“The Faces of Felons: The Face of Richard – In His Own Words”

 ‘We pardon in proportion as we love”  Frances de la Rochefoucauld

 “For Love is as strong as death, its passion as enough as a grave”  Song of Songs 8:6 NLT

    What you are about to read is more about a triumph of love than the confessions of  a man – much like myself – who got caught up in a moral breakdown of mammoth proportions.

    His wife, his family, his friends; they all seem like remarkable people, but then, Richard himself seems like a remarkable guy.

   Richard is blessed to be loved as he is, not all in here are.

   But this is Richard’s face, and these are Richard’s words:

   “Leaving you today is so hard”

    These are the words of the first letter I received from my wife after I self-surrendered to prison.  She described walking back to the care as wading through molassas. As I was cuffed, she said I smiled at her and she knew everything would be okay.  Now I have to live up to all that.

    When I was arrested I literally prayed I would die.  But God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we’d like.  Shame, embarrassment, and self-loathing topped the list of what I felt sitting in the Sherriff’s Office hold cell.   How could I have done something so stupid to put my family’s well-being in jeopardy? No good answer came to mind.

   Throughout my arrest, I waited.  I didn’t know what came next.  The phone as broken, the holding cell would hold maybe 20 men: I stopped counting at 60.  Body odor, vomit and only one temperamental toilet turned the wait into the type of punishment I felt I deserved.  Fourteen hours in these conditions was a long time to contemplate one’s future when seemingly no good options exist.

   Unexpectedly, they unlocked the cell and called my name.  It was late at night but my wife met me at the gate to take me in her arms. Her words were “I love you, I forgive you, we’ll get you some help”.  Me?  I just sobbed. 

   I had no right to occupy one more minute of her life.

   When we got home I asked Michelle to kill me.  She told me she took all our guns to her Dad’s house before picking me up.  I asked her to slap my face, kick me in the crotch and throw my sorry behind in the street.  She told me to come to bed so we could spoon.  No way was she letting me off that easy.

   So where does this depth of love come from?  Psalm 8:4 asks this same question of God: “What is man that you are mindful of him. . .?”  Why should this woman shackle her future to the stigma of her husband the felon?

   As I cool my heels in FCI Oakdale, I am coming to the realization my wife may be the most diabolical woman alive: she is holding me to my responsibilities as a husband, father, grandfather.

    Three beautiful daughters, three grandchildren (plus one on the way), her parents, my parents, a whole host of loyal friends and one incredibly special woman are awaiting my release.  The easy route is to cut the offending party loose.  Not these guys.  They expect me to come back home to make this right.  God help me.

    My name is Richard Roy and I thank Tony for this opportunity to contribute to his body of work.

2 thoughts on ““The Faces of Felons: The Face of Richard – In His Own Words”

  1. Laurie

    You made me cry. I felt your pain and I am impressed with your intentions to live up to the expectations of those who are waiting for you to come home. People make mistakes, Richard, they don’t just dont all get caught and have to pay the high price you are paying. I pray most of all that you forgive yourself. You words convey such a sad shame for your actions and the ramifications of those actions on your family. That is noble BUT please remind yourself of all the reasons your family loves you to begin with. You are STILL all those things. Don’t you know that the man you was (and are) is why your wife is so devoted and supportive of you in the first place?? Society and the people at that hellhole you are in try and label you a monster or a terrible person. Don’t you dare believe them! You are only a man who made a mistake. I dare say many have done the same and worse in their lives but can live holier than thou because their actions (or thoughts) remain secret. I wish you peace.


  2. Nancy

    This is pretty much my and my husband’s story. I invoked the Holy Spirit in to our lives on the day HSI raided our home. Only by the Grace of God can I go on. My husband is NOT what he did. I doubt you are either, Richard.


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