After Life

I’m the lead content editor and copywriter for Breakout, a brand that brings top entrepreneurs together at impact event weekends in developing growth cities across America. We feature stories about interesting social entrepreneurs. This story, about a convicted murderer who is now one of Baltimore’s top change makers, went viral and is one of my all favorites. Refer to the Stories section to see them all.

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Chris Wilson was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder. Today he’s making deals with celebrities and Fortune 500 companies. This is the story of a man who saved himself…

CONTENT WARNING: This interview contains disturbing facts.

Breaker Chris Wilson often begins his speeches with Plato’s allegory of the cave. The Cave was Plato’s way of describing the blindness with which citizens are forced to view society, chained to a wall where only shadows of the truth are visible. Only through an awakening of the mind can citizens free themselves from the cave, and see things for how they really are.

The Cave may be an even better allegory, however, for Wilson himself, a man who spent sixteen years in prison for first degree murder. It was his mind, a decision made within himself, and a plan to overcome, that set him free.

In our interview with Chris, we learn the devastating and incredible story of how a man saved his own life through planning, perseverance, and a poster of the Paypal Mafia…

So, how did you end up with a life sentence?

I grew up in Northeast Washington D.C. In the early 90’s there was a crime spike in D.C, and it became the murder capital of the world. My mom started dating a crooked cop, sort of like Denzel in Training Day. Needless to say he hated me, and one day he knocked me out and raped my mom in front of me and bashed her skull in with his service weapon. She survived, but she became depressed and got addicted to booze and prescription pills. She could never work after that…

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