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A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden

Writing from Prison

A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden( )
Author: Reid, Stephen
Publication Date:Oct 2012
Publisher:Thistledown Press, Limited
Book Format:Paperback
List Price:USD $17.95
Book Details
Detailed Subjects: Literary Collections / General
Social Science / Penology
Biography & Autobiography / General
Literary Criticism / Canadian
Biography & Autobiography / Literary Figures
Physical Dimensions (W X L X H):5.5 x 8.4 x 0.4 Inches
Book Weight:0.396 Pounds
Author Biography
Reid, Stephen (Author)
Stephen Reid was born in Massey, Northern Ontario, Canada on March 13, 1950. He ran away at the age of 13 and developed a heroin habit. When he was 23 years old and serving his second prison sentence for bank robbery, he escaped from guards while out on a day leave to attend a seminar in Ottawa. He joined Patrick Mitchell and Lionel Wright to form The Stop Watch Gang. The gang participated in around 100 holdups during the 1970s and 1980s and stole about $15 million. They never used violence except as a threat. Their life of crime was interrupted by arrests and prison sentences, but they were generally for drug-related offenses.

The Stopwatch Gang moved to Arizona and committed robberies throughout the western United States. The F. B. I. finally caught them in 1980 after they moved into drug smuggling. Reid took up writing while in prison and his first novel, Jackrabbit Parole, was published in 1986. His other books included the essay collection A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden. He appeared on television as a commentator on the prison system, was a teacher and lecturer, and worked with indigenous young offenders. He played a guard in a scene from the 1999 movie Four Days. Despite his success on the outside, Reid continued to struggle with drug and alcohol addictions, which lead him to return to crime. After being caught robbing a bank in 1999, he was sentenced to 18 years in prison and spent some of his last years returning to jail for parole violations. He died from complications of a lung infection and heart failure on June 12, 2018 at the age of 68.


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