Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Boxing Betty

I met WT long before he became known as Boxing Betty. I use his initials in the event he is still alive. In conversation with a friend a week or so ago, the topic of prisoners being released from Califorria prisons, to be housed in over-crowded county jails, releasing other inmate considered non violent, first timers, second timers, etc..

But, I digress. I thought I'd google Boxing Betty, and there it was, at least one in the top ten list had what I had searched. Boxing Betty has become an inductee into the annals of urban legend. WT was not raped in a Reformatory or State penitentiary. It happened way before those stints. As common in urban legend, things that aren't true creep into facts. Being a good friend of WT - Boxing Betty, I want to debunk some of the exaggerated and untruths posted on the site The Myth of Prison Rape, written by Mark S. Fleisher and Jessie L Keienert. Neither I nor my brother CM ever addressed WT as Boxing Betty CM taught WT how to fight and not be afraid of being hit in the face, but to envision what you wanted the other person's face to look like after a fight. A lesson well learned.

The time and place was the mid 50's in Lancaster, Ohio, Franklin county at an industrial-military community known as BIS - Boys Industrial School. The community consisted of thirteen cottages (segregated by race and age).Most cottages were named after different Ohio counties/rivers: Auglaize, Cuyahoga, Highland, Hocking, Miami, Muskingum, and The Patterson. The Highland cottage housed the youngest white offenders - ages 7 to 11; the Herrick cottage housed the youngest black offenders - ages 7 to twelve. The age ceiling was eighteen. The institution was established in 1857, initially named the Ohio Reform School to house juvenile criminals.

The Ohio courts had a wide latitude in sentencing youth offenders, some children finding themselves sent away for merely being incorrigible. I was one of them.
WT, Boxing Betty, after the two week orientation in the Cuyahoga Cottage was assigned to the
Herrick. An eight or nine year old, WT, a very handsome kid became the focus of sexual vultures of the cottage. Through intimidation and threats, WT gave in to his tormentors. He became a sex rag, passed back and forth between four to five individuals. As I mentioned earlier, my younger brother, CM was teaching WT boxing techniques and a form of finger wrestling. WT was released before my brother, but they kept in contact through correspondence.

WT's next encounter with the law landed him in the Ohio State Reformatory (OSR), located in Mansfield, Ohio, and had the distinction of having the world's largest steel cell block at six tiers high. WT was bigger and no longer cared about his pretty looks and was confident with his abilities to defend himself, and gain good solid weight. Would he see any of his tormentors from the past? He did, two of them on the same cell block. He had plans for them - one or both at a time.
To be continued in my upcoming book. Within every story is another story!!!

2 comments:

  1. Where can I buy the book you wrote about Boxing Betty?

    ReplyDelete