Glazer: Keeping the Faith, a Slam Time Flashback

The prison guard aimed his shotgun at my waist…

There was really no need for that. I was shackled from head to toe. Handcuffs, leg irons and a waist chain hooked to the man next to me. I looked up at the towers, just like in the movies, and it was like Alcatraz. It was Terminal Island Federal Prison, around 10 PM, mid-March, 1985.

I was about to start a seven-year hitch in prison. I had taken over a million dollars in an elaborate sting against Colombian Cartel members over a one year period. My crew had posed as Mafia members in Vegas to convince the Cartel we were to be trusted laundering their money. But my crew were all paid actors – like in the movie "The Sting" – and the Cartel was actually the Pacific Strike Force made up of FBI, DEA, IRS, Customs and attached LA police officers.

Yeah, I took them alright. But in the end about the worst thing you can do is "sting" the Feds.

They don’t like that much. As I look back, maybe I was lucky to have only received the seven years. A two week trial nearly set me free – nearly.

They put me in a dark hallway headed to J-1, lock down. Two-man cells, almost solitary confinement. Each man stopped at his new "home" long enough to swallow and hope his cellmate was asleep and the noise of the cell door opening didn’t piss that guy off too much.

My cell was near the end of the hall. It was all cement, ugly, had a bad odor and was damp. It was just off the ocean in Long Beach, California. I looked in the cell, saw a black man, maybe six feet seven  – big guy. He was young, asleep and snoring on the lower bunk. My heart was pounding.

"Christ that guy is a monster, please don’t wake him up in the middle of the night." 

I went in and was as quiet as a church mouse. They uncuffed me. I tried crawling into the upper bunk without making a sound. No way. I had to step on his bed to climb up there.

I’d seen my share of fights, gun battles and the like, but this was really getting to my nerves. He stopped snoring and yelled something out. I think he was talking to his mom in his sleep. God. don’t let him get up and stab my ass. I JUST GOT HERE.

Inside I knew I would somehow beat this thing. Somehow, someone on the outside would save me. I’d never lost before – not like this. I was 29 years old and at the top of my game. Or so I thought. In the end, no help came. Man, every time I would hear a guard walk by I would think," He’s coming for me. He’s gonna say, ‘Glazer get all your things, you’re out of here.’ " 

But that day never came.

My cellmate woke up at like 6 A, looked at me and didn’t say a thing. Thank God. I was still in my orange jumpsuit, afraid to take it off. Who knew what this animal might do. After all, I’d been on covered on the TV news daily as an ex cop and sting artist who jacked dope dealers. And the prisoners watched TV in the day room, so they probably knew who I was.

To the cops I was a crook, but to the crooks I was a cop. And that’s not good place to be.

I was sweating pretty bad when the big dude got up and was about an inch from my face when he pulled out a black book and said, "Are you with God?" My fear vanished, I looked at him, lied, and said, "Uh, sure. Yeah."

And he said, "Good, we can go to church on Sunday." 

It was then that I realized that so many men deserved to be there. While almost as many didn’t. And guys like me needed to learn a lesson. Boy, did I learn a lesson.

I learned that THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

I was moved to another cell a few days later. I met hundreds of men in the joints I stayed in for a year or more each. It was weird. But I’ll always remember that first night. The worst of many to come. But I don’t remember the man’s name, the big guy.

He said to me, "So what’s your sentence?" I said, "Seven years."  Then the big man said with a smile, "Ah, brother, WINTER-SUMMER, WINTER-SUMMER, WINTER-SUMMER, WINTER-SUMMER AND YOU ARE FREE." 

Back then, you did two-thirds of your sentence, now it’s like 85%.

In an odd way, that man gave me hope. And sometimes that’s all any of us ever have. Or really need.

And sometimes that will save even sinners like me.

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33 Responses to Glazer: Keeping the Faith, a Slam Time Flashback

  1. Harlow says:

    Excellant Glazer Outstanding
    Now thats a story. Wow. i almost felt bad for you, almost.

  2. Jack Bat says:

    Now That Makes Coming to This Site Of Value Brother
    I did a little time, I am a big guy and yeah I was scared to my tippy toes at first. It’s a scary place. I’m with you.

  3. Ricky Richter says:

    Read Your Book Great Read
    I remember this in the book, very eye opening book, One of my favorite true story books. Wish I could meet you one day and talk to you.

  4. T says:

    You should be so lucky…
    you think reading Craig’s stories on this site is entertaining? If you could hear him tell these stories in person…some funny/sad/unbelievable shit! Plus I think Craig could do voice-overs for Satan. xoxo

  5. Mid Town Man says:

    I Have Heard the Tale On Dare’s Show
    I have heard him on the book, king of sting, a couple times. First on Johnny Dare it was strong radio, then on Dennis Miller radio, much shorter, but good. Yeah its quite a tale. Love to see it as a film, guy’s had quite the life.

