! What's that in your hand?"
"Uh. . .Well, sir - "
"Is that your cookie?"
"I was just gonna eat it under the pavilion, you know, and - "
"Turn around an' cuff up, asshole, you're goin' to the hole!"
A worse crime is smuggling something through the gate when your outside work squad comes in in the afternoon, but so few guys do it, the officers at the gate have a cow every time they spot a lump in your blues. Other crimes are when you smoke somewhere you're not supposed to or stand somewhere or sit somewhere else, and the idiocy has been getting more and more ridiculous as time goes by. All the memos the front office people write have slowly but surely evolved into ludicrous lampoons of prison intractability. Every day they open a new blister-pak of shit:
All those sitting improperly must stand. All those standing without explicit approval must sit. All those standing in line to sit must have a pass and must first NOT smoke, preparatory to gaining that seat in order to smoke, but only within the designated time allotment and only in the approved seating or standing "areas," and only when the moon is smiling down. At all other times consult your handbook (in theory) or see Santa Clause. Hopefully this clarification will clarify the previous clarification. Violators will be forced to eat this memo.
A friend of mine just went to the box for feeding the pigeons. No shit. Other screw-ups include forgetting to return your library book on time, mixing up the dress code requirements (we've had three lectures and at least three memos during the past month advising us on different, changeable aspects of the bare chest/T-shirt enigma at certain times and in certain areas in and around the dorms), or you can get in trouble just - you know - having that look. Don't ever have that look! It'll get you every time. Paul Haggerty had that look
(see DRESSING THE PIG), and see where it got him? Biker Bill Wagoner also had that look and he got a DR for wearing suspicious socks. They took a bunch of his gain time because his socks, you know, had that look:
1st con: "Psst! Was there dope in Wagner's socks?"
2nd con: "Get real! Would you do dope from out of Biker Bill's socks?"
Then there's count time, which in most joints is a visit to the rain forest, with exotic bird calls and aborigine drums, whistling bats and raining missiles. But at RJWC, it's the public library on Sunday. Old farts sitting quietly on their bunks, wondering who they are and how did they get there and what did they eat for supper. The fact is there's not enough rule breaking around here, even though the higher-ups have tried mightily to clamp down on everything they can think of that some slimy convict might try. There was even a memo not long ago warning us of disciplinary action should we try to appear comfortable in the TV room. The memo said: There will be no pillows or blankets used as cushions in the TV room...
I don't actually sit in the TV room much. I have a bad back and the benches are made of expanded steel plate with angle iron backs, welded together like the superstructure of an offshore oil platform. They were designed long ago by Marie Antoinette, I think, so the rabble could sit and eat cake during the beheadings. If jury seats were like our TV benches, there'd be a glut of people on death row. But because each steel bench is heavier than a Vatican pew, I can't possibly get mad and kill my septuagenarian bunkie by lifting one of them and dropping it on his arthritic hip or something. I'd have to run get a chair from under a card table next door. The iron maiden benches are the dumbest thing I've ever seen in a joint like this (and hell on ancient hemorrhoid scars), but dumb or not there is no possible allowance or slack allowed because of our aged population. And even with the rule now against attempted comfort, nobody complains. Nobody's willing to fall on his own sword.
The upshot of all this is there's a serious problem at RJWC. A serious serious problem that is taking its toll. The problem is boredom. Not inmate boredom, officer boredom. Your average, choleric, pain-in-the-ass hack can't deal with the stress here. Our officers are slowly dissolving into the firmament. They're lost in a sea of ennui. And being bored to tears affects the dumb ones in myriad ways unbecoming. You've heard me complain how bored inmates can imitate zoo monkeys with respect to playing with themselves
(see A PLAGUE OF PRIAPISMS UNLOOSED), but bored officers sometimes play with each other, which is the sad, awful reason
I've come to you today with such a tacky tale of love's fickle imposture.
The following paragraph is a compilation of known facts and rumors, and is a synopsis of the exciting events beginning last March.
Bullethead Johnson was temporarily fired as a result of his arrest. He also lost his position with the National Guard, and according to two separate sources, is now busy singing for the feds in an ongoing investigation that concerns stolen weapons at the armory. As for the sex charge, no court will ever hear it. This is the *fourth DOC officer I've heard about who will have escaped prosecution on sex offenses. In fact, the DOC will almost certainly offer him his job back, if he wants it.
