I was padlocked inside the small room with a man I had never met before, a man who was to be executed within days for the brutal murders of four people.
I was there to interview Stanley Tookie Williams. He shook my hand, introduced himself and we began to talk. An hour later, a heavy storm felled a power line and the lights in the visiting area suddenly went off.
My first reaction was to look at the door with its small rectangular hole, through which Williams an hour earlier had shoved his muscular arms to be cuffed while I walked into the room. After I entered and the door was securely locked, Williams shoved his arms back through the rectangular hole so the cuffs could be removed.
I glanced at that door. I looked for a prison guard who could bust open the door and pull me out should anything go wrong. Williams sensed my apprehension.
"Don't panic," he told me. "I'm here, I can protect you. I've got your back."
He calmed me down. The lights returned within seconds. A prison guard then appeared and looked in.
It's hard to believe that anyone is resting easier now that Williams is dead. But it's also hard for me to believe that all those people with "W 04" stickers on their SUVs aren't so ashamed that they have them removed. So what I really need is an injection of credulity.