Falsely Accused, Wrongly Imprisoned, Truly Set Free | CWR Staff | Catholic World Report
An interview with author, apologist, evangelist, convert, and former prisoner Russell Ford
Russell Ford’s testimony is captivating, surprising, sobering, and, at times, rather humorous. The following interview is much longer than most CWR features, but we think readers will find his story, perspective, and insights both challenging and encouraging. Also, Russell's recent appearance on EWTN's "The Journey Home" can be viewed on the EWTN website.
CWR: For those who might not be familiar with your background, let’s go back to the mid-1980s. Prior to going to prison, were you a Catholic? What were you doing prior to being imprisoned?
Ford: No, I wasn’t a Catholic. I hunted bounty after I got out of the army. Between my time in the military and as a bounty hunter (the more politically correct term these days being “independent fugitive recovery agent”), I was shot twice, stabbed twice, poisoned, run over by a car, fell off the side of a car at 70 miles per hour, and beaten almost to death. So when I got tired of being other people’s punching bag, I left bounty work to get into the slower life of business. I eventually made some major errors, because I’d gotten too big for my britches, and lost everything. I decided to go to Alabama, where I’d done part of my military training, because I recalled how well I was treated there. I came to realize quickly, however, that I’d been treated well before because I was in the military. What I discovered was that anyone who was from any place other than Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, or Louisiana was considered to be a Yankee… and Yankees are hated there. I’d only lived in Alabama for a few months when I found myself in a mess of trouble.
CWR: Why were you arrested and sentenced to prison? And when were you released from prison? How did that come about?
Ford: This series of questions are considered a major social blunder in the joint. Indeed, for a convict to ask these questions it is potentially deadly. You never ask a convict why he’s in prison, how much time he has to build, or when he gets out. However, this may be an opportunity to finally explain things fully and correctly.