WHILE YOU WERE AWAY – A play by the Fall 2015 Documentary Theatre Class (RCHUM 334)
Scene #27: “The Murder of Carmen T. Guerrero” written by Brian Garcia[Jonathan Wilson, mid forties, sits in his prison cell on the floor. Alone] I was afraid for her. You know? They didn’t really give me much time. If I only had more time – I don’t
know what, but I could have done something. I could have- [sigh]. They transferred me too fast. Like
it all came all at once. Like one day I was at Kern Valley and the next I wasn’t. But here’s the thing
about Carmen, you know? She was the nicest person you could have known. She was – she was
something. And when we were placed together you know, I didn’t care what the others said. I knew I
found someone I could talk to. She would listen. She was there. And – well, I guess I fell for that
kindness and sweetness in her heart. You know?
But I think it was a couple of days after I heard they had placed her with Miguel Crespo since I had
left. They say Crespo told CO Chapa he would kill Carmen if he was forced to bunk with her. They
say they refused to move her and they left her there. He threatened her life and they didn’t do shit.
They say it was later that night, right after he told the Co he was going to do it. They say he tied her
up and then- he choked her. And after he was done, he told the night CO he had killed her. And they
didn’t do shit about it. The news reporters came and went and two years later: they didn’t do shit.
The guys who didn’t listen? Still there. The guys who watched? Still there. CO Chapa? They go and
promote the motherfucker! And they didn’t do shit! [long pause while he composes himself. Firm
voice] They killed Carmen Guerrero.
A little before I left Carmen, I remember she told me something I can’t help but think over and over. I
remember she looked at me, when she found out I was being transferred and she said to me: It’s not
safe for someone like me here. It’s not safe.