What happened to David Silva? Louis Theroux revisits San Quentin prisoner

For 25 years, Louis Theroux has been making some of the wildest and most popular documentaries in the world.

The journalist and filmmaker has gone to extremes searching for communities around the world who live unconventional lives. Whether they are part of polygamous communities or more sinister racist and prejudice groups, Louis takes on any challenge to tell a unique story.

So, with time to reflect over these past few months, Louis Theroux decided to revisit some of his most memorable stories. His Life on the Edge series has been airing on BBC Two every Sunday night at 9 pm. The third episode (Sunday, September 20th) focussed on his exploration of the American justice system.

One of the most shocking prisoners Louis ever met in his documentaries was David Silva.

Screenshot: Louis Theroux Life on the Edge E3 – iPlayer

Who is David Silva?

David Silva is an inmate at San Quentin, who Louis met while they were filming his Behind Bars series (2008). During filming, which took place in 2007, David was 33 years old. He had been locked up with his life sentence from the age of 29. This means David Silva is now around 46 years old.

David is a member of the criminal street gang, the Norteños. This gang is allied with the “Nuestra Familia” gang, a major criminal organisation operating in Californian prison gangs.

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As David told Louis, he is serving 521 years and 11 life sentences. He had been in and out of the criminal justice system since the age of 11 when he was placed in a young offenders institute.

David tells Louis Theroux about the home invasion

To be serving a sentence which is half a millennia and then some, you would have had to commit an extremely serious crime.

David explained: “I was on a brutal home invasion, serious type of thing, multiple home invasions.” To this, Louis replied: “Brutal in what way?”

David continued to explain the horror of his attack. He told Louis: “Just a lot of torture tactics… nobody died, but probably [there] were points where they wish they would’ve died.”

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Where is David Silva now?

Many Louis Theroux fans have called for a follow up on David Silva. One fan tweeted at Louis: “Would love a follow up episode. See how David Silva coping now. He seemed pretty relaxed in [the] original episode that he would be ‘looked after for the rest of my life’……”

Many who were intrigued by David Silva’s case have been trying to search for him online. One who tried to contact David Silva noted that he was no longer at San Quentin. The user wrote in the forum: “I wrote to him at SQ and it got sent to another prisoner. Then I phoned the prison and they said David Silva isn’t there.”

Another contributor to the forum stated that David Silva is now at Corcoran State Prison in California.




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