Interview with Arthur Eve
QUESTION 24
INTERVIEWER:

If you could talk about what Governor Rockefeller could have done?

ARTHUR EVE:

Yeah, on that, ah, Monday, you know, it came back to you time and time again that a mere visit from the Governor to the western New York area in his private plane with communication into the yard, to the inmates, that if they gave up that he would guarantee them as Governor, there would be no reprisals, no beatings, no physical harassment, no murdering of the inmate, we felt, and this was given to us from the inmates in the institution, that they were concerned about reprisals. And the mere fact that the Governor would not take that last mile, that last trip. We never asked him to come into the prison, never asked him to go into the yard. We said, "Just come to the area to show that you as Governor will back up and guarantee the inmates there will be no reprisals." And the Governor refused to take that last step. And that's something that confused me, I, frankly could not comprehend, that lives could have been saved and how a man just refused to show that kind of sensitivity and concern. And that's something that I thought about a lot that day, that one plane trip and one telephone conversation for five minutes could have avoided the whole massacre.

INTERVIEWER:

Let's stop down.



ARTHUR EVE:

After the massacre was over and, ah, they then took a few of us back into the yard and walked on the wall and then began to tell us how they had to do certain things because they had observed this one inmate who had cut out the reproductive organs of a hostage and then stuck them in the man's mouth. And how another inmate, they had to shoot because he was running to stab a hostage. In fact they showed us Big Black on a table out in the center of the yard, buck naked, with a football resting on his neck and they said, "He was the guy who, ah, castrated or cut out the reproductive organs of officer Smith." And, you know, I had, I had tears in my eyes. I said, "Here's the guy that, you know, I embraced with on my last day, you know, we hugged and we cried." You know, you know, I didn't believe that he was capable of doing it. But it was told to you so convincingly, you know, and we were told there's five fellows down on the ground buck naked, stripped, and, ah, you know they murdered some of the hostages. And that's when I saw Barkley from Rochester later on ended up dead. Ah, it was very frightening. Ah, and again we were told these things.