R.I.P. Vance Fecteau and thoughts on the Millions Locked in the American Gulag…..


When will we start tearing down the prison walls?  When will we begin to value, much less restore, freedom in America?

An anonymous poster just wrote to me the following, reminding me once again, if any reminder was needed, of the injustice in this society and the ridiculous cycle of prison and welfare to which so many have been sentenced in the American Gulag:

Submitted on 2012/07/01 at 8:23 pm

“Today is July 1st 2012 and I just found out minutes ago that my very wonderful friend Vance Fecteau died while still in prison. I still don’t know the what or the how of his death as if that would even matter. Its my opinion that the only real crime he was ever involved in was the one our justice system visited upon him; a 10 year federal prison sentence. The cruelty of such a punishment for his harmless and victimless offense has now become tragedy by having him in truth served a term of life. The world has become that much more lonely as now it has lost another of the good ones.”

My heart goes out to his sister Kristi Fecteau in Southwest Florida, and to all others who knew Vance better than I did.  What was amazing about Vance was that he was so completely self-less and generous.  I have seen so many hundreds of wonderful people locked up and their lives and productive capacities thrown away by the heartless, wicked, brainless War on Drugs in America over the past 40 some odd + years.
Vance’s case was particularly painful because it may have been a setup—a fix designed to cover up a much larger crime than interstate shipment of some “regulated” drug or other—when I met Vance he had nothing to gain from telling me any false version of his story—but he was apparently on the verge of cracking a 20 year old “cold” unsolved multiple homicide involving some of the  “best people” in Pasadena, California.  Vance lived in Hyperion in Echo Park.
The Presidents of the United States since 1945 have waged dozens of undeclared (and therefore illegal, unconstitutional) wars, killing a total probably in excess of several million civilians.  In Vietnam they tried to keep count, but failed.  In Iraq and Afghanistan, no one even tries to keep anything remotely like a tally of the civilian dead, or of the underarmed, little better than “stone age” armies countries like Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Nicaragua could assemble against us, never mind “non-state” populations like the Palestinians and Somalis.
And yet our courts continue to imprison people on drug charges, real or spurious, by the tens of thousands each month—it’s easy to reach a million quickly at that rate.
If Vance Fecteau died in prison, he is finally released from the injustices of the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama version of “the land of the Free.”   Yet the majority of Americans are so comfortable outside and undisturbed by the idea that people no more guilty than they are of any mortal or original sin rot in our State and Federal prisons while some corporations, in which “liberals” like Albert Gore of Tennessee and entertainers like Bob Barker are significant shareholders.
I see also that Moshe Leichner of Midland Euro Exchange, whose case I did study intensively, and concluded that he was unjustly convicted, is still locked up in a place where he may die, or come out in ten years.  Moshe, like Vance, was a radiant ray of sunshine in a very dark pit on the American landscape.   These were two people with the opposite character profile of destructive, selfish, psychopaths—whatever you call that opposite.
By now I assume that Michael Wludarszcik has completed his term for his “yellow submarine” filled with marijuana which used to ply the Caribbean (and made it to Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp’s Court in 1992, when I was a law clerk in West Palm Beach).  The pictures of his beautiful wife and children remain forever in my mind.
The welfare system requires endless credit and endless fiat money credit can only be enforced as “valuable” in a police state, where the consequences of failure to follow the state’s rules simply exist and are enforced in a manner “incompatible with life.”
That is why the ever-expanding regimes of social security, medicare, and welfare are so very frightening—they are built on a house of cards which must ultimately tumble, unless thousands upon millions of grand and petty frauds on the people are perpetrated which unjustly exalt the power of the United States of Panem…..
For the time being, in memory of Vance Fecteau, I reprise the Hanging Tree from Mockingjay, the third and final installment of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games:
Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Where they strung up a man they say murdered three.
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.

Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Where the dead man called out for his love to flee.
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.

Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Where I told you to run so we’d both be free.
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.

Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Wear a necklace of rope, side by side with me.
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.

33 responses to “R.I.P. Vance Fecteau and thoughts on the Millions Locked in the American Gulag…..

  1. Have family serve a Civil, Non-Domestic, Tort claim against ALL bastard parties involved…. at the Supreme Court level by Common Law Court of Record… For more information on Court of Record check out http://robcourtofrecord.wordpress.com as well as http://solutions4theinnocent.wordpress.com and on youtube look up Howard Griswold and Ed Rivera (spelling), as well as on the net in general Thomas Murphy – they can provide guidance… as well as others.

  2. Vance was my nephew, thank u for sharing, over the years we lost touch. first I have heard of his demise. am in shock,

    • Charles Edward Lincoln III

      Well, all I can say is, Vance was one of the nicest guys I have ever known—he was generous, he was noble, he was a bright light in the darkness. How anyone could make so many people happy in such a bad and dismal situation was nothing short of incredible. He is free now, and we all bear the shame of the system we support, if not by our action then by our inaction, that locks good people up for no possibly good reason. In Vance’s memory I curse the War on Drugs—all its hypocrisy and cruelty. The police and judges who enforce the War on Drugs should be deathly ashamed of themselves, and the politicians who enacted these laws should go hang themselves….three times each….

