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In My Father's House

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Published by Knopf on 2018-10-09
Hardcover: $26.95
BIOGRAPHY and AUTOBIOGRAPHY, SCIENCE, REFERENCE / Writing Skills, HEALTH and FITNESS, FAMILY and RELATIONSHIPS


From the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist: a pathbreaking examination of our huge crime and incarceration problem that looks at the influence of the family–specifically one Oregon family with a generations-long legacy of lawlessness.

The United States currently holds the distinction of housing nearly one-quarter of the world’s prison population. But our reliance on mass incarceration, Fox Butterfield argues, misses the intractable reality: As few as 5 percent of families account for half of all crime, and only 10 percent account for two-thirds. In introducing us to the Bogle family, the author invites us to understand crime in this eye-opening new light. He chronicles the malignant legacy of criminality passed from parents to children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren. Examining the long history of the Bogles, a white family, Butterfield offers a revelatory look at criminality that forces us to disentangle race from our ideas about crime and, in doing so, strikes at the heart of our deepest stereotypes. And he makes clear how these new insights are leading to fundamentally different efforts at reform. With his empathic insight and profound knowledge of criminology, Butterfield offers us both the indelible tale of one family’s transgressions and tribulations, and an entirely new way to understand crime in America.


(Hardcover, 2018-10-09)
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ASIN: 1400041023
ISBN: 9781400041022
EAN: 9781400041022

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Also by Fox Butterfield All God's Children: The Bosket Family and the American Tradition of Violence China: Alive in the Bitter Sea The Pentagon Papers (with Neil Sheehan, Hedrick Smith and E. W. Kenworthy) American Missionaries in China (edited by Kwang-'Ching Liu)

IN MY FATHER'S HOUSE

IN MY FATHER'S HOUSE A New View of How Crime Runs in the Family FOX BUTTERFIELD Alfred A. Knopf? |? New York? |? 2018

this is a borzoi book published by alfred a. knopf Copyright ? 2018 by Fox Butterfield All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York, and distributed in Canada by Random House of Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited, Toronto. www.aaknopf.com Knopf, Borzoi Books and the colophon are registered trademarks of Penguin Random House LLC. Library of Congress Cataloging-'in-'Publication Data Names: Butterfield, Fox, author. Title: In my father's house : a new view of how crime runs in the family / Fox Butterfield. Description: First edition. | New York : Alfred A. Knopf, [2018] | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2017058454 | ISBN 9781400041022 (hardcover) | ISBN 9780525521631 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Bogle, Bobby. | Criminals''Oregon''Case studies. | Criminals''Family relationships''Oregon''Case studies. | Families''Oregon''Case studies. | Crime''Sociological aspects''Case studies. | Criminal behavior, Prediction of''Case studies. Classification: LCC HV6785 .B87 2018 | DDC 364.3092/2795''dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2017058454 Jacket photograph by fStop/Getty Images Jacket design by Tyler Comrie Manufactured in the United States of America First Edition

In memory of Sam Butterfield, beloved son, gifted journalist, who died much too young

the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation. ''Deuteronomy 5:9

Contents A Note on Terminology? xi Prologue: It Takes a Family to Raise a Criminal? 3 I? ORIGINAL SIN 1 Louis and Elvie: The Carnival? 17 2 Charlie and Dude: Growing Up Criminal? 37 3 A Burglary by the Whole Family? 56 II? AND THEIR CHILDREN AFTER THEM 4 Rooster and His Boys: On to Oregon? 77 5 Bobby and Tracey: The Family Curse? 107 6 Kathy: 'Trailer Trash'? 129 7 Tracey: A Fateful Compulsion? 140 8 Tony: A Murder in Tucson? 161 III? BREAKING THE FAMILY CURSE 9 Tammie: Walking with Jesus? 187 10 Ashley: The First to College? 200 Epilogue? 214

Contents A Family Guide? 219 Acknowledgments? 225 A Note on Sources? 229 Notes? 231 Index? 253

Note on Terminology Many Americans use the terms 'jail? and 'prison? interchangeably, as they do with the words 'parole? and 'probation.' This is often true of politicians, journalists and academic specialists, who should know better, as well as many ordinary people. But in the criminal justice system, the words have precise meanings and real differences, and misuse can create confusion. Jails are penal institutions run by cities and counties, normally for offenders who have either yet to be tried and convicted or for inmates sentenced to terms of a year or less. Prisons are run by states or the federal government and hold inmates already sentenced to terms of longer than one year. There is a much greater turnover of the inmate population in jails than in prisons, and inmates in prisons tend to have committed more serious crimes. Probation is generally a less serious alternative to jail or prison, allowing the offender to remain in his or her home community under certain conditions, and is handed down by judges in courts. Parole usually means the offender has served a mandated portion of his or her sentence while incarcerated and has been released under specified conditions. The term 'parole? derives from the French word parole, meaning the inmate has given his word or promise to behave in a law-'abiding fashion. Offenders themselves often contribute to the confusion between parole and probation because, in speaking of their parole or probation officers, they refer to both by the shorthand 'P.O.' The public confusion obscures the fact that while most Americans tend to focus on offenders in jail or prison, who now total

xii A Note on Terminology 2.3 million, there are actually many more offenders on parole and probation, numbering 5.1 million, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the research arm of the Justice Department. Finally, because two-'thirds of offenders on parole or probation commit new crimes within a few years, they are constantly being sent back to jail or prison, creating an enormous churn. Hence in practical terms, for the offenders themselves and their spouses and children, the effects of being sent to jail or prison as opposed to being placed on probation or parole tend to be similar: the disruptions in their lives''the difficulty of staying in school and the loss of jobs and income''not to mention for the communities in which they all live, surrounded by other offenders or relatives who are offenders. These isolated, emotionally and economically strained communities also help explain why crime often runs in families.

