I was born to Ruth and Melvin Vogt on the cold 31 ½ degrees morning of December 18th, 1941. At 12:44:07 a.m. in Baltimore City Hospital, Baltimore City, Maryland. I can remember from 5 to 9 years of age my mother being very violent and very brutally abusive to me. Anything would set her off at a second’s notice. My father was a very passive, quiet individual who would leave the house the very moment my mother would start in on me for no reason whatsoever or get one of her violent fits as Dad called them.

My mother beat me unmercifully black and blue for petty things such as:

 A) Trying to cook myself an egg due to hunger.
 B) Stealing a slice of bread or cookie to feed an empty stomach.
 C) Playing too loudly or in the way.
 D) Stealing from the A & P store to kill hunger.
 E) Not cleaning dishes right.
 F) Not making my bed right.
 G) Wetting the bed.
 H) Not shoveling the sidewalk off right at 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 years (snow).
 I) Not scrubbing the floors right, washing curtains, sheets, blankets right (same age).
 J) Eating cold soup without permission.
 K) Greeting, hugging, kissing my Dad as he came into the house.
 L) Requesting something at the stores.

And 10,000 other small, petty reasons. I grew up hating any kind of authority good or bad. In my small warped mind God to me was a joke. My greatest memory so clear to this day it seems it was only yesterday. Yet it was 1950. Around 10 or 11 a.m. a cold freezing morning, so cold spit would freeze before it was on the ground. It was 18 ½ degrees cold. (In 1983 I went back home and looked that day up at the Sun News Building.) Heneryette’s mother (next house) came to our house (Mom and Ms. Judy were good friends). I was 9. Heneryette was 12. Her mother wanted to leave her at our house while she went to the store. Mom said they could both sit in the parlor, at the time living room. It had a small gas heater in there by then. So Mom and Ms. Judy went to the store together. About two, three hours later she came in saying f—ing cold weather and snow and shaking her coat. Heneryette was trying to teach me to read and was laughing making fun of me the way I pronounced words.

Mom flew into a rage, came storming into the living room shouting what the f—k, you two doing? I said she’s teaching me to read. Mom said Bull—t, you get home you little whore. Heneryette flew out the door leaving her coat, gloves, boots behind. Mom was beating all the fire out of me with a wire coat hanger. Ms. Judy came storming into our house yelling at Mom to give her daughter’s clothes, boots, gloves. Mom threw them at Ms. Judy, said get out. She said to Mom, Ruth you ever call my daughter a whore again I am not only going to have you arrested for slander, I am going to kick your skinny ass.

Mom gets in her face and says you and whose army, Judy. Ms. Judy says Ruth, you should feel lucky. We was friends once. Maybe the police should know how you beat that poor boy. Mom says, F— you and the police. He’s my son. The law says I can do anything I want to him. Get out of my house now. She left (My mom was not tough. She was a fool. Judy was a bad case.). Ms. Judy was a big woman about 5’9 ½” tall, 180 lbs. No fat. She was a Ford worker at the factory. Many neighbors was scared of her. Not Mom. My mother was about 4’9” tall, 95 lbs. at the most. She was the meanest woman I ever know to this day (but a fool as I said).

Mom started in on me again. I was running all over the house screaming my head off. Ms. Judy banged on the wall yelling the police are coming. Mom ignored her, picked up a rubber extension cord. I got under the kitchen sink; she could not get me too much there.

Believe you me unless you been beat with a rubber extension cord, next to a wire coat hanger it’s the most painful beating a kid can experience. So Mom threw the cord down, grabbed a frying pan, got down on the floor and beat me with it. I kicked at her, jumped out and grabbed a wood broom and told Mom no more. You will not beat me anymore. My mother’s face turned white as the snow outside. She opened the back door and said get out of my house. You want to be a tough guy then make it on your own and get out. (I done run away over two hundred times over the years of 5 to 9. You would think this would have told the police something. Each time Officer Joe Clutchfield brang me home. In those days there were no child abuse laws.) I made a move to get my coat, gloves. Mom said, no you don’t. I paid for them. You want to be a tough guy and beat your mother with a broom you can get out and make it on your own.

At 18 ½ degrees, there I was in the back yard wearing ragged torn tennis shoes, no socks, boy jeans and t-shirt. Nothing else, not even underwear. I was literally freezing in my own skin. I started banging on the door yelling for my coat, hat, gloves, boots. My mother just ignored my yelling. Ms. Judy came into her yard and told me to come inside before I die with freezing. I started to cry, then I just ran and ran and ran for miles and miles. I finally came to a Salvation Army donation box in the back of the store. I was small enough that I climbed into the trap door.

