Cary Money's Suicide Letter

Introduction

Before hanging himself in his prison cell on August 30, 2001, Cary Money tried to explain his thoughts in a letter to his attorney, "I can?t go in there and be humiliated like that knowing everyone will know what happened to me."

Facing the death penalty for killing his abusive cellmate, Money decided to kill himself rather than take the stand. His letter gives a few clues to the emotions behind his acts: his testimony would probably reveal that he had been a victim of sexual violence, and his shame was more than he could bear.

Although Money would be held accountable for killing his cellmate, undoubtedly, irresponsible corrections policies had played their part in the violent events. Only 5?6" tall, Cary Money had been placed in a cell with a 6?1" convicted rapist. For Money, the situation was nothing new. In his letter, he describes how his cellmate?s abuse conjured up the memory of previous abuse he had experienced in another prison.

"I didn?t want what happened to me on Clemens [to] happen again," he wrote. "I?d pushed that to the back of my mind. I had ran from it for so long, afraid somebody was going to find out. And then this started." For years, Money had lived in a system that did little or nothing to prevent sexual abuse. Fearing that he was trapped once again, Money eventually responded to his circumstances with deadly violence, first against his cellmate and then against himself.

Before taking his own life, Money claimed to have requested psychiatric care. He wrote, "I put in an I-60 almost 10 days ago to talk to a psychiatrist. I haven?t seen him yet." The facility?s failure to provide adequate care allowed yet another life to end in violence.

Money?s letter was originally printed on September 12, 2001 in The Clarion, a local paper in Palestine, Texas. It was followed by an editorial in which the editor insists that responsibility for the rape, the murder, and the suicide should extend far beyond the two emotionally volatile prisoners who had been locked together in one cell. It should extend to the hands of the prosecutors, corrections officers, and prison officials that repeatedly failed to respond to this unfolding tragedy, allowing the cycle of violence to continue.

Cary Money?s Letter