Oral Histories

Since 2007, TAVP has documented hundreds of hours of in-depth personal testimonies that reflect a wide array of perspectives and experiences with interpersonal and state violence. Narrators include murder victim survivors; the loved ones of people that have been executed by the state; the loved ones of those that have been killed by police; prosecutors and defense attorneys; judges, jurors, law enforcement and corrections officers; formerly incarcerated people; clergy, activists, and advocates. Our video interviews are hosted by the Human Rights Documentation Initiative (HRDI) at the University of Texas Libraries.

To view a full interview, please click a narrator’s name to open a link to their page at HRDI. Please note that many of these interviews contain descriptions of violence. Although the content itself is not visually graphic, the material may still be upsetting to some viewers. For more specific details about an interview’s content, please refer to its abstract on the HRDI website.

08-07-2008

John Holbrook

John Holbrook worked as an investigator with the defense team for James Lee Clark, Jr., who was executed in 2007 for the rape and murder of 17-year old Shari Catherine “Cari” Crews. Holbrook is also a photographer who did a series of photographs of death row prisoners.

06-26-2008

Leroy Matthiessen

Bishop Leroy Theodore Matthiesen (1921 – 2010) was the Bishop Emeritus of Amarillo. In this interview he discusses his advocacy on behalf of Johnny Frank Garrett, who was executed in 1992 for the rape and murder of the Sister Tadea Benz.

10-05-2010

Ray Hill

Ray Hill is a long-time activist for LGBTQ and prisoners’ rights issues, and he founder of The Prison Show, a radio program that has aired weekly on Houston’s Pacifica radio station KPFT 90.1 FM since 1980.

10-02-2008

Vic Feazell

Vic Feazell is a lawyer and former District Attorney for McLennan County, where he prosecuted the Lake Waco Triple Murder cases and investigated the Henry Lee Lucas murders.

08-17-2011

Calvin Wilhelm

Calvin Wilhelm served as the jury foreman in Eric Nenno’s capital murder trial in Houston, Harris County, Texas. Nenno was executed in 2008.

02-11-2011

Linda Icenhauer-Ramirez

Linda Icenhauer-Ramirez is a criminal defense attorney in Travis County, Texas. Icenhauer-Ramirez has also worked as an attorney in the Ferguson Unit in Huntsville, Texas and for legal aid in Beaumont, Texas.

06-25-2008

Iliana Lopez

Iliana López was a high school student in 1996 when her friend, Brandon Shanks, was murdered.

11-19-2010

Jude Filler

Jude Filler (1946-2016) was a long-time anti-death penalty activist and close friend of David Lee Powell, who was executed in 2010 for the capital murder of Austin police officer Ralph Ablanedo.

04-06-2011

Chris Tritico

Chris Tritico is a criminal defense attorney in Houston, Texas, and has defended several clients charged with capital crimes, including Timothy McVeigh and Eric Nenno.

01-08-2010

Jorge Antonio Renaud

Jorge Antonio Renaud is an activist, poet, and advocate for formerly incarcerated people and their families. He is the author of Behind the Walls: A Guide for Families and Friends of Texas Prison Inmates.

08-20-2011

Rudolph Williams

Rudolph Williams is a community organizer in Austin, Texas.

03-02-2011

Jim Willett

Jim Willett is the former prison warden of the Walls Unit and worked in the Texas prison system in various capacities for forty years. He is currently the Director of the Texas Prison Museum in Huntsville, Texas.

09-30-2009

Linda White

Linda White’s daughter, Cathy O’Daniel, was murdered in 1986 by two fifteen-year-old boys. Since her daughter’s death, White has been an outspoken advocate for forgiveness, restorative justice, and victim-offender dialogue.

07-24-2008

Roger Wade

Roger Wade is the Public Information Officer for the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. He was a friend of Deputy Keith Ruíz, an officer who died in the line of duty in 2001.

