Age-old feuds are at the center of the new season of Orange Is the New Black, and that puts Frieda Berlin squarely in the spotlight. As a member of the "Golden Girls," Frieda was one of the oldest inmates at Litchfield Penitentiary, but before that, she was being held at the nearby maximum security prison. In Season 6, Frieda is forced to return to her old prison, and things get... complicated. But among all that new drama, you might find yourself wondering why is Frieda in jail in Orange Is the New Black in the first place? After all, it appears that she is serving a life sentence, so it must have been something really bad, right? Let's go over all things Frieda to get a better understanding of where she is at in Season 6.
Not a whole lot is known about Frieda's life before prison, but we did get an extensive flashback to Frieda's childhood last season, which is very illuminating. Frieda's father was a paranoid conspiracy theorist, who feared that the Soviets would attack the U.S. at any moment. Because of this, he raised Frieda to be a survivalist, showing her how to build a bomb shelter and often leaving her alone in the middle of the woods to test her survival skills. This upbringing would later reveal itself in Frieda's schemes at Litchfield, most notably in that she had built a secret underground bunker where a never-completed pool used to be, which she used to hide out in during the chaos of the prison riot.
But that flashback does not explain why Frieda is in jail, and unfortunately, Season 6 doesn't provide any insight on that either. However, Frieda has mentioned a number of her crimes in passing in earlier seasons. In the second season, Frieda said that she cut off her husband's penis with a butcher knife. We have yet to find out anything about Frieda's (former, I'm assuming) husband or her marriage. And a couple seasons later, Frieda mentions that she killed four people in one year, including killing a cop with his own gun. Frieda never clarifies which crime specifically got her locked up, but since she seems to have a life sentence, she was probably charged as a serial killer.
Although Season 6 does not reveal any more details about Frieda's life before prison, it does include a lot of information about Frieda's early life in jail. Back when she was still being held in max in the '80s, Frieda was the right hand woman of Carol Denning, who turned a hidden nook in the prison library into a drug business. However, Carol was constantly at odds with her sister Barbara, with the two turning the entire prison population against each other and planning a massive attack. Since Frieda has never been one for big, flashy acts of violence, she decided to step away from the attack and instead, turned in Carol and Barbara's drugs in exchange for a transfer from max to Litchfield.
Now that Frieda is back in max following the events of the riot, she is going to have to face Carol and Barbara again, which she is definitely not looking forward to.