Boyfriend behind bars! Artist disregards friends warnings about her prisoner partner and even hopes to marry him
An artist is ignoring warnings about her boyfriend behind bars and even vows to marry him despite being imprisoned.
Katie Gotch, 30, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, is as besotted as ever with her locked away lover despite comments and insinuations from others.
They have been dating for close to three-years, after she first wrote to Silas Nathaniel Kanady, 30, in California’s Pleasant Valley State Prison, through WriteAPrisoner.com in 2015.
He is seven years into an 18-year sentence, after being found guilty of two counts of home invasion, two counts of kidnapping with a firearm and a felony assault while in custody of the county jail.
Katie hopes her banged-up beau who will be released in five years and intends to move across state to California, so that she can marry him.
She says her family have grown to like former Silas, an army veteran, with him also writing to her mother and grandmother.
Despite only meeting two times face to face, most recently four months ago, they keep their relationship alive through watching films at the same time, writing saucy letters and more.
Katie, an art school graduate, said: “For the first year, I only told my closest friends, my mom and grandmother, it felt like everyone else wouldn’t understand and would just pass judgement without knowing him.
“When I told my family, that I was dating someone inside they were all worried about me.
“But once they heard how happy I was that changed and now it’s been going on for two and a half years.
“Most of my co-workers tried to warn me off him just because he was in prison. No matter what his crime was or what they heard about him.
“They would say things like, ‘You need to find a man outside prison,’ ‘It’s too hard, it won’t work,’ and thought I was chasing bad boys.
“It’s tough to talk to anyone who doesn’t have experience with a loved one inside. Because they compartmentalize prisoners as all bad or troubled or even evil.
“I try to tell them they are wrong about him because they don’t bother to know him. Or shrug and ignore them.
“Sometimes I just have to let people think I am nuts rather than explain because it is tough to bridge the gap where they’ll understand.
“I try but people usually remain unconvinced and think I am being used or will end up unhappy.
“I’m pretty convinced he’s the person I’ll spend the rest of my life with.
“I’ll marry him inside and then we can have family visits to grow closer than in general visits.”
After the breakdown of her marriage, Katie started writing to prisoners, which would lead her to first talk to Silas in October 2015.
Despite having a ‘blurry picture’ on his profile, she was intrigued by their common interests into the fantasy genre and common hope to find healing through friendship.
Katie said: “I’m kind of a geek, so I looked for a geeky person too, someone into fantasy reading and not just a meathead who wanted to work out all the time.
“When we started sharing our histories with each other and what we liked, we realised we had something special and not just an average friendship.
“He was really sure about me right away that he wants to spend the rest of his life with me.
“I was shy from my previous marriage and needed to know him better before knowing I would do this forever.”
The loved-up pair is set to meet for a third time next month, with Katie determined to move to live nearer to her partner.
Katie said: “I’ve only seen him twice but we ae so much more relaxed around each other, goofing around, being affection and happy instead of nervous or shy.
“We can only hug and kiss at the beginning and end of a visit, we try to get away with stuff, but you can’t really do anything other than hold each other’s hand and sit next to one another.
“We do write each other a lot of smut letters and we do actually coordinate ‘sex time,’ where we have ‘sex’ at the same time.
“I think you’re not fulfilling every part of yourself if you’re not fulfilling those needs too.
“We do a lot of other things together too, like we find out what movies are on and watch them at the same time.”
Silas was a decorated senior gunner in the US Army until his last tour ended in 2011 – that same year he would go onto commit home invasion and kidnapping offences.
He was sentenced five-years-ago for his crimes and may not be eligible for parole until 2025.
Katie maintains she is not deterred by the offences and believes Silas’s downfall is a representation of the ‘limited help’ available to soldiers returning to normal life.
She said: “He had a gun and he didn’t fire it, but he did pistol whip one of the guys he tied up and robbed, so they brought a lot of charges on him. As well as kidnapping because he tied them up.
“I feel like Silas came back from Afghanistan in a very low place, it was a testament to how poor the transition for veterans coming back is.
“He definitely regrets what he did, he feels he was a different person then and has made a lot of changes to his life.
“He has worked on himself a lot since being inside, if he went I don’t think he’d make the same decisions.”
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