11-06-2008

Bob Van Steenburg

Bob Van Steenburg is a retired United States Army Colonel and long-time advocate for the abolition of the death penalty.

01-05-2011

Katherine Scardino

Katherine Scardino, a criminal defense attorney in Houston, Texas, has defended roughly forty clients charged with capital crimes.

06-19-2009

Gloria Rubac

Gloria Rubac is a long-time anti-death penalty activist who often protests outside the Walls Unit in Huntsville when the state carries out executions.

05-03-2011

Mark Pryor

Mark Pryor is crime fiction writer and prosecutor with the Travis County District Attorney’s office.

12-03-2013

Sister Helen Prejean

Sister Helen Prejean is a spiritual counselor to death row prisoners. She is the author of Dead Man Walking and The Death of Innocents.

09-16-2008

Alan Pogue

Alan Pogue is an award-winning documentary photographer who has documented social justice movements for over four decades.

11-18-2009

William Petty

Dr. William Petty was manager of Victims Services at the Austin Police Department.

06-28-2011

George Parnham

George Parnham is a criminal defense lawyer practicing in Houston, Texas. He has been representing clients in capital cases since 1970.

10-01-2009

Carolyn Mosley

Carolyn Mosley is the mother of Ortralla LuWone Mosley, who was fifteen years old when she was killed at school by her ex-boyfriend. Since her daughter’s murder, Mosley has established a foundation that works to end abusive dating relationships.

04-02-2010

Sam Millsap

Mr. Sam Millsap is a former Bexar County District Attorney. Millsap prosecuted Rubén Cantú, who was executed in 1993.

11-15-2009

Sean McMurrey

In 2009, Sean McMurrey was a juror in the trial of Albert Segura, who was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

07-25-2011

Debra McCammon

Debra McCammon is the executive director of Hospitality House, which provides complimentary temporary lodging, food, and spiritual counsel to visiting families, friends and other guests of those incarcerated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

06-20-2009

Ruth Marin-Eason

Ruth Marín-Eason of Spring, Texas is the mother of Raul Marín, who was murdered on August 5th, 1998 in San Antonio.

10-28-2008

Dennis Longmire

Dennis Longmire is a professor of sociology at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas who conduct a silent, personal prayer vigil outside of “The Walls” Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) during most executions.

08-25-2008

Darren Long

Major Darren Long is part of the Command Staff of the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, and was a friend and colleague of Deputy Keith George Ruíz, who died in the line of duty as a part of a SWAT team.

02-24-2009

James Lohman

James Lohman is an attorney who has represented clients sentenced to death in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, and Arkansas.

07-30-2008

Joe Lawless

Father Joe Lawless is a Catholic priest who has ministered to people who are incarcerated.

05-19-2011

Tarsha Jackson

Tarsha Jackson is a community activist for incarcerated juveniles and their families.

02-02-2009

Kristin Houlé

Kristin Houlé is the executive director of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (TCADP).

06-20-2014

Jeff Hood

Reverend Jeff Hood is a Southern Baptist preacher and anti-death-penalty activist. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

12-10-2009

Donna Hogan

Donna Hogan is the mother of LeDuke Woodard, who was murdered in 2004 in Houston.

03-08-2010

James C. Harrington

Jim Harrington is a lawyer who founded the Texas Civil Rights Project, and directed the South Texas Project for ten years.

01-28-2009

Steve Hall

Steve Hall is the director of StandDown Texas Project, which advocates “a moratorium on executions and a state-sponsored review of Texas’ application of the death penalty.”

07-25-2008

Christopher Gunter

Christopher M. Gunter is a lawyer who served as a defense attorney for James Carl Lee Davis, who was executed in 1997, and Kenneth McDuff, who was executed in 1998.

06-04-2008

Leon Grizzard

Mr. Leon Grizzard is a criminal defense attorney in Austin, Travis County.

12-03-2010

Roy Greenwood

Roy Greenwood is a retired criminal defense lawyer.

