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Man Opens Up About Moment He Almost Killed Fellow Inmate

Dominic Smithers

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Man Opens Up About Moment He Almost Killed Fellow Inmate

Featured Image Credit: LADbible

A man who spent 44 years in prison has opened up about how he once almost killed a fellow inmate.

Ronnie Long was just 20 years old when he was convicted of rape and burglary - crimes he never committed.

He spent over four decades pleading his innocence while trying to stay alive in the most violent and inhumane of conditions.

Speaking to LADbible, Ronnie, now 65, has opened up about his time in prison and how it turned him into a 'guerilla' soldier who did anything to survive.

He says: "Fear? At first, because I didn't know where I was going. All I knew was that I was going into a life or death situation and I was going to die. But I was gonna be hard to kill.

Ronnie Long said prison was 'life or death'. Credit: LADbible
Ronnie Long said prison was 'life or death'. Credit: LADbible

"I'm gonna show you I'm a fighter, and I'm going out fighting.

"As soon as I hit behind the wall, I bought two knives. You had to have that, that's your house. You got a security system in your house? Well, that's my security system, them two knives."

And he was fully prepared to go up against any man who attempted to threaten him.

"Hell yeah, I went to war. I've got battle scars," he says.

Ronnie was sentenced to life in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Credit: Ronnie Long
Ronnie was sentenced to life in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Credit: Ronnie Long

"Let me tell you something about when you go into a situation like that, and the very first time, the very first time that you're confronted, that your manhood is put on the line - I'm talking about when a person challenges you.

"In the penitentiary, there's such a thing as a 'verbal assault'. If I say certain things to you in public, you've got to do something about it, you've got to respond to it, because I've belittled you and diminished you in public and the peanut gallery is sitting around to see how you're gonna try and handle that.

"So when you handle that, you handle it with authority; you make a statement, and you make that statement loud enough for everybody in the peanut gallery to see and hear.

Ronnie says he was forced to make a 'statement' in prison. Credit: Ronnie Long
Ronnie says he was forced to make a 'statement' in prison. Credit: Ronnie Long

"I come here to die and you crossed the line this is what you get. And I damn near killed him."

Ronnie says this new way of life, of ultra-violence and brutality, was forced upon him and he had no choice but to become someone else or become a victim.

"That's what you got to do, man, make that statement in those institutions, because the system has gone and put my life on the line," he explains.

"You've put me in a predicament where I've got to act like a guerrilla now, I've got to resort to guerrilla tactics in order to survive. You made me like that because you put me here."

Adding: "It changes you in a way. It gives you a whole different mindset. Either you do the penitentiary or the penitentiary will do you.

"That's just the environment you're in."

The 65-year-old was released from prison last year. Credit: PA
The 65-year-old was released from prison last year. Credit: PA

After a long battle for freedom, Ronnie was finally released from prison last year after it was revealed that evidence had been hidden by police that would have helped prove his innocence.

He was paid $750,000 in compensation, which equates to $50,000 per year for the first 15 years in prison, the maximum allowed under state law.

Since his release, Ronnie, who is fighting for more compensation from the government, has struggled to find any kind of work and has been relying heavily on a GoFundMe account set up, which you can visit here.

Topics: Crime, True Crime, US News, Politics

Dominic Smithers
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