Bullethead hasn't escaped completely, though. In addition to the embarrassing bust in the front seat of his car in which he was allegedly giving oral sex instruction to a gagging and choking local teenager (who's mother was extremely upset), he got himself in a little dust up with the husband of his then love interest on the compound here, a female guard, and had been seeing yet another woman, also a guard, also married, who'd been eventually found out because when she hobbled to work on crutches the week after Bullethead's arrest, she never made it past the front gate and had to take sick leave. The word I got was that her husband had been extremely upset. And Chattahoochee, Florida is not a place where upset husbands join focus groups or go to T'ai Chi classes to channel their anger. They knock heads is what they do, so the lady was sporting one of those inflatable, wrap-around casts on her leg.
My Bunkie's daughter is in the National Guard, and she said that during that week, Bullethead had somehow become the target of one of the husbands or the other or both, and had involved himself in a shooting down at the armory in which the cops, as examiners of the bullet hole in the Bulletmobile, searched a little further and found a quantity of illegal steroids under the seat, which ultimately alerted the feds, involving them in the ballad of Bullethead and presaging the aforementioned federal rat-out to save the Bulletass from a drug charge. If he's offered his job back, he probably won't take it. Every guard in the DOC will know that big bad Bullethead snitched out his pals at the armory.
But before all this pookie hit the fan, Bullethead thought he was bulletproof. A star. With his shiny black dome and his teddy bear ears, his steroidal brow and his pipe-rigged neck, he was way too slick and way too arrogant to think there could ever be a problem with an alleged child-fuck or a couple of angry husbands or an upset mother or the local sheriff or the personnel at the National Guard Armory. And he was way too self-absorbed to realize that much of his dirty dancing here on the compound was being recorded and made sport of by 350 or so convicts, themselves in constant search of the answer to the ultimate question (as I explained), but of course not as fortuitously placed as ol' Bully. He was smug and stupid and most everybody including many on the staff disliked him immensely because he couldn't keep his tiny brain to himself. Sergeant Barry Neil Bullethead Johnson was, until recently, the guy who most perfectly exemplified much of what's wrong with many DOC prison guards.
The playboy-badass thing really stuck in the RJWC collective inmate craw, too. For some reason a few of the younger women working the dorms here had thought Bullethead was sexy because he was the resident bully who made sport of the inmates. That the ignorant ladies seemed to be down with that is a phenomenon I've seen over and over in Florida's prisons - angry, undereducated, overweight black (or white) females eager to participate in the dressing down of men. Are these ladies so mistreated in their own communities that they've developed a gender-based animosity? An animosity that has spread throughout North Florida and actually has symptoms?
During the smoky-cold evenings of winter just passed, while the entire prison population tried valiantly to drift along on autopilot, Bullethead Johnson would spend his shifts on the attack, entertaining himself by jumping in inmate faces, creating problems where none existed, and recruiting confederates from his female officer admirers, a process which included instructing them in how to screw up the inmates' evenings by the injudicious administering of the boo game. He never considered inmates people, either, so he'd yak on without restraint, in third-person possessive, unconcerned that we were listening. Several of us were there one night in the dorm as he showed off for his bevy in the wicker, flipping through the inmate handbook, showing the women hilarious ways to do inmates. They were all laughing... ...or tittering. A display of mutual admiration a cappella for da Bullethead.
B.H.: "So ladies, when dey wash dey dicks inna shower, you could claim dey jackin' off!"
Ladies: "Eeeeuuuu, tee-hee-hee..."
But Bullethead had no imagination, which was what alienated him from everyone but those few ladies who's main jobs - waddling up and down the rows of bunks at count time, finger-counting the old coots while atomizing the air with their cloying perfumes - was so boring that they found themselves trying to ape their idol, trying to match the galvanic geometry of Bullethead's warp and woof so to speak, thinking that it was somehow the thing to do. One of them - we'll call her Bitzy - became so good at the locker-box shakedown, in-your-face, what's-dat-you-say?, is-you-doin'-drugs?, how-come-you-gots-dat-look?, I-is-writin'-you-up!, that the front office moved her out of the dorms altogether except as an emergency replacement.
