Feathered Bastard

Sheriff Joe's Day of the Dead.

Come as your favorite inmate murdered by Joe's guards...There are so many to pick from.

It's Halloween, and I see dead people. In Sheriff Joe's House of Horrors, of course. Yep, any of Joe's gruesome gulags could double as a Haunted House of the Dead, from the Fourth Avenue Jail, where the Robert Cotton snuff film was executive produced by the MCSO and the Aryan Brotherhood, to Madison Street, Durango and so on, which have all had their national accreditation yanked, and are now under a court order to clean up the disease-ridden squalor in which they operate.

Problem is, unlike a real haunted house, Joe's jails are sort of a human version of a roach motel. Short-timers, DUI-ers and probation offenders go in, but they don't always come out. You could end up being asphyxiated by guards, fall ill and never get the medical care you need, get beat down by some neo-Nazi you bump into in the chow line, you name it. And hell, you may not even be guilty, as around 70 percent of those in Joe's gulags are pre-trial detainees!

Like in the Cotton case, a thick-necked MCSO goon could be on a celly instead of paying attention as your face is being turned into hamburger. And even if your family sues the county and scores a multi-million dollar settlement, as in the case of Scott Norberg or Charles Agster, you won't see a dime. 'Cause you'll be dead, doofus!

Better to just mosey on down to the PUEBLO Center for Legal and Human Rights on Saturday, November 1, where the folks that brought you the wildly popular Cinco de Mayo Sheriff Joe pinata smash earlier this year, will be holding an Arpaio-themed Halloween/Dia De Los Muertos Bash, with a jail-themed haunted casa featuring all the terrors you might actually face should you be collared by the po-po for a DUI later that night and booked into the dreaded "horseshoe," MCSO's short-term detention section. There will also be an Arpaio Costume Contest, with a $50 prize for the winner, and a memorial for those who've been slain in Joe's dungeons.(Do they really have that much room?) And of course there'll be art, food, music and all that jazz.

The ghoulish fun starts at 6 p.m. The entrance fee is $5 in advance, $10 at the door. PUEBLO is located at 1306 E. Van Buren St. Phone, 602-258-0634. And remember, even if you go, every day is Day of the Dead as long as Joe's in power.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons