Thomas Bartlett Whitaker

Last updated

Thomas Bartlett Whitaker
Born (1979-12-31) December 31, 1979 (age 43)
Other namesRudy Rios, Bart
Criminal statusIncarcerated
MotiveMonetary gain
Conviction(s) Capital murder (2 counts)
Criminal penalty Death; commuted to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole
DateDecember 10, 2003
Killed2 [lower-alpha 1]
Injured1 [lower-alpha 2]

Thomas Bartlett Whitaker (born December 31, 1979) is an American man convicted under the Texas law of parties of murdering two family members as a 24-year-old. Whitaker was convicted for the December 10, 2003, murders of his mother and 19-year-old brother; he was sentenced to death in March 2007. [1] He spent years on death row at the Polunsky Unit near Livingston, Texas, before the commutation of his sentence. On February 22, 2018, about 40 minutes before his scheduled 6:00 P.M. execution, Whitaker had his death sentence commuted to life imprisonment without parole by Governor Greg Abbott, the first such commutation by Abbott and the first in the state since 2007. [2] [3] As of September 2021, Whitaker resided in the McConnell Unit in Beeville, Texas. [4] [5]


Early life and education

Thomas Bartlett Whitaker was born on December 31, 1979, to father Kent, the comptroller of a construction company, and mother Patricia (Trish), an elementary school teacher. [5] [6] [lower-alpha 3]

Whitaker attended Clements High School where in 1997 as a 17-year-old he received a criminal conviction for a series of seven burglaries that he had "meticulous[ly]" planned, leading other young friends in the spree. [7] In that same time frame,[ when? ] Whitaker's parents had bought him several luxury vehicles. [8] :Ch.50[ page needed ] Whitaker began attending Baylor University in 2001, transferring from there to Sam Houston State University (SHSU), where he was thought by his parents to be in attendance in late 2003, and from which he was expected to graduate. [9] [4] He had lied to his parents about his continued status in college; varying reports had him dropping out of SHSU months before, [10] or being present there as a freshman on academic probation. [4] His parents funded his academic pursuits.[ citation needed ] In addition, they purchased a lakeside townhouse in Willis, Texas, for his use, and a $4,000 Rolex watch was given to him as a college graduation present hours before the murders. [8] :ch.50[ page needed ]


On December 10, 2003, Thomas Bartlett "Bart" Whitaker falsely told his family that he had just taken his final university exams and would soon be graduating from SHSU.[ citation needed ] They drove to the nearby Pappadeaux restaurant in Stafford for a celebratory dinner.[ citation needed ] Whitaker had enlisted an individual named Chris Brashear to carry out the shootings, and a Steven Champagne to be the getaway driver for Brashear. [11] Brashear, dressed in black (including a ski mask), entered the Whitaker family home, took Kevin's gun and ammunition from a locked box in his room, staged a burglary, and then waited near the front door for the Whitaker family to return home. [12] [ third-party source needed ] Upon returning home, but before entering the house, Bart said that he needed to collect his cell phone from his parked Yukon[ clarification needed ], knowing that Brashear was armed and waiting inside to kill his family. Bart's brother Kevin entered the family home first and reportedly smiled when he saw the masked Brashear. Brashear shot Kevin once through his chest, and Kevin fell to the floor. Patricia was then also shot in the chest, also falling to the floor. Kent rushed in and was shot in the shoulder with the bullet shattering his humerus. [12] [ third-party source needed ] Bart then ran inside and staged a struggle with Brashear, getting shot in his left arm to divert suspicion.[ citation needed ]

Brashear then exited through the Whitakers' back door and jumped over the fence into the rear neighbor's yard. Bart's brother Kevin died within minutes of being shot; his mother Patricia died shortly after the start of her airlift by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital. Bart told first responders that he thought the gunman was black, in order to divert suspicion away from Brashear. [12] [13] [ page needed ][ third-party source needed ] Bart's father Kent survived the shooting in which his wife and son were killed. [11]

