Pile Driven

by Brian Crawford
January 2009


My name is Brian Crawford. I’m a 34-year-old inmate who is also a husband, father, former corrections officer, and former 18-year veteran of professional wrestling. Three years ago, I felt as if I was on the top of the world. I had a good job, good marriage, and I was living a childhood dream, well on my way to a career in world wrestling entertainment.

On March 10, 2007, that all changed. If I can take things back a bit, I became a Christian at the age of 13. I grew up in a Baptist church. I’ve always believed in God and Christ, and as I got older, I just assumed I was ok because I was saved. I started wrestling when I was 15-years old and, soon after, that was what occupied my mind.

Later on, I got married to a wonderful wife and began having children. Now, my wife already had two kids who had no fathers due to untimely deaths. I decided to take the two kids as my own and raise them. Then, my wife and I had four more children for a total of six. Yes, our house became crazy.

Now, the Holy Spirit was always working on me all this time, and it seemed my wife and I always ignored the things we should have been doing, like going to church and serving Christ as we should as Christians. Soon, both my wife and I got busy with life and as my two step kids got older, we put a lot of responsibility on them, and then my relationship with my step kids began to go south.

In 1998, my father’s last words to me were, “Son, no matter what, you take care of them girls.” So, from that point on, I became hard on them. I was always doing the tough love thing, trying to show them responsibility and hoping they would stay out of trouble. In 2006, my step kids became boy crazy teenagers and I reacted harshly, banning them from boys.

In turn, this fueled hate toward me from my step kids (both girls). There is so much more to this story, but on March 10, 2007, my step kids accused me of rape. Both of our families and I were devastated. In a solitary cell I spent many nights on my knees crying, as I still do today, almost two years later.

Even though all this was going on, I kept believe that God would rescue me, so for seven months before my trial I sat in my solitary cell praying and talking to God. Then the trial came and my lawyer said that all would be ok, and that I had a 95 percent chance of going home. The next day I was convicted with no evidence, only the hearsay testimonies of my step daughters.

I was sentenced to 40 years. At my sentencing, the judge asked if I had anything to say. I said, “Yes. I want to give thanks to God.” Even though I knew that what was happening was wrong, I knew at some point God’s will shall be done, and I will be set free. Today, I still cry in my cell. I have good days and bad days, but all along I cannot find it in myself to doubt or blame God. He has put me here for a reason. Now I live day to day, planting seeds in all my conversations. I have found a great group of Christian inmates and together we serve God inside these walls. My story/testimony is far from over, but one thing is for certain: God has protected me so far, and I thank him each day. As Christians, we must not ignore God’s warnings. I know that now more than ever. And I love the Lord and thank him for the small things. God is great. I am a soldier for God and I’ll march until my time comes.