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War Machine Regrets Suicide Attempt, Discusses Life in Solitary and the Story of His Extradition


(Photo via Bellator)

It’s been nearly a month since War Machine (fka Jon Koppenhaver) attempted to hang himself in his jail cell at the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas, and a few of you might be wondering what the former UFC/Bellator fighter has been up to. Short version: He’s alive, and taking it one day at a time.

BloodyElbow passed along a letter that Koppenhaver posted to twitter two weeks ago, describing his suicide attempt and his subsequent lockup in solitary. We’ve re-printed that below, along with his latest update, in which War Machine discusses how his extradition from California to Las Vegas was one of the worst experiences of his life…though it contained a moment of true beauty and revelation.

War Machine’s tales of woe will take you back to those innocent Big House Blog days, when he was only jailed up for a year and not looking at a life of incarceration for attempted murder. Enjoy, I guess?

**********

Guilty Until Proven Innocent 2

Well, the only thing that sucks more than waking up (when you expect to be dead) has got to be the letters that you have to read from your loved ones…ugh. Should be the other way around, right? Knowing that people care should make one want to live, you’d think, unfortunately it’s still possible to feel very alone even when you’re in a room surrounded by people. Now if I kill myself I’ll feel even more guilty about it.

Life is a bitch, and do you know what they do to the most depressed/miserable inmates? They locked me up for an entire week, butt naked, in an even deeper, darker hole than the one I was already in: no phone, no mail, no books, no toothbrush, no snacks, nothing! Makes sense right? “How long had you been thinking of suicide? That long, why didn’t you tell us?” Yeah, let them know that I’m suicidal so that they can lock me up and treat me like that?! That shit right there would make even the happiest person suicidal, most miserable week of my life. When you complain about it they threaten to keep you longer, and ask, “Well, what did you expect would happen when you did this?” Uh…I thought I’d be a baby again or some shit??? Be, uh, dead?!

I’ve had a killer headache and my hands/feet have felt kinda weird ever since, “lucky to be alive” they say, I still can’t believe it. It was an extremely hard thing to bring myself to do, guard walks by every 30 mins, still unsure as to what brought him up again early, wasn’t my time I guess. A few very nice officers came and spoke to me while I was on suicide watch, made me realize a few things, mostly that I called it quits too early. Never in my life have I been a quitter, and I know that my perseverance is the main quality which makes me appealing to fans…and I’ll be the first to say that I bitched out way too prematurely.

I’m sorry to all of my loved ones and supporters, this ordeal has just been hell on me. Everything was going so well and this shit just blindsided me. I guess I’ve just been fighting my entire life, and this time I just don’t want to, I just want to be happy and relaxed for once…Fuck, I feel like I was right there, so close.

Alright, I don’t want to think/talk about that subject anymore. So, it sucks ass in here, just how I remembered it! I’m locked in solitary 23hr/day M-F, my cell is like 7′x12′, and the food sucks! The worst part is the lack of nutrients and the tiny portions, thats what really kills you. I got here 195lbs ripped and I’m down to 175, and all I do is sit/lay 24/7 so it isn’t like I’m burning mad calories or some shit. They feed us at 4am, 10am and 4pm…wtf? Each night by 10pm I’m so starved that I swear I look for crumbs on the floor from earlier…we only get 2 pieces of fruit/week, oranges, and I’m so hungry that I eat the peel!

I’m kept in solitary so they limit the amount of commissary I can purchase, as well as stamps. I can only buy 15 stamps/week and I receive like 15 letters/day, so sorry in advance if I am unable to respond to you, I try, and I do appreciate all of the mail, books and $, a lot! If you want to write or send me anything just go to the Clark County Detention Center website and you can find instructions there. Thank again for all the support, sorry again for letting you down, I promised a few people that I’ll stick around for a bit longer, so don’t worry about me.

**********

Thanks for all the letters and books guys; if I haven’t replied to you, I apologize, the jail has been out of stamps for two weeks, don’t ask me how/why. Today is Halloween, it’s kind of depressing, I had a good Halloween and Thanksgiving last year, I wish I could rewind time. What a useless waste of time/ energy it is playing the “if only I could rewind time…” game, right? Very hard to resist playing it though, especially when you’re locked in a box with no distractions. I get pissed off at myself every time I do it, ugh.