Investigation and arrest

Whitaker left for Mexico in June 2004, using $3000 to persuade an acquaintance to assist him; he assumed the name "Rudy Rios", found work in a furniture shop in Cerralvo, Mexico, developed a relationship with a woman, and concocted a story of service in Afghanistan to explain his gunshot wound. [4] He lived there under the false name for over a year. On September 15, 2005, a capital murder warrant was issued against Whitaker. [14] [15] [ verification needed ] The acquaintance who had assisted Whitaker to flee became aware of reward money that had been offered for his arrest,[ clarification needed ] and communicated Whitaker's whereabouts to the police. [4]

Cooperating with US authorities, Mexican authorities arrested Whitaker without incident under immigration charges. In September 2005, Whitaker was handed over to U.S. authorities at the border town of Laredo, Texas, where he was arrested for capital murder. [14]

Trial and conviction

Whitaker was refused a plea bargain by the District Attorney[ who? ] in return for his admission of guilt, and was instead tried for capital murder.[ citation needed ] The trial began in March 2007, led by prosecutor Fred Felcman. [16] [17] [lower-alpha 4] It was conducted before a judge[ who? ] and a Fort Bend County jury. [16] Evidence was presented that Whitaker had recruited two individuals, Steve Champagne and Chris Brashear, ages 24 and 25 at the time of the 2007 trial, respectively, [16] [11] Champagne to be the getaway car driver and Brashear to carry out the shootings in Whitaker's plan to murder his immediate family. [11] Early evidence was presented that Whitaker had previously recruited others in abortive plots to murder his family, plots involving a co-conspirator named Adam Hipp, who had attended Clements High School with Whitaker. [16] [18] At the trial, Hipp stated that he had contacted the Sugar Land Police Department with information about previous plots after he heard about the Whitaker family murders 2003; he was given immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying for the prosecution against Whitaker. [8] :Ch.10[ page needed ]

The early testimony from Hipp[ when? ] described a first Whitaker plan to set a lake house owned by his grandmother on fire "to kill his parents, brother and other relatives", a plan that never went beyond discussions, but one that included a ruse as an element — the defendant's "com[ing] out of the blaze with burns so that it would appear he had narrowly escaped". [16] Hipp, who admitted on cross-examination that his participation in Whitaker's schemes had been "motivated by money" — police testified that Whitaker stood to inherit the family estate, valued at $1 million — further testified that in December 2000, prior to the murders of which he stood accused, Whitaker had made another preempted plan, this time to "ambush his parents and brother as they entered their home after a dinner outing", a plan noted by the Houston Chronicle to be "virtually identical to the one [Champagne would soon testify] was actually carried out three years later." [16] The trial judge's[ who? ] handling of the prosecution's use of a phone recording between Hipp and Whitaker would become an element of the defense's later appeal of the verdict. [18] [ non-primary source needed ]

In other early testimony, Steve Champagne described Whitaker recruiting him to be the getaway driver for Whitaker's eventual 2003 plan to murder his immediate family, [11] and his testimony included the detail that Whitaker's gunshot wound was a ploy to make it look like he was a victim, too. [16] Prosecutors presented evidence that although it wasn't Whitaker who shot his family members, he was responsible for the murders because he played the leading part in the conspiracy to commit the murders [19] [ better source needed ]

The prosecution's theory of motive focused on financial gain, with evidence variously described as pointing to Whitaker standing to inherit "about $1.5 million" after the death of his parents and brother, [4] or that he had wanted to capitalize on a million-dollar life insurance payout.[ citation needed ] At trial, it was noted that Whitaker had access to an $80,000 trust fund from his grandparents, although he testified that he did not know he could access it. [8] :Ch.53[ page needed ] Whitaker denied prosecution claims regarding the insurance profit motive, arguing that the only life insurance policy the family had was for $50,000 on his father's life.[ citation needed ][ clarification needed ]

Kent Whitaker had already forgiven his son and his co-conspirators for their parts in the murders (reported on as early as 2007), [20] and had tried at the time of his son's trial, years earlier, to persuade the jury not to deliver a death sentence.[ citation needed ]

