Torture Chamber

Did Eric Vogel die because of another beating in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jail?

Aware that police were coming, Eric became panicked and began walking from the accident trying to get home.

The police arrived. While running Ann Vogel's driver's license, the officer saw there was an arrest warrant for Eric.

Arpaio's office had charged him with aggravated assault on a police officer for spitting on the detention officer.

Another felony because he was scared of wearing pink underwear. The bond would be higher. He could go to prison for years.

Eric made it home, but he was terrified again. That night, Ann decided she would take Eric and leave Arizona forever. They would go into hiding. Anything to keep Eric out of Arpaio's jail.

"Eric told me he didn't want to live anymore," Ann says.

"We'll get through this. We'll go away," she told him.

"I don't want to live anymore," he replied.

The next morning, before they could leave, Eric began complaining of headaches and dizziness. "Mom, I don't feel good," he said. He told his mother he was going into his room to take a nap.

Two hours later, Ann walked into his room to check on him.

He was lying unconscious on the floor by his bed. She called 911. Paramedics came and tried to revive him.

He was pronounced dead at the emergency room.

The county medical examiner determined he died of a heart attack. There were no illegal drugs in his system. The examiner found no severe damage to any internal organs, only mild congestion in parts of Eric's brain and mild damage to his spleen.

The county medical examiner, the same examiner who performed the Agster autopsy, did not link the death to earlier trauma.

For Ann Vogel, that's as absurd as calling the strangulation of Agster in the restraint chair an "accident."

"They killed him," she says.

Ann Vogel couldn't afford an independent examination.

Ann Vogel says she has nothing left to live for. Hers is another life ruined.

All she wants now is a copy of the videotape showing what happened to her son in Joe Arpaio's jail.

It is a public record. History says she won't get it.

Other parents have asked to see the beatings their children suffered in the jail. They weren't given the tapes, either.

That's because the tapes show the brutality Joe Arpaio promotes in his jail.

A mentally ill man was tortured for Joe Arpaio's pink underwear. He was beaten for no reason and charged with a felony for resisting what he clearly believed was a raping.

"It's sickening," says Vogel's attorney, Carmen Fischer. "They feed on the most vulnerable segments of society."

This is what happens when a leader promotes a culture of violence.

Turn over the Vogel tape, Joe. Turn over the Agster tape. Show us how you make an ill man's worst nightmares become reality. Show us why you should be governor. Show us how tough you are on the weakest among us.

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