Paul Mortimer (PM) and Shawn Fox (SF)
PM: My name is Paul Mortimer, my friends call me Bumper. We’re at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, OR. I’m 49 years old. I’ve been here 21, almost 21 years for drug related robbery.
SF: My name is Shawn Fox. I’m 39 years old. I’ve got double consecutive life without the possibility of parole.
PM: What’s your present offense?
SF: Aggravated Murder.
PM: We met when, about ’86?
SF: ’88. Almost 20 years ago. My boy came in here — Daddy please come home for a little while. My daughter – she said to her mom – Daddy must not really love us. If he did, he wouldn’t have left us out here like that. My wife – she’s my strength. That’s what keeps me together you know? She’s been out there raising those kids by herself for 11 years. She’s a hero. I meant that’s an incredible human being right there.
PM: That’s how I feel about Nettie. She’s my wife. We met in here in 1990 over telephone. We’ve been together ever since. I try to run her off when I OD. I’ve OD’d in here four times. It breaks my heart when I do that. When I catch new beef in here it’s like doing dead time. And then I have to look in her eyes. One of the few people in this world who loves me. I believe. I seriously believe if it hadn’t been for her I probably would have given up and would have done something horrendous in here.
SF: Yeah. Same stuff every day. It’s real small.
PM: Monotonous. Waking up looking at them bars.
SF: Just things that people take for granted. I would love to mow the lawn.
PM: When the trucks come in – you know the trash trucks… and all that. The smell of the exhaust. Most people don’t want to smell that. I try to get a big nose-full because it brings back memories of being on the streets. I mean that is sorry! The highlight of your day is getting a nose-full of exhaust?
SF: Think you’ll ever get out?
PM: Yeah. I see the parole board every two years. If I can leave the drugs alone for long enough I’ll get a date. I’ll get out. I’ll probably be 55 or 60 when I get out. But I will get back out.