2ndFame & Acclaim Through Murder: Our Celebrity Killers
We’re pleased to welcome guest blogger Jeffrey Cohen, author of the newly released crime novel The Killing of Mindi Quintana. By Jeffrey A. Cohen Years ago while in law school, I became fascinated with the phenomenon of the jailhouse literary sensation, and particularly, Jack Henry Abbott. He was the convicted murderer who became a cultural icon and literary shooting star when his book of letters to Norman Mailer, In the Belly of the Beast, was published in 1981. One irony of the Abbott case is that this evil man’s letters, irrationally justifying his lifetime of violent crime, resulted in public sympathy, literary acclaim, and even his parole (with Mailer’s assistance). Another irony, a tragic one, is that within six weeks of his release Abbott killed again, the night before a laudatory review of his book would appear in the New York Times. And a final irony—the most perverse of all—is that the man he stabbed in the heart, Richard Adan, 22, a night-shift waiter who refused him the use of an employees-only restroom, was by day pursuing his dream of becoming a writer himself.