Jack Henry Abbott

(1944 - 2002)

While in prison for forgery in his early twenties in 1966, Jack Henry Abbott stabbed a fellow inmate to death. In 1977 he contacted Norman Mailer, insisting that he could provide an accurate account of life behind bars. Mailer helped Abbott publish his memoir of incarceration and advocated for his parole. Only weeks after being released in 1981 and finding himself at the center of the New York literary scene, Abbott stabbed a twenty-two-year-old man to death.


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