There was thousands of pieces of clothes in the box. I found some that fit me: a coat, gloves twice my size, shorts, socks that fit me to a T. I climbed under all those clothes and went to sleep. For three years I lived in that box until one morning I overslept and was caught by the store manager. I kicked and fought with him until I got away. I ran into the woods. That same day I found a Goodwill box and lived in that one for six months. The woman caught me climbing in the box ordered me out or she would call the police. I came out and ran off.

After that I lived in old western trains, old tree houses, in woods, old abandoned buildings, warehouses, factories. I survived on my insidious instinct. Three/four in the mornings I used to steal around people’s porches, vestibules, stealing milk, orange juice, breads, raisin breads, cakes, donuts, pies, etc. Back in those days dairy farms, bakeries, A & P Food Market used to deliver these foods to people’s houses. I almost got caught a few times, but I always got away. When this would happen I would switch to grocery stores, just pushing a cart around with a piece of paper, I picked up, putting things in the basket and eating my fill of foods and candy and filling up my inside pockets. Once I was full I would walk out leaving the cart in the aisleway.

From 9 to 19 ½ I lived on the streets making home wherever I could lay my head and my small dumpster mattress, blankets, sheets I found. I lived in hobo jungles with hobos, parks, under bridges, in subways, in caves. I survived on eating other people’s garbage they threw out. I slept in many dog houses, sometimes with dogs sharing its food as well. I ate out of McDonald’s dumpsters and bakery dumpsters, grocery store dumpsters. I had numerous fights with these sick perverted degenerates who prey on kids homeless and otherwise not homeless. Homeless ones was best. I seen many kids snatched to just disappear without a trace. Cops would take our report and say we’ll look into it. That was the end of it. Nothing more said. We was just homeless kids, scum of society’s rejects. Back then no one gave a damn what happened to us.

If I was filthy rich I would use the money to hunt down all the numerous kids who was snatched and conned and sent to other countries as some rich guy’s pleasure toys. Add into that forced prostitution both male and female.

I wasn’t educated back then, but in my travels all over the USA I had street smarts. Every state, rich and poor, small and large, they was all the same as the next one, preying on the runaways, the homeless. But God as my judge, Washington, D.C., New York, Texas, California are the four worst of them all, no bull, no joke.

I could give you a list as long as my arm with names of “politicians” from Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., New York who preyed on young, homeless, runaway kids and would pay them $50 to $500 a night just for sex. Many of these kids just disappeared for three to six weeks. Some never came back. I could be wrong or just paranoid.

“Hey, that was the law of survival from these sick perverts back then.” But I often wondered how many kids’ bodies could be discovered on many of these sick politician’s back properties.

I always managed to avoid these perverts. The ones I couldn’t avoid I fought for my life with a 12-inch hat pin that I stuck in many hands, guts, chests, faces. I was not going to be raped if I could help it. I also did not need their money as well. I prided myself on being too good of a sneak thief. No matter what town I was in it never ceased to amaze me the amount of bars that was so easy to get into. Nothing but bars from the age of 12 years up to the age of 51 years (1953-1992). Bars was my choice of crime to steal from. I never in those 39 years ever stole a single item except the cash money. Nothing else. Of course many owners claimed I done numerous damages getting in the bars, pool table, record machines, poker machines and others, which was a damn lie. I had one simple tool bought in any hardware store for $3.00 (it’s now $5.00). This tool would open any window, any door and any pool table, record, poker, pinball or any other machine door where the money box was, “no damage done.”

I also supposedly stole thousands and thousands of alcohol and food items, sodas with the break-ins. Yet police officers and insurance companies would accept all these claims of damage done to the point it sometimes appeared a truck drove through the wall, an axe chopped a hole in the roof, walls, doors, windows.

God is my judge, I never, ever committed this type of damage to any bar I went in. That’s not my style, no way. I have never drank in my life. I hate alcohol. To me alcohol is really the “silent killer,” not heart attacks. Bars give people alcohol until they can’t stand up. In turn they go out and kill some poor woman, man, teen on their way home from work or sports, etc. The drunk driver gets probation first time, 90 days second time, 12 to 18 months third/fourth time, five to ten the fifth time. After that it’s up to the judge. Revoking license is a damn joke. They need to confiscate the pickup or car, put an ad in the paper. Anyone sells them an auto will be held accountable for D.W.I or deaths. Bar owners, bartenders receive no punishments or are held responsible for drunks actions. Families of killed members need to start filing law suits on bar owners.

