With Mailer’s help, Abbott is released from jail. His book, In the Belly of the Beast, is garnering rave advance reviews and is primed to be one of the biggest books of the summer. We take a close look at the night he threw away his literary career—and his life—by senselessly taking the life of another writer, Richard Adan. The killing’s ripple effect is widespread, affecting not just Adan, Abbott and their families, but his pen pals, Norman Mailer and Jerzy Kosinski, as well as the prison reform/abolition movement of the early 1980s. We look at how the Adan murder plays into Reagan’s “Tough on Crime/Law and Order” policing agenda.
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