In Reply to: Re: Born without a conscience posted by anovagrrl on November 04, 2003 at 07:16:41:
<P>I feel your assesment of William Carter Spann as an example of a person born without a conscience is completely without merit and not based on any direct knowledge of him. To make such a statement based on second hand accounts is not fair to him. I feel that this is just a case of name dropping after someone is passed in order to give a face to a theory.
<P>My mother wrote to Willie (as his friends called him) after reading an article about him in the local San Fransisco paper back in the 70's. They shared letters many years before she actually got to meet him. Through those letters she came to know him as a warm and caring person who fully understood the concequences of his actions. Although Willie could never avoid trouble in his life he never sought it out. Getting in trouble is often a downward spiral for people convicted of something and sent to prison. It hangs a lable on them that is tough to hide. Willie was sent back to prison several times as a result of having been in the wrong place at the wrong time and having a criminal record. Many of the things that Willie found himself in trouble for would not have sent the average person to jail if they had no record, but because he did they just chalked it up to being incorrigable.
<P> I am not saying that Willie was anywhere near being a saint, but he wasn't without conscience. One of the very first things Willie did after meeting my Mom was let her know that being seen with him might cause her trouble because of the stereotype of being seen with an Ex Con (a semi famous one anyway). He was worried about someone else and knew what could happen. He met her several times at a bar near where my Mother worked. He never drank any alcohol and was always the gentleman. He never asked her for anything or acted in any way like anything other than a friend. My mother was unaware of the fact that a person on probation was not allowed in a bar and Willie never told her. After their last meeting there, my Mom went home from work and happened to turn on the evening news. She was shocked to see that her friend Willie had just been arrested for domestic violence on his ex wife. His first call was to my mother to tell her what happened. This incedent happened, supposedly, at the very time he was sitting at a bar with my mom. She offered to tell the police that it couldn't have happened because he was with her. He told her not to because it could make things worse.He shouldn't have been in a bar and he was worried about getting my mother involved in the mess. He took the responsibility squarely on his shoulders to protect my mom. He told her afterward that he protected her because she had been his only true friend through everything and he didn't want her to suffer for being associated with him. They corresponded off and on for years after that.
<P>My father was in the Military and that meant moving the family around a lot. They moved from S.F. to Germany and back 2 more times in the years that followed. Willie again was in and out of jail and they had lost contact. Mom was devastated when I found the article in the paper that told of his passing. They had nothing nice to say about him. They weren't describing the man she knew. They portrayed him as a trouble maker and all around "bad peanut". His family had labled him that and he laughed about it. They never helped him. His Uncle was President of the United States for a while but he should have been an uncle to him his whole life. Willie took his lot in life and rolled with it. He couldn't escape the lables his family and society placed on him. For someone to say he had no conscience, is the ultimate insult to a person who will always have my respect.
<P>He protected a truley innocent person with his acceptance of his lot in life. He stood tall to save somone else who would have given her freedom to protect him. William Carter Spann had more to give than anyone ever knew. Thank God I got to see the real human side of him. I hope I have 1/2 as much conscience and caring as Willie. My family will be all the better for it.
<P>Finally I would like to add, that my Mother had somewhat limited contact with his ex. She would call or write to her from time to time to find out where Willie was. His ex told my Mother that she always kept tabs on him because she was worried that Willie would kill her for lying about the supposed assault. My mother wrote this in a letter to Willie. He never got it. After he got out of prison he never once tried to harm is ex or anyone else. Yeah, he died in a drunken stupor. It happens. Can you blame him?