You would never expect hell to be in the Appalachian mountains of Big Stone Gap, Virginia—and yet—that is exactly how the inmates of Wallens Ridge State Prison describe it. This “supermax” prison houses up to 1,200 of the United States’ most dangerous male criminals. When it first opened, Wallens Ridge was renowned for the violence it showed its inmates. Warning shots, rubber pellets, and stun guns were frequently used to scare and control their population. Christopher Gattis is one of those inmates. On Thanksgiving Day of 2017, Christopher shot and murdered his wife, stepdaughter, and stepdaughter’s boyfriend. Now, he is serving a life sentence at Wallens Ridge State Prison.
Content Warnings: familial murder, abusive prison conditions
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This episode was researched by Haley Gray and written by Andrea Marshbank.
Content editing by Brittney Martinez.
Produced by Neeks at WeTalkofDreams – check him out on Twitter @WeTalkofDreams or wetalkofdreams.com
Production assisted by Jesse Hawke
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