Selected Stories From Back Issues Of The San Quentin News
AUG. 1980 – Two warning shots were fired to break up an altercation between two white inmates on C-Section yard. Meanwhile, in the North Block, seven shots were fired to break up a fight between four white convicts. One con received lacerations to the head and was kept in the hospital overnight for observation. Two received birdshot wounds.
AUG. 1980 – The state Court of Appeal upheld the escape convictions of San Quentin inmates Johnny Spain, Hugo Pinell and David Johnson. The three were convicted for the 1971 escape attempt in which George Jackson was killed. Three guards and two prisoners were killed in San Quentin’s adjustment center during the dramatic escape attempt.
AUG. 1980 – The weekend movie is “American Gigolo” starring Richard Gere as the highest paid lover in Beverly Hills. Lauren Hutton plays the senator’s wife who falls in love with him.
AUG. 1980 – A group of 47 superior and municipal court judges toured San Quentin following a dinner served in the visiting room. The judges separated into groups of eight accompanied by a volunteer inmate tour guide.
AUG. 1980 – It was reported that the new $150,000 X-ray machine which was installed in January is still not fully operational. The machine, which was to have been fully operational in three months, has suffered a series of mechanical problems.
AUG. 1980 – The delivery date for the new $22,940 dishwasher for the South Block dining hall has been changed once again. The dishwasher, ordered back in April, will be delivered by the end of September.
AUG. 1980 – A story in the S.Q. News touts the benefits of living at S.Q.’s Ranch, including outdoor picnic tables with barbecue pits for visiting, a pool table, fishing, ping–pong, one–two–and three-man rooms and family visiting once every three months.
AUG. 1980 – San Quentin’s vocational plumbing shop is designing, building and installing solar panels on the roof of the plumbing shop (NOTE: the panels are still there to this day, 20 years later, although no longer working). The encasements for the 4ft x 10ft panels were made in the sheet metal shop.
AUG. 1980 – Two inmates who escaped the prison one year ago in a homemade boat have been ordered to stand trial. John Waller and William McGirk, both 37, escaped the prison with another man, Forrest Tucker, 59, who is still at large.
AUG. 1980 – Oklahoma’s overcrowded prisons are not accepting any more inmates until more space becomes available, possibly next week. The state prison system has exceeded by 123 inmates the limit of 4,410 prisoners set in 1974 by U.S. District Judge Luther Bohanon.
AUG. 1980 – A motorcycle show featuring approximately 100 bikes will be held tomorrow on the lower yard. The show is sponsored by the Modified Motorcycle Association and motorcycle enthusiasts in San Quentin. Entertainment will be provided by Novato Frank, Norton Buffalo and Patrick Hennesy.
AUG. 1980 – Seven shots were fired in order to break up a fistfight between two Mexican-American convicts on the C-Section yard. Three bystanders were injured by birdshot, as well.
AUG. 1980 – Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh will ask the state legislature to approve an early release plan that would free 125 beds in the state’s overcrowded prisons. U.S. District Judge James Burns ruled that overcrowding at the state’s prisons violates constitutional provisions prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment.
AUG. 1980 – The prison’s dental clinic was broken into over the weekend. Among the items taken were 48 hypodermic needles, five cans of zilocane, 15 one-and-a-half inch surgical blades, one gallon of methyl alcohol and 200 silver capsules used for fillings.