“Reading this book is like sitting on the front porch of your grandpa’s house as he tells you his story of love, freedom, and surrender. Definitely worth a read if you’re looking for a true narrative that will leave you feeling surprised and grateful.”
– Winnie Anne
“A compelling thriller that reads like a combination of The Shawshank Redemption and Midnight Express. The writing is crisp; I felt as though I was alongside the main characters for the ride, which was unexpected considering it is a true story/autobiography set in the 1960’s. I ripped through the book in two days unable to put it down.”
– Alexander C. Lange, President ABN AMRO Securities (USA) LLC
“Wes Pritchett’s true story of injustice, desperation, and near capitulation conjures up some of our worst fears. That he found, or, more accurately, was granted, a way out at the last possible moment is inspirational. This was an engaging read with an uplifting ending.”
– Brian Tague, Attorney Akerman LLP
“I have known Wes Pritchett for a long time. He is a role model citizen and someone that is looked up to with great respect, by everyone he knows. His life story is one of reflection, redemption, rejuvenation and plain old hard work. It’s a very inspirational story of someone headed down the wrong path in life, who completely turned their life around. Some great life lessons that everyone can learn from.”
– Charlie Johnston, Former CEO of Smith Barney and President of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
“This is an extraordinary and riveting early life story, hard to put down, with twists and turns that keep the reader engaged. Written well, Pritchett reaches depths of despair that are palpable to the reader. At the same time there is always a sense of hope and even humor. The journey starts abruptly and takes us on a scary and shocking path. Pritchett writes with a natural ease and flow.
The book is a declaration of human resistance and the powers to survive! Excellent read!!”
– Claire Amerena London
“Numerous authors have written about injustice, the power of faith, the will to survive against immense diversity, and the endurance to over and over again say, “YES!” to life. We need such stories and Wes’s is another one, this by a first-time author, who in a most engaging way, displays his remarkable talent for storytelling – for “teachin’, not preachin’”!
I’ve learned so much from Wes about the goodness and light that dwells within us, and also about the need to remain ever vigilant to the forces that refute life, and feed upon hatred and eradication of love. This book will forever remain in my heart.”
– Francis Pinto, Musician And Founder of The Jazz Anarchists
“For me, good writing results in my being transported to the place being portrayed—it’s physical location, and, if I’m lucky, the emotional experience of participants in the action. Wes Pritchett’s ‘s book, Decker Hilton, is good writing.
Mr Pritchett captures the horrors of incarceration and the grit of the act of trying and trying not to give up. He gave me an opportunity to be with him through his life changing time and to experience with him his hanging on when he thought he couldn’t and his finding a way- his way—. I am lucky not to be him in what he faced, but also lucky to be transported, through his writing. A very, very worthwhile read.”
– Lee Rassnick, Independent Law Practice Professional
“Greetings Wes, Parker forwarded your book to me…..and I read the complete story. I marvel at your strength, fortitude and ‘never give-in’ thinking. The ‘Gods’ were with you many steps along the way – especially meeting your beautiful Winnie. Thank you so very much for sharing with us. We are leaving on Sunday for a long cruise to Iceland & on to Europe….back end of August, so Parker will have a chance to read your story also while he is sitting on the balcony crossing the pond. Hope you and Winnie & your children are doing well & are happy – take care of each other &, to quote Warren Zevon, “Enjoy Every Sandwich”!!! I was not aware you were/are a musician/singer/writer; I trust you have many happy stories to tell re that part of your life.”
– Nancy Parker
I was really intrigued by the history you mentioned in the book. It caused me to do some more research on the prison and how people were treated back then. I also appreciated your vivid descriptions of prison life and how you were treated. It caused me to sympathize with you as a character and feel anger about the injustice you had to endure. I was also happy that you connected with TJ again outside of prison – that brought it full circle for me. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
“Once I started reading this book, I found it to be compelling! It is a highly riveting piece of work. Extremely powerful! I thoroughly enjoyed this emotionally charged and inspiring story line. It provokes positive feelings of hope, persistence and perseverance as well as a perspective of disappointment, injustice, Inequity, and utter despair! The life experiences reflect the ups and downs to which we are all subjected as individuals. The struggle between good and evil in this world. It reinforces that our faith and belief in our Lord and Savior is the way to forgiveness, redemption and Divine providence!”