  6. Woodside Pal says:

    Wasted Talent
    Yeah you should have a show my man. Nobody in this town draws heat like you, and I am younger than you, but you come off as kinda a younger person for some reason. Your voice is rough in a good way, but I always took you to be younger. See you at the pool.

  7. Black Barbie says:

    Lucky Some Brother Didn’t Cap Yo Ass
    You must be a lucky white boy for sure. When you gonna come down and pay me some money honey. i miss you sometimes, not always. The club is better now, so bring Johnny and stop by, always there Thursday and Saturday nights. It might be like old times if you nice.

  8. Mildred Pierce says:

    Swoon, I just love a man in uniform
    oh, yeah. Except orange.

    Actually, this was a great read.
    I think “quiet as a church mouse” is hackneyed, but you could save that by tying it to the ending.

    Craig, you constantly amaze and amuse me. You come from a family of embellishers. It’s hysterical that your chronic lying led you to the joint. And then, I love that you, as a Jew, had to kind of dance around your connection to God. Did you ever go to church with the guy? And how in hell can you remember all this, and keep your bullpen straight, and not be able to recall this man’s name?????

    For God’s sake, Craig, even if you nicknamed him Big Sweety.
    Oh I forgot–that’s what you call your schlong…

  9. Bill says:

    Interesting read
    This is the kind of stuff that makes coming to this blog worthwhile, Craig, even moreso than your abundant tales of clitoral conquest. I’ve been a daily reader of KCC for about a year now, and have become almost addicted to the snarky yet frequently hilarious comments at the end of each posting. Glazer’s posts get the most comments (though Joe Miller’s whiny retrospectives are landing quite a few, I see), so those are the ones I typically get to first.

    I found King of Sting on Amazon for $3 plus shipping and ordered it … read it in a weekend. Good stuff. Today’s story, like countless others you’ve undoubtedly left untold from your time behind prison walls, adds something to the discussion that has an intellectual value far beyond Black Barbie’s revelation that she tugged on your hair and it stayed put. (Although the notion of a hot, naked young woman succumbing to the urge to see if your hair is real as you lie sleeping is one hell of a metaphor).

    This is my first post to this site, though a few other times I’ve started typing only to think better of it. True vicariousity (maybe a real word, maybe not) demands silence as others do all the performing. Still, with King of Sting so fresh in my mind, I wanted to say bravo to Craig for raising the bar with this entry. Sure, keep the gigolo stories (and accompanying pics) flowing, but don’t forget to share more insights from your time in the pokey. Cheers.

  10. Steveo says:

    As they say in AA, Hi, Bill…
    Either Alcoholics Anonymous or this club, Assholes Anon, we always welcome newcomers quite simply, “Hi, Bill!”
    Welcome, and as they close out in any 12 step program, “keep comin’ back”!
    And now it’s time for more of my Mike’s hard pomegranate lemonade. Cold. Hard. Refreshing.

  11. harley says:

    wow…
    wow. That story is pretty incredible. I could never imagine being locked up like that.
    I could kind of feel the anxiety in your words. Pretty incredible.
    I’ve not read king of sting but now I’ve got to.
    I know you went thru many many life changing events thruout your years
    an maybe thats why you can’t trust anyone.
    We may banter and scream and throw barbs at each other on this site but i’ve always
    had respect for you. the other people here think we’re haters…but we’re really not…we’re
    type A independent personalities with varied and often controversial and opposing opinions
    both of us trying to elicit a reaction from the other readers.
    But this little story made me understand what you’ve been thru.
    for many religious types they wear a band that says…WWJD (what would jesus do)…
    for you it should be a band that reads WWBD. If you figure it out…post it here…i wouldn’t
    be surprised to see you get it right on the first try.
    Hope you write more about your experiences… and maybe become more involved in positive
    things in this community. You’ve wasted your time chasing women…notoriety and the “bad ”
    boy image….you definitely could make a huge difference in this town. Just use your god
    given talent to do that….it will make you the happiest person on earth.
    I have clients who served many years in prison. Some of the biggest cocaine dealers
    in the country. Now they counsel in prisons and jails and own succcessful companies around the
    nation. their work is outstanding.
    Here’s hoping that you use what god has presented you for the good in the world.
    You have too much positive to offer…don’t waste the rest of your life.
    “In an odd way that man gave me hope”…maybe you can do the same to someone else!
    take care my friend….its a long and winding road….make sure you take the correct turn.

  12. Biker Bob says:

    Even People Who Don’t Like You Will Enjoy This Tale
    I agree with the other comments. This is top shelf Glazer. You know what, you can write, when you want too. Bravo.

  13. Marky Mark says:

    Crazy World Yours
    Ah, wish it were longer so I could have drifted to more dark story. It’s damn hot out here Glazer. Thank you.

  14. Craig Glazer says:

    What Would Barbie Do?
    Yes?