      • Carl Aguillard

        I was an inmate with Vance in Herlong. His bunk was next to mine. We were good friends and I just learned of his untimely death. I was there for 4 months only and I was dismayed he had so long to serve. He was from my neighborhood and was one reason we liked each other. I would give him an extra cinnamon roll for breakfast at the food service, We were truly friends

  3. I had my differences with vinnie.never the less;Most of the time, he played the part of the brother I never had.He turned me on to apple computers when they had only a cult
    Following.he taught me about muscle cars
    And was the only person I let drive my race car when I purchased it.Vance was a good egg nothing hurtful about him existed .He did not belong in prison,or an early grave.our government gets what it desires when it desires it.if you heard every detail of this ring and pony show of a case you would agree.

  4. At first I didn’t believe this was my Vance being talked about. After further research I found out that this is indeed my dear, sweet Vance. We were friends for many years until he disappeared five years ago. I thought he had gone to prison for a probation violation. and would be released next Spring. But as I found out, he was in Federal prison for a ten year sentence for a drug charge. News of his death has been a real blow. I guess we’ll never know what caused his death. He was one of the sweetest, nicest, most easy going guys I’ve ever met. I’m heartbroken.

    • Charles Edward Lincoln III

      I believe on every level that Vance Fecteau was murdered by the same people who arranged to have him arrested. He told me just enough that I think there was some serious foul play surrounding the trumped up drug charge, the circumstances of his arrest, and above all the fact that he died in custody. I have no evidence other than what he told me and I have not been able to reach his sister Kristy (last known to be living in Sarasota environs in Florida) to see what her opinion might be.

      • Do you know exactly what crime Vance was charged with and why he was doing ten years? Vance has a page on Facebook and his sister is answering for him. The prison told her the only she could found out how he died was through The Freedom of Information Act.

        FOIA
        Office of General Counsel, Room 841
        320 First Street, NW
        Washington D.C. 20534

        That entry was Sept. 13

  5. Thank u for replying. I was very much in love with Vance. Why he cut me out of he loop when he got arrested i don’t know

  6. I would have visited him and been there through all ten years. I thought he had violated his probation and was getting out this Spring.

    • Chris, I am from Upland and I met Vance in Herlong Camp. He saw a photo of my back yard showing Mt Baldy and he recognized it. His bunk was right in front of mine. We became friends because of our link to the Pomona Valley. He knitted some caps and scarves for me before I left. I only had 4 month sentence so I was gone soon. I was dumbfounded he had such a long time to serve. I am off probation now so I wrote my former bunker and asked him to say hi to Vance. He replied right away saying Vance had died recently from ARC pneumonia. I was devastated. He was such a gentle and intelligent person. Sorry for your loss. PS He had a female bulldog named ZOE staying with someone in Hollywood and he would talk to Zoe two or three times a week. He would smile and tell me ZOE would whine and bark when she heard his voice. Now he will never see her. How sad!!

      • Charles Edward Lincoln III

        I know that meeting and getting to know Vance touched my life in ways I will never forget. He truly was a fine human being even in the worst and most infernally inhuman of settings, which Federal prison is—especially the “jails” and holding tanks where his path and mine crossed. I think all of us who knew Vance should probably do something in his memory. I think he was framed and/or prosecuted to cover up other crimes. As generous as he was with everyone, even in the Grady County Jail in Oklahoma, he deserves to be remembered. Vance Fecteau should be both a model and a warning to the people of this country: our freedoms are precious and the current laws and policies of this country are not making us any safer. There are at least as many, and possibly many more, good people in jail than people who really belong there. The American system is BROKEN and it needs fixing. The lawyers and the judges have just been making it worse, exalting procedural technicality over substantive justice, thus making more work and wealth for themselves and effectively more misery for the millions whom the system sweeps in. Of what value are the famous “Miranda rights” to the millions of people who have been and are still being arrested for drug crimes where no one was hurt and no one was injured except to the extent of being intoxicated? I have spent the past six weeks living in the French Quarter in New Orleans—people come here for a totally legal “death wish” of wiping themselves out with booze, and some actually die. There is no evidence that any “controlled substance” is significantly more deadly than alcohol, but everyone recognizes that Prohibition was THE SOURCE AND WELLSPRING of modern organized crime (and, not coincidentally, the modern organized Federal Police State). I definitely believe we need to do something to commemorate Vance Fecteau’s life and the legacy of friendship and love he left behind. Since I’ve written about Vance, NOBODY has written a bad word about him (and people aren’t bashful—they write bad words about me all the time and send ’em right here); and I think that is pretty significant as a tribute to a man’s life.