I know of one Mexican bar owner in Fort Worth. I was a security guard for him for my first five years of marriage to Conchita. Antonio would request the people’s car/truck keys. If folks would not give up their keys they was asked to leave. When they was ready to leave, Tony would ask them to breathe into his machine (which police use). If they refuse to they was denied their keys. If they complied and was too drunk to drive, one of Tony’s family members, security or my family members would drive them home, have family members take the keys we give them and help put them to bed.

Amigos, to this day as far as my free world buddy says, not one customer who drinks in Tony’s bar has ever been arrested for D.W.I. or ever killed anyone.  Many have become angry as hell and filed civil action on Antonio. Every court in Fort Worth/Dallas, every police officer has stood behind Antonio 100%. He’s not violating customers’ rights, he’s saving lives. And every customer keeps coming back including the ones who filed civil action on him. Eighty-nine percent of his customers are police officers. So, amigos, outside of Antonio’s, bars are my choice of survivals.

Without seeming to brag (I hope I am not), out of maybe five or so thousand bars since age 12, I have only been caught four times, all in Texas. So what’s that tell you about Texas and me?

 1) I am too old for this crap any more.
 2) The Texas motto is right: “Don’t mess with Texas.”
 3) I am now well educated with three trades I learned in here.
 4) God had a message for me, I just wasn’t listening to him.

My greatest fear is dying in a prison cage (cell) where no one really gives a damn if you live or die, go free or stay in. All that’s important to them are the state benefits and the checks every two weeks. Prison is the one place guaranteed where they can come twelve hours a day (4 days on, 4 days off) and be a nasty, sarcastic, brutal, sadistic bully and bring their hostility with them and take it all out on another human individual, even if he is a convicted, incarcerated criminal (he or she, female cons too).

My last (and final) crime was stupid. I was a real true idiot on this one. I need to be kicked in my butt, but good. I was doing real good, despite my lack of education. (Conchita took the day off and filled out the application as I gave it to her). (I have a great memory for dates, places, jobs). I received a job with Brown and Root Inc., one of the biggest construction companies in the world. I was assigned a labor job at $12.75 per hour, 12 hours a day, six days a week. I met Fred, a 65-year old certified welder. Nine months later he got the foreman to put me on his crew as assistant welder/pipe fitter. $21.30 an hour, 12 hours a day, six days a week. After taxes I was bringing home $2500 to $3000 a week. If I worked on Sundays too (some 64 to 80 hours a week) with overtime. My head was getting swelled but big. I was buying Conchita $100 dresses and ladies boots, pure gold jewelry, a brand new silver pickup, all with a power, $4500 Lincoln welder on back. I gave Conchita’s mom a $1900 diamond ring and $500 cash for her birthday. This old Mexican lady loved me like a son, but she believed I stole it. I called Fred at home. He convinced her I earned the money honestly.

Fred told Conchita to tell Billy to slow down, bank some of his money, buy stocks and bonds, because Brown and Root was notorious for laying off its best workers without notice. Being the damn ignorant idiot I was I did not listen. November 1990 (19 months later, after three years, ten months, seventeen days of straight employment) I was laid off work with Fred and many good workers. We had $1400 in our checking account. Five months later the bills started piling up, Ford harassed the hell out of us with constantly harassing phone calls with threats to bring the pickup in voluntarily or it would be repossessed once they found where it was (in storage, under lock and key under an in-law’s name).

The downfall was my black parole officer. I was behind my payments by $150 ($15 a month parole fees, etc. for 10 months). I tried to explain to him that we was eating one meal a day. My wife is a diabetic. I don’t even have money to help her, her sister is helping her.

He says, “Vogt, I don’t care about all that. All I care is that you get caught up on your fees or I violate you, then you go back to the farm.”

I says, “What you want me to do? We are down to our last penny and I am laid off work.”

He says to me in a clear voice, “Vogt, I don’t care what you do to get the money. Go out, do what you have to, to get the money. But get your fees caught up or else.”

Conchita says to him, “Mr. Jackson, are you telling Billy to go out and steal to pay his fees?”

He says, “Mrs. Vogt, I am not telling him to go out and steal. I am saying go out, do what you have to, to make money. That could mean washing cars, washing dishes, scrubbing floors or toilets. Do whatever it takes to get his fees caught up.”

She says, “What about us? Hell, we are starving almost. Billy refuses to eat so I can. He also refuses to ally my parents to help us. That damn, stupid Italian pride of his is hard to deal with, but I married him for better or worse, richer or poorer. I am an Apache, I will be damned if I will desert my husband. But it still appears that you are telling him to go out and steal.”