I gave myself a haircut last night, not gonna quit my day job, but it turned out pretty decent. It’s actually my second one since I’ve been here, my hair grows like crazy and they don’t allow us guys in “the hole” to get haircuts from the jail barber, again, don’t ask me why. They also don’t let us, back here, attend anger management classes or substance abuse classes, none of that. Makes a lot of sense, right? Shit, they even make us wear shackles in the shower! Lol.

I rarely come out of my cell though, we’re allowed out 1hr/day M-F to shower, use the phone, or the just wander the tier and talk to other guys at their cell doors, but it always seems to be at an inconvenient time. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, “wtf are you busy doing?” But, I sleep 12hrs/day, so if I’m asked for free time then, I always refuse. I’m pretty sure the guards have realized this and purposely ask me if I want my hour when I’m asleep, so they can work their way though the free time list faster. And I never complain, so I guess they assume that I don’t care, and I guess I don’t. Other guys will get in trouble for some lil old dumb shit and the guard will take their hour of free time and they flip out,

I dunno, I guess living life in a bubble is easier for me than for others. I wish they’d let me trade/sell my free time to other inmates, they did in San Diego. I remember not coming out for weeks one time, lol, just kept selling my hour for snacks, envelopes, heroin, w/e…lol jk, about the heroin part. I may have traded a couple hours for pain pills though :p it’s like in them old war movies, where the guy never responds to any of his loved ones letters, because, “in order to survive here, I can’t think about home, that world can’t exist for me.” I never understood that, until I came to jail, now it makes perfect sense. Last time that I had to do a year here, I think I used the phone 5 times total, even getting visits kinda sucks. It’s like, yeah, it’s great to see people and talk to them, but then you get locked back in your cage, and it all come crashing down.

Being happy/content is, perhaps, relative, just a comparison to another time. For example, my extradition from California to Nevada was fucking miserable, horrible really. They had 12 men and 1 woman crammed into the back of a jury-rigged “transport van”, shackled. You have to picture it accurately, I’m talking, thigh to thigh, shoulder to shoulder and knee to knee with somebody facing you…CRAMMED. We took a circuitous route, stopping every 6 hours at a new jail, to either drop someone off, pick someone up, or try to use the restroom. Yes, TRY, because not every jail would allow us in. If you had to piss, or shit, at anytime along the way you had to do so in empty bottles or empty food bags, even the girl! My trip took just shy of 3 days, the girl’s trip was planned for 12! Don’t believe me? Don’t care, fuck you. Extradition companies are privately owned, non-government, and apparently there are ZERO regulations, none being followed at least.

Anyway, it was so miserable, that I swear to God, I almost cried a couple of times. Serious discomfort, anger, sleep depravation, etc., but, even in the midst of all the suffering, there was a short period of bliss. Bliss, I tell you, lost in a moment of camaraderie and magic, and I’ll never forget it. We were all there, heads hung low, suffering in the dark, when this Mexican kid from San Fernando Valley, his name was Bouncer, asked if we wanted to hear a song that he wrote. It was in Spanish, and 90% of us couldn’t understand it, but it was the most beautiful song I have ever heard. For the 3 minutes it took to sing, it was as if all of our spirits had united into one, I felt more content than any other time I could recall, it was like a glimpse into heaven. I know it may sound weird, and maybe I’m not describing it well enough, but there was magic in that van, even if just for a few minutes.

Anyway, I lost course, and didn’t even explain what I first meant to explain, about happiness being relative…GRR. It’s like, some days I’m real content in my cell; they served a decent meal at chow, I have a good book to read, I have a little snack, I’m “happy.” In that instant, I’m happier than many a times where I’ve been FREE, with a wallet full of money and a tank full of gas. But, if I teleported my bored, unsatisfied, free self into the “happy” day in jail, I wouldn’t be happy at all! Same goes for the opposite. Teleport me to a “boring” day in the free world and it’d be like Disneyland! This all goes back to phone calls/visits while being in jail. You’re content, you’re “jail happy”, then you get a visit/call and you’re reminded of “free happy”, and now you’re depressed. See, you can find contentment in any shit circumstance, you just can’t mix the two. I hope I made sense/ didn’t confuse anyone! Lol, I think you’ll get it. Speaking of “jail happy”, 24hrs until STORE NIGHT! :)

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