      • I thought he might have been murdered. Or he died from an HIV related illness, because they don’t take care of their HIV inmates. He never called me once, knowing how much I loved him and how worried I’d be. To have a loved one just disappear is so heart wrenching. Just ask any parent of an abducted child. This was the dark side of Vance. His not letting me know where he was was narcissistic and cruel to the extreme. I’ve been waiting for him for five years without any word. It was because of your website that I found out what had happened to him, six months after the fact. Thank God, or I’d still be waiting like some asshole. His silence has hurt me very deeply. And to add insult injury, his ex-girlfriend, Melody, verbally attacked me on my Facebook page because I was being disrespectful to Vance’s memory and his family. He had been living a secret life. As if being bisexual was wrong and something to hide. He died in prison from HIV related pneumonia. That should have been a hint. The fact that he was living two lives and living a lie says something about his character or lack of it. I absolutely believe he was railroaded and I agree with your political views. Vance was one of the sweetest, gentlest people I know, but he was no angel.

      • Thank you Carl for sharing. How ironic he knit caps for you because I knit also. What’s really sad is that he would call his dog two or three times a week and he never called me once. He must have known how worried I must have been. We had been seeing each other for sixteen years. That makes it a little more than a casual affair. He had been missing for over five years. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon Charle’s blog that I found out about his death, six months after the fact. Founding out about his death was painful enough, but it is his silence for all these years that has cut me to the bone and is the most hurtful of all.

      • I have done a memorial to Vance on my Facebook page for those of you who might be interested. It’s public.

      • Carl, thank you for those kind words and insight about Vance. Being a very open person myself, I didn’t realize how closeted Vance was. And with that a certain amount of homophobia and self hatred. He must have loved me and hated me at the same time. Ain’t that a bitch? We knew each other a long time but he always kept me at arms length. He would not let the relationship develop past a certain point. Now I’m beginning to understand why. And why he never contacted me. I was part of a secret life he wouldn’t acknowledge. You are a very insightful person with a good heart. I hope life has been treating well.

  7. What is the stature of limitations when it comes to waiting for some one that disappears without a trace?

    • I guess I’m the first to write something negative about him. Sorry, but he hurt me very deeply by his silence.

      • What was Vance doing in the Grady County jail in Oklahoma?

      • Carl Aguillard

        Chris, I want u to know Vance was very private at Camp and he b ehaved very well. Being gay myself I never suspected he was bi. But he did have a sensual personality and a sexual physique. We were just friends and never discuss sexual issues. We talked about home since we both were from Pomona Valley. Do not hold it against him for not writing u. Incarceration does funny things to someone. I know

      • Carl, thank you for those kind words and insight about Vance. Being a very open person myself, I didn’t realize how closeted Vance was. And with that a certain amount of homophobia and self hatred. He must have loved me and hated me at the same time. Ain’t that a bitch? We knew each other a long time but he always kept me at arms length. He would not let the relationship develop past a certain point. Now I’m beginning to understand why. And why he never contacted me. I was part of a secret life he wouldn’t acknowledge. You are a very insightful person with a good heart. I hope life has been treating well.

    • Charles, what you said about Vance was lovely. Thank you. I’m glad to see he was so well liked. Hopefully he had made friends in prison so that he was not alone when he died. Such a tragedy.

    • Charles Edward Lincoln III

      I don’t know exactly what you are asking here… the statute of limitations on wrongful death of an inmate in Federal custody would be governed by the Federal Tort Claims Act and the “Bivens” principles…..that the Federal Government and its officers are subject to suit for violation of civil rights on more or less the same level as state governments and state officers….

  8. I was speaking metaphorically

  9. What u are doing is worthwhile work. Do u need an assistant?

  10. Well I just came across this website and became surprised about Vance’s hidden life. I’m not judging however now that all the pieces of the puzzles a lot makes sense now. To clear one thing up that “someone” that has Zoe is my aunt..his ex wife of 5 years. Zoe is my favorite pitbull that I’ve ever met and with age she is only getting older and weaker. But I remember the day Vance and my aunt rescued Zoe and she had antennas for ears , they were too big for her head , and one ear would always flop down while the other would stick straight up. I know Vance is looking down on Zo now and can see what a beautiful life she’s lived and how well my family has loved and taken care of her.
    Vance was always so soft spoken and even when I was a really young girl I remember always thinking uncle Vance was the raddest dude with his grease monkey hands and super cool monster truck. My family adored him, especially my dad who had a soft spot for him. My grandma too always loved him, even when my aunt and him were on the rocks, she always had love for him. I’m glad I came across this website bc I will always remember uncle Vance as who he was when I was a little girl. Regardless of his sexuality confusions I know this guy had a big heart and anyone who crossed his path takes a little piece of Vance with them just like my family does.
    Rip vance~

    • Your passage was lovely. I particularly loved the comment about his “grease monkey hands and super cool monster truck.” You have a real flair for writing. He always had a sexy car. His last one was a copper metalic sting ray. You could hear it coming a block away.
      I had no idea he had been married before. His secret life had a secret life! I knew about Melody but not about your aunt. Your lovely words could not have come at a better moment. It’s the two year anniversary of his death and I’ve really been missing him. He was my Gary Cooper.

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