Announcements

Christmas Sale Through December 7

Barbara Sloan will be at the Museum Saturday, December 6 from 10:00am-5:00pm to sign her book Last Statement.

Special information for school tours.

Bookstore

We do not accept orders on line at this time, however you may:

  • Place an order by phone at 936-295-2155, or
  • Use this form to order by mail.

Please call or email if you have any questions.

Come by and pick up a copy today!

A picture of the book cover for "The Largest Hotel Chain in Texas"

Texas Prisons — The Largest Hotel Chain in Texas

By Lon Bennett Glenn, Warden II-Retired

In this unblinking look at the past and present of Texas prisons, crucial questions are raised: Does the Texas prison system do what the people of Texas want it to do? Does it rehabilitate? Do our prisons make our society safe? Can we win the war on drugs? Is education synonymous with rehabilitation? Will Texas always have need for the death penalty? You may not agree with the author's answers to these questions, but you won't be able to forget the stark reality of his story. Lon Bennett Glenn began his career with the Texas Prison System in 1966, when at age of twenty-one he signed on as prison guard at the Clemens Unit in Brazoria County. As he worked his way through the ranks to the position of warden, the prison system underwent tremendous change. Glenn has survived the convicts, the press, arbitrary prison administrations, lawyers, and federal courts, to tell a story that the public deserves to know.

$28

A picture of the book cover for "Over the Wall"

Over the Wall — The Men Behind the 1934 Death House Escape

By Patrick M. McConal

Never-before-revealed facts and eyewitness testimony-as well as newly uncovered, controversial photos-highlight the story of the men who dared to escape the Huntsville Prison Walls Unit in 1934…

"Excellent research! McConal has uncovered some incredibly in-depth material concerning two of the most infamous prison breaks in Texas history. This book is a must for anyone interested in Depression-era outlaws."-John Neal Phillips, author of Running with Bonnie and Clyde: The Ten Fast Years of Ralph Fults (U. of Oklahoma Press, 1996)

$22

A picture of the book cover for "Have a Seat, Please"

Have a Seat, Please

By Don Reid with John Gurwell

Have a Seat, Please is an in-depth and honest look inside the Texas process of executions by Don Reid who witnessed 189 electrocutions and during the process was transformed from an avid supporter of capital punishment to an active and vocal opponent. Reid takes the reader up-close and personal with his compelling accounts of the condemned on death row and his eyewitness reports as he carefully examines the very emotional and highly debated issue of capital punishment. "Although the method of legalized homicide in Texas is different now, the book is as valid today as it was 35 years ago." -Jim Willett, retired warden, Walls Unit, Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

$20

A picture of the book cover for "Walking George, The Life of George John Beto And The Rise Of The Modern Texas Prison System"

Walking George, The Life of George John Beto And The Rise Of The Modern Texas Prison System

by David M. Horton and George R. Neilsen

Dr. George Beto was the man in charge of the Texas prison system from 1962 until 1972.  He was also and educator and an ordained minister.  This well researched book depicts Beto accurately as an icon of the corrections field but also as a wise man with sense of humor.  Dr. Beto touched many people and influenced many who worked for him in the correctional field and those who studied under him.

$29.95

A picture of the book cover for "Singin' a Lonesome Song - Texas Prison Tales"

Singin' a Lonesome Song— Texas Prison Tales

By Gary Brown

Texas convicts and inmates have made the Texas prison system the most colorful in the world over the past 150 years. There was a famous gunslinger in the 1800's and a burlesque stripper in the 1950's. There were notorious gang members in the thirties, a Kiowa Indian chief, a blues musician, an escape artist, and a Mexican vaquero. -These prison tales include chain-bus drivers, wild bull riders, and a prison baseball team that took on the Texas semi-pro champions in Houston's old Buff Stadium. They include inmates and prisoners of war supplying materials to the Confederate army and convict laborers building a state railroad and quarrying granite for the beautiful state capitol in Austin. -Author Gary Brown spent twenty-three years working as counselor and teacher in the Texas prison system.

$20

A picture of the book cover for "Eleven Days in Hell"

Eleven Days in Hell - The 1974 Carrasco Prison Siege in Huntsville, Texas

By William T. Harper

In July of 1974 three inmates led by the notorious Fred Gomez Carrasco seized the Education Department and its employees and for eleven days held a trigger on them. In the end Carrasco, one compadre, a female librarian and a female teacher lost their lives in a hale of gunfire. William Harper spent years researching this tense moment in Texas prison history. Reviews have been flattering with even from the hostages who are saying that they learned things they didn't know from reading the book. Mr. Harper has been praised for his writing style which allows the story to tell itself. Eleven Days in Hell is sure to go down as the definitive book on this incident. Eleven Days in Hell is the best selling book in the history of the Texas Prison Museum.

