Lord, They've Done It All

As the old blues singers would have put it, he was a real bad-ass man. While still a kid in California, he escaped from two reform schools seven times. At age 18 he moved on to car theft. That drew him ten months in the Ventura County jail. Next time came a 90-day sentence for raiding a scrap-metal yard.

A year later he made a real name for himself—California 845200. This time he was in San Quentin on a two-year, nine-month rap for attempting to hold up a bar in his home town, Bakersfield....