Robert Baillie’s name is well known throughout this prison that I’m in. A real serial rapist/serial killer can turn some heads. I had started writing on what women should do to prevent themselves from being victims of rape, but I never finished it. As I was trying to become as informed as I could, I approached different levels of rapists and pedophiles and I asked for their input and stories. I figured since I was locked up with them, I could learn what I could from them so that I could help women. One problem was that, honesty, in this group it was hard to come by. But one thing came up again and again: Maybe you could talk to Baillie. With five murder/rape convictions and five life sentences, he did have knowledge that I wanted for my book. It was people like him that I was trying to keep women safe from after all.
My first approach of Robert Baillie could have gone better, but I guess at the same time it could have gone worse. I was a little rushed into it you could say. Originally, I planned on waiting for an agent to write me back, but I had expressed my wishes to approach Mr. Baillie to my acquaintance Eby who has worked with and been around Baillie for many years. Eby has a workhorse, get it done type of attitude, so it only makes sense for him to see how easy it would be to introduce me and then do so.
Baillie lives in cell 1-N-04 in unit 8, the same unit that Eby and I live in. We approached Baillie’s cell and Eby knocked and opened up easy conversation as Baillie opened his door. Baillie was already standing up in his cell for some reason I can’t figure out. As I was writing that book and thinking about interviewing him, I’ve noticed that he’s always standing up in there, not really looking at anything. Eby explained to him that I’m writing a book and that he wanted to introduce us.
I introduced myself and because of one of my other interviews with a guy names Jones, who explained to me that most sex offenders are narcissistic, I tried to play on that. It made sense, seeing that in Ann Rule’s book “The stranger beside me”, she explains the serial killer Ted Bundy as a super narcissist. I semi-lied and said I was writing about serial killers, rapists and people who have achieved something that they’ll be remembered for.
Mentioning the rape is what I think made him get more guarded. These people realize that there is a lot wrong with them, and he’s no different. He shook his head slightly and explained that he’s already in one book in the library and in the chaplain’s office, and that he’s going through an appeal on his most recent conviction of a hotel cleaning lady that was strangled and raped. It was a cold case, unsolved for a long time until they got him. He explained that he was going to beat it because they had a black man’s DNA and not his. He says he was just there with some other bikers and didn’t know about a dead cleaning lady. For some reason he thinks that he’s able to make parole if he beats it, but like me, everyone has their doubts. He may be delusional, but the fact remains that he’s not interested in talking about his guilt on record. He’s says after he wins his appeal he wants to write a book about being in a biker club, The Hells Angels, and beating a murder charge. He also told me a movie company wanted to make a movie about him, but all that was on hold due to his most recent murder conviction of the cleaning lady. He says all this with a smile, though his eyes don’t reflect it. His eyes are blue, but not bright blue like mine. They’re a darker, duller blue that can’t fit any smile that I’ve seen. He’s older, maybe mid-60’s, with a very receding hairline. He’s almost as tall as me, maybe 6’1″, and wears big glasses with thick lenses. He has broad shoulders and a big body. I can see how he could overpower a woman if she was alone and unexpecting. I don’t know first-hand, but, Eby, who actually lived in the same cell as him before, tells me that Baillie has scars where some Hells Angels had cut off his tattoos once they found out he was a rapist.
To me, Baillie is a disappointment, because for some reason I expected more out of him. Like he would gloat about it, or at least show some pride in himself, enough for me to get some information for my book. He’s done a lot of time for these things. Why hold on to innocence when everyone knows his guilt? More than that, everyone knows that he has only been caught for a fraction of the rapes and murders he actually committed.
We parted on good terms, so maybe one of these days he will see me out in the pod at a table with my pen and paper and come speak with me. It’s a long shot, but we’ll see. Just talking with him less than a couple feet away, I couldn’t help but wonder how many poor women had seen him and it ended up being the last person they ever saw. What kind of terror they must have felt once they realized. As I looked at him I didn’t feel any fear for myself, but I could feel a certain level of caution. It was his unpredictability that made me pay more attention. I had to be aware of him.
As I write this I realize a deeper impact this predator had on his victims, such as Mrs. Janet Conrad, the cleaning lady he was convicted of raping and murdering. How many people know her by name? Because of Baillie’s actions, she has forever been demoted to the position of “The cleaning lady”. That was the end of her progress. Is that all she would have achieved, or was she a student working towards a goal? Was she a mom building a future for her children? Was she a good daughter or granddaughter, or even a good mother? Did she want to be? When people read about this crime, she’s only a basic stepping stone to a monsters insight. What more could she have been if not for Robert Baillie?
After we parted ways with Baillie, I sat with Eby for a few minutes. He was only cellies with Baillie for a brief period, but he tells me it’s an experience he’ll never forget. He told me how Baillie would fight himself and inflict real damage on himself. he explained how he would lay naked in his bed, but all the while aware of when the guards would be walking, so he could quickly get dressed as to not get written up and placed in the hole. He knew that what he was doing was wrong, yet he still did it. No one could ever know what kind of demons Baillie has to fight with every day.
I’d like to sit down with Eby and talk more in depth. Eby’s an open guy and pretty sociable. One thing he said about being cellies with Baillie stood out to me and gave me the chills more than anything else. He said that Baillie had told him a joke one time. The joke was this:
“What did the cleaning lady say before she died?”
“What?” Eby asked.
“Only I would know that, ey?” Baillie replied emotionlessly…