Behind Gray Walls

Behind Gray Walls


“Behind Gray Walls” is a podcast featuring stories from inmates housed at the Old Idaho State Penitentiary. Each week, Skye and Anthony explore inmates whose crimes led them to serve time at the "Old Pen." Their history is explored in depth and compared to corrections topics faced in communities today.

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128 episodes

EP 79 - Lacey And Arnold

On the last episode of the season (and the first of the new year), Skye and Anthony talk about two pretty intense stories – first of a woman whose husband died by hamburger (sort of) #7610 Elizabeth Lottie Lacey (Murder in the First Degree) and one of the ten men executed on the grounds of the Idaho State Penitentiary on a cold winter night #3301 Noah Arnold (Murder in the First Degree). Be warned that both stories deal with murder and violence, as well as mentions of abuse – please listen with caution.  Oral Histories: Matron Lulu Rowan; 3/6/1987; Idaho State Archives John Jr. and Fred Snook (Son and Grandson of Warden John Snook); 2/12/1991; Idaho State Archives.

2h 0m
Jan 04
Stool Pigeon Saturday - Suzanne Squires On Mike Donnelly

In this Stool Pigeon Saturday, Anthony sits down with return guest Suzanne Squires to discuss the many crimes and escapes of Mike Donnelly #3302 (Murder in the 1st Degree).

Dec 31, 2022
EP 78 - Littles And Lennon

On today’s episode, the last of the year, Anthony and Skye examine the stories of a father and son whose main meeting was inside the prison walls #4536 Roy Little (Forgery) and #4619 James Little (Grand Larceny) and a woman who definitely had a thing for men in the Navy #9050 Elda Lee Lennon (Forgery). Oral History: Charles Sharp; 12/20/2022; Idaho State Archives.

1h 23m
Dec 27, 2022
EP 77 - Clark And Raff

On today’s episode, Skye and Anthony converse about a young woman whose fingers are light and her crime details unknown #1148 Eveline Clark (Burglary in the 2nd Degree) and a man whose life had two paths he could have taken – and he chose the one of crime not once but twice #5514/#6137 John Raff (Burglary in the 2nd Degree/Grand Larceny). Looking for last minute gifts? Look no further! Check out the Old Pen Store Souvenir Confinement: (Most items are only available for in-store purchase at this time) Oral History: Guard Jim Howland; 7/28/1992. Idaho State Archives.

1h 9m
Dec 20, 2022
EP 76 - Sparling And Goddard

As we continue into the second half of the season, Anthony and Skye profile a man whose trade in creamery stock ended up in a not so sweet jail sentence #2363 A.L. Sparling (Obtaining Money Under False Pretenses) and a woman whose cross-country road trip got her in an awful lot of trouble #8337 Kay Goddard (Burglary in the First Degree). Sign up for the monthly Idaho State Historical Society Histor-E Newsletter here:

1h 43m
Dec 13, 2022
EP 75 - Moncisco And Norwood

Our second episode with guest co-host Samuel features the stories of a young woman whose live was plagued with tragedy, including her husband’s death at the hands of her brother #11828 Philnoma Moncisco (Robbery) and a young man whose search for wealth and success in a large polygamous family ended in a prison sentence #587 David Norwood (Murder in the 2nd Degree). This episode includes graphic descriptions of a violent attack. Listener discretion is advised.

1h 40m
Dec 06, 2022
EP 74 - King And Hansom

Halfway through season 8, we’re mixing things up, including a guest co-host, Samuel Anderson! In this episode, Samuel and Skye chat about a K.O. King and his storied boxing career in prison #5474 Chester Arthur King (Burglary) and a woman whose alleged fiancée was spending her money on someone else #5304 Mary Turner Hansom (Voluntary Manslaughter). This episode includes descriptions of gun violence. Listener Discretion is Advised. Oral Histories: Guard Frank Rigby; 7/13/1992. Idaho State Archives. Franklin D. Roosevelt; 9/6/1936 Fireside Chat.

1h 27m
Nov 22, 2022
Stool Pigeon Saturday - Showdown in Idaho: A History of Idaho Gunfights

In this Stool Pigeon Saturday, Anthony and Skye hang up their spurs and sit down with Old Pen Staff Member Samuel Anderson who shares three stories of wild west gunfights in territorial Idaho. Listener discretion is advised. Want to support the podcast? Consider becoming a member of the Idaho State Historical Society today!

