An Innocent Man Who Served 27 Years

Michael Pardue stopped by with his wife, Becky, to tell Howard about spending 27 years in jail for a triple-murder that he didn't commit: "I had just turned 18 when I went in and came out at 45." Michael explained that he was turned in by a police informant who claimed he was at the scene of his crime and subjected to a flash capital murder trial that only lasted 2 hours and twenty minutes. Michael added that he escaped from prison three times, going so far as to drink saltwater to elevate his white blood cell count or holding his urine to shock his kidneys – both stunts got him moved to the infirmary, where it was easier to escape. Michael told the crew he eventually became a conduit for goods from the outside: "Knives up the rectum are very common in prisons." Howard asked how Michael dealt with the depression, so Michael explained that he worked at a prison job for six years and masturbated: "I could show you techniques that would blow your mind." Artie wondered if Michael ever engaged in gay sex while in prison, and Michael admitted he did (both top and bottom roles): "It was humiliating for me...I still carry a little guilt over it."

Michael said he hung with the tough crowd behind bars: "I was [thought to be] a killer so I hung with the killers...They were the predators. You either choose to have your asshole the size of a 55-gallon drum or choose to be scared all the time. I chose to be scared." Michael added that the worst guys were both: one guy, named "CT" was "very deep into homosexuality with a bunch of children - young boys - and if you looked at one of his boys...that night, you'd be killed." Howard wondered if Michael's release put a strain his marriage, and Becky cut in, admitting that they have less sex ("We're older.") but they were more than ready for his release: "It was just time."

Now that he's out, Michael hasn't had the easiest time: "Sometimes I do the thing you're not supposed to. I drink too damn much. I'll pass out and just wallow around in it for a few days." Robin was amazed by the confession: "He's an honest man." Michael said the hardest thing to do after he left prison was shopping: "It took me a couple days...the shopping list was six feet long...[my wife] paid with her card and got cash back and they handed her forty dollars...I walked out and asked her, 'Did they just give us money for buying all those groceries?'"