Interview with Edgar Fincher

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Table of Contents 
  •  Concluding statements

  •  Yes, I do use that, and the only reason is to let ‘em know where I’m coming from, knowing that none of them have been there, you know, and I give ‘em a—I have to do self-disclosure in order for me to get a rapport with my students but I don’t go on down to what my favorite color is, where I hang out, you know? 
  •  We’re here. Whatever we talk about here stays here. So, yeah, I do use it, but do I talk about it? No.  No. I don’t. It’s, it’s, to me, it’s, it’s not useful, specially when you’re taking, when you’re teaching the classes that I teach. It’s not—I don’t want to give ‘em any ideas. You know. 
  •  Some do ask me questions and I’ll give them short answers, you know, I mean short and very, very vague responses. I don’t want the focus to be on me. I want the focus to be on them. See what I’m saying? So that’s the only way I can really do it and do it right. So, you know, I, I—do you have a second part to that question?

  •  HENERY: No, I was just curious about it because you have had these different careers and I don’t know what, if correction officers often made this a whole life career, and so—

  •  MR. EDGAR FINCHER:  Ah, as just being a correctional officer their whole career?

  •  HENERY: Yeah.

  •  MR. EDGAR FINCHER:  Yeah. There are, there are oodles of—you never get to use that word, oodles—of, it runs in the family. You can live in East Texas off a, mother, I mean, a husband, a wife, both working and East Texas is cheap. You can, you could live high on the hog, so to speak. 
  •  That, yes, there, there are lots, and there’s, and their sons and their daughters, there’s, you know, so, yes, to answer your question. My career, I, I think I did what I could do. I need to move on. 
  •  I need to expand and this, this job that I have now teaching these classes, I’m very fortunate to be able to do that but I’ve been doing this, dealing with the public and I’ve been—conflict resolution and defusing situations, negotiations, that’s my resume. I could shoot you my resume if you wanted to look at it too.

  •  RAYMOND: Sure. That would be great.

  •  MR. EDGAR FINCHER: If you get me a job.

  •  RAYMOND: I wish.

  •  MR. EDGAR FINCHER:  But it—I’m gonna stay in this career until I grow up, then I’ll be something else. You know, but I like working for the city, I like, I liked working for the state. I don’t have any resentments. You know? It is what it is and, you know, tomorrow is promised to nobody. 
  •  And I consider everybody my brother and sister, you know? If I see someone I want to help ‘em, you know. It’s, it’s just, it’s just a mind-set that you, philosophy. Everybody has their beliefs. My belief is, until I see a Shi’ite parachute into my back yard I don’t have a problem. 
  •  You know. If I do see one I think I’m going to have a problem. He’ll have a problem with my dogs. I’m referring to the movie, WolverinesRed Dawn.

  •  RAYMOND:  I haven’t seen that.

  •  MR. EDGAR FINCHER:  Never seen it? Oh. I’m old.

  •  RAYMOND:  It’s not about old, it’s about choice in movies, I think. I’m older than you.

  •  MR. EDGAR FINCHER:  Anyway. You might want to edit that part out.

  •  RAYMOND:  We’ll see. Did you have anything—

  •  MR. EDGAR FINCHER:  No? Nada? That’s the only Mexican word I know. My wife speaks three different languages. I speak two: English and bad English.

  •  RAYMOND: I do, I might have other questions but I think for today, I think we need to close for today because we’ve all been—  You’ve been so generous and shared so much with us. I really appreciate it and I will bring this back. I’m not going to say anybody’s name but I’ll bring this back to you later in the week after we’ve made copies.

  •  MR. EDGAR FINCHER:  Sure. If you could just put it in a package and say, “Could you give this to Eddie, please?”

  •  RAYMOND:  I will do that.

  •  MR. EDGAR FINCHER:  Ask for Mary or, or Jesus.

  •  RAYMOND:  Okay, and thanks. We should go off now.

  •  HENERY: Okay.

  • Table of Contents 
    •  Concluding statements

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Title:Interview with Edgar Fincher
Abstract:Edgar Fincher worked as a correctional officer on the Ellis Unit (Death Row) in Walker County, TX from 1989 to 1994. He then went on to work for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) as an internal affairs investigator from 1994-1997 and with the State Jail Division from 1997-1999. In Tape 1, Fincher describes his childhood background; how he became involved with TDCJ; his early career as a correctional office in the Ellis Unit; and his experiences with trauma resulting from his work. In Tape 2, Fincher describes what a typical day working on death row was like. In Tape 3, Fincher elaborates on his work on the death row and the strain associate with it; displays materials and documents collected during his career; and describes his later career in TDCJ Internal Affairs and with the State Jail Division. In Tape 4, Fincher discusses the transition from correctional officer on death row to a career with Internal Affairs; discusses the issues that arise when working in a high risk job; describes his current career; shows materials collected during his career as a correctional officer; and describes experiences with inmates executed between 1989 and 1994. In Tape 5, Fincher describes his experience with inmates who were executed between 1989 and 1994 while he was working in the Ellis Unit. In Tape 6, Fincher gives his concluding statements about his work with TDCJ and his experiences working on death row. This interview took place on April 17, 2011 in Austin, TX.
Sequence:6 of 6
  • Edgar FincherRole: Narrator
  • Texas After Violence ProjectRole: Collaborator
Publishers:Texas After Violence Project
University of Texas Libraries
Geographic Focus:North America--United States--Texas
Geographic Base:North America--United States--Texas--Austin
Type of Resource:Moving image
    This electronic resource is made available by the University of Texas Libraries solely for the purposes of research, teaching and private study. All intellectual property rights are retained by the legal copyright holders. The University of Texas does not hold the copyright to the content of this file. Formal permission to reuse or republish this content must be obtained from the copyright holder.

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