On Friday, March 2, 2007, the State of Texas[ who? ] rested the case for the prosecution in the capital murder trial for Thomas Bartlett Whitaker's role in the deaths of his brother and mother. [16] Randy McDonald, attorney for the defense, rested their case on the same day, without calling witnesses, and the judge[ who? ] scheduled closing arguments for the morning of March 5. [16] After closing arguments, the case went to the jury. After deliberation the Fort Bend County jury convicted Whitaker of capital murder, [11] under the Texas law of parties. [12] [ verification needed ][ third-party source needed ] The trial had lasted six days in total; the "jury deliberat[ed] for 2 hours, and sentenced Whitaker to death". [4] [11]

Co-conspirator convictions

Chris Brashear received a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 30 years for his role in the murders, in a plea bargain worked out with prosecutors; Steven Champagne received 15 years after serving as the main witness for the prosecution. [11]

Whitaker appeals

Whitaker appealed his death sentence, suggesting nine points of error. In 2009, the state appeals court found in favor of the appellant on none of these points of law. [18] [ non-primary source needed ] [18]

After losing a separate appeal in the federal courts early in 2017, [21] Whitaker's legal team appealed his claims to the U.S. Supreme Court. [22] [ non-primary source needed ] [21] The appeal was certiorari denied. [22] [21] On November 1, 2017, his death warrant was signed, scheduling his execution for February 22, 2018. [23]

Whitaker's defense team lodged an appeal focused on the purity of drugs used in Texas executions in 2017–2018.[ verification needed ] The State of Texas executes by overdosing the condemned with pentobarbital from a compounding pharmacy, and Whitaker's defense lawyers had claimed the state's first two executions of 2018 were botched because of old lethal injection drugs.[ citation needed ] [24] Whitaker withdrew his appeal pertaining to the purity of the drug used, pending at the Supreme Court of the United States, just before a decision by the Texas Governor to grant clemency and commute his sentence. [3]

Commutation of sentence

Alongside the legal submission from the Whitaker legal team — an 18-page document from Whitaker lawyers Keith S. Hampton and James Rytting (the latter at Hilder & Associates), [25] [ non-primary source needed ] Whitaker's father, Kent, also appealed, cooperating with the legal team's submission and writing a letter in the public forum of the Houston Chronicle on January 18, 2018, asking that the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles "spare my son". [26] [ non-primary source needed ] Board Chairman, David G. Gutiérrez, [27] also met with Kent Whitaker for a half hour. [28] [ full citation needed ]

On February 20, 2018, in a rare decision, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended that the death sentence be commuted to life imprisonment, [29] The seven-member Board unanimously recommended clemency to Republican Governor Greg Abbott, [30] [29] the first time it had done so unanimously since 2009. [3] [29]

Abbott accepted their recommendation and commuted Whitaker's death sentence, noting that Whitaker had "voluntarily and forever waived any and all claims to parole in exchange for a commutation of his sentence from death to life without the possibility of parole." This was the first commutation of such a sentence from Abbott, and the first from a Texas Governor since 2007. [2] [3] Abbott cited the fact that Whitaker did not fire the gun and that his father, Kent, "insists that he would be victimized again if the state put to death his last remaining immediate family member", as the reasons for the commutation. [31] [ non-primary source needed ] [32] [ non-primary source needed ]

Whitaker responded to the commutation of his sentence by saying, "I am thankful for this decision, not for me but for my dad." [33] Whitaker had previously stated his strong opposition to the idea of life without the possibility for parole, and wrote in his blog from prison:

[Life without parole], however, offends and assaults everything I believe in. It irrevocably denies any possibility of rehabilitation; it eviscerates hope entirely. It is for this reason that I would never sign for it, even if that were the only way to evade a return to death row. [Thomas Bartlett Whitaker, February 17, 2012] [34]

Whitaker had earlier stated, when his execution was still expected, that he felt that his father would be further victimized by the execution. [35]

Chronology of cases

Other post-conviction developments

Thomas Whitaker and other inmates initiated an unsuccessful class action against the State of Texas, addressing the conditions on its death row, [36] [ non-primary source needed ] where inmates are kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. [37] [ verification needed ][ better source needed ]