Nov 19, 2022
EP 73 - Hudson And Sampley

In today’s episode, Anthony and Skye have a good chat about an LGBTQ+ inmate whose piano playing talent provided some prison levity #7047 Wesley Hudson (Burglary) and a woman whose crime is surprisingly relevant even a century later #3231 Cora Sampley (Involuntary Manslaughter). This episode includes discussions of sexual crimes against minors and deals with the subject of abortion. Listener discretion is advised.

1h 25m
Nov 15, 2022
EP 72 - LIVE! Bowman And McGee

In this LIVE episode from the Storyfort stage on March 24, 2022, Anthony and Skye regale the audience with the stories of a woman whose charge was only one time she had a run-in with authorities during Prohibition #3534 Eva Bowman (Inducing a Girl to Enter a House of Prostitution) and a man who portrayed ol' Knothead Gilbert Talley in a monthly comic #8974 Albert McGee (Burglary in the 2nd Degree). To see photos and join the discussion, visit our Facebook page:

Nov 03, 2022
Halloween Special - IDAHO CRYPTIDS

In this Halloween Special of Stool Pigeon Saturday, Anthony and Skye sit down with Old Pen Staff members Samuel Anderson, Jacey Brain, and Darin Young to dig into the spooky history of Idaho cryptids. They discuss the Payette Lake monster Sharlie, Camas's Wild Man, Ghost Miners, and the Guyascutus. Special thanks to our Historical Society maintenance craftsman Charlie Burry for playing fiddle for the episode. Like what you hear? You can support the podcast by donating at:

1h 9m
Oct 29, 2022
EP 71 - Wilson And Hoagland

In the second episode of the new season, Skye and Anthony discuss a member of the Nez Perce tribe who got caught having some trouble with checks, and dive DEEP into the history of the Idaho State Tuberculosis Hospital #11233 Estella Wilson (Issuing a Check Without Funds) and a man whose head injury may have had a major role to play in his crime #3241 David Hoagland (Murder in the 1st Degree). To learn more about the Old Idaho Penitentiary and upcoming events, visit:

1h 36m
Oct 25, 2022
Stool Pigeon Saturday - Tristin Hafer On William Dewey

In this Stool Pigeon Saturday, Anthony sits down with Old Pen Staff Member Tristin Hafer, who shares the fascinating and lesser-known story of #79 "Colonel" William H. Dewey (Manslaughter), one of Idaho's leading pioneers and entrepreneurs. Want to support the podcast? Consider becoming a member of the Idaho State Historical Society today!

Oct 22, 2022
EP 70 - Johnston And Reems

In the premiere of season 8, Anthony and Skye again take on some of the prison’s heaviest hitters, including a former mayor who may or may not have been falsely accused #5826 Duncan Johnston (Murder in the 1st Degree), and the prison’s youngest female inmate who had an affinity for dolls #8170 Alwilda Reems (Murder in the 2nd Degree). Both stories feature intense gun violence. Listener discretion is advised. Check Skye out in Wilda by Parallel Worlds Productions - the winner of our 13 Stories History Award in 2021:

2h 13m
Oct 18, 2022
Season 8 Trailer

We're back at it, bringing you Idaho history and the stories of the men and women who worked and resided at the Old Idaho State Penitentiary. Stay tuned!

Oct 07, 2022
EP 69 - Mining in Idaho After 1869

In this episode, Skye and Anthony wrap up the Mining season with a look at the industry from the 1860s to today, and reflect on the ghost towns scattered throughout the state. If you like the podcast, you can support us by becoming a member of the Idaho State Historical Society ( A membership gives you free admission to the Old Pen and State Museum, early access to exhibits, early registration to select events, 15% discount in the gift shop, and much more! Join today!

Jun 01, 2022
EP 68 - Dan Everhart On The Assay Building

In this episode, Anthony interviews Dan Everhart, Outreach Historian for the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Dan discusses his career in historic preservation, the history and development of the historic Assay office in downtown Boise, and his own unique connection to the Old Idaho State Penitentiary. Oral History: Josef Munch - Summer 2001.

1h 11m
May 24, 2022
EP 67 - Ada County - Al Priest - John Black - Charles LaDuke - Jacob Drake - Michael Donahue

In this episode, Skye and Anthony discuss the first five men to serve time in the Territorial Prison from Ada County - Al Priest and John Stuart Black (Highway Robbery), Charles LaDuke (Grand Larceny), Jacob Drake (Assault with Intent to Murder), and Michael Donahue (Assault with Intent to Murder) - and dig into the county's role as a center for lumber and commerce.

