Friends and family of Alicia DeBolt were shocked last week when it appeared that the man who murdered the 14-year-old girl from Great Bend might be seeking pen pals on Internet site Write A Prisoner.
The profile for Adam Longoria has since been removed from the site, WriteAPrisoner.com.
The profile shows an older photo of a smiling Longoria, wearing a western shirt and white cowboy hat and sporting a moustache and goatee. There’s a brief introduction, written in first person, which claims, “I’m hoping to find someone loving, fun, interesting and down to earth. ... Some of my hobbies and interests are dancing, anything outdoors, my children and enjoying life to the fullest; also spending quality time with that special person. I’m hoping to meet someone that isn’t judgmental and understands that we all make mistakes. ... I’m a good person with a heart of gold, just made some mistakes and now I’m paying for them and preparing for the future. ...”
The profile page shows his date of birth and astrological sign, and lists him as being in the El Dorado Correctional Facility, which is where he was on Nov. 1, 2012, when the profile was created. Even though the page expired on Nov. 1 of this year, Dawn DeBolt, sister of Alicia, and family friend Raechel Manley said they were both able to call up the site online when they became aware of it on Dec. 10.
“It’s all lies to the bottom,” DeBolt said. “There’s nothing about what he did that’s a mistake.”
The box asking if the inmate is serving a life sentence is checked “no,” even though Longoria was sentenced to life in prison without parole for capital murder. After sexually assaulting his young victim in 2010, he burned her body in an attempt to destroy evidence.
The actual crimes of people with Write A Prisoner profiles are not listed. Instead, viewers are taken to an outside Internet site. In Longoria’s case, that would be the Kansas Department of Corrections’ “Kansas Adult Supervised Population Electronic Repository,” commonly known as KASPER. Here viewers can find a more accurate profile of Longoria today. Photos taken last month show an unsmiling inmate with hair shaved close to his head. His weight has gone up from 205 to 215, and he’s been moved from El Dorado to Lansing, after a “level one” disciplinary infraction for threatening or intimidating someone on Nov. 10.
Although the site does not say he murdered a 14-year-old girl, it does show that on Aug. 21, 2010, he committed, “Intentional/Premeditated Killing - Rape/Sodomy,” an off grid felony. The box that would show his earliest possible release date is blank.
After learning about the Write A Prisoner profile, Manley posted an online petition that Kansas inmates who have committed crimes against humanity be banned from Internet access. But it’s not clear who posted his profile.
Write A Prisoner charges $40 to post an inmate’s profile for a year. That can be paid by the inmate or by a third party. People are invited to write a letter or email to the inmate on the website, but they are advised that someone at Write A Prisoner will transcribe the email and mail a copy.
“Your first instinct is – how did he get this on here?” DeBolt said. DeBolt said the initial wording of the petition may have been off target, because she does not believe Longoria has Internet access. But she doesn’t think inmates should be looking for pen pals. That’s how Longoria met other women, while serving previous prison terms in other states. In fact, the profile appears to be an update from that time.
“It sounded like he was grooming his next victim,” Manley said.
Manley’s petition did get a response from Write A Prisoner spokesman Adam Lovell, who said the website does not give inmates the ability to access anyone over the Internet. The site claims a healthy pen-pal correspondence and other services offered by the company can help an inmate make a successful return to society.
“(We) are not just a correspondence site for inmates,” Lovell writes. “Through our Reintegration Profiles, we help the nation’s inmates further their education, find employment and housing upon release, find volunteers for counseling, and more. Contact with the outside world has been proven in numerous studies to reduce recidivism. Please see: http://www.writeaprisoner.com/why-write-a.../default.aspx We try to run this service in the most respectful manner possible, and we are proud that thousands of inmates and their families have contacted us through the years describing how our efforts helped them turn their lives around.” The company also has a scholarship dedicated to children impacted by crime.
“It’s not working the way that it’s intended to work,” DeBolt said. A quick look at the profiles show inmates treat it almost like an online dating service, as they seek a special someone who is non-judgmental.
DeBolt said there is a place for programs that help prisoners return to society successfully. But she doesn’t favor a pen-pal service, created as a for-profit business. She’s also in contact with prison officials, through a victim services program. The matter will be getting further review this coming week, she said.