AR-News: A Look At Ridgway's Life Behind Bars / innocent pig's life on a factory farm

jim robertson wolfcrest at
Sat Mar 13 02:57:32 EST 2004

The Des Moines Register, Jerry Perkins, March 7, 2004

West Lafayette, Ind. - A pregnant sow's biological need to build a nest 
before having her litter is so great that some sows confined in modern hog 
buildings will rub their snouts raw on the concrete floor while trying to 
satisfy the drive.

At Purdue University, researchers are looking at animal behavior in an 
attempt to understand life through the eyes of the animal. "We're trying to 
get into the heads of these animals, and it's not easy to do,

(Try asking Ridgeway or others in the Intersive Management Unit)

but boy, is it important if you want to understand animal welfare," said 
Edmond Pajor, an assistant professor of animal behavior and welfare at 
Purdue's Department of Animal Science and the Purdue Center for Food Animal 
Well-Being. Pajor teaches several courses on animal behavior and welfare and 
sits on several animal-welfare advisory boards, including the National Pork 
Board and McDonald's Corp. Pajor is one of several researchers at Purdue 
looking for solutions that are practical for producers to adopt.

At the Purdue swine research barn, Pajor and Richard Kirkden, a British 
researcher, are looking at housing from the sow's perspective. Sows in the 
study have the option of staying in an individual stall or pressing a bar 
with their snouts to join other sows.
Pajor explains that the argument against individual stalls is that hogs are 
social animals and need interaction within a group to be psychologically 
healthy. "It's important to know that if you frustrate an animal from doing 
what it wants to do, you are having a negative impact on that animal's 
welfare," Pajor said.

Treating animals well, researchers say, translates into better-quality and 
more production of meat, eggs and dairy products. It also saves money, 
because fewer animals become so ill that they need to be medicated or 

..........(on a related note)......................

A Look At Ridgway's Life Behind Bars
Inmates Describe His Future And Final Home
Karen O'Leary KIRO 7 Eyewitness News

UPDATED: 5:36 PM PST March 3, 2004

Gary Ridgway, the Green River Killer, is the worst mass murderer in U.S.
Ridgway's Life Behind Bars

Now that he's behind bars, it is Gary Ridgway who is in danger.

KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Karen O'Leary visited the Washington State
Penitentiary in Walla Walla, the prison that Ridgway now calls home.

Inside The Washington State Penitentiary

Most inmates live crowded together in 4-man cells, surrounded by meager
possessions, sharing inches of space while dreaming of life on the outside.

There is entertainment from radio, color television, and when the cell door
is opened, there is recreation in the day room, or in the "Big Yard."

But Gary Ridgway will almost certainly never be in a situation like this,
where he lives with other inmates, where he shares meals and yard time.
He'll be alone.

Inside The Intensive Management Unit At Washington State Penitentiary

It is called the IMU, the Intensive Management Unit, a prison within the
prison where inmates live alone in concrete-walled cells that measure 81
square feet. The goal is to eliminate all physical contact between the

"Oftentimes, once they're escorted out of their cell they can see who the
person is that they're talking to. Bbut when they're in the cells
communicating back and forth, there's no face to face contact," said Sean
Murphy, who manages the IMU.

"It's a terrible way to live," said Arthur Longworth.

Longworth, 39, a convicted murderer from north Seattle, knows firsthand
there's no harder time than the IMU.

Life In The 'Intensive Management Unit'

"It does funny things to you. It does really funny things to some people.
Some people lose it, they turn into screaming idiots that need to go to the
mental floor. No, it's not a nice place it's no way to live," Longworth

....(These are the same kind of experiences that innocent experience on a 
hog farm)....

Yet as many as 96 inmates are housed in the round, yellow building at any
one time. Most have violated prison rules.

A few, like Ridgway, are here for their own protection. Prison officials,
inmates, and even the relatives of his victims know there is an invisible
target on his chest.

"Somebody's gonna slip and is gonna have that glory in prison to take you
out to get that name," said Jose Malvar the brother of a victim, at
Ridgway's sentencing hearing.

Prisoners 'Get Used To Living In Hell'
"He's someone who needs a lot of protection," said Indle King.

King, another convicted murderer who arranged the death of his mail order
bride in Everett, has been at Walla Walla less than two years.

He says it was hard getting used to the violence among inmates, the prison
code of silence -- even after a vicious attack.

"And it went [noise] right through my leg, all the way through. Didn't say
anything, didn't cry, didn't scream, bled like hell, I got so much respect
for that, for taking it," King said.

But for Ridgway, he says, there will be no chance to find respect. Ridgway
is considered the worst of the worst and will always be in danger.

"I wouldn't in the world want to be in his shoes," King said.

In the IMU, if Ridgway follows the rules, he'll get some privileges: a black
and white TV, weekly visits with no physical contact, a couple of books or

For one hour a day, he'll be able to leave his cell, to exercise alone, in
what's euphemistically called "The Yard."

"You know, a concrete box with some daylight that comes through a square,"
said Arthur Longworth. "I think it's sensory deprivation."

And it takes a toll. Many inmates here are on medication, antidepressants.

Sean Murphy says corrections officers look in on the inmates every half an
hour, and sometimes talk with them.

"Just as I would do with you. 'How are you doin' today?' 'Good, how are
you?' 'Things are a little rough for me, I just got news from my mother,'
that kind of thing, and then we just rebound that a little bit," Murphy

"It's hard not to have any human contact," said Longworth.

Longworth has worked his way up to medium security. But on this day he was
wearing the same orange jumpsuit issued to inmates in the IMU.

And when he was moved through the prison, it was in the same chains used on
IMU inmates whenever they leave their cells. He was accompanied by two
officers, just as in the IMU.

Unlike his many victims, Gary Ridgway still has the possibility of years of
life, but they will be restricted, lonely, hard.

And no one here feels any sympathy.

"I don't like him," said King.

O'Leary: "you don't think anyone will be his friend?"
Longworth "No."
O'Leary: "Nobody?"
Longworth: "No."

Copyright 2004 by

Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full 
breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit 
itself to humankind.
Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Nobel Peace Prize winner

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