Ted compared his disintegration during his second escape to that of the protagonist in James Clavell’s early novel King Rat.
« A marvelous, marvelous book, about a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. King Rat himself masters the environment. But when they’re liberated, he’s worse than nothing. He’s back to his old self again. He’s nowhere. I might be there. I don’t know.
My first test of that confirms that I’m a master of this (prison) environment, much more than the other. I sort of reverted to type. I felt overwhelmed by things. I felt out of control. I felt I couldn’t manipulate, if that’s the word, the environment around me. I couldn’t get hold of the things I needed to get hold of. I couldn’t get a job. I didn’t do the things I should have done.
I knew what I had to do and I didn’t do it. It just boggles my mind. I failed miserably. I did everything I shouldn’t have done. You have to remember, I was on the run, so I couldn’t truly be myself. If I was truly shrewd and in control of myself, I would not have done the things that I did, which were terribly stupid. » – Conversations with a Killer