May 17, 2022
EP 66 - Boise County - Ah Hood - On Gow - Dennis Crowley

In this episode, Skye and Anthony discuss the first three men to serve time in the Territorial Prison from Boise County - Ah Hood (Robbery and Assault with Intent to Commit Murder), On Gow (Manslaughter), and Dennis Crowley (Murder in the 2nd Degree), and dig into the county's rich mining history. Donate today! Idaho Gives - Foundation for Idaho History: State Historic Preservation Office Poster Unveiling with Ward Hooper:

May 03, 2022
EP 65 - Dr. Heather Branstetter

In this episode, Anthony and Skye interview Dr. Heather Branstetter, author of Selling Sex in the Silver Valley: A Business Doing Pleasure. Heather shares the history and role of sex work that flourished around Idaho mining and timber towns as late as 1991. Check out this short documentary about Wallace, Idaho and the history of sex work by Dr. Branstetter and director Delaney Buffett. Viewer discretion advised:

1h 4m
Apr 26, 2022
EP 64 - Nez Perce County - William Scott

In this episode, Skye and Anthony discuss the first man to serve time in the Territorial Prison from Nez Perce County - William Scott(Grand Larceny), and dig into the county's rich mining and union history. Clips: Senator Robert Wagner speech on the National Labor Relations Act (1935) Frank "Andy" Starr - "Tragedy in the Sunshine Mine" - In Concert at the Idaho State Penitentiary (1973)

Apr 19, 2022
EP 63 - Owyhee County - John Thomas And Ah Shock

In this episode, Skye and Anthony discuss the first men to serve time in the Territorial Prison from Owyhee County - John Thomas (Grand Larceny) and Ah Shock (Manslaughter), and dig into the county's rich mining history.

Apr 12, 2022
EP 62 - Mining in the Idaho Territory

In this episode, Skye and Anthony dig deep into Idaho's early mining history, and cover a brutal murder and the first executions in the territory.

Apr 06, 2022
EP 61 - Terry Maley On The 1872 General Mining Law

In this episode, Anthony sits down with geologist and author Terry Maley to discuss the impact the General Mining Act of 1872 had on the west, and his career and insights into mining in Idaho.

Mar 29, 2022
EP 60 - The Territorial Prison

In this season premiere, released on the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Territorial Prison, Skye and Anthony discuss the discovery of gold that brought miners into the Idaho Territory, and the establishment of law and order that developed soon after.

Mar 21, 2022
Season 7 Trailer

We're working hard to bring you a brand new season! March 21st (6-8pm) - Old Idaho Penitentiary 150th Anniversary Commemoration Tickets: March 19th-26th - Cemetery Tour Tickets: March 24th (6pm) - Treefort Live Performance:

Mar 09, 2022
EP 59 - Phelan And Lowe

In the finale of this extended season, Anthony and Skye profile a couple of people with money problems—first, a man whose crimes send him to the very place he had worked #5693 Tony Phelan (Embezzlement); second, a young woman whose trial is one of the best covered of any of our lady forgers, #4345 Viola Lowe (Forgery).

1h 38m
Dec 07, 2021
EP 58 - Mildred And Frank Wilcox

In this season’s couple’s episode, Skye and Anthony piece together the complicated stories of the Wheelers/Wilcoxes who were allegedly running a “Certified Check Racket,” and whose post-ISP exploits are far more interesting than their time inside #3234 Mildred Wilcox (Forgery) and #3235 Frank L. Wilcox (Possession of Forged Checks).

Nov 30, 2021
EP 57 - Ainesworth And Surratt

In this episode, Skye and Anthony are back from their break and discuss a woman whose AWOL husband causes quite a few problems #9008 Doris Mae Ainesworth (Forgery) and a man whose fall from a building in the middle of the night proved his (pun intended) downfall #1793 William P. Surratt (Burglary in the 1st Degree).

1h 6m
Nov 23, 2021
Stool Pigeon Saturday - Samuel Anderson On Boxing

In this Stool Pigeon Saturday, Anthony and Skye sit down with Old Pen staff member and resident boxer Samuel Anderson, who shares the history of boxing at the Old Idaho State Penitentiary and opens up about his own boxing career.

1h 2m
Nov 20, 2021