Death row inmate David Paul Hammer is a criminal legend. After a childhood in Oklahoma marked by poverty and abuse, Hammer left home at age 14. He worked odd jobs, became addicted to drugs, got married, fathered a child, and wound up in prison at 19 for robbery and a violent hostage-taking incident. Except for two escapes, he has been incarcerated ever since.
In prison, Hammer developed into a master con artist, using a brilliant mind to conduct lucrative, imaginative scams from his prison cell. But he also furthered his education by earning his GED and collegiate associate degrees in criminal justice, psychology and paralegal studies. He is a skilled jailhouse lawyer and social activist.
By 1984, Hammer had accumulated a 1,230-year sentence for various crimes. In 1996, he killed a cellmate and received the death penalty. That set the stage for a strange twist of fate. David Paul Hammer of Oklahoma and Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City Bomber, would soon become fellow inmates on Federal Death Row in Indiana.
During the two years leading up to McVeigh’s execution in 2001, Hammer observed McVeigh closely, talked to him in depth about his crime, and took notes. Hammer was ready to put his considerable talents to use in the writing of this book.
Hammer has written two previous books: The Final Escape, his autobiography, and Secrets Worth Dying For: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing. In 2004, Hammer came within three days of death by lethal injection, before an appeals court granted him a stay of execution. His case is still pending.
The Final Escape …. Secrets Worth Dying For: Timothy James McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing