Cover Story: How James "Bull" Durham Became A Poster Boy for East Texas Meth

See our slideshow of James Durham's descent into meth hell.

James "Bull" Durham, Lufkin's meth poster boy, popped his first shot of that devil's potion at the age of eleven -- he says it helped him get through his day-long shifts as an off-the-books catfish skinner.

Even so, he says his life on the stuff did not become unmanageable until a few years later, when his brother Brad Durham stuck him twice in the belly with a butcher knife. It was only then, James Durham says, that he careened out of control. Since then, he's been arrested at least 48 times, and is now headed to prison for 25 years after his mother's house burned down when one of his little "shake n' bake" meth labs erupted.

But why did Brad Durham stab James? I asked James that question last month when I visited him at the Angelina County Jail. There, in the jailhouse chapel, in front of a religious mural painted by his one-time meth mentor "Iodine Mike" Russell, Durham told me an epic East Texas gothic tale.

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John Nova Lomax
Contact: John Nova Lomax