I got an email from Basil Spice about author Randall Radic and his book Gone to Hell: True Crimes of America's Clergy. Never one to turn down a good story about priests going bad, I replied that I'd review it. Unfortunately it was already gone, but then I was offered a chance to review A Priest in Hell: Gangs, Murderers and Snitching in a California Jail. I figured, why not and was sent the book.
Randall Radic is a former priest in the Old Catholic Church, a convicted felon who was sentenced to 16 months in prison. He was arrested and charged with 10 felonies after a large bank deposit attracts the attention of the authorities. After an investigation, his congregation learns that he mortgaged the parish house, took the money, and then sold off the church itself. Convicted of embezzlement, forgery, and fraud, he spends six months in prison before a plea bargain leads to his release.
This book is basically a gritty memoir that describes the painful reality of crime and punishment in a California jail. Randall at age 54 (which is older then the general population) soon dis covers that his background as a priest makes him both a target and a confidant within the prison walls. As he writes about his own anger and contrition, he also introduces the stories of several of his fellow inmates, detailing their struggles and presenting a frighteningly real and powerful sense of the tastes, smells, sounds, and indignities of jail life.
I have to be be honest, I dislike Radic very much. He seems like an arrogant jerk that does not care one bit about other human beings, nor having any morals. Look at what he has done, he fed off the people that thought they were helping God. He is greedy, egotistical and with no remorse.
Not only that, to get a lighter sentence, he rats out his fellow inmates. He has not one drop of ethics what so ever, no respect for his fellow humankind. Now he is writing books about his "experience". He created this experience by stealing from innocent people, ugh!!!
Anyways, onto the book. I will admit, I did get into the book in the beginning. You want to find out what happens next, etc. Some parts start to get boring in the middle. It is an interesting read into the prison system, especially if you like true crime.