Edward P. Rundle
“Throughout it all while struggling with his self-reliance, Wes manages to stay true to himself and somehow manages among the struggle for injustice to find the will power to pursue all obstacles with poise and dignity. An inspirational memoir that taps into the heart of the matter and empowers the reader to keep striving and have hope whenever everything seems pointless and to once again find happiness and blessings more than he ever expected.”
Madeline Gonzalez, Director Executive Patient Services University of Miami UHealth Champions
Wes takes us on his riveting real life drama and shares the different paths our lives can so easily take. It’s a courageous story that reminds we are all a sum of our experiences. A must-read.
Jeff Casale, President DTS Group, Dell Technologies
Wow, what a compelling and very fascinating story. Every page, every chapter, tells of suspenseful, dramatic events. The struggle to survive in a place that is dark, full of surprises, and tests the character of a young boy, incarcerated for the wrong reasons. I highly recommend everyone reading this, and I wish I could afford to buy the movie rights.
Congratulations to Wes.
Alex Lange, Retired Commercial Architect for Parsons, Washington, D.C
Wow! I have known Wes for most of my adult life, being married to his brother. This book made it hard for me to put down. So perfectly written and made me feel as though I was there with him telling his story. I can’t wait to read more!
I couldn’t put down The Decker Hilton! Reading Wes Pritchett’s story felt like I was sitting with him having a most interesting and authentic conversation about his harrowing experiences in jail. His book provides a rare opportunity for a peek into his life behind bars….how he endured it and what he learned from it.
I highly recommend this book.
Diann Newman, Ed.D. , Vice Dean Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management
I was honored and humbled to have read you story.
I kept thinking, well, a million things, but thought about the 8 months and the one month that you must have needed to start your recovery and new life and thought…wow that was like a gestation period, 9 months, enough time for a rebirth. I have had images in my head of you at that time, of the horrific struggle and abuse, of the courage and honor with which you showed up and got through.
Terribly pained about your moms experience and the emotional torture you endured day after day with seemingly non stop horrific experiences coming from every darn angle possible!
I came to love TJ….and how he spoke to your Spirit and how John the Mystic let your Spirit speak to you what a mind blow for you the whole thing must have been ….. what a life you created it beyond it…..
How very cathartic the writing must have been/be for you. I imagine you have opened the hallway to many many many a forgotten memory. I know you will put it all to good use.
Who knew that this story underpinned the man that would marry my sister and take such dedicated care of her. Thank you for having the courage to be seen, heard and felt Wes. I am truly and deeply inspired.
Geralyn Marchisello, MS Spine & Soul New York, Spine and Soul www.spineandsoul.com
I highly recommend The Decker Hilton. Wes describes in detail how he grapples with his experience in jail and every moment of despair and hope is felt deeply. I couldn’t put the book down.
Alexa Casale, Teacher at Rockership Education
Reading The Decker Hilton is a life-changing experience. I know I’m not the only one who feels grateful to Wes for having the courage to peel away the most private layers of this tumultuous period in his life to share his story with us. It’s hard to believe this is non-fiction. Thank you Wes!
Boo Zamek, Principal and co-founder of Meredith & Boo.
Just as life will find a way, so will the spirit. From the depths of desperation will come a lifeline, if only you will grasp it. Decker Hilton is an uplifting reminder. A must read.
Mary M Tague, Toy Town
The Decker Hilton is a captivating book! It’s a tale of how lifes choices (active and/or passive) juxtaposed on the social & racial issues of the late 1960s, affected one man’s life. Thank you for sharing the story and hopefully, there are more to come!
Peter Paruch, JP Morgan Executive Director Corporate Derivative Marketing, Interest Rate Risk Management
I read The Decker Hilton in a little more than a day, as I couldn’t put it down. It is well written, and Wes has a gift for storytelling. Like Wes, I was also incarcerated as a teenager almost 50 years ago and had similar experiences, so I know his words ring true.
Curtis Sitterson, attorney at Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A
As someone who doesn’t read as often as I should, I must first say that I really enjoyed Wes Pritchett’s “easy read” style of writing. However, it wasn’t just the style of writing that made this book an easy read. The stories told and the life lessons taught throughout piqued my interest from cover-to-cover (I read the book in 3 days).
This story about a young man’s journey through “life’s sometimes harsh realities”, while often asking himself a question very relatable to us all, “why me?’, has it all. The book is filled with stories of love, laughter, camaraderie, religion, major historical events/conspiracy theories, evil, gratitude, forgiveness, overcoming fear, among other important life lessons.