IN MY FATHER'S HOUSE

It Takes a Family to Raise a Criminal TdleOregon he State Penitentiary sits incongruously in the midof Salem, the state capital, next to a large park with fields for children's soccer games and rows of residential streets. Armed guards patrol the twenty-'five-'foot-'high concrete walls of the maximum-'security prison. When the penitentiary was first constructed, in 1851, Oregon was not yet a state and Salem had only a handful of settlers who had trekked on foot over the Oregon Trail, so as the population of Salem increased, the city grew around the prison, making it a familiar sight. The neighborhood came to be known as Felony Flats. For Bobby Bogle, who had been locked up most of the time since childhood, the location of the penitentiary seemed an apt metaphor for his life. For him and his brothers, prison and life ran together. Sitting on the steel bunk in his cell and thinking back on his childhood, Bobby could remember only one Christmas when his father gave him a present'? a heavy metal wrench in a plain brown paper bag presented with no explanation. Bobby was just

4In iN My Father's House four years old at the time and for a moment was puzzled by the gift. But he knew from listening to excited conversations around the dinner table that his father, known to everyone by the nickname Rooster, had served hard time in a Texas prison for burglary and took pride in his criminal record. So Bobby figured his father had given him a burglar's tool. Before dawn on Christmas day he snuck out of the house with his older brother, and they broke into the V & V Market, the little grocery store in the former migrant farmworkers camp where they lived on the edge of Salem. In the back of the store there were stacks of Coca-'Cola bottles locked in a caged-'in area. The wrench was big for Bobby's small hands, so he worked awkwardly as he used his present to break open the lock on the cage. Then the boys carried home their sodas for a Christmas celebration. Rooster was elated. 'Yeah, that's my sons,' Bobby could still recall his father saying, years later, as if celebrating a school report card with straight A's or a Little League home run. 'My father had been encouraging us to steal practically since I was born,' Bobby told me. We were seated face-'to-'face in the penitentiary's visitors? room, where I was interviewing Bobby for an article I was writing for The New York Times as part of my beat covering criminal justice. 'He taught us stealing was good, as long as we didn't get caught,' Bobby added. 'If we got caught, he would use the knife he always carried to cut off a tree branch to make a switch and then whup us till we were cut and bleeding.' Bobby took the lesson to heart. In the Bogle family, crime brought respect. 'So I wanted to go to prison from the time I was a young boy,' Bobby explained, 'to uphold our family honor and earn my stripes.' Bobby was wearing the standard-'issue uniform for all Oregon inmates: dark blue denim pants and a lighter blue work shirt, both emblazoned in fierce orange letters with the label 'Inmate, Oregon Department of Corrections.' Bobby had been locked up almost continuously since he was around twelve years old, first in juve-

5 nile reformatories and later in a series of prisons. With all that incarceration, he had the cold-'eyed convict look down. Bobby was short, five feet nine inches, but all the weight lifting he had done in prison yards for so many years made him look taller. His broad shoulders and thick chest seemed to belong to a much bigger man. His jaw was square, and his green eyes were always alert, on the lookout, as he had to be for self-'preservation in prison. His salt-? and-'pepper hair was brushed back from his forehead and cut short on the sides. The gunfighter mustache drooping down around the corners of his mouth lent him an air of menace. For Bobby and his five brothers and three sisters, childhood often meant accompanying their father, and their mother, Kathy, whenever Rooster selected targets for them to rob or burglarize. There were neighbors? houses to break into, chickens and cows to steal for food, gardens to loot for tomatoes and corn, and construction sites where they could pluck valuable lumber or metal that Rooster resold for cash to supplement his on-'again, off-'again job as an ironworker. One night Rooster led them to the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River, ninety miles northeast of Salem, where they broke into the government-'run fish hatchery and helped themselves to as many coho and Chinook salmon as they could load into Rooster's truck, later eating as much as they could and selling the rest to neighbors. Their mother served as the lookout, remaining in the truck while they were inside the fence, and then she drove the getaway vehicle. One of Bobby's younger brothers, Tracey, recalled this period as a good time of madcap family adventure. Tracey Bogle was seven years younger than Bobby and was also locked up in the Oregon State Penitentiary. 'We did it all as a family,' Tracey said in a separate interview in the visitors? room. 'We had pride in our family doing these robberies, so it was fun. We were a crime family.' Perhaps with more insight than he was aware of, Tracey observed, 'What you are raised with, you grow to become.' Despite

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