Sunday, July 12, 2015

In Honor of William

Dear Readers~

In honor of my brother, William, I would like to have readers post a letter to this blog telling how William has touched your life or someone you know.  This could be through direct contact with William or through his writings. My intention is to compile the letters and publish them under the title "Letters to Bill". I welcome any comments or suggestions you might have regarding this idea to further honor William's life and the impact he had on others by emailing me directly at

Thank you.

Lisa Van Poyck


Anonymous said...

Dear Lisa
I have to say I was utterly saddened by William"s execution. I first heard of this story on I Almost Got Away with it. Then I read his book A checkered Past which is truly a riveting book that I absolutely loved. Bill has made some mistakes in his life but who doesn't make mistakes he did not deserve to be executed. I hope you go on to live a happy life and i hope Bill is sitting in heaven right now. He has touched my life and I believe his execution was wrong and unjust.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lisa
I love the idea for letters to Bill so here is my letter.
I first heard of your brothers story on I almost got away with it then I was completey hooked on the story. (Try to excuse the incorrect grammar I'm not the best at it.). Bill didn't seem like the typical death row inmate he seemed like a friendly guy. Bill"s story touched my heart he was remorseful for the ending of Mr Griffis life. Bill I think is a very smart guy but grew up in an environment of bad decisions. His book a Checkered Past is truly haunting brilliant writing from him. He touched my life by putting a human soul on people you would not think to (Death row inmates). He impacted me to not go down the life of crime because I related to him as a human he in a strange way felt like the older version of me in a strange odd way.(I'm 14) I felt like reading his book and listening to him on I Almost Got Away with it that I felt a connection and strangely enough a bond of some sorts. Bill is guilty of trying to break his buddy out of jail not for murder

Tanya said...

Dear Lisa, I would like to say first that I really enjoyed getting to know Bill over these last few days. See, I just came across his blog a few days ago and have been consumed with his story ever since and I'm looking up everything I can about him. First I read the blog from beginning to the end and it is so beautifully written. I am so impressed at Bills positive attitude during some kind of hell I can't even imagine. I've been to county jail for a few months for a DUI awhile back and that kind of jail is,what did Bill call it?, soft as cotton? A cake walk compared to what He described on death row,where it must a boring, mundane and sometimes hopeless existence but the filthy conditions,dilapidated outdated buildings and horrible food. It made me sad to think of him chocking down that disgusting food. But at least he got to enjoy all his historical and educational programs on his tv,he had lots of books and magazines to read,newspapers,and his loads and loads of legal work. I was equally impressed with his knowledge of the law and he's so articulate and well read, and smart it's so hard to believe he made so many stupid mistakes. I'm sorry,that may sound harsh but we all make mistakes and hopefully,we learn from them. Some people it just takes a little longer to learn. And he just seemed like a really sweet guy. After spending 40 or so years in prison it's amazing he is as gentle and positive in nature as he is. It's heartbreaking to look at his pictures when he's a small boy with you, his big sister, and then as a young man,so handsome and strong! Then the arrest photo with his face bloody and hair disheveled. ( I stared for a long time at his face in this photo trying to imagine what was going in in his head at the time) then his trial pictures( not a hair out of place!) then his prison mugshots some visiting photos with you, ( I really like the one with his arm around you and a big smile on his face!) and he's getting older and older as time slips by and all the changes are happening with with the death penalty, botched executions, last minute stays leaving them strapped to a gurney, sometimes for hours, waiting for the green light to go ahead and end your life. I really felt like I met a new friend and I was so distressed knowing in the back of my mind that he does ultimately get executed and it's going on 3 years that he's been gone from this schoolhouse earth. I found out through comments that an episode of I almost got away with it featured his story so I found it on amazon and watched it just a few hours ago. If I could've, I would've signed the petition to stop your execution. I'm truly sorry for the family of the victim because it must be excruciating to lose a family member in such a horrific,violent way, but while Bill made some bad decisions, he didn't make the decision to shoot and kill someone. That was Frank Valdezs decision alone. My views are the death penalty are complex. I can't say I'm for it or against it because I feel it depends on the person and the case. In Bills situation I am absolutely against it. No way did he deserve the death penalty. He's so right when he talks about the prison system and how screwed up it is to put people like me,a 40 year old wife and mother of 2 teenage girls, who had a few too many and got a DUI, in already overcrowded prisons, but let pedefiles and rapists go free time and time again to commit more atrocities against humanity. It's disgusting. They are the ones who should be put to death. Lisa, your brother was an extraordinary man and I'm truly sorry for your loss. Billy, I hope that your up there flying high and free with all the peace, light and love you deserve. Godspeed. Tanya.

RANDY said...

I just read Bills book A Checkered Past quite an interesting read lots of chaos in Bills life I truly believe the break down of the family unit is the reason people start to feel that they don't belong in this world and it gives us low self esteem and we reach out to things or lifestyles to fill that huge hole that are in our souls I don't believe Bill had a murders heart at all but I do believe he just didn't feel right in this world or comfortable in his own skin that's why he always was looking for something outside himself to make his insides feel better o can relate 1oo per cent I think the faith he found at the end made him whole and God was his answer