My name is Samuel Felder, Jr. I was born August 23, 1945, in a small town called Copeland, Texas.
Four or five hundred people lived there. When I was about 7 years old, we moved to a town seven miles away called Taylor, right outside of Austin. That’s basically where I grew up. I'm one of nine children--five girls and four boys. We weren't no rich peoples. My father was what you call a sharecropper. Picked cotton. Just about everybody picked cotton, especially the black people in the community. My mother basically raised us. My dad drinked. A few of us finished high school, but nobody ever went to college. I got some nieces and nephews that has been, but in the immediate family everybody was more or less simple people. I went through the 7th grade. I more or less refer to that as ‘the carefree days of my youth,’ you know. We were just living.
My life of crime started when I was 14 years old. It seems that I just turned bad. Not bad in the sense of someone who is constantly walking around thinking about evil deeds. Not like this. Bad in the sense that I just started doing wrong, started stealing. I was burglarizing people's houses, I was robbing peoples, I was just a common thief. In 1975 I was 28. My sister was going to go up to Denver to visit my brother, and she asked me if I wanted to go along with her. I needed some money to get there, and this is mainly what motivated me in doing what I did.
I had me a good job at a place where handicapped peoples stayed. I was something like an attendant-- whatever they needed is just what I did. This particular gentleman, name of Hanks, he had some money at that time so I decided to rob him. So one night, I just walked up, opened the door, and he was laying there on the bed asleep. I knew that he kept his money under his pillow, and as I was reaching my hand to get it, that's when he woke up and he hollered and it scared me. I just … there's a table that's sitting next to the bed, and they have all the medical supplies and stuff on it, and there's a pair of scissors laying there and I just grabbed it, and I started stabbing him. When he kept on hollering, I got the pillow and put it over his head and tried to muffle sounds out. It was not my intention to kill him. I just snapped.
I will die on Wednesday, December 15th, 1999, at approximately 6:00 in the afternoon. I can be pretty precise. When I found out exactly what my day was, I made me up a little calendar, and it's going backwards to the day. I got it marked as ‘D-Day.’ I'm 54 years old and I've been down here since I was 30, so I have had a lot of time to think about it and it don't scare me no more.
I'll probably get up that morning pretty early. From 5:30 in the morning until 8, I’m probably going to say my prayers, read my scriptures, let God know that I'm gonna come--but He already know all that. And then from 7:00 to 8:00 I’ll probably watch the morning news, because we watch the news around here every morning--CNN. And then my breakfast will come. I'll probably be out here in the visiting room from 8:15 until about 12:30. You can make a list of everybody you want to see and they'll bring them to you off the list and you can say your good-byes.
They'll come get me around 12:30 and transfer me over to the Walls unit. They'll load me in the van and drive me over there and I will be placed in a holding cell a little ways from the execution chamber. I will be allowed to have a spiritual advisor. I think that's from 2:00- to 4:00. Then you get your last meal. Then they will transport me to the chamber. They got this little table there, and two of them will strap me down stretched out almost like a cross. Then they put a needle here and one here. Then they’ll open up the curtains and if there are any visitors of the victim, they'll be there also. There's absolutely no way I want anyone I love to be there. I just want to get it over with. They'll ask me if I have any last words to say. If the victim's family is there, I'll probably tell them how terribly sorry I am that this happened, because there was no need for him to die. I know this is not going to be any consolation to them, because they lost a loved one. I'm very sorry for it. If no one's there I don't need to say a thing, just whatever comes to my heart. I don't have nothing planned out or anything like that, I'll just deal with the moment as it comes. After that you give the nod and it's over. Lethal injection.
When I was a kid, the year 2000 fascinated me. I went so far as to figure out exactly how old I'd be when the year 2000 got here. And I was really looking forward to seeing it. So when I first heard about this December 15th date, I was really disappointed. I really in my heart wanted to see that year. But, you know, we don't always get what we want.