  15. Voice Of Reason says:

    I Am Both Crying and Cheering You
    That was a brief but strong messege. Like one of the comment people wrote, don’t waste this valuable life or talent, help others if you can Craig. I trust you will. Very well done. Truly.

  16. Andy says:

    Boom.
    Good stuff, Mr. Glazer. AMC has Shawshark Redemption on loop today. It has been on in the background all day while I’m escaping the heat inside. Prison must be hell. Give up your sports writing and get more into your life. Good stuff. Also, while I’m requesting entertainment from you, did you ever run into Bill Hicks, Sammy, George, etc… ? If so, those would be good posts.

  17. Legal Eagle says:

    Yeah Much More Of This
    Amazing stuff. Excellent.

  18. Orphan of the Road says:

    KUDOS
    Now I’m gonna have to buy the book. And in my present position if it cost a nickel to poop I’d have to throw up.

    You must have been one of those guys working with Vern Miller who was trying to catch the Kaw Valley Hemp Growers. We’d leave a joint in a random book in the KU library.

    I’ve got a good friend from hs who was an associate producer at Paramount for a long-time. He’s working on a film with Eastwood now. Another is president of Hawiian Falls. You might know them.

  19. Robertoe says:

    thumbs up on the book
    The King of Sting is very lucky to be alive. I’m surprised he even made it to prison. He shouldn’t have survived the stings.
    If you liked the post, read Glaze’s book. I’m a big reader. Its well done. I noticed he’s got a 4.5 star rating on Amazon with 27 reviews. But we’ve gotten to know him here on KCC which makes the read even better.

    Probably the only crime and prison book I like better is Papillon.

  20. Henry The Sports Czar says:

    Craig This Is Tops
    Yes please more stories like this, what a major league good read. Wish there were more. I will go buy the book or order it on Amazon. Used its cheaper I know. Will come up to Stanfords for autograph, if you would.

  21. Orphan of the Road says:

    Robertoe
    And Midnight Express.

  22. Craig Glazer says:

    Now Thats Good Company
    thank you for the nice words and I agree those are great books and movies.

  23. bschloz says:

    The King Of Sting
    “I was sweating pretty bad when the big dude got up and was about an inch from my face when he pulled out a black book and said,” “You wanna be the husband or the wife”

    Glaze I’m into a few chapters of your book…I’m not shamed to say I got a .99 download at the Kindlestore. Thanks for sharing dude.

    When Glaze orders Iced Tea and Lemonade …he calls it a “Craig Glazer”

  24. Bad Ass jew, Berkowitz says:

    OMG TJ
    Man oh man. King of Sting # 5 on Kindle books of ALL CRIME BOOKS OR BIO’S, thats pretty good for a book two years old now and against I would think 100’s of thousands of books. Congrats. Hope you made some good money. I heard a second book is coming out, when do you expect that to happen? I owned the hardcover I bought on the Plaza at Barnes in 09. It’s one of my top ten books. Not because I know you, because its just darn good.

  25. chuck says:

    Great story Glaze.
    I’m gettin “King of Sting” on my kindle this week.

    Did everyone like orphan’s “poop” comment?

    heh, heh…

  26. smartman says:

    Another Golden Oldie!
    Don’t go to bed with no price on your head Don’t do it Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time

    Keep your eye on the sparrow When the going gets narrow Don’t roll the dice if you can’t pay the price Don’t do it Don’t run your feet down a dead-end street

    Keep your eye on the sparrow When the going gets narrow

    Don’t do me dirt or you’re gonna get hurt Don’t do it Don’t run away till you hear what I say

    Keep your eye on the sparrow When the going gets narrow Ain’t gonna fight with no thief in the night Won’t do it I’m gonna go where the cold wind don’t blow.

    Keep your eye on the sparrow When the going gets narrow

    Don’t go to bed with no price on your head Don’t do it Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time

  27. Marvin Goldman says:

    My First Post
    Heard you on KMBZ, Know Stan. Used to listen to his show on BZ a few years back. How can they not want you to have a show on that network. You were doing it all, tough subject handled very well, unafraid to be honest about race problems, seemed logical and love your voice Craig. I don’t listen to Johnny Dare, I might be a bit too old for that noise, but know you do his show. Wanted you to know I have checked in on this site several times, but this story really caught my eye. Yes I am going to Rainy Day Books Monday to buy the book, heard they even have one or two autographed versions. I may be older but I am wiser.

  28. smartman says:

    Don’t Forget
    Falcon and the Snowman.

  29. Ricky Richter says:

    Yes Snowman Great
    I agree with you smartman.

  30. karl cool says:

    So not club fed
    looks scary

  31. alpaca says:

    rape is always funny

    especially in prison

    (except it’s not)

    so, nice picture

  32. PB says:

    Inmate #70555…
    …just be thankfull that I wasn’t in the mood that night.

    -Your 6’7″ Black Ex-Cellmate

  33. Tippi says:

    In March of 85
    you were 31

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