Kent Whitaker, his father and a surviving victim of the crime, wrote the book, Murder by Family: The incredible true story of a son's treachery and a father's forgiveness, which — as described by Barry Leibowitz for CBS News — is about his "heart-wrenching journey ... to forgive the nameless stranger" responsible for his wounding, and the "brutal murder of his wife and son", a journey that included his realizing that the murder "had been orchestrated by [his] oldest son Bart". [38] [lower-alpha 5] Whitaker provides an account from his perspective as father, "behind-the-scenes", focusing on the time frame from the crime through his son's sentencing, addressing motive, and including portions of his correspondence with his son. [38] [13]

Whitaker earned an undergraduate degree from Adams State University, [39] and a Master's degree in Humanities from California State University, Dominguez Hills. [39] These are reported to have been earned while he was on death row.[ citation needed ] For the latter, he appears to have presented a thesis in partial fulfillment of the degree, entitled "Who Fears Hell Runs Toward It", in summer 2018. [40] [ non-primary source needed ] The masters thesis has been subject of some controversy, as someone appears to have offered it as a book for sale (see also below). [41] [ needs update ]


Whitaker has contributed to Solitary Watch, where he wrote about the effects of solitary confinement on himself and other death row inmates. [42] He also contributed[ clarification needed ] to Hell Is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement .[ citation needed ] [43]

Whitaker won prizes in PEN America's Prison Writing Program for his essay "Hell's Kitchen", [44] [lower-alpha 6] "Manufacturing Anomie"[ citation needed ] and the essay "A Nothing Would Do as Well".[ citation needed ] He was named a 2018-2019 PEN America Writing for Justice Fellow, [45] a program that aims to support creation of "written works of lasting merit that illuminate critical issues related to mass incarceration and catalyze public debate". [46] Scholarly attention has been directed toward this PEN program, noting that while PEN was an esteemed human rights organization known for the defense of free speech rights, in particular of persecuted writers, the Prison Writing Program presented a distinct agenda, namely in a "[belief] in the restorative and rehabilitative power of writing." to "help convicted criminals become writers", an aim which raises questions about the nature and residence of the power inmates are given, and about its impact on prisoners and on society. [44] Ira Wells, in particular, points to Whitaker's participation in the program to exemplify the questions, declaring Whitaker's prison writing powerful in its ability to "shock readers into a sensory appreciation of the radical strangeness of [his] life lived". [44]

In 2007, Whitaker founded an inmate blog, originally created with the assistance of his father, now maintained by volunteers, entitled Minutes Before Six; it has published his work and trial records, and articles, poetry, and art from inmates held in prisons in the United States. [47] [48] The name of the blog references "the hour at which executions take place in Texas". [49] [ better source needed ] [6]

As of 2019, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice was investigating a report that Whitaker's masters thesis was being offered for sale, online. [41] [ needs update ]

Bibliography of Whitaker's written work

Examples of the prison writing of the title subject, with dates of their first publication, include:

