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California Prison Letters of Stephen W. Winter
SPC.2021.033  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The California Prison Letters of Stephen W. Winter Collection (1965-1969,1975) contains one box and .21 linear feet of letters sent from Winter to his parents, Helen and Andreas M. Winter, as well as a few other letters sent from his mother, his friends, prison officials, and his lawyer. The majority of letters were sent during Winter's time in the California State Prison System. The letters begin in 1965 during Winter's time in Marine Corps training at Camp Pendleton and continue with his time at Marine Corps Air Station at El Toro in Southern California. These early letters include his experiences on and off base, as well as his attitude about the Marine Corps. After Winter's arrest in San Diego, CA. in December 1966 he spends two months in San Diego County Jail and writes one letter to his mother while incarcerated there. In late January of 1967 Winter is transferred to the California Institution for Men in Chino, CA. There he spends nearly five months writing about his daily activities and life in prison. He also writes about information his lawyer has been getting to him, and about a letter received from a Major Bond at El Toro. In June 1967, Winter writes from Deuel Vocational Institution near Tracy, CA. in San Joaquin County as he has officially been assigned to stay there for the remainder of his time in prison. The letters from Deuel consist of his experience in different vocations, the personal growth and maturity Winter has experienced as a result of being in prison, and his life plans after his release. Although all the letters written by Winter in this collection are to his parents, Winter also mentions family and close friends Betty and Cindy who are in recurring communication with him during his incarceration. A common subject is also Winter inquiring about friends and possible girlfriends from his past. In all his years spent in prison, Winter only mentions his arrest in a few letters but never in great detail. The very last letter in this collection was by Winter to his parents in 1975, six years after his parole from prison and gives an update on his last known situation.
Background
Stephen Wade Winter was born to Helen Barton and Andreas M. Winter in January 1948 in Bexar County Texas. He enlisted to the Marine Corps in the mid-1960s but was later arrested in 1966. The details of his arrest are unclear, but he spent the next two years in prison and was released on parole in March 1969. In 1975, he received an official pilot's license from the FAA.
Extent
1 box (95 letters, plus a few ephemeral items and seven pages of manuscript poems)
Restrictions
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
Availability
There are no access restrictions on this collection.