He says, “Well Mrs. Vogt, all that is your problems. All I am interested in is his parole fees caught up.”

We talk with his supervisor (also black). He sided with Jackson. So it was a no-win situation from start to finish.

Two days later I went out and went into an open bar in Fort Bend County, Texas, thinking it is a piece of cake (the back door was wide open, no bull). I had enough experience to know this bar was not open without a reason. So I got $50.00 (a little less really) in change. Sheriff’s deputy came in and caught me in the act. I was taken to jail and bailed out two days later by in-laws. Eleven and one half months later (April 1992) I was sentenced to 99 years in prison for a little less than $50 in change. Vas Binder (the bar owner) filed bogus charges of $1700 damage to the back door, $1150 damage to the machines (pool tables, record player, pin ball, shuffle board, poker, even gum ball and peanut machines) and $5300 in stolen alcohol, food etc., a total of $7100 from the insurance company. My wife sent me a copy of the news article from a Houston paper. I wrote the insurance company with a copy to the Sheriff’s dept. and Deputy Willfry. The news reporter asked Vas Binder and the deputy, since I was caught inside in the act, how come pictures was not taken of damage and where did all the stolen property go to? They both said the same thing: I had a partner who took off with the property before police arrived. Here’s the evidence ignored by sheriff, D.A., insurance investigators. Vas Binder has an intercom hooked up from the bar to his home 900 feet away. One minute after I was walking on the wood floor, he was out of bed, in his jeans, boots and shotgun parked out behind the bar in his pickup for a total of nine minutes until the deputy arrived. His wife called the sheriff’s office while he was on his way behind the bar watching. So from 1 to 9 minutes that I entered the bar he was out back with a shotgun waiting. How did my supposed partner get away with all $5300 worth of whiskey, beer, pretzels, peanuts, pies, etc. with Vas Binder at the only door out? (All others had door bars locked.) All this evidence is in trial transcripts, no bull.

Three days after I was sentenced, Brown and Root called me back to work. Was my act stupid or was it idiot stupid?

I am not proud of my life no bragging as well. I believe from 9 to 51 years of age, God kept an eye on me. Many days I could have been killed, disappeared or forced to go to some other country to be some rich man’s punk boy or prostitute. I believe God watched over me those 42 years of my life. I also believe God was talking to me, yet I was not listening to him. None of the people who received my statement about Vas Binder’s fraud and fabrications bothered to respond back. Since 1993 in here, numerous inmates from Houston, Missouri County, Sugarland, Rosenberg, Richmond and Fort Bend County all informed me that Vas Binder is a fence (he buys hot stolen property from criminals). His wife deals drugs from behind the bar. The sheriff’s department gets a cut. I can’t say it’s true or not true, but over 90 guys tell me the same stories over and over. There has to be some truth there somewhere. I often wonder if the FBI knows. But to be a snitch in prison is to sign your death warrant.

In closing let me add a few things. I went back to Maryland a few times to talk to my father. He says try to understand my mother; she too is a victim of her times. To this day I still don’t understand that or what my father was trying to say to me.

The first time my mother saw me she turned white as this paper. Once she saw I was not out to harm her, we had many talks. The one I remember most was she was a silly, stupid girl of 16 who craved love most of all. She slept with both my father Melvin and his brother Kenny, she doesn’t really know whose son I am, but I look more like Kenny than Melvin.

I took my mother in my arms, kissed her and said I love you, Mother. The past is gone so let sleeping dogs lay. She had tears in her eyes and each time Conchita and I left for Texas she had tears in her eyes each time. If I said I love you, Mom, she cried. My biggest regret in life is I never one time said to my mother I forgive you, Mother. God and I both love you. Now I can never say it to her. My mother passed away on October 2nd, 2002. I pray almost every day and night to ask God to forgive her. Please do no let her burn in Hell. Take her home, God. I do not know for a fact there is a heaven or a hell. But I believe there is, I believe there is a God. I hope he never gets tired of my begging forgiveness for my Mother.

My mother was mean as hell with sadistic tendencies. But she was also a very kind, special person in her own way. She was very tiny, like a fragile bird. Yet she had 4 boys and 4 girls. In 1970 she went back to school and earned her G.E.D. She got a job in a hospital where for 22 years she worked her butt off, to feed, clothe and insure her 4 girls and 3 sons, paying all the bills herself due to my father refusing to help her.

My brothers and sisters informed me Mom would get up at 4 a.m., walk the 7 miles to the hospital no matter what the weather was. No matter how cold, raining it was she never missed a day in 22 years. Even sick she would walk to work because Dad was too lazy to get up to take her. I tried to teach her to drive but she preferred to walk. At night friends would bring her home. Many a morning some women friends would pick her up to take her to work.

