HillcrestBlog by "San Diego News Service" (619) 757-4909

"San Diego News Service" covers hard news, features and reviews for local and national print media, and maintains, "HillcrestBlog." Address: 3907 Georgia St., #15, San Diego 92103-3548. Our editor is Leo E. Laurence, J.D., Copy Ed.: Martin Brickson. Member: Society of Professional Journalists, Latino Journalists of California. Call news tips to (619) 757-4909 (days), Nights: (619) 220-8686 (fax also). leopowerhere@msn.com Copyright 2008 by San Diego News Service

Sunday, September 7, 2008


San Diego's Sam Warren is a gay senior who for years lived "like a king" in a large, eight-room hacienda near the beach in La Playa, just west of downtown Tijuana.

But, he got busted in 2000 when police found a 17-year old boy in his house, among other young people. Three years later, after spending a hellish life in three Mexican jails/prisons, the charged were dismissed.

His book, Tales from the Tijuana Jails, describes in intimate detail the wild and hellish life he experienced in those three jails.

It's easy to read, but the stench of urine and corrupt jails reeks off the pages.

Warren's experiences seem so true. I know from personal experience because I had served as a uniformed Mexican bombero (city firefighter), and worked in Fire Station #1 in Tijuana, located immediately adjacent to the city jail (nicknamed La Ocho) in which Warren later was incarcerated.

Warren's book is real, brutal and total reality - much more incredible than any choreographed TV reality show.

The book is actually dozens and dozens of vignettes of his experiences in three jails/prisons, including La Ocho, El Pueblito (Little Town) in the La Mesa district of Tijuana (where I had served at city Fire Station #2), and El Hongo (fungus) - located 35 miles east of Tecate in Mexican state of Baja California.

He writes freely about the drug situation in the jails.

"The drug lords and their henchmen lived in relative comfort . . . Once I saw (in El Pueblicito) one who even had a Jacuzzi. They could walk around with or without their bodyguards, and not worry about having their gold chains ripped off," Warren writes.

"No one in their right minds, including the guards, would fool with the drug lords. I don't see why they call them 'lords.' they were merely successful drug dealers," he writes.


I expected to read descriptions of the HOT Mexican young men he met in jail, and of some of the sex inside. But, there is very, very little of that in the book.

"I don't know. I guess it is because all Mexicans look alike to me (just kidding)," Warren responded when asked about the lack of sensuality in his book.

His 360-page book, Tales from the Tijuana Jails, lists for $19.95 and is available at http://www.amazon.com/ and http://www.bookwarren.com/. The author can be reached at sam@bookwarren.com


Copyright by Leo E. Laurence, J.D. leopowerhere@msn.com or call cell: (619) 757-4909


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