Eulogy for Albert Vouté

We were not friends. I never met him; we never spoke on the telephone or exchanged letters, but Thursday when I heard he had died, I experienced a sense of great loss.

Al was a friend of a friend; this friend shared with me descriptions of Al’s personality that were so detailed I felt I knew him. Over time a vivid picture of Al’s quirky ways emerged—his unique sense of humor, his many artistic and literary talents, his incredibly high level of intelligence and his crazy, crazy habit of robbing banks. Al wrote an article once about his life and his unusual passion:


“I don’t have any accomplishments to speak of. I’ve never earned a single degree, diploma, award, etc. I have, however, spent a couple decades building up an impressive rap sheet. I rob banks. It’s what I do. It’s what I’ve always done. I was robbing banks(RB) before I was capable of growing hair under my arms. The 1980’s were crazy like that. Doesn’t matter where I am in life. I RB when I’ve got myself together & life is great & I RB when I lose my mind & life is spiralling downward as if it has been flushed down a bus station toilet. Ever since my 1st one I’ve been hooked. I’m like the guy who got 1 bad tattoo then spends his life accumulating more & more bad tattoos. That he is unsightly & severely limited his opportunities in life isn’t a deterent 4 him acquiring yet another bad tattoo. He can’t help it. Truly, it’s addictive like that. My family & friends view me as a hopeless lunatic, but I’ve nonetheless gone back & done it again & again. I’ve nearly lost my life in minor shoot-outs w/ the cops during the commission of BR, but despite even that I did it again. Now I reside @ a max security federal prison.”

I mourn his passing. This was a man with many talents and a great deal to offer yet his promise remained unrealized to the end. His death is not the only tragedy; his was a life lost long before he died. I hope Al is now at peace.



One thought on “Eulogy for Albert Vouté

  1. Carole,

    I been thinking of him this weekend and I hope he’s at peace, too. My knowledge of Al is one step further removed than yours, because I “know” him via you. Most people would love to be super-intelligent themselves and to have super-intelligent children, but being intelligent isn’t nearly as easy as it looks. I guess it could be called a bed of roses, because you receive the thorns along with the beauty and sweet scent of the flowers. For some, like Al, there are far more thorns than flowers. Yours was a fitting eulogy.

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