t’s a curious phe­nom­enon, the “death row groupies” who become enam­ored with men who com­mitted some of the most vile crimes you can imagine. When Scott Peterson arrived at California’s San Quentin State Prison fresh off a con­vic­tion of mur­dering his wife and unborn child, he received a mar­riage pro­posal within the first hour.

These are usu­ally women who would love to date a rock star or rap idol, but if they wrote to a musi­cian, they might get a letter. Here they could get a mar­riage pro­posal,” as North­eastern Uni­ver­sity crim­i­nol­o­gist Jack Levin, author of Extreme Killing: Under­standing Serial and Mass Murder, explained to D in 2011.

In Texas, these pro­posals have often resulted in actual nup­tials car­ried out (if not con­sum­mated) through a prac­tice called proxy mar­riage, in which the inmate signs an affi­davit allowing them to wed without being phys­i­cally present. But with proxy mar­riages vir­tu­ally banned during the pre­vious leg­isla­tive ses­sion, and because the Texas Depart­ment of Crim­inal Jus­tice won’t allow prison wed­dings, death row and other inmates no longer have the chance to for­malize their unions.

Read the article at Dallas Observer →