Interview with Philip Watkins
QUESTION 20
JAMES A. DeVINNEY:

OK, tell me what happens when they're getting ready for the takeover.

PHILIP WATKINS:

Well just, the inmates, kind of thought that, ah, there was going to be takeover. All the hostages were assigned one or two inmates that were their, I'm going to say, quote, "executioners", they took some hostages up on the tunnels. Fortunately I wasn't one of them that went up on the tunnels 'cause they were right at the brunt of the takeover. The inmate that was assigned to me, of course I was blindfolded at the time, ah, didn't say too much. I believe he was a Muslim cause he was quoting scriptures and I thought. "I'd better start talking to this guy." So, I asked him if he knew an inmate by the name of Red Richardson, that, was an awful popular inmate, and he was assigned to me for maybe three or four years. Well, I asked him this question. And he said, "Yeah, I know you too Curly." And when he told me that he knew me, I felt a lot more safer than I felt before I knew he knew me. And, ah, the only thing that I had to do for him is when the helicopters come over, he, he fell down on his back and he'd pull me over on top of him and, ah, this happened a couple times as the helicopters were making their pass. And during these times he pulled my hel--ah, my blindfold off. And then I, after he pulled my blindfold off, I could see that, ah, troopers were already on the tunnels. And they had their guns aimed down into the yard and I knew this guy wasn't going to hurt me after that. So, I, ah, I released myself from him and I started running and I, ah, made contact with a trooper and the trooper escorted me up a ladder out of the yard, and--