See also


  1. Patricia Whitaker, aged 51
    Kevin Whitaker, 19
  2. Kent Whitaker, 52
  3. Note, the reporter for the preceding citation [6] states the potential conflict of interest, of having served as a judge for the PEN Prison Writing Contest, including in its judging of the works of the title subject of this article.
    [Quote] "The state of Texas executes its condemned around six o’clock p.m. Minutes before six on February 22, 2018, Governor Greg Abbott commuted the death sentence of Thomas Bartlett Whitaker to life in prison without parole. Abbot was following the very rare unanimous recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Parole that Whitaker live out his life in prison. For Texas this was astonishing. Nearly 150 people have been executed since a Texas governor last spared a condemned prisoner. Abbot has allowed thirty executions to take place during his three year tenure. ...
    Two of [Whitaker's] essays and a short story won first prizes in the PEN Prison Writing Contest. As a juror for the contest, I first encountered his striking talent in these works.
    The elder of two sons, he grew up in Sugar Land, an affluent, homogeneous community outside Houston. His brother won more of their parents’ attention, because of his learning disability. Whitaker was jealous and withdrew to the world of books. (When he was twelve, he was intensely affected by Albert Camus’ absurdist novel The Stranger ...)." [6] in Houston, Texas.[ citation needed ]
    Thomas Bartlett, also called "Bart", [5] would become older brother to a second son, Kevin, about three years younger, after which his mother Trish would leave her teaching to provide additional care to Kevin, who had a learning disability. [6] The family lived in Sugar Land, Texas, "an affluent, homogeneous community outside Houston", where Bell Chevigny, writing in , describes Bart at age 12 as becoming jealous of his brother, and "withdr[awing] to the world of books", including Albert CamusThe Stranger (which she notes as a work with murderous parallels). [6]
  4. Fred Felcman, the original prosecutor in the case, said the board made its decision purely because of the father’s forgiveness, and disregarded the large number of others affected by the murders. He said testimony from psychiatrists and the family’s investigators who [had stated that] Bart was manipulative was disregarded. [17]
  5. Murder by Family ... is the story of Kent Whitaker's heart-wrenching journey toward forgiveness and faith after the brutal murder of his wife and son. While lying in the emergency room after being airlifted from his home, Kent soon learned of his family's fate. His emotions called for a response to either forever hate the murderer ... or forgive him. At that moment, Kent made the decision to forgive the nameless stranger who had taken so much. 'I have had a hundred people tell me that they think I'm nuts — that I should hate the shooter and cry out for vengeance,' writes Kent. 'Perhaps I am crazy, but I believe that in those early moments God worked supernaturally, allowing me to forgive completely and immediately ... Little did I realize just how important my decision to forgive would be in the coming months.' An investigation uncovered that a murder plot had been orchestrated by Kent's oldest son Bart — whom Kent had unknowingly forgiven. Kent Whitaker gives readers a behind-the-scenes account from the day of the murders up to Bart's sentencing, and includes excerpts of letters from Bart as he tries to explain why he did it. [38]
  6. The PEN Prison Writing Program ... has a slightly different agenda ... to help convicted criminals become writers '[believing] in the restorative and rehabilitative power of writing' ... [and] 'use of the written word as a legitimate form of power.” But what is the nature of the “power” of the written word? And what, moreover, will this power restore and rehabilitate? [Are PEN] honouring an important strand of America’s liberal intellectual heritage? ...pledging allegiance to a romantic coupling of art and freedom? ... inadvertently helping to bind prisoners ever more insidiously to the carceral regime? Or ... claiming something that is actually true? This article addresses these questions through a reading of Thomas Bartlett Whitaker’s prize-winning essay “Hell’s Kitchen” and finds that the power of Whitaker’s prison writing resides in its capacity to shock readers into a sensory appreciation of the radical strangeness of life lived in a state of civil death. [44]