Sometimes Bullethead was a liar. Sometimes he was a sneak. But mostly he was a blowhard who too often believed his own bullshit. And when he wasn't dealing one-on-one with somebody, he'd be wasting our time giving speeches. Almost every day the speeches. God, we got tired of the speeches. I close my eyes and remember this greasy-headed moron standing before the multitude, in the chow hall or in the dorms, railing like Mussolini on the balcony, gesticulating wildly and shouting his sophomoric, soporific, wholly ironic sermons about how to act, what was wrong with us, why we were such losers; lunatic diatribes that belied the facts because there was no evidence he even knew how civilized people should act, having gone off the board long ago with his throbbing exploits alfresco. Yet every night or two there he'd be, standing in the center of a bunch of inmates while the other officers rolled their eyes, looked at the ceiling, tapped their toes etc, and he'd raise his arms, slap his chest, threaten, climb on a bunk sometimes, and lecture the geezers, none of whom having any idea what was so upsetting: "And if you men don't... yadda yadda...! When I see your crap, and...! Growl...! ...curse! ...roar...! etc..!"
1st convict (whispering): "What he sayin' today?"
2nd convict: "Don't know!"
3rd convict: "Boy, he sho nuf mad 'bout sumpin!"
1st convict: "Shhh! Look 'a lil Bitzy over there. She gettin' all squinty-eyed. They be makin' love tonight, I bet."
Bullethead: "...and goddammit I wanna see respect... ...screech... ...bombast ...bullshit forever till lights out..."
Yeah, it's true. His powerful displays gave poor, dumb, mean-as-a-snake Bitzy heat rashes like nobody we'd ever seen before. Bullethead was her ideal, personifying the passions of Mandingo, the romance of Chaka Zulu, and the intellectual intensity of the professional wrestling circuit. If I may borrow imperfectly from O'Henry, Bitzy's chubby form hiding under her uniform was, "a storage battery of impetuous wants and needs."
My own theory was that besides the sex angle and the quest to answer that most important question in the universe, Bullethead felt the need to have a bunch of people listen to him and pretend he wasn't a boorish windbag. Prisoners are the perfect captive audience. When I was at NFRC, aka Lake Butler, the West-unit dorms were staffed with several semi-literate preachers who shouted invective for whole afternoons only to hear themselves over the white noise in their brains. I once had to sit for two hours while a brown-suited ape displayed his pseudo-Christian hubris, regaling a bus load of us with unanswerable motivational claptrap about sin and salvation. When this happens, I want to stand and reciprocate but of course you can't. If you do you're beheaded or something, so you're forced to sit and watch your First Amendment rights go down the toilet.
Remember, a self-satisfied proselytizer who spouts biblical aphorisms one minute, may be part of a crew that later chains men up, takes them into the "laundry room" and works them over for sport. Thanks but no thanks. Please don't think me anti-Christian, I'm not. But before a counterfeit apostle claims the right to steer me, a Roman soldier in uniform no less, he should clear the deck with respect to his own actions, then take the time to meet me. Morally, most of those guys don't belong in my (and your) time zone. The greatest sin, it seems, of those wielding power, is the sin of pride. And people in uniform sometimes entertain a delusional self-image that too often justifies outlandish acts. I wonder how Jews or Muslims feel about such bullying tactics. I wonder why it's allowed. I wonder, does God bleed at Lake Butler?
Convicts here at RJWC have told me that Bullethead is well known throughout the panhandle prison network, and has been an eager participant in unauthorized corporal punishment squads. I saw no evidence of that; any guard who might want to play rough with the oldsters is quickly cut off at the knees. In fact, I saw Bullethead back down a time or two when he knew he wasn't fooling someone. And he wouldn't invoke Jesus, either. What he would do is pick out tiny bits of illogic and then belabor the supposed infractions into mountains of nonsense. And the only ones interested or impressed were the youngish, thickish queens of the moo like Bitzy. So by and by a relationship developed. too bad that Bitzy and Bullethead worked in a zoo, though, and too bad the animals were so curious. Everywhere Bitz and BH would go, someone was sure to see it. Half the guys on the compound had a story about the pair getting squeezy and googoo-eyed when they thought no one was looking, whispering sweet daddy-wuvs-yous, yes he does, sneaking a sub rosa sentence or two, even carrying on physically during that crucial last half-hour of their shift. Or after their shift.
