About Casey Diaz
Darwin “Casey” Diaz is a native of El Salvador and a former gang leader. Growing up on the mean streets of Los Angeles, he was forced to fight for his life. He was eventually incarcerated as one of the most violent criminals in California and placed in solitary confinement.
His life was forever changed in that cell when one day God approached Casey in a miraculous way. Upon his release from prison, Casey landed a job making signs and today runs his own company, Samiah Signs. Casey enjoys teaching at church and sharing his story with audiences around the country.
Grateful for a second chance at life, Casey is now married to Sana and is the father of three children.
What is a “Shot Caller”?
Casey Diaz was a shot caller in prison.
Shot callers have an elevated rank in the gang world. Not only are they the ones commanding respect, but they are power brokers inside prison walls and determine who gets hurt or killed and who doesn’t.
Shot callers also have street cred, which Casey had in spades from being one of the leaders of the Rockwood Street Locos in South-Central Los Angeles. He led the way when his gang did home invasions, carried out car break-ins, ransacked convenience stores, and conducted another round of tit-for-tat stabbings of rival gang members.
Eventually, he was caught by the LAPD and got tagged with a murder rap. Casey was sentenced by the Los Angeles Superior Court to a twelve-year, eight-month term for second-degree murder and fifty-two counts of armed robbery. He actually breathed a sigh of relief that those were the only charges the cops could pin on him.
While Casey was housed with 120 murderers and violent criminals in the 2400 East Max wing inside Pitchess Detention Center, north of Los Angeles, several dudes from two long-established gangs—18th Street and Florencia 13—asked him to become a “shot caller.”
One of the shot callers’ responsibilities was to control the shanks within the prison population—the crude homemade knives used for stabbing another prisoner. Casey was the one who slept with the shanks—all thirteen of them under his mattress. It would be suicidal not to give him your shank because if you don’t, then he’d have you killed.
Then Casey was transferred to New Folsom State Prison outside Sacramento, California, and placed in solitary confinement because of his “shot caller” status. Social interactions with other inmates were nonexistent and severely limited with guards.
After a year or so at New Folsom, he heard the guards come by his cell with an announcement: “Church service. Any inmate wanting to go, stand by your gate.”
Religion wasn’t something Casey was interested in. He knew next to nothing about God or Jesus Christ except that he was the one who was on all those crucifixes.
One time he was laying on his bed, listening to voices outside his lock-up. Casey heard an older woman say, “Is there someone in that cell?” She sounded Southern and spoke with a syrupy drawl.
“Yes, ma’am, but you don’t want to deal with Diaz,” the guard said. “You’re wasting your time.”
“Well, Jesus came for him, too.”
She approached the cell. “Young man, can I speak with you?”
What she shared with Casey would change his life forever.
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Casey Diaz is a dynamic and emotional speaker with a passion to share his experiences as a gang leader and how his life changed in prison.
He is available for interviews, speaking engagements, or general questions.
Phone: 818 | 841 | 5851
Contact Casey and help spread the word of his amazing story!