My only regret regarding this book is having not read it earlier.
Keith Nateman, Entrepreneur
What a fascinating read, hard to put it down. A huge thank you for the author Wes to share his impactful story! I will be sending this book to my children and close family and friends so they can also see the world through the eyes of this story. It is well written, concise and left me with a deep insight and an urge to also contemplate on my own life. Wes has taken an incredible hardship and turned it to into an ultimate positive in his Life and for the ones surrounding him. I hope Wes writes another book!
Thanks again for sharing this.
Mother, Entrepreneur, Banker and Consultant
Heidy Frank , Mother, Entrepreneur, Banker and Consultant
Wes, I read your story and I couldn’t believe what I was reading! That you had to go through such a nightmare broke my heart. I couldn’t wait to see how your life turned out and I’m so happy all of your dreams came true. I think you have a best seller.
Sometimes we have to go through rough times in order to be broken open and only then can we experience our true self. I truly believe you saw Christ and he spoke to you; I know some people won’t believe you but that doesn’t matter you know you were saved for a reason and it probably was to share this story.
All the best to you & your family. Gayle
I started to read the Decker Hilton not knowing what to expect, and two days later I did not want the story to end. It is a fascinating story with many levels of a simple message, not to judge a book by its cover. The author’s reflective journey to a hurtful past provides the reader with first-hand experience of the gains and pains of our essential humanity and unjust society. It is a reminder of the great MLK Jr. saying, ” The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Juan Castaneda, Executive Director at J.P. Morgan • Miami, Florida
Neither my eyes or heart could let me put this story down. There’s so much to say about it, but most of all,
thank you to the author for lifting the veils for a glimpse into a journey leading to an extraordinary encounter that requires great love and courage to share. Beautifully written. A million-star review. Five would never be enough.
Moe Ross, CEO Miograohies.com
My dear good friend Wesley. We met each other for the first time in 1984 when I came over from Amsterdam where I was working as a floor trader, to work on the floor of the Comex (commodity exchange) in New York.
After you and Winnie moved to Chicago and you began trading on the floor of the CBOE and CBOT, we met again and not too long after that, we became partners in a hedge fund backed by a big European Bank. We created a great team and created a very successful business. I loved working with you.
Over the many years of our great friendship, I learned in bits and pieces something of your past in the roaring sixties and seventies. This great book, however, opened my eyes and I loved reading each page. I learned about the real great Wes as I know you. Thanks dear friend. I can’t wait to read the next one about your life in the seventies.
Jaap Hoff, The Netherlands
“The Decker Hilton is a surprisingly powerful story of survival, resiliency, and faith. Like the prison it portrays, Wes Pritchett’s simple and direct style, captured me from the start and wouldn’t let me go. ”
Tom Shadyac’s writing/directing career was launched in 1994 with the Jim Carrey smash hit Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. In the years that followed, Shadyac would establish himself as one of the most prolific comedy directors in Hollywood while working with some of the biggest names in the business. Huge hits such as Liar Liar, The Nutty Professor, Bruce Almighty, Patch Adams, Accepted ,and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, have helped establish Shadyac as one of Hollywood’s most successful writer/director/producers. He also directed the documentary I Am and most recently the film Brian Banks.
First things first, since I never got a chance to tell you, the book is awesome. I know you got the review, but once I really got into the book a little bit, I couldn’t put the thing down. As you get older and towards the end of your playing sports “career”, you really start to realize that aside from the great relationships you create the most important take away from it all is all these life-lessons that you learn throughout the whole process. Your story itself is great, but my favorite part of the book is that it reminded me of playing sports and the lessons I had learned. There were many KEY life lesson takeaways, whether you know it or not, from your book and a lot of them are things the majority of people will deal with within their lifetime. Great work, man!
Keith Nateman, Football Graduate Associate New Mexico State University
In his memoir, “The Decker Hilton,” author Wes Pritchett pens an incredible true story of faith and salvation that reads like a Hollywood film.
This book affected me in ways very few books do. The raw injustice of Wes’s arrest (and the brutal way it was carried out), the savagery of life at the Decker Hilton, and the fight to preserve one’s own life and soul amidst immense physical, emotional and psychological trauma are elements of this story that stayed with me long after I finished reading the book.