$19.95

A picture of the book cover for "The Letters of John Wesley Hardin"

The Letters of John Wesley Hardin

By Roy and Jo Stamps

John Wesley Hardin, the man behind the myth, is reveled here in nearly three hundred letters and documents. These personal writings also provide a detailed account of his capture and imprisonment, his family relationships, his religious beliefs, his transformation to a lawyer, and his pardon by Gov. James Hogg. A unique record of how Hardin thought and how he lived his life.

$28

A picture of the book cover for "Meals to Die For"

Meals to Die For

By Brian D. Price

Brian Price was for ten years the cook who prepared the last meals for those about to be put to death by the State of Texas. Almost two hundred of these condemned men were allowed to order the meal of their choice and depend on Price to prepare it for them. Price gives details of these inmates including the crime and their last meal requests. Over forty of the last meal recipes are included in the book.

$22

A picture of the book cover for "Texas Gulag - The Chain Gang Years"

Texas Gulag — The Chain Gang Years 1875-1925

By Gary Brown

They were forced to produce daily work totals of seven tons of coal, three hundred pounds of cotton, or one and one-half cords of wood. They were fed spoiled hog meat and slept on mattresses filled with bugs and filthy from sweat, blood, and dirt. They were punished with brutal whippings with an instrument called the "bat" and by various other methods. Self-mutilation by cutting off fingers, hands, and feet and even self-blinding were commonplace to avoid working in these lease camps.

It was a period in which the state prison system was shrouded in secrecy. Former prisoners had only one option available to inform the public about the brutality and corruption. They could write their personal memoirs. And an amazing number of them did-dating back to 1870’s. Herein are some of their stories.

$20

A picture of the book cover for "Penology for Profit - A History of the Texas Prison System 1867-1912"

Penology for Profit — A History of the Texas Prison System 1867-1912

By Donald Walker

Before the discovery of oil and the advent of Progressivism to Texas, the state dealt with prison overcrowding by leasing convicts and their labor to private industry and funneling the profits into the state’s coffers. In this book Donald R. Walker examines economic, social, and political aspects of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Texas that resulted in the leasing system and its eventual demise.

$20

A picture of the book cover for "Running with Bonnie and Clyde - The Ten Fast Years of Ralph Fults"

Running With Bonnie and Clyde — The Ten Fast Years of Ralph Fults

By John Neal Phillips

One of the most sought-after criminals of the Depression era, Ralph Fults began his carrier of crime at the age of fourteen. At nineteen he met Clyde Barrow in a Texas prison, and the two men together founded what would later be known as the Barrow gang. Running with Bonnie and Clyde is the story of Fults’s experiences in the Texas criminal underworld between the years 1925 and 1935 and the gripping account of his own involvement with the Barrow gang, particularly its notorious duo, Bonnie and Clyde.

$20

A picture of the book cover for "The Crime Buff's Guide to Outlaw Texas"

The Crime Buff's Guide to Outlaw Texas

By Ron Franscell

A fascinating journey through the Lone Star State’s unruly past - complete with crime descriptions, maps, photos, and GPS coordinates!

$16.95

A picture of the book cover for "The Ellsworth Letters"

The Ellsworth Letters

By Roy Ellsworth

This book relates the story of a boy who grew up in the boys home institutes of Texas and as a young man wound up in the infamous Texas Department of Corrections in the 1950’s. Roy became a follower of Jesus Christ and turned his life around. Roy Ellsworth has spent much of his life sharing his experience with others whose life styles wound them up in prison cells. This book is inspirational and motivational.

$10

A picture of the book cover for "In This Timeless Time"

In This Timeless Time - Living & Dying on Death Row in America

By Bruce Jackson & Diane Christian

A powerful book about the everyday experiences on Death Row in Texas in 1979. The authors were given unprecedented access to the Row and the inmates who lived there, awaiting a night with the executioner. The book contains photographs, interviews and discussions with these inmates, and thoughts of the authors on the issues. The book also includes a DVD of Jackson and Christian’s 1979 documentary film, Death Row.

$29.75

A picture of the book cover for "Gangster Tour of Texas"

Gangster Tour of Texas

By T. Lindsey Baker

The veteran historian leads readers on a fascinating tour of the most interesting and best preserved crime scenes in the Lone Star State. Gangster Tour of Texas traces a trail of crime that had its beginnings in 1918, when the Texas legislature outlawed alcohol, and persisted until 1857, when Texas Rangers closed down the famous casinos of Galveston.

$24.95

A picture of the book cover for "Warden"

Warden: Texas Prison Life and Death From the Inside Out

By Jim Willett and Ron Rozelle

Warden is the story of former Walls Unit warden Jim Willett's 30 year career in Texas prisons. From his first night as a shotgun-wielding guard to the last man he accompanied to the death chamber, it covers big events such as a first hand account of the Carrasco hostage crisis, the longest siege in the history of the United States and also the small ones that give prison life its texture. Most chillingly, Willett describes some of the 89 afternoon visits he paid to the condemned and the circumstances of their executions a few hours later. Jim Willett is now the director of the Texas Prison Museum. This book can be autographed by Jim with a personal inscription, at no extra cost.

$24.95