Boyd Hicks was the name of a physically large Alcatraz inmate who was also the leader of a gang of thugs within the prison. He was also responsible for a number of criminal activities going on outside of the prison. Although he was charismatic, he was also a bully and thug who killed anyone who let him down. However, the price he eventually paid for his murderous ways was his eyes.
One day while in Alcatraz he was approached by Sonny Burnett, who unlike Hicks wasn't a large man and was worried about being picked on by the other inmates in the prision. Believing that if he could make friends with the large, charismatic Hicks he would be safe during his stay in Alcatraz, Burnett explained to him after approaching him in the yard that he was an extortionist who prior to being caught had kidnapped rich people with the help of an accomplice, forced thier family members to pay the ramson, and then let them go. Burnett explained that the police had never found the money he'd extorted from the rich people he'd blackmailed, but he knew where it was hidden, and if Hicks agreed to give him protection from any bullies within Alcatraz, he would pass on the information to Hicks. Hicks agreed and asked if Burnett was sure about the location of the money, and Burnett responded by confidently saying "I'd bet my life on it." Causing Hicks to reply, in a somewhat menacing tone, "Looks like you just did."
From the prison, Hicks ordered one of his men on the outside to search the location Burnett had given to him. However, Burnett was unaware of the fact that his accomplice, who had not been caught, had taken the money for herself from that location while Burnett was incarcerated. Hicks' men reported that they had not found the money Burnett had promised him and Hicks confornted Burnett within the yard. Burnett realized that his accomplice had taken the money for herself while he was in Alcatraz and explained that to Hicks. Hicks believed him, but replied "Still, a bet's a bet." He then drew a knife and stabbed Burnett twice in the stomach with it, but didn't suceed in killing him due to intervention from the guards.
Weeks later, Burnett, who had recovered from Hicks' attack but had been denied protection from Hicks by the wardens, was forced to go back into the yard where Hicks was waiting for him. However, Burnett had subjected himself to a workout shortly after recovering and was physically stronger now, and he beat up one of Hicks' physically smaller men before Hicks himself could get to him, forcing the guards to drag him out of the yard and away from Hicks, who yelled that he would kill Burnett as soon as Burnett came out of the solitary confinement he knew the wardens would now have to confine Burnett to.
In preparation for a confrontation with Hicks himself, Burnett continued to work out extensively while in solitary confinement and even started burning himself with cigarettes in order to be able to tolerate pain. After coming out of solitary confinement, he returned to the yard where Hicks was waiting for him. Burnett pounced on Hicks, who drew a knife and stabbed Burnett in the shoulder with it. Burnett was able to shrug this wound off however, and even though Hicks was still physically larger than Burnett himself, Burnett was still able to disarm Hicks by breaking his arm, and then gouged out Hicks' eyes with his fingers. As Hicks lay on the ground screaming in agony, Burnett was dragged away form him by the guards.