More recently, he gained attention for helping make a documentary about Angola, The Farm, which was nominated for an Oscar and won a prize for documentaries at the Sundance Film Festival in 1998.
Governors Refused to Pardon Him
Rideau bills himself as “The Most Rehabilitated Prisoner in America.” He has gained Pardon Board recommendations for release since 1984, but so far a series of governors have refused, including Edwin Edwards who pardoned 89 murderers before leaving office in 1996. Supporters say he is the only one of 31 murderers sent to Angola in 1962 who has not been freed.
“If all those people were still in prison, I’d say what’s happened to me is fair,” Rideau said last year. “But they aren’t. I get post cards from a former inmate who killed four people. He’s out and I’m not.”
Prison officials at Angola said Rideau would not be made available for comment today.
“We’re the keeper of the keys and we’ll do whatever the courts tell us to do,” said Cathy Jett, prison spokeswoman.