Inmates Fred T. and Frank X found them actually making out in the darkened TV room:
Bullethead (sotto voce): "Oh, Bitzy, oh-oh-oh, Bitzy-Bitzy-Bitzy..."
Bitzy (soprano, come-fuck-me assibilation): "Oh-oh-oh, Bully-Bully-Bully..."
Fred (whispering): "Look, they're kissing!"
Frank: "And hugging!"
Bitzy & Bullethead: "Kiss-kiss-kiss, hug-hug-hug..." and so on.
For awhile here at RJWC we had a diversion - Bogey and Bacall in blackface - and Bullethead seemed proud of his prowess. But the organization he'd worked for for all those years, the Florida DOC, constantly sliding along on a diet of facile evasions and glib lies, had taught him that nothing he ever did was answerable-to or serious, even something as potentially volatile as sex.
So, soon problems arose with the other young ladies - Bimbohead, Bonerhead, Beaverhead, Bunnyhead, and Booboo. Some of them were only amused, some a bit put out, but at least one was actually jealous, having been the previous catch of the day. I've already mentioned her. You remember - the leg cast, the crutches, the irate husband? Evidently a meeting occurred, then a barroom confrontation and a car chase, which foretold the events of March past. Anyway, such a fine stew of moronic infidelities brightened everyone's evenings for sure, and we didn't have to break our backs on those iron TV benches to be entertained, and if the prison ladies would have been the only Bullethead prey, we convicts would have continued to be just amused.
Imagine cartoon elephants in pink tutus, gamboling in the forest for their lion king.
Or hippos with pretty pink bows between their ears, batting their eyes for the main gorilla.
How about ladies in grass skirts pounding roots into mush in front of the hut somewhere in the South Seas. Their massive dugs sway in rhythm as they cluck at one another, arguing about who gets to do big King Kaneihokihead (which means "coconut of iron") after supper.
But then there was the item in the paper with the teenaged girl, and suddenly his foolishness wasn't so funny anymore.
A lot of the men here are fathers. Bullethead needs to know that. At the time of his alleged crime, he was a man of almost 40 years. What was he doing with that kid?
The consensus here is that any alleged oral sex being allegedly performed on RJWC's man Johnson by a young impressionable girl, then allegedly discovered by a sheriff's officer, who arrested the alleged moron and called the girl's mom, surely raises some questions, especially if the moron is a guy who rants and raves about behavior as he does his job, then goes out the gate, possibly shoots up steroids, and prowls the streets looking for the young stuff - Maybe the most important questions in the universe for him should be:
Where de legal pussy?
I'll tell you where it ain't. It ain't in Bullethead's car anymore, that's for sure. His former crew of DOC goils have been conspicuously silent in his defense. And Bitzy and her sisters have lately cooled it with the in-your-face bullshit. But it's discouraging that ol' Bully will never have to actually pay for whatever it's decided he's done. He'll get another job and eat or shoot steroids if he wants, and fool with underage girls, and nothing will have really changed. And I'll still be doing my time for marijuana.
I keep hoping Bullethead has learned something from all this, though. Was there a day last month or the month before when Bullethead, bereft of his badge, wept for his misplaced pride, wept in regret, wept in pity over the nothing he'd accomplished this past sixteen years? I know I've spent way too much time examining my own past. But Bullethead doesn't have my advantages. He's in the world. Chances are he's performing predictably, gloating at his good fortune.
Once, when I worked in the law library at New River East, I agreed to type a motion for a man from Miami who'd been convicted of a sex offense. He stood at the table talking to me about his case. He explained that the sex act with his daughter was consensual. "She wanted it," he said. I gave him his papers back and told him I was too busy, find another typist.
If Bullethead is guilty, let's hope he's repentant. Let's hope he's not as stupid as this other man was. Let's hope.
ANOTHER DOC OFFICER ACCUSED OF CHILD MOLESTING
Capt. Billy Stephen Johnson
PROTECT THE CHILDREN
If anyone has articles on this or any other DOC employee involving crimes on a child
Please forward info to me at firstname.lastname@example.org We need to follow through to see
how many of them are still on the street and still working for the DOC.
WHERE IS BARRY NEAL JOHNSON NOW?
This picture has been stripped several times,
I've been told over and over that 'prisoners deserve what they get', yet when it is one of their own, they sing a totally different tune.
If this picture is missing
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