I don’t hate my mom. I don’t dislike her. I don’t hold hard feelings toward her. I love and forgive her and I pray she is at last at peace with herself or her demons or whatever tormented her life.

My goal now is to do my best to try and get released before I die, serve God and with God’s help do my best to try and help the numerous runaway/homeless kids on the streets. But most of all do my best to try and make abusive parents realize the damage they do to their children. It’s no one’s fault but my own that I am in prison. My parents did not put me in prison, but it started with them. The rest is my fault for being a stupid idiot.

Since my incarceration, my beloved, beautiful wife Conchita, my mom and all three of my younger brothers have died. My youngest brother at 33 of alcohol abuse, the only drinker in the family. Eddie in his sleep at 48. Larry at 39 by a wreck from a drunk driver. Grace at 51 in her sleep. My favorite aunt Mary, my favorite uncle Kenny, my cousin Danny drowning at 28. All passed away, deceased. My uncle Danny from a heart attack. How many more will I not get to say goodbye to. Most of all my beautiful daughter Sabrina disappeared in New York City. Oh God, how many more.




Melvin WilliamJoseph Vogt


There’s a Mouse in the House!

A tiny little mouse who was friendly with everyone looked through a crack in the wall and saw the farmer and his wife opening a small package.

“I wonder what it is,” thought the tiny friendly little mouse.

The little mouse was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap. It frightened him most terribly. He ran out to the farm yard, to squeak the warning as loud as he could to everyone who would listen:

“There’s a mousetrap in the house, there’s a mousetrap in the house!”

The chickens clucked and scratched, not even looking up. One did raise her head and said to the little mouse (with irritation in her voice):

“Well Mr. Mouse, of course you should be concerned, but it really is of no consequence to me, so I can’t be bothered by it, little one.”

The frightened, tiny friendly little mouse then ran to the pigs and squeaked to them: “Mr. Pig sir, there’s a mousetrap in the house, there’s a mousetrap in the house!”

The head pig looked at the tiny mouse and sympathized, but said, “Mr. Mouse, I truly am very sorry, but there’s nothing we pigs can do about it. I really wish we could help you with your problem, little friend.”

More frightened than ever and with tears in his tiny eyes the little mouse ran to Ms. Cow and said (in a very frightful voice), “Ms. Cow ma’am, there’s a mousetrap in the house, a mousetrap in the house!”

Ms. Cow looked at the tiny little mouse with annoyance in her eyes and in a belligerent voice said, “Oh wow, Gosh. Golly gee. Mr. Mouse sir, I am really sorry for you. I truly am. But it’s no skin off my nose. So why bother me about it sir?”

So the tiny, friendly little mouse ran back to the house with large tears dropping from his eyes, his head down in defeat, feeling dejected, to face the mousetrap alone. The little mouse was totally confused. He didn’t know what to do or who to turn to for assistance with his large problem.

That very night, asleep in his small nest in the rafters, the tiny mouse was awakened by the loud sound of the mousetrap catching its prey. The tiny mouse rushed to the edge and looked down in horror to watch the scene below his small home.

The farmer’s wife jumped from her bed in such a rush to see what the mousetrap had caught that she failed to stop and turn on the lights. Unlike the little mouse, the farmer’s wife was unable to see well in the dark, so she didn’t see that the mousetrap had caught a very venomous snake by its tail. The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed his wife to the hospital for treatment. Much later the farmer and his wife returned home. The farmer caught the snake by its head, released its tail from the mousetrap and took it way out in the woods far from the house to release it. He watched the snake wriggle away and returned home to discover that his wife was sick with a high fever.

Now everyone knows a fever is always treated with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his axe to the farmyard to get the soup’s main ingredient. But the farmer’s wife continued to get worse. So all their friends and neighbors from miles around came to the house to sit with the farmer’s wife ’round the clock.

To feed everyone who came, the farmer butchered the pig. But the farmer’s wife still did not get well. She got worse and eventually passed away from the snake bite. So many people from long distances came to the farmer’s wife’s funeral that the farmer butchered the cow to provide enough meat to feed everyone who came.

The moral of this little tale is a fact of everyday life, which is: Next time you hear of someone facing a major problem and they request help and you think it doesn’t concern you, “Just remember that when someone is threatened, we are all at great risk and may be vulnerable ourselves as well.”

Genesis 4:9 — “Am I my brother’s keeper?”


Melvin WilliamJoseph Vogt