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  1. Hanson, Eric (September 19, 2007). "Triggerman in Sugar Land slayings pleads guilty". Houston Chronicle . Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  2. 1 2 "Clemency rare for death row convicts in Texas". February 22, 2018. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  3. 1 2 3 4 McCullough, Jolie (February 20, 2018). "In rare move, Texas Parole Board recommends clemency for death row inmate Thomas Whitaker". Texas Tribune . Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Vanapalli, Viswa (September 24, 2021). "Is Bartlett Whitaker dead or alive? Where is he now?". Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  5. 1 2 3 Reisner, Rebecca (October 11, 2019). "Bart Whitaker: Relative tragedy". Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Chevigny, Bell (August 9, 2018). "The Governor, the father, and the murderer". Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  7. Palkot, Stephen (February 19, 2018) [March 6, 2007]. "Whitaker Faces Life or Death". Fort Bend Herald and Texas Coaster . Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  8. 1 2 3 4 Mitchell, Corey (2010). Savage Son. New York, NY: Kensington/Pinnacle. ISBN   9780786020133 . Retrieved January 4, 2020.[ verification needed ][ full citation needed ] Note, no access to content is apparently available online.
  9. Martinez, Deidre (February 19, 2018). "Former Baylor Student faces execution". Baylor Lariat . Waco, TX: Baylor University. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
  10. Phillips, Harr; Stohler, Elissa (May 1, 2009). "Gov. commutes death sentence for man convicted of masterminding murder of mother, brother". CBS News . Retrieved September 18, 2018. Unknown to his parents, the dinner celebration marking his graduation was a fraud. He'd dropped out of school months earlier.
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Hanson, Eric (November 19, 2007). "Driver in Sugar Land murder plot gets 15 years". Houston Chronicle . Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  12. 1 2 3 4 Whitaker, Kent; et al. (January 19, 2009). "Murder by Family: Read shocking excerpt". ABC News . Retrieved January 4, 2022.[ third-party source needed ]
  13. 1 2 Whitaker, Kent (2008). Murder by Family: The incredible true story of a son's treachery and a father's forgiveness. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster. ISBN   9781439139981 . Retrieved January 6, 2022.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)[ page needed ][ third-party source needed ] See also this archived text of Murder by Family . Howard Books. 2008. ISBN   978-141657813-0 via Internet Archive (
  14. 1 2 Martinez-Ramundo, Denise; Phillips, Harry (April 28, 2009). "'Sugar Land' culprit made new life in Mexico". Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  15. Kumar, Seshadri (September 25, 2005). "Bart Whitaker arrested". Houston Chronicle . Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  16. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Hanson, Eric (March 2, 2007). "Testimony ends in Whitaker's murder trial". Houston Chronicle . Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  17. 1 2 "Reprieve for man who plotted own family's murder". February 20, 2018. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  18. 1 2 3 4 Thomas Bartlett Whitaker v. The State of Texas, 286S.W.3d355 , 355 and final(Tex. App.2009)("[No. AP-75,654] From Cause No. 42,969 in the 400th District Court / Fort Bend County / Hervey, J., delivered the opinion of the Court in which Keller, P.J., Meyers, Womack, Keasler, Holcomb and Cochran, JJ., joined. Price, and Johnson, JJ., concurred ... The judgment of the trial court is affirmed. / Hervey, J. / Delivered: June 24, 2009").
  19. "IamWhoWeR Mulhall" [video post by] (June 19, 2017). Bart Whitaker on the stand (video). [pirated]. Retrieved January 5, 2022 via YouTube.[ full citation needed ][ non-primary source needed ] Note, the time-stamp of the point in this 4:22 video that is being referenced has not been provided.
  20. Kever, Jeannie (October 19, 2007). "Father forgives son who had mom, brother killed". Houston Chronicle . Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  21. 1 2 3 Graczyk, Michael (October 10, 2017). "Man condemned in family murder plot loses high court appeal". U.S. News & World Report . Associated Press. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  22. 1 2 Thomas Bartlett Whitaker, Petitioner v. Lorie Davis, Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division(U.S.October 10, 2017)("[Case] No. 17-5080, Capital Case. Order List: 583 U.S. / Tuesday, October 10, 2017 (12 pp.) / Certiorari Denied / 17-5080 Whitaker, Thomas B. V. Davis, Dir., TX DCJ (p. 6). NOTE: volume, reporter, etc. UNKNOWN."). Text For list of the Supreme Court record of all proceedings and orders (and other information) stemming from the July 6, 2017 U.S. docketing of the appeal of the April 4, 2017 decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (lower court, case no. 16-70013), see this record, accessed January 6, 2022.
