Hellhouse Becomes a Madhouse: New Mexico State Penetentiary

Tension builds again at a prison that exploded

"They're all paranoid and turning on each other," says Deputy Warden Lloyd Mixdorf. Warns Classifications Officer John Byers: "It's a madhouse. Everyone's thinking of either squealing or of who will squeal." Contends a state prison monitor, Daniel Cron: "The atmosphere is explosive. The prison is not under control."

The object of all the apprehension is New Mexico State Penitentiary, surely the nation's most notorious prison.

Sprawling across a dusty mesa outside Santa Fe, the stark gray pen—which guards and inmates alike call "the hell-house"—was the site of one of the country's worst prison riots. In February...

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