05-21-2008

Andrew Forsythe

Andrew Forsythe is a criminal defense lawyer in Austin, Travis County, Texas who represented James Carl Lee Davis. Davis was executed in 1997.

02-06-2013

Joyce Hazzard Easley

Joyce Easley is the long-time friend and former wife of Charlie Brooks Jr. (also known as Shareef Ahmad Abdul-Rahim) who was executed in 1982. Charlie Brooks, Jr. was the first man to be executed by lethal injection in the United States.

08-11-2008

Tina Duroy

Tina Duroy is the sister of James Blake Colburn, who was executed in 2003.

05-01-2009

Brother Richard Daly

Brother Richard Daly is an adjunct professor at St. Edward’s University. He directed the Texas Catholic Conference for many years.

07-23-2008

Arthur Cárdenas

Captain Arthur (Art) Cárdenas is a member of the Command Staff of the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. He trained Keith G. Ruíz, who was killed the line of duty on February 15, 2001.

02-06-2013

Keith Brooks

Keith Brooks is the son of Charlie Brooks, Jr. (also known as Shareef Ahmad Abdul-Rahim), who was executed in 1982. Charlie Brooks, Jr. was the first person to be executed by lethal injection in the United States.

02-05-2013

Derrek Brooks

Derrek Brooks is the son of Charlie Brooks, Jr. (also known as Shareef Ahmad Abdul-Rahim), who was executed in 1982. Charlie Brooks, Jr. was the first person to be executed by lethal injection in the United States.

04-26-2013

Rais Bhuiyan

Rais Bhuiyan is an immigrant who survived being shot in the face by Mark Stroman on September 21, 2001, as part of a string of killings Stroman claimed were retribution for 9/11. Bhuiyan is a vocal opponent of the death penalty and headed a campaign to save Stroman from execution. Stroman was executed in 2011.

04-04-2008

Jamaal Beazley

Jamaal Beazley is the brother of Napoleon Beazley, who was executed in 2002. Beazley’s death sentence and execution sparked international protest in part because he was a juvenile at the time he committed his crime.

04-03-2008

Ireland Beazley

Ireland Gene Beazley is the father of Napoleon Beazley, who was executed in 2002. Beazley’s death sentence and execution sparked international protest in part because he was a juvenile at the time he committed his crime.

11-07-2008

Roger Barnes

Roger Barnes is a professor of sociology, specializing in the death penalty, at the University of the Incarnate Word.

09-25-2008

David Atwood

David Atwood is an anti-death penalty activist.

01-12-2011

Scott Atlas

Scott J. Atlas was the habeas defense attorney for Ricardo Aldape Guerra, who was exonerated of capital murder in 1997.

08-27-2009

Lee Greenwood

Lee Greenwood is the mother of Joseph Nichols, who was executed on March 7th, 2007.

04-17-2011

Edgar Fincher

Edgar Fincher worked as a correctional officer on the Ellis Unit (Death Row) in Walker County, TX from 1989 to 1994. He then went on to work for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) as an internal affairs investigator from 1994-1997 and with the State Jail Division from 1997-1999.

08-09-2014

Lori Bible

Lori Bible’s sister, Colleen, was murdered by Kenneth McDuff in Austin, Texas.

11-16-2010

Doug Becker

Mr. Douglas Becker is an attorney in Austin who worked in the Attorney General’s office in the early 1980’s, and argued before the Fifth Circuit in landmark prison reform case Ruiz v. Estelle.

05-07-2011

A. “Cappy” Eads

Arthur “Cappy” Eads was the former District Attorney in Belton, Texas, for over 30 years.

07-28-2009

Tammy Anderson

Tammy Anderson is the mother of Anthony Guy Fuentes, who was executed by the State of Texas on November 17, 2004.

05-16-2009

Burnett Clay and Helen Phillips

Burnett Clay is the grandmother and adoptive mother of Keith Bernard Clay, who was executed on March 20, 2003. Helen Phillips is Burnett Clay’s sister.