  23. Blakinger, Keri (November 6, 2017). "Judge sets execution date for Sugar Land man who had family killed for $1 million inheritance". Houston Chronicle . Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  24. See also McCullough, Jolie (February 20, 2018). "Texas Prison System stalls release of public information on executions". Texas Tribune . Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  25. Hampton, Keith S.; Rytting, James. "Before the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles / Request for Commutation of Death Sentence to a Lesser Penalty" (PDF). Retrieved January 5, 2022.[ better source needed ]
  26. Whitaker, Kent (January 18, 2018). "A father's plea: Spare my son [Friday letters]". Houston Chronicle . Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  27. "Members of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles – David G. Gutiérrez, Chair". April 6, 2021. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  28. Kelly, Megyn & Whitaker, Kent (February 6, 2018). Father fights to save son who murdered mother and brother (streaming video). New York, NY: The Today Show . Retrieved January 5, 2022 via[ full citation needed ] Note, the time-stamp of the point in this 10:29 video that is being referenced has not been provided.
  29. 1 2 3 Weissert, Will; Graczyk, Michael (February 20, 2018). "Texas Parole Board Recommends Killer Be Spared From Death". Washington Post . Archived from the original on February 21, 2018. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  30. Graczyk, Michael (February 21, 2018). "Texas Governor Weighs Parole Board's Advice on Inmate's Fate". U.S. News & World Report . Associated Press. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  31. "Governor Abbott commutes death sentence of Thomas Bartlett Whitaker". (Press release). Office of the Texas Governor. February 22, 2018. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  32. Abbott, Greg; Pablos, Rolando B. (February 22, 2018). "[Commutation of death sentence of Thomas Bartlett Whitaker]" (PDF). (Press release). Proclamation of the Governor of the State of Texas. Retrieved January 5, 2022.See also "unformated, digital version" (Press release).
  33. Arnold, Robert (February 22, 2018). "Whitaker statement to prison officials". Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  34. Whitaker, Thomas Bartlett (February 17, 2012). "In response to Feministe". Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  35. "Bart Whitaker talks about eventual execution". August 1, 2012. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  36. Thomas Whitaker and Christopher Wilkins, et al v. Oliver J. Bell, Members of the Tx. Brd. of Criminal Justice, John Whitmire, David J. Callender, M.D., Governor Rick Perry, et al.(E.D. Tex.). — Class Action Complaint, Jury Trial Demanded [ full citation needed ]
  37. Sasser, Brian [video post by]; Whitaker, Thomas Bartlett (2013). KPRC-TV death row interview with Thomas Bart Whitaker (video). pirated. Retrieved January 5, 2022.[ full citation needed ] Note, the time-stamp of the point in this 4:02 video that is being referenced has not been provided. Note also, this video could not be tied to the apparent producer,, and so must be considered suspect.
  38. 1 2 3 Leibowitz, Barry (August 24, 2009). "Book 'Em: Murder by family". CBS News . Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  39. 1 2 Whitaker, Thomas Bartlett; et al. (January 6, 2022). "Thomas Bartlett Whitaker". (contributor autobiography). PEN America . Retrieved January 6, 2022.[ third-party source needed ],
  40. Whitaker, Thomas Bartlett (2018). Who Fears Hell Runs Toward It: On the Christian metaphysical foundations of the American penitentiary and the missing image of resistance in Foucault's Discipline and Punish (Master of Arts thesis). California State University, Dominguez Hills . Retrieved January 4, 2022 via
  41. 1 2 Beausoleil, Sophia (August 14, 2019). "Convicted killer accused of writing, selling book while in prison". Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  42. Whitaker, Thomas Bartlett; Hettiger, Julia (July 27, 2016). "Voices from Solitary: The war of all against all". Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  43. Casella, Jean; Ridgeway, James; Shourd, Sarah, eds. (2016). Hell Is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement. The New Press. ISBN   9781620971376.
  44. 1 2 3 4 Wells, Ira (January 1, 2014). ""No Hostages through these doors": Thomas Bartlett Whitaker's "Hell's Kitchen" and the politics of PEN" . Canadian Review of American Studies. 44 (3 [Winter]): 471–499. doi:10.3138/cras.2014.001. S2CID   144743297 . Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  45. "Writing for Justice Fellowship 2018-2019". (Press release). PEN America. 2018. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  46. "Writing for Justice Fellowship". (Press release). PEN America. 2022. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  47. Hopper, Jessica (September 8, 2011). "Death row bloggers get help from victims". ABC News . Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  48. Milito, Dina [Executive Director]; O’Neill, Teri [Director], eds. (January 4, 2022). "The Minutes Before Six Team". Whitaker, Thomas Bartlett [Founder and Creative Advisor]. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  49. Andress, Justin (September 23, 2021). ""Far worse than any death sentence": Horrific realities of solitary confinement". Retrieved January 6, 2022.[ better source needed ]

Further reading