Great read. Impossible to put down. A true-life story that provides a unique glimpse into life at the infamous Dallas County Jail, better known as the ‘Decker Hilton’. Survival was a daily struggle and the physical, emotional and psychological impact were almost insurmountable. Only through an iron will to persevere, strategic alliances with other inmates, and ultimately divine intervention, was the author able to find salvation and escape. A truly inspirational story.
5 stars – highly recommend!
Powerful is one adjective, uncomfortable is another. In “The Decker Hilton”, Wes Pritchett tells us how your life can change in the blink of an eye. We all know this, but until it happens pretend it only happens to everyone else. Wes take us through his journey to show and remind us that we all have these moments. He made his, a life changer — what have you done with yours??
Helen Frances Reaves, Esq., Parent Your Parents https://parentyourparents.com/expert/frances-reaves/
Such an amazing account of survival in a man-made hell! Ultimately a tale of resiliency but more importantly what it’s like to be a fully authentic human being. I felt like I was literally with Wes through this entire ordeal including, asking myself in each of the life and death situations, what would I do? Reading The Decker Hilton is a transformative experience with a message that can heal mankind, a true masterpiece.
With deep gratitude and thanks to Wes for laying it all on the line.
Joe Smith, I Stand With Dreamers
The “is” is what’s important. No truer words have ever been spoken but hearing about what “was” from Wes’ perspective was a literary treat. This book is a real page-turner and the storytelling is so compelling you’ll spend all night reading just to know what happens at the end. I can’t recommend it enough!
Rebecca Dorfman, Director, Public Relations & Branded Content at Zumba
A fascinating story about a young man thrown into a situation he was seemingly not cut out for, and definitely unprepared for. There are so many interesting characters throughout Wes’ story. Most importantly, this book is full of life lessons:
“No matter what situations we find ourselves in, if we are not willing to take ownership of them, if we think of ourselves as victims, we will never be able to move through or past them.”
“Most of the time what you get has nothing to do with what you deserve. And no matter what, we are all responsible for the messes we find ourselves in. Most importantly, we are all responsible for getting ourselves out of them.”
It also surprisingly, and likely unintentionally, becomes a manual on how to survive prison. Those narratives were the most intriguing.
I met Wes and his family years ago when our children were young. There was always something about him – a calm quiet, a steadiness of spirit – that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Reading The Decker Hilton brought back memories of his energy that had struck me so long ago. This is a book about resiliency of spirit; of humility in the face of God; of determination in the face of injustice. Read this book if you believe there is life after life-changing experiences and if you believe we are each sent fellow human beings to save and strengthen us as we walk this journey called “life”. I read it over the course of 2 nights – compelling, heart-rendering, and filled with grace and hope.
Janis Hartley, Realtor Lake Geneva
“The Deckker Hilton,” is a beautiful and inspiring story. It is an easy read and one that is difficult to put down. Wes, you are a true storyteller with a strong message for the reader…….. trusting in the perfect plan that God has for each and everyone of us.
Thank you for your humbleness, integrity, honesty, and message of hope. May you continue to be blessed on Life’s journey along with your beautiful family.
Wes Pritchett’s The Decker Hilton provides a vivid and raw description of an innocent teenager’s harrowing experiences in a Texas jail in the 1960’s. A remarkable journey punctuated by instances of fear, hopelessness, injustice, powerlessness and ultimately faith. You won’t want to put it down!
Wes Pritchett’s The Decker Hilton captured my attention from the beginning by creating a sense of uneasy anticipation, Hard to witness the injustices imposed on this naive teenage boy. Deeply moved by the way the author details his emotions and experiences and inspired by how he transforms real life nightmares into a profound sense of faith and belief in humanity. Highly recommend this well written first hand experience of a journey into the depths of hell and emergence as a faith-filled and honorable member of society.
Mary jo Termini
This book reminded me of a combination of Shawshank Redemption, Green Mile, and Midnight Express – revealing themes of survival, redemption and love. It is timely and relevant to the social and racial issues that are tearing our country apart today. The authors writing was easy to read and I got through the book in 3 days! The world needs inspiring stories like this.
Wes – Thank you again for allowing me to read your story. It was frightening, frustrating, and finally inspiring and uplifting.
I stumbled on to you 3 days ago when I was scrolling the internet as I was patiently waiting for my brand new 8 week old Great Pyrenees puppy to settle down to sleep. A week ago, when I got him and before I found you, I named him Decker.