In this riveting autobiography, the author, the son of alcoholic parents, reveals that he committed his first crime at the age of nine. At eleven years of age, he stabbed a student at school, and by the time he was twenty-five years old, Richard David Coss had served almost nine years behind bars. He had accumulated thirty-two arrests, twenty-eight convictions, and a reputation with the FBI as a “dangerous and incorrigible” criminal.
Bored with the monotony of cell life and looking for a diversion, Coss wandered into a meeting of Christian businessmen and fellow inmates at the prison chapel. One of the men introduced himself and sat with Coss. Before Coss knew it, his anger and hatred had become irrelevant. What counselors, psychologists, sociologists, correction officers, special schools, threats, and prison had been unable to do in sixteen years was accomplished in a mere fifteen minutes. After an awakening desire to change, Coss faced his situation, discovered hope, and transformed his life. While still in prison, his influence resulted in changing the lives of other inmates. He was released in 1971.
In the years that followed, he experienced his share of gains and losses, yet no loss was as severe as that suffered on April 19, 1995—the day of the Oklahoma City bombing. Coss, a grandfather at the time, described that day as “the worst day of my life.” Yet he and his remaining family survived with the support of each other and the strength of their faith.