Abbott Is Guilty

Of manslaughter, not murder

A murder's infamy usually derives from the renown of the victim or the ghastliness of the crime. But when Richard Adan, 22, a budding playwright and a waiter, was stabbed last summer by a restaurant patron, the fascination focused on the killer: Jack Henry Abbott, Marxist, existentialist, prison murderer, author (In the Belly of the Beast) and, beginning a few weeks before Adan's killing, literary celebrity (see ESSAY). On his 38th birthday last week in Manhattan, Abbott was found guilty of manslaughter. Because he admitted that he had killed Adan, the verdict was considered a victory for the...

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